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Who Played the Original Celestial Toymaker in Doctor Who?

The Toymaker has returned to Doctor Who, to entertain himself and cause havoc, and he looks just like Neil Patrick Harris.

He will be only the second actor to portray the mysterious and mischievous villain on television in Doctor Who, since most of the character’s appearances have been in extended media. He has most frequently appeared in comics, and his facial features in print have tended to be modelled (within reason) off those of Michael Gough, the first actor to occupy the role.

Gough, who died in 2011, played the Toymaker in the 1966 serial, The Celestial Toymaker, and was set to do so again in The Nightmare Fair, a story written for Season 23 in 1986 that never made it into production. It was adapted for audio by Big Finish in 2009, but with a different actor as the main villain of the piece, David Bailie, since Gough had retired from the profession.

During his career, Gough was considered for several Doctor Who roles so played Hedin in Arc of Infinity, and was as busy with film – particularly in America – as he was with television. His first on-screen roles were in films in the 1940s, and he appeared in TV movies before actually appearing in serialised productions. But even then, he took on one-off characters rather than recurring roles.

When theatrical productions started to be broadcast on TV by the BBC and ITV, he appeared in several of those, and he finally took on a long-term TV role in 1959 since his schedule featured fewer films. In addition to appearing in adaptations of many literary classics, he also appeared in shows that would be considered TV classics such as The Saint, Colditz, and Blake’s 7.

Towards the end of his career, he was busy once more with big movies for the American market, including several Batman titles as the titular character’s butler, Alfred.

Another connection Gough had to Doctor Who was he spent over 16 years married to Anneke Wills, who played the First and Second Doctor’s companion, Polly Wright.

The last time the Toymaker was being mischievous before The Giggle was in Relative Dimensions, a single issue comic story from Titan Comics featuring the Twelfth Doctor and Clara. If you’ve not watched The Giggle live, then you’ve overlooked Russell T Davies’ warning to watch it live. Still, we hope you’ve kept yourself spoiler-free. Probably all part of the Toymaker’s plan.

Ida Wood

Who Played the Original Celestial Toymaker in Doctor Who?

by Ida Wood time to read: 2 min
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