Sunday, January 12

The Celestial Toymaker Part 4/4: The Final Test

HELLO FRIENDS and welcome to the final post in the Celestial Toymaker serial. It's been over a year since we had anything different so kudos for sticking around so long. In previous episodes we saw the Doctor separated from his companions and forced to do a massive version of one of those little puzzles involving moving wooden things from one pole to another. Steven and Dodo have to complete a series of their own puzzles before the Doctor finishes his, otherwise the Toymaker (who is maybe the ruler of the kingdom? with magic powers?) will keep them there forever. Steven and Dodo have just stumbled upon the beginning of their next test, which is something to do with this guy called Cyril and/or Billy who has so far been the Jack of Hearts and a kitchen boy? I have no idea what's happening. The riddle they have to help them through this next puzzle is "Lady Luck will show the way, win the game or here you'll stay."

So! Cyril cheerfully leads Steven and Dodo to their next game: TARDIS HOPSCOTCH.

Not actually as fun as it sounds - basically there are three dice and they each take one and roll it. Then they move forward the number that they rolled and the first to 14 wins. If they step on the floor between the little triangle stepping-stones then they get electrocuted, and if they land on the same stone that another player is on then the first player gets sent back to the beginning. Bit like Frustration. 

Aaaaanyhow they all play for a while - Cyril keeps messing with them, trying to make them fall off and go back to the start for moving from their stones. Steven eventually gets annoyed with this and tries to just walk across the stones to the TARDIS, but the Toymaker appears with his unexplained teleportation powers and is all dumb and mysterious again, and tells them that there's an invisible wall that can only be passed if you're playing the game by the proper rules, so. Steven has to go back to the start again.

The game all culminates with Cyril pretending to be hurt so Dodo will go to help him, then she has to miss a turn cos she moves from her stone. Cyril then rolls the winning number but when he rushes to the end he slips on some trick powder he left on one of the stones and falls off onto the floor and gets all electrocuted and that.

And hey, the Doctor's back being all visible and able to speak and stuff again! He's right back to acting like he planned this whole thing out, the smug bastard. I love him. He gets his puzzle to the penultimate move and then just walks out, all casual. The Toymaker, despite being seemingly all-powerful, doesn't do anything to stop him.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Make the last move, Doctor.
THE DOCTOR: No! Not yet. I see Steven and Dodo have found the TARDIS. Wonderful trick! And your little trick is broken. I am now visible!
CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: You are, indeed, Doctor. Well done. The three of you have won your little game.
THE DOCTOR: I am glad you take it so calmly. Well, now if you will excuse me, I will go and see if the TARDIS is all right. Peace out motherfucker.

So the Doctor goes and finds Steven and Dodo and the TARDIS (which, conveniently, was actually the real one that time) and the three of them bro-hug it out, but it turns out the Toymaker has done "something" to the TARDIS so it won't go anywhere until the Doctor has finished his last move. But, once the Doctor does win the game, the whole world of the Toymaker will disappear, all of the Doctor's crew with it.

Oh, and here we get some explanation about the Toymaker himself!

STEVEN: Why doesn't he just let us go? He can't want to be destroyed.
THE DOCTOR: Well, he won't be.
DODO: But if everything disappears, why not him?
THE DOCTOR: If the Toymaker loses the game, his world will vanish, but he has the power to build a new one.
DODO: How?
THE DOCTOR: The Toymaker is immortal. He's lasted for thousands of years. Very occasionally, of course, he loses a game, and then he has to pay the price.
STEVEN: And that price is the loss of his world?
THE DOCTOR: Yes, but, ah, he himself is not destroyed. He goes on forever.

Clears up literally nothing.

Oh, but the way they get out of it is good! The Toymaker refuses to allow them to finish the game inside the TARDIS because then they'll be able to dematerialise at the exact moment the Toymaker's world is destroyed so they'll escape (and Steven offers to go out there and sacrifice himself, the adorable munchkin, but the Doctor refuses) - but throughout the serial, the Toymaker has been using voice controls to speed up the Doctor's game. The Doctor just goes to the door of the TARDIS and does an impression of the Toymaker saying, "Go from move 1023!" (the final move) and then flies the TARDIS away as the Toymaker gets blown up! Schweeeeet.

The gang, all safely holed up in the TARDIS, have a celebratory powwow where they talk about all the great things each of them did. Dodo breaks out a bag of Werther's Originals that she got from Cyril - Steven, back on form, says that he thinks they probably shouldn't eat them because Cyril was a minion of the Toymaker, but the Doctor cheerfully eats one and then CRIES OUT IN PAIN WHAAAT.

The next serial is The Gunslingers, wherein all the characters wear cowboy outfits (and yes, the Doctor does wear a Stetson), so I'll meet you back here for that one in a week or so. Hah. Have a good morningafternoonevening!



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