3. The Giggle

Sixtieth Anniversary - 2023

Writer: Russell T. Davies
Executive Producers: Russell T. Davies, Julie Gardner, Jane Tranter, Joel Collins, Phil Collinson
Producer: Vicki Delow
Director: Chanya Button
Music performed by: BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Music orchestrated and conducted by: Alastair King
Music: Murray Gold


Soho, London, 1925: Charles Banerjee visits a toyshop to buy a doll for his employer, John Logie Baird. He buys Stooky Bill, leaving the the other dolls Stooky Sue and the Stooky babbies, for John Logie Baird to use in his experiment - the very first television picture.

London, 2023: The streets are in chaos and people are fighting. The Doctor stops a mad from being run over and the man tells him that two days earlier everyone started to think that they are right and will not change their minds. As the Doctor dodges the chaos a strange man in a top had and tuxedo briefly dances with him before he gets out of the way and back to Donna and Wilf, moments before UNIT arrives. As UNIT take care of Wilf the Doctor, Donna, and the TARDIS, are taken to UNIT HQ.

Kate leads the Doctor inside where the Doctor meets an old fried - Melanie Bush. Once settled Shirley begins to brief the Doctor on she situation. Worldwide every human being thinks they are right and will not be told otherwise. All the UNIT staff are wearing a device called the Zeedex, an invention of the Vlinx and this is able to cancel out the spike in the brain. When the Doctor enquires about the spike Kate demonstrates by turning off her Zeedex and her brain activity spikes before the Zeedex is re-activated. Some people (Mel, Donna, Wilf) seem to be unaffected - possibly a side effect of travel in the TARDIS.

Kate tells the Doctor the only event that occurred two days ago was the launch of the KOPSAT 5 satellite by South Korea meaning the whole world is 100% online. Shirley tells the Doctor that the satellite is clean - there is no hidden signal like in the old Archangel Network. The Doctor realises that now everyone in the world has access to a screen, and now all screens can be connected. At the same time Donna had been examining the signal and noticed a pattern of seven peaks - a classic arpeggio. When Mel sings the chord all humans shudder, subliminally recognising the tune. Shirley looks up the notes and finds it is not a tune - it's a laugh accompanied by the video of the first television pictures of Stooky Bill that had been hiding in every screen.

Talking to Kate the Doctor says it's not the puppet they are after it's the puppeteer. Slowly a memory starts to come back as he realises that what was happening was always there, part of human nature, but that something was playing with the humans like toys. The Doctor asks Kate if UNIT can destroy the satellite. Kate says UNIT could destroy the satellite but the ramifications would be huge and she needs permission. Getting world leaders to agree, who are all affected by the giggle, would be impossible. As the President of Earth the Doctor gives his permission, and Kate orders the destruction of the satellite with a galvanic beam.

The Doctor and Donna travel back to 1925 to find out where Stooky Bill came from and find the toyshop and meet the mysterious proprietor, someone the Doctor has met before - the Toymaker.

The Toymaker hides behind a curtain. The Doctor and Donna follow and find themselves in a long corridor. Both the Doctor and Donna open different doors, to different rooms,. looking for the Toymaker. When they get separated the Doctor finds a room with a man (apparently Charles Banerjee) wrapped in paper. When the Doctor rips the paper he finds the body of a marionette - with strings pulled by the Toymaker.

Donna hunts for the Doctor and finds a room with a crying doll - Stooky Sue who is mourning the loss of Stooky Bill. As she listens Donna is attacked by the Stooky babbies. In anger she destroys Stooky Sue and the babbies retreat.

Leaving the room Donna finds the Doctor as the room changes and the Toymaker appears who tries to torment the Doctor with puppets of Amy Pond, Clara Oswald and Bill Potts, and their fates, and of the Flux. The Doctor challenges the Toymaker to a game, which he accepts (even though he cannot refuse). Before the Doctor chooses the game he asks the Toymaker what he did to the people of Earth. The Toymaker said he made everyone think that they are right so that everyone wins. And in turn everyone loses.

The Doctor chooses a simple game - cutting a deck of cards. When the Doctor loses - 8 of clubs to King of Hearts - the Toymaker revels in his win. Until the Doctor point out that when the Doctor was younger he won a game, and now he has lost a game. At one all the Toymaker's rules say it's the best of three.The Toymaker transports to 2023 and the Doctor and Donna rush out of the Toymaker's shop as it collapses in on itself into a box that the Doctor takes back to 2023.

In 2023, after the satellite is destroyed, the Doctor and Donna return to UNIT HQ with the box. The Doctor tries to explain about the Toymaker, and a potential way to track him, when they hear a song (Spice up your life by the Spice Girls) and the Toymaker appears, dancing with staff, causing mischief, but also killing some UNIT personnel. Kate orders personnel to open fire but the bullets are turned into red petals. When the Toymaker disappears the Doctor tells people to look for him - and Donna notices he is outside with the Galvanic laser.

The Doctor confronts the Toymaker, trying to get him to change his ways. The Toymaker tells the Doctor has has played two games with different Doctors, and will play the next game with the next Doctor and fires the laser through the Doctor, triggering a regeneration. Donna and Mel go to help the Doctor and when the regeneration seems to halt the Doctor tells Donna and Mel to pull. Each pulls on one of the Doctor's arms and the Doctor splits into two separate people. No-one can properly understand how there are two Doctors - the fourteenth and fifteenth - although there is a myth on Gallifrey about bi-generation. It's not known to have ever happened, but there are now two Doctors.

The Doctors challenge the Toymaker to a game. The Toymaker thinks two Doctors are cheating, although according to the rules it is the same person, and he is going to play with the next Doctor. The new Doctor choose the first game - catch. The Toymaker produces a ball and throws it at the Doctor, telling the Doctor the loser is the one who drops it. The Doctors throw the ball gently between each other (most of the time) and then with force at the Toymaker. The ball goes back and forth between players until the Toymaker touches the ball, but fails to catch it.

The Doctor claims his prize: banishment of the Toymaker from reality. The Toymaker collapses and Mel traps him in the box. Kate tells a solider to take the box to the deepest vault and bind it in salt.

Although there are now two Doctors there is only one TARDIS. The new Doctor, with the help of lingering Toymaker energy, produces a carnival mallet and, as his prize, strikes the TARDIS - splitting the TARDIS into two.

Once the new Doctor leaves for his travels the Doctor spends some family time with Donna, her family, and Mel.

Regular Cast

  • Donna Noble: Catherine Tate

Guest Cast

  • Charles Banerjee: Charlie De Melo
  • The Toymaker: Neil Patrick Harris
  • John Logie Baird: John Mackay
  • Middle Aged Man: Ross Gurney-Randall
  • Colonel Ibrahim: Alexander Devrient
  • Shirley Bingham: Ruth Madeley
  • Kate Lethbridge-Stewart: Jemma Redgrave
  • Melanie Bush: Bonnie Langford
  • Pilot: Glen Fox
  • Edward Lawn Bridges: Tim Hudson
  • The Vlinx: Aidan Cook
  • Voice of the Vlinx: Nicholas Briggs
  • Trinty Wells: Lachele Carl
  • Voice of Stooky Sue: Leigh Lothian
  • The Toymaker dance double: Luke Featherston
  • Shaun Temple: Karl Collins
  • Sylvia Noble: Jacqueline King
  • Rose Noble: Yasmin Finney
  • Introducing the Doctor: Ncuti Gatwa

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 3. The Giggle Saturday, December 9, 2023 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

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