Doctor Cthulhu: The Celestial Toymaker / The Crystal Guardian / The Mandarin‏

Christopher Morley explores another entry in Warped Factor's very special Necronomicon, of sorts...

As we continue our look into the Lovecraftian roots of some of the Doctor's foes, let us consider the Celestial Toymaker.

He's also known as the Crystal Guardian & the Mandarin, the Sixth Doctor audio story The Nightmare Fair confirms that he originated in a universe before our own - a big tick in the ' Old One' column. Black & White, featuring the Seventh, confirms him as belonging to the mighty race of ' Elder Ones' ( another name for the Old Ones). And indeed he's described as "a spirit of mischief from the infancy of the universe"............

The First Doctor had heard legends of him while still a student at the Time Lord Academy, & would look into these stories by travelling into the Toymaker's realm in the company of some friends from the clique known as the Deca - the story told in the novel Divided Loyalties as remembered by his Fifth incarnation.

In this realm known as the Toyroom, the Toymaker wields absolute power! Which could be interpreted as yet another sign of his pre-universe roots. Though why he chose the physical form of a man (Michael Gough, who later played butler Alfred Pennyworth in Tim Burton's Batman films) in Chinese robes nobody knows!

His love of games is evident from the off, as he plays a rather comical trick shortly after the TARDIS arrives in the Toyroom which causes the Doctor to vanish- though he can still be heard by companions Steven & Dodo-
STEVEN: Doctor? Well, where are you?
DOCTOR: What do you mean, dear boy? I'm still here.
DODO: Doctor, you've vanished!
DOCTOR: What? Oh, nonsense, child. Nonsense.
DODO: You have. Do you think this is something to do with the Refusians?
STEVEN: Well, it must be.
DOCTOR: You're wrong. This is something far more serious. We're in grave danger. This is some form of attack!
STEVEN: But we're still in the TARDIS!
DOCTOR: That may be, my boy, but wherever it is, it has great power and can penetrate our safety barrier.
Luckily he's able to work out who's causing all this.
"We're now in the world of The Celestial Toymaker, and that screen is hypnotic. He's trying to dominate your mind." line with his modus operandi...
"He's a power for evil. He manipulates people and makes them into his playthings."

And should anyone lose in his games, which he cheats at anyway mostly in order to win, that's exactly what'll happen. They'll become yet another toy in his collection! There's a hint of history between the Time Lord & the universe's oldest exponent of gamesmanship, too:
"Of course. I've been waiting for you a long time."
Separated from the Doctor, his companions soon learn of the Toymaker's way of doing things at first hand.
TOYMAKER: Taken the Doctor? Nowhere, my dear chap. The Doctor and I are going to play a little game together. You can watch the results on that board.But you must win all your games before he does.
STEVEN: Look, we're not interested in your games. We want to go back to the TARDIS.
TOYMAKER: That's impossible.
STEVEN: Impossible?
TOYMAKER: Well, not quite impossible, but you'll have to win a few games first. After each game, if you win, you will find a TARDIS, which may or may not be the real one.
STEVEN: What do you mean, the real one?
TOYMAKER: As you have seen, I have many copies.
DODO: So we have to win a game before we can get to the TARDIS?
TOYMAKER: Right. Several games, in fact.
STEVEN: And if we lose?
TOYMAKER: Then you both stay here as my guests.
A state of affairs which simply cannot be allowed to stand. The Doctor, meanwhile, must play the Trilogic Game!

A fiendishly difficult test for even the learned brain.
DOCTOR: The trilogic game?
TOYMAKER: The trilogic game. A game for the mind, Doctor, the developed mind. Difficult for the practised mind. Dangerous for the mind that has become old, lazy or weak.
DOCTOR: You infer that my mind is getting weak and old?
TOYMAKER: Well now, we shall see. Perhaps it is merely lazy.
DOCTOR: How dare you.
TOYMAKER: So you still think that you can pit your mind against mine?
DOCTOR: Of course I can.
TOYMAKER: Good. I hope that the time you have spent dabbling in your researches round the universe hasn't dulled you. I need you.
DOCTOR: You need me?
TOYMAKER: Yes. I'm bored. I love to play games, but there's no one to play against. The beings who call here have no minds and so they become my toys. But you will become my perpetual opponent. We shall play endless games together, your brain against mine.
DOCTOR: As you said, if I win the game, I can go.
TOYMAKER: So you can, Doctor, so you can. But I think you will lose. Can you remember how to play?
The Toymaker was to have returned in the original Season 23, facing the Sixth Doctor & Peri in Blackpool in Graham Williams' The Nightmare Fair. This would have been made clear in the original ending of Revelation Of The Daleks, when the Doctor would have told Ms Brown they were heading there!

The original idea came to producer John Nathan-Turner when Colin Baker appeared at the opening of the Space Mountain ride, & indeed the production would have utilised it. An audio adaptation was later released by Big Finish as the first in the series of The Lost Stories with David Bailie taking over from the sadly deceased Michael Gough as the Toymaker. If it had made it to television we would have seen Gough reprise the role, as he had been keen to return to the part.

According to Donald Tosh, the man who had commissioned The Celestial Toymaker as script editor of Doctor Who at the time, there were to have been hints that the Toymaker was in fact a Time Lord of the same ilk as the Doctor & the Monk! But instead he retrospectively joined the Animus, Cthulhu, Azathoth & others in hailing from a pre-universe & fleeing the Fendahl - that particular temporal event recounted in White Darkness.

As we turn the pages of Warped Factor's Necronomicon, we'll soon find ourselves diverting our attention towards Yog-Sothoth/the Great Intelligence
Warped Factor
Daily features, news and reviews from the world of geek!