The Toymaker’s Routine Reminds Me of a Classic Moment From David Tennant’s ‘Doctor Who’ Era
Oh, how I love it when Russell T. Davies adds a fun little dance moment in Doctor Who. In “The Giggle,” the third and final episode of the series’ 60th anniversary special, we see Neil Patrick Harris’ take on the villainous Toymaker. This episode shines thanks to the performances of David Tennant and Catherine Tate, but one moment in particular really hit for fans of the Davies era.
When the Doctor and Donna think that they’ve safely returned to 2023 to confront the Toymaker after their encounter with him back at the start of television, they quickly realize that he has infiltrated UNIT. Despite the Doctor’s frantic pleas, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) tells her team to open fire, but bullets are turned into rose petals, and officers are turned into balls. All while the Toymaker is dancing around to a classic of the ’90s era: “Spice Up Your Life” by the Spice Girls.
The chaotic yet fun energy of the scene reminded me of a scene that is constantly replaying in my mind from season 3 of the new era of Doctor Who. Unfortunately, if you watch the show now on streaming platforms like Max, you won’t see it. And that’s a shame, because the scene is one of my all-time favorites, and was likely cut due to a music rights issue.
Still, the energy of the Toymaker dancing to “Spice Up Your Life” gave me what I miss from rewatching “Last of the Time Lords” and not seeing John Simm as the Master dancing and similarly taunting the Doctor. It must have been jarring for our dear Doctor to see another blonde adversary singing a millennial jam. It’s a rough life for the tenth Doctor.
Never forget “I Can’t Decide”
Look, “I Can’t Decide” was one of my all-time favorite moments of Doctor Who for years. So color me shocked when I learned that it had been removed from the streaming edits. I am lucky in that the version I own still has it (obviously) and you can find it online. But the people need to know that the Master once sang the Scissor Sisters at the Doctor. That’s an iconic moment in television history.
So when I watched as the Toymaker began dancing to the Spice Girls, I thought “Thank god, Russell T. Davies made something for the fans.” I wish there was a world where we could add that scene back in because it does feel like we’re missing part of the Master/Doctor dynamic without it. But the “Spice Up Your Life” scene is a welcome new addition to Doctor Who‘s musical canon. And it’s a welcome reminder for those of us who were old enough to be in the trenches during “I Can’t Decide.”
(featured image: BBC)
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