Neil Patrick Harris as the Toymaker in Doctor Who

The Toymaker Did Not Have To Be That Mean About Doctor Who’s Former Companions

Traveling with the Doctor is not safe and many companions already know that. So why did the Toymaker (Neil Patrick Harris) have to hurt the Doctor like this? In “The Giggle,” we had to watch as the Toymaker uses fun puppets to completely wreck our emotions. At least, my emotions.

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As the Toymaker forces the Doctor and Donna through a fun house of doors, he leads them into a room for his “game.” The Doctor (David Tennant) knows what the Toymaker can do. It is why he asked Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) to go back to the TARDIS the minute he realized who he was dealing with. Still, what ended up causing me such a visceral amount of pain was simply the Toymaker telling Donna the truth about what happened after she left.

Before the two even realized who they were up against, Donna was trying to ask the Doctor about himself and the non-stop world he was living in. He essentially ignores Donna, as he is wont to do, and instead points them in the direction of the Toymaker’s shop. But this led to what the Toymaker was teasing regarding all the companions that came after Donna Noble.

Donna didn’t know about the regenerations after her Doctor. She didn’t know about the other “companions” and the Toymaker didn’t leave any nuance in describing their endings. And let me tell you, laying out their stories with the Doctor like that, without any kind of explanation? It was brutal and wholly unnecessary.

My girls don’t deserve this!

The Toymaker uses puppets to show Amy Pond dying while the Doctor points out that she dies of old age, years after she is trapped in New York. Then he shows Clara dying and the Doctor again interjects that it was her own choice after she was done traveling. Bill Potts, who does die but whose consciousness lives on, is the one that the Doctor has a hard time justifying, and you can see it as he struggles to address it.

All three of these women trusted the Doctor. He tried to keep them safe and he did, for the most part. But the Toymaker sharing these stories without the nuance they deserve? That was rude to Donna. It was rude to Amy, Clara, and Bill. But boy was it rude to me, who loves Amy, Clara, and Bill oh so very much. Toymaker, that one hurt. Especially watching the strings of my beloved girls getting cut and falling to the stage below. Why did you have to make David Tennant relive that and cry?

(featured image: BBC)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.