Doctor Who marvelously concludes its 60th anniversary specials with “The Giggle”

Neil Patrick Harris in Doctor Who.
Neil Patrick Harris in Doctor Who. /

Doctor Who has officially wrapped up its trio of 60th anniversary specials! I was certainly not ready to say farewell to David Tennant and Catherine Tate, but alas, it had to happen.

And that is because we have our next Doctor in the house! Ncuti Gatwa made his first official appearance as the Doctor, and it was everything I could have wanted. After getting a brief glimpse of him in this episode, I am feeling confident he will carry on the Doctor Who mantle in the best of ways.

Alright, more on Gatwa later. Let’s dive into “The Giggle” and what it means for the series moving forward. Please remember, there are SPOILERS ahead!

Doctor Who faces the Toymaker

The episode starts off in Soho, London in 1925, where the Toymaker (Neil Patrick Harris) is introduced. He runs a toy shop, or rather an emporium, and meets a young man who is the assistant to real-life inventor John Logie Baird. This young man buys a creepy ventriloquist doll from the Toymaker (who, at this point, is just a strange man who gives off uncomfortable vibes) for Baird.

Baird’s assistant soon learns that the dummy is being used to create the first image for television. That’s all well and good, but the dummy also makes a creepy laugh that will become important in just a bit.

London mayhem

We last left the Doctor (David Tennant) and Donna (Catherine Tate) standing in London as its population descends into madness. Apparently, everyone has been going mad and suddenly thinks they are always right. This level of pride and ego has brought the world to shambles!

In the midst of the chaos, the Doctor notices the Toymaker lurking around in the background. Something is afoot, and it’s up to the Doctor to put the pieces together.

I have to say, I loved Harris in this episode! He fits so well into this manic role, and I am so happy that he was able to take on the Toymaker. He truly played the role of the creepy villain so well!

Anyway, whenever there is a weird alien occurrence in London, UNIT shows up! Not only do we get to see UNIT director Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) again (yay!), but fans are reunited with former companion Melanie Bush (Bonnie Langford). Mel was the companion of the Sixth and Seventh Doctor, so this was an amazing throwback for Whovians!

It’s not long before the Doctor figures out that the Toymaker has made his way into this reality by embedding that very first television image of his dummy into every device across the world, and used it make everyone around the world act wild and out of control. Pretty genius, right?

Ending of Doctor Who 60th anniversary special, “The Giggle,” explained

I would love to jump into the nitty-gritty details of the episode, but instead, we’re going to get right to the point because that is where the fun lies. After facing off with the Toymaker in a game (and losing), the Doctor is shot by the Toymaker’s beam.

And just as those colorful beams start to spread out from the Doctor’s body, one thing becomes clear: it’s time for regeneration…or is it? Just as he is about to regenerate, the Doctor doesn’t, so he proceeds to ask Donna and Mel to pull on his arms, which leads to something we have never seen before…Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor pops out of the other side of Tennant’s Doctor, and then asks him to push back.

In something that hasn’t happened on Doctor Who before, we see the former Doctor and the new regenerated one standing side by side, making what Gatwa’s Doctor calls a “bi-generation.” It was always a myth, but not anymore!

Together, the two Doctors defeat the Toymaker and continue to coexist. But there is one caveat: Tennant’s Doctor has to stop doing what he’s been doing, because as the Doctor, they have never stopped. It’s been one adventure after another, and with this bi-generation, one Doctor can be doing the Doctor Who thing while the other lives a normal life.

I’m not sure I loved this ending or explanation. The only reason I am okay with it is because it leaves the door open for Tennant to return.

And with that, we’ve wrapped up our reviews of the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials! Happy holidays to all my fellow Whovians!

Episode Grade: A-

Next. The Doctor and Donna are better than ever in “Wild Blue Yonder”. dark

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