There’s no weirder, more Doctor Who thing than the fact that right now you can’t go back and watch the last appearance of this year’s big 60th anniversary villain—the Toymaker, now played by Neil Patrick Harris—57 years ago because 75% of that story doesn’t actually exist anymore. But that could at least change in the not-too distant future.
British tabloid the Daily Mirror (via Radio Times) reports that the next potential target for Doctor Who’s series of animated re-releases reviving the 97 remaining missing episodes from the show’s earliest history could indeed be “The Celestial Toymaker,” presumably to tie into the character’s return next month as part of the trio of special episodes celebrating the show’s 60th anniversary. The seventh serial in Doctor Who’s third season, just a single episode of “The Celestial Toymaker” (its fourth and final) survived the BBC’s archival junking policy of the era, rendering it largely inaccessible to modern audiences.
There have been a few releases of the serial—an audio recording of the full story was released in 2001, and the final episode itself was released in 2004 as part of a “Lost In Time” box set containing a variety of clips and episodes from missing serials. But an animated remake would mark the first time since broadcast that “The Celestial Toymaker” would appear in a visual medium. It’s a shame that it will no doubt miss next month’s anniversary proceedings—these remakes take time, and with “The Celestial Toymaker” not even officially confirmed for the next release after the upcoming Patrick Troughton serial “The Underwater Menace,” the wait will be even longer.
But at least at some point in the future, modern fans who see Harris’ take on the character in this year’s anniversary celebrations will finally be able to go back and see where this specifically weird slice of Doctor Who history started.
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