Doctor Who

What are The Toymaker’s “Legions”? Why Doctor Who's Big Bad Could Be Its Scariest Yet

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Doctor Who

Doctor Who is starting fresh, but that doesn’t mean that the show has moved on from the past completely. In fact, there are countless references to the early days of Doctor Who in the rebooted season’s first two episodes — including an entire episode set in 1963, the same year Doctor Who itself began airing.

But one of the biggest throwbacks of the new season is someone we saw only a few months ago — The Toymaker, the dastardly gamemaster portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris in the 60th anniversary special “The Giggle,” the first episode to feature Ncuti Gatwa as the 15th Doctor. But just who is the Toymaker, and why does he still matter even though he hasn’t appeared again?

Spoilers for Doctor Who’s “The Devil’s Chord” follow!

Wait, Who is the Toymaker Again?

The First Doctor and the Toymaker in their first bout.

BBC Studios

The first appearance of the Toymaker was in 1966 in the 1st Doctor adventure titled “The Celestial Toymaker.” Unfortunately, all episodes except the finale were lost, but the story lives on in novelizations and a newly released animated version. The adventure follows the Doctor as he gets locked in a deadly game with the Toymaker; meanwhile, his companions Steven and Dodo are forced to play childish games, Squid-Game-style, to ensure their own survival.

In the third and final 60th anniversary specials, however, the Toymaker took on a much more fearsome role. Neil Patrick Harris’ version of the villain took the Doctor, newly regenerated into his 14th form, through a game on a different plane of reality itself — a power that the Toymaker, previously trapped in his own realm of make-believe (called the Celestial Toyroom), didn’t have until now. Now, the Toymaker could make his way into the real world to bend its reality to his whims, making him the most powerful nemesis the Doctor ever faced. And we saw the Doctor struggle — the 14th Doctor lost that round, but his previous victory meant that he could use the Toymaker’s steadfast dedication to the rules of play to challenge him to a best of three match, which the 14th and newly bi-generated 15th Doctors won handily.

But that wasn’t the last we’d hear of the Toymaker. While the Doctors were able to fold him into a box to remain forever, he had some ominous last words: “My legions are coming!” At the time, we didn’t know what it meant, but with the second episode of the new season, “The Devil’s Chord,” it’s clear this was a warning of what would become a season-long threat for the Doctor.

A “Child” of the Toymaker?

Jinkx Monsoon plays Maestro, the child of the Toymaker, in “The Devil’s Chord.”

BBC

In “The Devil’s Chord,” the Doctor faces off against Maestro, played by Jinkx Monsoon. Maestro reveals they are actually a child of the Toymaker, one of his “legions” of chaos agents that are now set to wreak havoc on The Doctor’s life and change the very history of the world as we know it. As Maestro is sent back to their realm, they also warn the Doctor and Ruby that “The One Who Waits” is coming — whoever that is. It’s unclear how many more “legions” are coming, but there are definitely more ahead than just Maestro. And if they are just as powerful as Maestro and the Toymaker, both of whom are hyperdimensional beings with the ability to bend reality, then the Doctor truly is in trouble.

With these new villains chasing the Doctor while he’s trying to figure out the origin of his new companion Ruby Sunday, it’s clear that Season 14 — or Season 1, if you’re watching on Disney+ — is going to be one of the most action-packed ever. Even though he’s only appeared once before in a mostly-lost adventure, the Toymaker has now secured himself as an all-timer Doctor Who villain alongside the Daleks and the Cybermen. Now, we’ll just have to wait and see how these legions — or the Toymaker himself — will make a return to the series.

New episodes of Doctor Who release Fridays on Disney+.

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