The Fantasy Review’s Review of The Giggle, the third and final episode of the 60th Anniversary.
SPOILER WARNING! – lots of spoilers for The Giggle!
What a finale! This review of The Giggle is being written just hours after watching the episode, so there is a lot to cover. I have a lot more thoughts and theories about what happened and what is to come, but I will go into more depth in dedicated articles.
It works! The leaks were right, but boy oh boy did Russell T Davies deliver on this potentially very controversial idea. Sure, I had my reservations, as I think most Doctor Who fans did (if they saw the leaks), but change is what this show is all about.
The last very controversial plot was Chris Chibnall’s “Timeless Child” and that did not work as well, for the very simple reason that it was not explained in a satisfactory way. The idea in itself isn’t bad, and Doctor Who needs fresh ideas to keep it alive, but this bi-regeneration was done very well and wraps up the past 60 years very nicely. Now we can happily move on into the next phase of the show.
Yes, I will be writing a more detailed article about bi-regeneration so I can fully explain why it’s so brilliant!
I think where the main plot of this episode really shone was through the horror elements. When the Doctor and Donna were sucked into the Toymaker’s game world, we got some of the best elements of the story.
Donna has a wonderful moment offering emotional support to a Doctor with low morale, which can’t go unmentioned. She is one of the best, if not the best companions he has ever had. She also has a terrifying meeting with a widowed doll and her babies which was skin-crawling and will have given plenty of kids nightmares for years!
That scene where the Doctor and Donna sit before Neil Patrick Harris’ incredible Toymaker putting on a show about how the Doctor’s companions died… “Well, that’s alright then!” Absolutely chilling.
I think the defeat of the Toymaker was a bit anticlimactic, almost an afterthought for Davies who must have had such fun writing the bi-regeneration. However, I don’t think this takes anything away from Harris’ fantastic performance as the megalomaniacal mass-murderer, dancing to The Spice Girls’ Spice Up Your Life. An absolute joy to watch and something only Doctor Who could pull off.
So, we see at the end of the episode the tooth with the Master’s consciousness in it gets picked up by a very well manicured hand. This harks back to the Harold Saxon era with an almost identical scene, but I think it was just a nod to that story. From here we at least know for certain that the Master will return, but in what form and when?
We also get another hint at “the boss” mentioned by the Meep at the end of The Star Beast. The Toymaker says there was one being he did not attempt to play a game with, who I think must be this said “boss”.
Also in some of the cryptic language from the Toymaker, along with Russell T Davies’ own hints in Doctor Who: Unleashed, and the Official Doctor Who Podcast, we will almost definitely be seeing some more god-like villains in the coming series with Ncuti Gatwa. Davies hints at a “pantheon” existing in the universe, some of whom we might have seen in previous series (need some Classic Who nerds for this!).
Happily Ever After
So, the 14th Doctor truly gets the happily ever after he deserves. After everything he has been though, with the Flux, the Timeless Child, the loss of Gallifrey and everyone on it (twice!), a billion+ years in a time loop, the loss of Bill and so many others, he finally gets to mentally recover.
And what good hands he is in too! Along with Mel, the Doctor has the Noble-Temples as his adopted family where he can live in peace. No more running. No more awful loss. A well deserved break for a tired and broken Doctor.
Ncuti Gatwa is The Doctor!
We got to see more of Gatwa’s Doctor in The Giggle than we had any right to expect and it was wonderful! Immediately, his face lights up and oozes with upbeat, refreshed Doctor energy.
He is the Doctor. You can feel it in the way he moves, the way he talks, the way he lights up the faces around him. We get a few hints at his personality: a bit cheeky; maybe a bit naughty; definitely up for a good time!
This is not just a fresh start for Doctor Who but for the Doctor himself, and I cannot wait for Christmas day. Who needs socks from grandma when you’ve got Ncuti Gatwa crashing into our screens on Christmas??
Watch the Christmas special, “The Church on Ruby Road” at 5.55pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Christmas Day.