Written by Brian Hayles
Directed by Bill Sellers
Steven and Dodo play their final game, but can they win before The Doctor completes the trilogic game? And will the Toymaker truly let them go?
Perhaps it is because I was able to watch this episode rather than listen to it, but Cyril seemed to be the creepiest of the Toymaker’s dolls. I think this is due in part to Cyril being the only doll that didn’t seem to care about being trapped in the Toymaker’s realm. Cyril just wants to win games, he has no interest in being free. At least, that’s how he comes across in the episode. Cyril is also one of those annoying people that teaches you how to play a game, but withholds certain rules until you make a mistake, then tells you, “Oh, you can’t do that. It’s against the rules. You have to take a penalty now.” In other words, irritating.
Steven and Dodo have to play hopscotch against Cyril, but he later succumbs to his own attempts to cheat. Cyril coated one of the triangles with a slippery powder, causing whoever landed on the triangle to lose balance and fall onto the electrified floor. In his excitement over winning the game, Cyril accidentally kills himself, making Steven and Dodo winners by default. And what luck, they find the real TARDIS. And The Doctor only has one move left in the trilogic game, the winning move! But all is not well that ends well.
The Toymaker has rigged everything. If The Doctor makes the final move, The Toymaker’s realm will be destroyed, The TARDIS, Steven, Dodo, and The Doctor with it. Their only hope is to dematerialize, something they cannot do while the final move is not made. Thankfully, the game responds to The Toymaker’s voice, and The Doctor is able to make his final move from The TARDIS by imitating The Toymaker and quickly dematerializing The TARDIS. But we are told The Toymaker is not destroyed, only his realm. Truthfully, he is an interesting villain, one that I would like to see again and handled better. My opinion of the story, expressed in the previous review, still stands. Great concept, poor execution.
I’m more than ready to move on.