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April 11th, 2024 119 comments

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Doctor Who The Celestial Toymaker Animated Steelbook

Available to order from,, and other selected retailers.

BBC Studios continues to offer Doctor Who fans the opportunity to extend their collection by announcing the latest release Doctor Who: The Celestial Toymaker on DVD and Blu-Ray. The two-disc set contains the third season story as well as special features. This classic series stars the First Doctor, William Hartnell and companions Peter Purves as Steven Taylor and Jackie Lane as Dodo Chaplet, with Michael Gough as the Toymaker.

Fans of Doctor Who have long lamented the loss of the original 1966 master recordings of all except one of The Celestial Toymaker. BBC Studios have carefully created an animated presentation of this lost classic story using off-air audio recordings of the missing three episodes.

The Celestial Toymaker sees the Doctor and companions separated when they come up against The Toymaker. While the Doctor plays the Trilogic Game, Steven and Dodo are forced to play seemingly childish but ultimately dangerous games with the aim of being reunited and getting back to the TARDIS.

All episodes have been animated in both colour and black and white and include original film elements which have been fully restored.

Special features include:

Disc One

  • Episodes 1-4 – Animation – Black and White
  • Episodes 1-3 – Reconstruction
  • Episode 4 – Original 1966 Episode newly restored
  • New Audio Commentaries

Disc Two

  • Episodes 1-4 – Animation – Colour
  • Making The Animation
  • Doctor Who Escape Room – Team First Doctor
  • Sylvester McCoy Introduction for episode 4 as per the original VHS release
  • Photo Gallery
  • PDF Material including camera scripts

Categorised under: Blu-ray, DVD



  • Gordon

    April 12th, 2024 - 5:35pm

    Well derek handley who does the reconstructions has said these are the 3d models used in the reconstruction however joey won’t be dancing like that in the recon.

  • Gallifrey Falls No More

    April 11th, 2024 - 11:22pm

    Just had an update from Amazon to say it will be released on June 15th 2024!!

    • D84

      April 12th, 2024 - 6:44am

      I’ve had that same email

      It says delivery is 15th, on the listing for the item the release date is stated as 10th

  • D84

    April 11th, 2024 - 3:44pm

    Very nice cover art on the Steelbook (IMO)

    Looks great inside and out

    Looking forward to this one, still 50/50 on the animation style but im sure it will grow on me

  • skaroman

    April 11th, 2024 - 2:42pm

    Love the cover and artwork. The inside cover definitely gives Poppy Playtime vibes which I feel suit a modern interpretation of this story.
    Will definitely give this a go when it comes out.
    Hopefully more season 3 gaps will be filled over time.

  • Prof Horner

    April 2nd, 2024 - 9:29pm

    Does anyone know when this coming out?

    • D84

      April 2nd, 2024 - 10:31pm

      Nope, it’s gone very quiet

      I’m sure it will arrive when it’s ready

    • daz

      April 2nd, 2024 - 11:06pm

      Down for June in USA so I’d expect it to appear by end of May in the UK..

    • Gordon

      April 2nd, 2024 - 11:20pm

      I’m sure it will be out when it’s ready.

    • Bookcollector

      April 11th, 2024 - 11:06am

      Just received an email from h m v stating 10.6.24 as the release date.

    • D84

      April 11th, 2024 - 1:29pm

      Could this be today’s announcement?

      It is Thursday aftercall

      Roll on 3pm

      Nothing changed on my Amazon pre order just yet, just checked

  • Snowman

    March 15th, 2024 - 9:09pm

    Is there any reason why the Steelbook Cover hasnt been revealed yet?

    • Gordon

      March 16th, 2024 - 1:58pm

      Because the release date hasn’t been revealed. The normal cover technically hasn’t been revealed yet. The bbc will reveal it when the release date gets revealed

  • Jim

    March 15th, 2024 - 2:33am

    Just wanted to say thank you to @Gordon for not only your help in answering my previous question regarding the Toymaker Blu Ray soundtrack, but also for the two recent, very insightful messages at the top of this chatboard as to the situ. with Mr Levine’s Master Plan + Massacre edits. As a fan that is very much disconnected from all of these social media inner circles, all I’m seeing on Twitter is just riddled arguments with chains and chains of source reference comments and so forth, so your messages Gordon were genuinely eye opening for me, having finally gotten some clear context to what’s going on.

    First regarding Levine’s Dalek Master Plan part 1; the first thing that hits my mind as soon as the ai animation starts off – is that because I can see photos of real people, from a real Doctor Who studio recording, subconciously I expect to experience that vid-fire movement in the actors, those studio camera distortions, visible horizontal lines, that fine image noise overlaying the frame; and at the very least, some bump-mapping on the images of the actors, giving that little illusion of depth, a bit like how the 50th trailer was done where characters like The First Doctor felt that bit 3d, despite it being an iconic photo the 50th used.

    It’s a great start to an interesting idea, but for all the reasons above, and for what Gordon’s already stated, I just couldn’t watch beyond a few minutes of that part 1 ai episode.

    That said, the really important point Gordon made that needs saying more, is that it’s such a positive thing that we are able to each share our own creative interpretations of these missing stories, as it is literally giving them so much exposure to both new audiences, and long time fans that have maybe chose to avoid the story, what with the visuals being near totally absent. It’s such a good thing that, as of the time of writing, we have Youtube as an outlet to share all of this creative work. There’s so many fan edits out there from passionate hard working people that make them in their own time with no rush because they care to get it right.

    I’m not sure if there’s much more to say that hasn’t already been said – We each have our own perfect idea of what Doctor Who is, just like any other interest. I do feel as though I lean towards wanting more faithful restorations – but on a technical level any restoration comes with alterations – it’s about having that fair balance. I personally feel this upcoming Toymaker release does this for me, purely on the basis of Mark Ayer’s sound work. I still am so, so impressed with the sound restoration of the missing episodes of ‘The Crusade’ in the Season 2 Collection set. Massive quality improvement from the previous ‘Lost in Time’ dvd.

    Audio restoration for the Telesnaps alone, I can’t wait for the Toymaker Blu Ray.

    • Anon

      March 15th, 2024 - 9:15am

      There are no telesnaps for toymaker. They were never commissioned

    • Jim

      March 15th, 2024 - 1:40pm

      *Photo reconstruction

  • Gordon

    March 13th, 2024 - 1:39am

    This is Ian Levine’s latest project. He’s currently working on an A.I. reconstruction of masterplan and this is episode 1. Have to say it’s better than I thought. It’s watchable enough and it’s perfectly releasable on youtube where it belongs.

    The problem is Ian wants it on an officially released dvd/blu ray and him and some of his friends believe it’s blu ray quality and have went so far to call it the best animation or reconstruction they had ever seen and this being the way forward instead of animations.

    Don’t want to take away from it but having watched it I can’t see any way that’s releasable. For starters Ian used a 20 plus year old loose cannon reconstruction as a starting point. That kind of makes the usage of it for a proper release a little legally murky. Plus morally it’s taking someone else’s work doing some work to it then passing it off as his own. Secondly some of those A.I. shots just won’t get pass quality control. Thirdly the bbc never commissioned it. You can’t just hand in and expect the bbc to just take it. Finally Ian’s behaviour to people in person involved with the range and on social media has made pretty much all of his work of his unusable. His borderline harassment posts towards Russell Minton who runs the dvd/blu ray classic range and constant crapping over the official animated releases and moaning about how slow the releases implying the people working on them are slow or lazy and going at a snails pace isn’t helping him. He’s also burned pretty much every bridge he’s been on at the bbc.

    I think this shows what can be possible in future. However it’s nowhere near ready for a physical release. Give it 3-5 years to develop and it could be something. Even if this does prove to be the way forward I still want the remaining stories animated. Seeing how far we have come it would be nice to get the rest of it animated. I also don’t think they should stop the traditional non A.I. reconstruction. Regardless of how much it develops i think it’s always going to be controversial for some. I don’t know how feasible it would be but offering this alongside the colour/b and w animations and normal recon would mean everybody is taken care of.

    • Rex Farrel

      March 13th, 2024 - 7:38am

      Someone needs to find Ian a new hobby/interest that he can enjoy without wrecking his blood pressure. It’s just getting sad now.

    • Anon

      March 13th, 2024 - 9:58am

      Have to agree with you Gordon it is nowhere near commercially releasable. And the fact he is using someone else’s work and altering it is legally dubious.

    • Prof Horner

      March 13th, 2024 - 10:05am

      Thanks for the link Gordon. I am away at the moment, so I will wait till I am back home on Saturday to watch it on my TV. I am on Ian’s site and there is a lot of gushing praise for it. I will wait till I see it before I make up my own mind about it. However I do think this is the way forward. But I think it will be a good few years before it will be up to the standard to make it viable.

    • Gordon

      March 13th, 2024 - 1:49pm

      I actually dont have a problem with him actually doing these things out of his own pocket Rex I just wish he would accept them for what they are. Amateur fan projects that are perfectly fine for YouTube and there is nothing wrong with that. There is plenty of good YouTube content. Josh snares animations and documentaries, mmf’s Marco Polo, dinopuff’s celestial toyroom to name just a few and the list goes on.

      A lot of the things he has produced in the past like his version of shada the lost season 22, dark dimension, his extended versions of downtime, search out space and dimensions would probably go down a storm on YouTube. His mission to the unknown got uploaded yesterday for the first time in hd. It’s unlisted so I won’t link to it but it’s extremely easy to find if you look up his Facebook and twitter socials. Im maybe hoping too much but I do hope it’s the start of him making his archive of productions a bit more accessable.

      A lot of these projects are only existing because the official animated releases are not to his liking. He has made it clear he wants to work on the releases but because of his behaviour to other people working on the releases and his social media interactions he’s pretty much unhireable. He’s a pr disaster waiting to happen. He was at the the bfi for the toymaker animation and a couple of people noticed he pretty much had to be told off repeatedly because he was talking and swearing through it and distracted other people trying to enjoy the screening. He also said he wasn’t going to say anything negatively publicly but hours after the event he was on a public Facebook group trashing it. The following day he trashed it more then put up a photo of Russell Minton demanding him to do a release for once for older fans and went on to trash him again for animations in other comments. He also doxxed his work address back in December trying to get people to write in and complain. How in all honesty is Russell supposed to trust him and work with that especially as ian could easily just go to social media anytime he doesn’t get his way. He could have been an asset due to him being around during the 1960s but his behaviour has denied that

      He also showed mark ayres his ep1 of masterplan. He was honest but as per usual ian didn’t like it as it wasn’t gushing with praise. He thinks he knows better. He thinks because he found episodes back in the 70,s 80,s 90,s it should all be all revolved around what he wants and needs he feels he’s entitled to it. He doesn’t want a colour or a widescreen version and despises both even existing on these DVDs. He just wants 4:3 and that’s it despite it also being included with the official animations. He wants it to be 100 percent accurate to what he watched in the1960s and only that. I get the striving for accuracy but I also get times have moved on and as animation is a different medium it will never be exactly as he watched it as a child no matter how close they try and get it. It’s also 2024. For it to be a sellable and marketable product things like widescreen and colour have to be an option alongside a 4:3.

      He seems to think he speaks for all of fandom but I can assure you he does not speak for everyone. Don’t like 16:9 and in colour? Well don’t watch it. Don’t go to the bfi screenings either. He knows they are shown in colour yet for some bizarre reason he still decides to go. At the end of the day these animated releases are very low budget for professional releases and are tiny compared with other professional releases made on the tightest of budgets on the tightest of deadlines. I get they may make decisions that are criticised and that is fine but I don’t think it’s fair to label the likes Dan hall, Charles Norton, Gary Russell and Russell Minton as arch enemy’s and treating them as evil bogeymen that should be stamped out all for a producing a dvd on the highest of high pressure on a really limited budget.

      Ultimately I am excited to see more episodes of his masterplan if he releases it and I do wish him well but I also am excited to see celestial maker too. Doesn’t have to be an either or. Sadly ian seems to think it’s the way forward and it should be the only way forward instead of animation. Where it leaves those that invested 100s in his massacre I have no idea. I know he never got anywhere near the total amount but according to him work is still on going since a really poor and rough clip of it surfaced in November. I suspect he will eventually move on to doing the massacre after doing masterplan (he’s saying it will be done by July) as he seems to prefer this A.I. style reconstruction to animation. For this story I think It probably fits more the A.I. reconstruction that ian is pushing than animation anyway. Good luck to those trying to get money back though as he’s already spent it.

    • Rex F

      March 13th, 2024 - 4:30pm

      A hobby is meant to be fun, and as you say, if he put these things up on YouTube for his friends/disciples then it might stay fun. But Ian insists on being Ian, as you also say, and I find it sad that he’s spending huge amounts of time and effort waging this futile one man campaign, urged on by others who might not exactly have his best interests at heart, for no positive reward. He’s turning into Who’s equivalent of Captain Ahab.

      I know there are reasons that explain some of the ways that Ian is, and why he wants things a certain way, but he’ll be happier and healthier if he can find a new interest. He used to be a music producer which implies that he can be creative, so maybe painting, writing, pottery or even model railways would bring him more satisfaction. I think he’d quite enjoy building his own rail layout over the years.

    • Anon

      March 13th, 2024 - 6:20pm

      I’ve watched it and have to say I don’t get the heaps of praise lavished on it. It’s okay but far, far from a commercially viable product. Essentially its just rather poor CGI mouth movements over the already existing loose canon reconstruction which I doubt very much Ian asked permission for! It’s never going to be 100% accurate, not a single animation has been so far. But 100% accuracy would greatly increase the costs of animations thereby reducing the likelihood of animations being done. You don’t have to like the animations but do respect the fact that many people do like them. For me they do what they need to do, which is tell the story in a visual way.

    • rich

      April 11th, 2024 - 8:26pm

      Check your eyes because that Levine effort is absolutely rubbish. It makes the Toymaker animation looks good by comparison.

  • Jim

    March 6th, 2024 - 5:53pm

    I’ve just read the new Radio Times interview with Mark Ayers – At first I felt excited at the idea of fesh decent quality audio tracks for the story, but then I read this bit;

    “Ayres’s work included not just restoration of the existing tapes, but also the addition of new sound effects.

    “I have enhanced the soundtrack a lot on this […] but I’ve kept it all very in-keeping,” he said. “I’ve tried to be very faithful to the original sound.”

    So will the photo recon *have* the newly sourced audio tracks *without* these new sound effects – or are we to have to suck it up?

    I’m going to face palm immeasurably if Ayers’ new sound effects are baked over every track on the Blu Ray.

    • Gordon

      March 6th, 2024 - 7:50pm

      The reconstruction will be the original soundtrack remastered but without the ad libbed eney meanie rhyme.

    • Jim

      March 6th, 2024 - 9:23pm

      Okay so just to be absolutely crystal clear, only the main animation feature will include Ayers’ new sound effects, and the photo recon will not use them, is that all correct?

    • Gordon

      March 6th, 2024 - 10:21pm

      Yes. It will be like other animations that he’s added effects that either enhance the animation or to replace missing sound effects. The original unchanged soundtrack will be on the recon.

  • Gordon

    March 6th, 2024 - 9:04am

    Incase anybody is in any doubt the offending n word will not be anywhere in this release. Even the reconstruction. Mark ayres has also went as far to say that even if the episode was recovered it won’t be included.

    Mark said on the possibility of it being included on a recovered version of episode 2: “ It would be removed. I promise you that. It’s still on the off-air recordings, which are preserved. But it won’t be on any future commercial release.”

    On the prospect of being included as to kill a mockingbird has had a release with the word included: “To Kill A Mockingbird is a story about race relations. The word is relevant. It’s not relevant as a careless ad-lib (it’s not in the script) in a Doctor Who story”

    I’m fine with that to be honest and totally agree with him. It’s not being erased as they will still preserve it. It just won’t be getting included on a commercial release. If you are that desperate to watch a version that includes the word the loose canon version on daily motion is available

    • Bookcollector

      March 6th, 2024 - 1:03pm

      Perfectly fine with that. It’s not needed in a commercial release. The word has nothing to do with the plot, it’s an adlib by an actor. It’s removal makes no difference to the story. If it was left in it would just cause so much bad publicity all for the sake of completeness. If the story had been an historical one in which the word was being used in context then an argument for historical accuracy could be made. Although it’s still not necessarily an argument that holds water in terms of a show like doctor who which is primarily entertainment. In terms of toymaker there is no reason at all to retain an offensive term that wasn’t scripted. I’ve got an unedited reconstruction and frankly the removal of that line in a commercial release will make no difference to me. I don’t think people can make any rational argument for retaining the word.

    • Rex F

      March 6th, 2024 - 2:56pm

      Although I find it bizarre that some people would even expect a fully uncensored Toymaker release (I wouldn’t even expect uncensored Tom Baker outtakes on a kid’s programme disc), I also find it a little strange that they would still cut out the entire adlibed rhyme, rather than replace the one word when it’s so easy to do so now, with even a mischievous kid able to generate a whole political speech. Maybe there’s an ethical/contractual/legal thing about generating dialogue that way. Did Abominable Snowmen still have the dodgy cut and paste repair in episode 2 for “[Now come along, Vic]toria”?

    • Anon

      March 6th, 2024 - 6:20pm

      As Gordon says though rex there wasn’t meant to be a line there in the first place. The actor ad libed the rhyme so removing it entirely just removes the problem. Easier to remove the full line than replace one word of it. Mark would have to find a word spoken by that actor that fitted the line and then adjust it to fit the sotto voce delivery. Quicker just to take it out. It’s not in the original audio release and it’s not as if it’s a miss.

    • Gordon

      March 6th, 2024 - 7:44pm

      It’s baffling that there are genuinely people that are treating the removal as if history has been destroyed and erased when the rhyme is inconsequential to the story and barely even a footnote in the history of the show. If it was a major plot point that connects with the story in a major way I get including it but it’s not. Sure there probably is a time and place to include it and perhaps even discuss it but not on an 1960’s animated surreal release that young children will end up watching. Let’s not forget who the current doctor is either and how much of a bad look that would have been as well.

      I think it’s better to cut the rhyme out than try and change it especially if Campbell singer isn’t around to ok the change. Mark also says it’s cleaner than to try and change it. I think they did still use that slight cut in abominable ep 2 but with the new restoration it’s a bit less noticeable.

    • Bookcollector

      March 6th, 2024 - 10:07pm

      I agree Gordon, I can’t believe that people are wanting it included. Removing it makes no difference except to remove potentially extremely bad press. Considering the new doctor why would you want such a line included? The word is incredibly offensive so take it out. The original audio CD didn’t feature it and I doubt many fans even noticed!

    • Rex F

      March 6th, 2024 - 11:33pm

      As was pointed out before (and I really should have realised/remembered) a lot of fans are on the autism spectrum and so don’t like changes being made, for any reason – they want things exactly as they were originally. Some of the complaints will be coming from them, as well as the, erm, “people coming at it from an alternative viewpoint”. Of course there are various changes to all the episodes on disc, but what people don’t know won’t hurt them. (Ask about the “Stephen James Walker Memorial Fix”es sometime…)

  • D84

    March 5th, 2024 - 10:38am

    Still no release date nor cover reveal as yet even after the BFI screening has taken place, although have seen the comments about down to the wire delivery of the episodes and “not final” scenes being used.

    What’s going on with this one?

    • Gordon

      March 5th, 2024 - 1:08pm

      It’s actually pretty normal that they work close to the wire. Remember how ridiculous the deadline for the original version of power was? I don’t think they have been this close though. Considering there is still work to be done on it (the black and white grade doesn’t get done till after the colour version is complete) it’s not a surprise that the cover and release date haven’t been revealed.

    • D84

      March 5th, 2024 - 2:09pm

      Fair enough Gordon

      I wasn’t that close to the range back when Power came out (although did pick up a copy of course)

      Yes I have heard before that these are first produced in colour 16:9 and then cut and graded to B&W 4:3 afterwards

      Eager to get my hands on a copy of this (have pre ordered obvs) given the positive feedback from the BFI screening

    • Gordon

      March 5th, 2024 - 2:56pm

      Well when power was first commissioned it got a 10 month deadline to complete it. That was until someone high up got the idea of putting it out exact same time and date as the 50th anniversary of power. The problem being it meant cutting the deadline by 4 months. That meant they had to do a 2 and a half hour animation in 6 months. Don’t know how they managed it but they got it done. Just. Can’t remember the exact date it was delivered but if it was a day or 2 later it would have missed the deadline for being ready for the bbc store.

  • Gordon

    March 3rd, 2024 - 9:29am

    The doctor who escape room: Team First Doctor feature is the first in a new seven-part series, presented by Emily Cook, where a team takes on a Doctor Who-themed escape room. This first episode is Peter Purves, Maureen O’Brien and Lisa Bowerman. It’ll run across future Blu-ray releases, and it’s a specially constructed set, nothing to do with the Escape Hunt games.

    From the footage shown at the bfi this is apparently the line up. I’ve added where I think each release will possibly go

    1st – Peter Purves, Maureen O’Brien and Lisa Bowerman. (The celestial toymaker)
    2nd – Frazer Hines/tba (the mind robber)
    3rd – Katy Manning, Sadie Miller (death to the daleks)
    4th – Matthew Waterhouse, Michael Briant and Toby Hadoke (one of the puzzles is pyramid of mars related so maybe there)
    5th – Peter, Janet, Sarah (can fit in pretty much any s21 story)
    6th – Colin, Terry Molloy/tba (twin dilemma)
    7th – Sylvester, Sophie Aldred and Bonnie Langford (maybe silver nemesis)

  • Bobby

    March 2nd, 2024 - 11:52pm

    For those who weren’t at the screening today, rest assured that the animation is so much better than it looked in the trailer.

    They’ve really gone to town on certain bits and while it wouldn’t work for most other missing Who stories, it suits Toymaker perfectly

  • D84

    February 29th, 2024 - 11:37am

    Does anyone know if the BFI Screening scheduled for this coming Saturday 2nd march – is going ahead?

    There had been mention of a delay on this one

    We have still not had a cover art reveal or release date confirmed – unless that comes today?

    • Gordon

      February 29th, 2024 - 1:47pm

      It’s going ahead as far as I know. Even if it’s not finished it’s all done digitally and they can pretty much work on it till the day of the bfi screening if need be. They could still show a work in progress version if needs be. If been to a couple of preview screenings where vfx is only partially finished so it can be done.

    • Gordon

      March 2nd, 2024 - 2:17pm

      Apparently episode 1 was only delivered last night.

      Rob Ritchie seems to like it: I know fine well the style of this will divide people but I thought it was wonderful, definitely an improvement on web 3 with some great directorial decision

    • SV7

      March 2nd, 2024 - 2:29pm

      Nice to know that it was finished on time though. From the announcement, I’ve quite liked the style so I’m looking forward to this one!

    • Bookcollector

      March 2nd, 2024 - 2:42pm

      Does that mean 2-4 are not finished yet Gordon? I don’t mind waiting. I’d rather they didn’t rush it.

    • Gordon

      March 2nd, 2024 - 3:43pm

      I don’t think they deliver the episodes in order. Apparently there was a couple of shots with the words not finished so I don’t think it’s 100 percent finished.

      For those that are wondering the escape room feature is the first in a 7 part series hosted by Emily cook where a team take on an escape room. It’s a crafted set so it’s nothing to do with escape hunt. This one has Peter Purves, Maureen O’Brien and Lisa Bowerman in it.

    • Bobby

      March 2nd, 2024 - 8:05pm

      For those who weren’t at the screening today, rest assured that the animation is so much better than it looked in the trailer.

      They’ve really gone to town on certain bits and while it wouldn’t work for most other missing Who stories, it suits Toymaker perfectly

    • Bookcollector

      March 2nd, 2024 - 9:50pm

      Cheers Bobby. I think people have knee-jerk reacted to the animation. I’m not keen on the style but I’m waiting o try it in full as the trailer was only a tiny fraction of the finished product. Reserve judgement until it’s actually out!

    • Gordon

      March 2nd, 2024 - 10:21pm

      Agreed Bobby. Seems to be getting pretty decent reviews on twitter and facebook by most of those that were there. Ian Levine hates it but he’s been out for this release ever since it was announced so that’s not a shock. My impression from reviews is that it’s not perfect but a massive improvement of web of fear ep 3 and much better than the trailer suggested. The style isn’t going to be for everyone but it’s very imaginative with some really interesting ideas. The soundtrack is said to be the best it’s sounded since it’s broadcast. The rhyme with n word in episode 2 is gone but that’s not a surprise.

    • Gordon

      March 2nd, 2024 - 10:25pm

      Trap one’s podcast review of it seems really positive.

    • Prowl1701

      March 3rd, 2024 - 1:01am

      I think moving bu the trailer that the animation style will work well for this story. I wouldn’t want it for every missing story, but I think it fits the fantasy aspect of Toymaker well.

    • SV7

      March 3rd, 2024 - 9:01am

      Thanks for posting the link Gordon, an interesting listen. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this!

    • Prowl1701

      March 3rd, 2024 - 7:22pm

      The trap one podcast was a great listen, nice to hear so much positivity for the new animation. I like the idea that the episode looks the way it does because they are in the toy maker’s fantasy realm, that is so going into my headcanon. Thanks for the link Gordon.

    • Gordon

      March 4th, 2024 - 10:10am

      I’m glad you both enjoyed it. Listening to that has got me more excited to see the finished thing. No hurry though. I’d imagine it would need polishing off and its black a white grading. Wouldn’t be too surprised if it was a couple of months away. End of April/beginning of may at the earliest I’m guessing considering they have to manufacture discs

    • I’m Batman

      March 4th, 2024 - 3:40pm

      There was a scene maybe 6 mins before the end of episode 1, when Steven starts to go on the game where it says “NOT FINAL” but it only lasted a few seconds.
      Other than that, they worked backwards so they did episode 4, 3, 2 and then 1 which was delivered to Mark the evening of the Friday.
      Then he checked out the episodes to be sure all was well, and saw “Offline media” so he rushed to get a near complete copy, which I assume meant he just inserted the work in progress clip that was missing from his copy.
      Everyone laughed when the scene showed up.

    • Bookcollector

      March 4th, 2024 - 3:49pm

      I’ve said this before, this isn’t a story I particularly rate but I’m happy it’s being animated and I think even though the style looks odd via the short trailer, by the time you’ve watched the full 100 minute story you should be used to the style. I did find subsequent watches of web 3 I stopped noticing the animation style and just enjoyed it for the story. So I’m happy to give this a try and give it a few watches. If this style is the way forward for certain stories then I’m fine with that if it means getting closer to a completed 60’s run

  • D84

    February 19th, 2024 - 10:10am

    With the cover for the “Standard” BluRay leaked on Amazon US – do we think we’ll see the official cover art reveal across all 3 (DVD/BluRay/Steelbook) this Thursday?

    Thought’s on release date?

    End of March may still be plausible at this point?

    • Gordon

      February 19th, 2024 - 1:10pm

      I’d like to think we will get it sometime this week. It can’t be too far away.

    • Nathan c

      March 2nd, 2024 - 2:45pm

      I’m happy to say it was complete ish and it’s was brilliant

    • D84

      March 2nd, 2024 - 3:39pm

      @Nathan – you been to the BFI event?

  • C

    February 12th, 2024 - 8:44pm

    Expect a delay on this. Apparently only two episodes of this are currently completed. Very worrying. Could also affect the BFI screening, I imagine.

    • Gordon

      February 13th, 2024 - 1:14am

      Haven’t heard of any delays but considering the tight turn around on some of these animations it would not be a surprise if they were currently still working on it. A bit concerning regarding how it will affect the quality of it. Wouldn’t be the first time they worked on it right up to release. Power was pretty much delivered days before release.

    • D84

      February 13th, 2024 - 9:56am

      Oh no that’s not good

      I don’t think we have seen a release date announced on this as yet – this could be why

      I’m sure the finished product will be the best it can be – although I appreciate there are a few that are not a fan of the style

      I’m reserving judgement until I see it

  • Nathan c

    February 12th, 2024 - 8:19pm

    Just a quick question does anyone know how the bfi screenings work is it just 2 episodes they show or all 4 episodes as I’m going to the one In march

    • C

      February 12th, 2024 - 8:43pm

      All four, with interview panels in between, followed by a compilation of VAM after,

  • D84

    February 7th, 2024 - 10:21pm

    Do we think we will see a cover art reveal tomorrow?

    • Gordon

      February 8th, 2024 - 12:40am

      Hope so.

    • SV7

      February 8th, 2024 - 10:30am

      Fingers crossed!

  • D84

    January 16th, 2024 - 9:24am

    Do we have any dates rumoured or confirmed for a BFI screening on this one?

    • Gordon

      January 16th, 2024 - 9:26am

      Nothing confirmed yet

    • Gordon

      January 16th, 2024 - 9:33am

      Looking at dates on the bfi website. There is nothing listed on Saturday 17th of February for nft screen 1 till 6 pm so that’s a possibility. None of march is listed yet.

    • D84

      January 16th, 2024 - 9:46am

      Fair enough thanks for the info Gordon

      17th Feb could be a possibility – this was announced early December so that’s 3 months ish – plausible. Wouldn’t expect this to come out until March at the earliest though.

      I’m sure it will get posted on here about 2 seconds after its confirmed on the BFI site when tickets go up for sale 🙂

    • Gordon

      January 27th, 2024 - 12:25am

      BFI screening just announced for Saturday 2nd march. Looks more and more likely a march release then

    • Anon

      January 27th, 2024 - 12:35am

      Seems a fair assumption Gordon. With church out on the 12th Feb and daleks out 19th of Feb I think we can assume maybe late March for this one.

    • Gordon

      January 27th, 2024 - 3:21am

      It’s supposed to be coming out in the United States on the 26th so unless that changes it will be 4th 11th 18th or 25th.

    • D84

      January 27th, 2024 - 5:48pm

      Excellent news Gordon thanks very much.

      I may be wrong but I think it’s been rare that a story shows at the weekend then is released on the immediate Monday afterwards???

      I would guess at 18th or 25th

      My credit card is going to take a hit with S15 Boxset potentially late Feb plus this Steelbook to come in March

    • Gordon

      January 28th, 2024 - 10:08pm

      The only time I think have done it was abominable snowman which ended up having some people’s copy turn up before the bfi screening.

    • D84

      January 29th, 2024 - 9:18am

      Lol, yes i imagine those copies arrived on doormats Thurs/Fri/Sat

      Mine used to always arrive on the Saturday prior to release day Monday once upon a time (Amazon)
      But they have tightened up on that of late – mine always now usually come on the Monday afternoon

    • Gordon

      January 29th, 2024 - 9:55am

      Well Ive got my copy on order from galaxy 4. They are more expensive but you do get them about half a week early. Based upon how quickly they sent out underwater menace if it was to be released 2 days after the bfi screening I’ll get it 3 days before the screening on wednesday

    • Prof Horner

      January 29th, 2024 - 3:07pm

      I always get my Doctor Who animations from HMV here in Leeds. It’s only the season boxsets I from Amazon.

    • D84

      February 1st, 2024 - 9:55pm

      With S15 now confirmed for 18th March it seems unlikely this will be out the same day.

      25th do we think?

    • Gordon

      February 1st, 2024 - 10:09pm

      Think the 25th is likely

    • D84

      February 1st, 2024 - 10:11pm

      With the time between BFI screening and release on S15 – I can see this drifting into April

      Although Easter weekend throws things into doubt – unlikely to land on Monday 1st April

    • Gordon

      February 2nd, 2024 - 12:10am

      As they work in financial years I expect they will want it out by the end of march. Got to say even if the animation isn’t great I’m looking forward to having another hartnell on the shelf

    • D84

      February 2nd, 2024 - 5:43am

      Oh do they? Fair enough yes I would guess at 25th then

      I am too, it’s another gap closed

    • Bookcollector

      February 2nd, 2024 - 11:37am

      Feel the same way Gordon. The animation isn’t thrilling me but I’ll wait to see it in full. But… if this style is the only viable option for certain stories going forward then fine. Just be nice to have another animation. Would love the smugglers next.

    • D84

      February 2nd, 2024 - 1:21pm

      If there are more animations to come – certainly from the BBC Studio’s team who produced UWM – they must be well into their next project by now.

      UWM has been out a number of months and presumably “finished” some time before that – theoretically they could be 3+ months into their next project – which some of us suspect could be The Smugglers

      Agree on the animation style – from what I have seen on the teaser trailer I’m not an instant fan of this style – but if this is a viable style given budgets ill take it

      From what’s left missing, Wheel in Space and Daleks Masterplan are the ones I’d like to see get made.

      Of course I will buy them all as a devoted fan and to support the range

    • Bookcollector

      February 2nd, 2024 - 2:29pm

      Definitely the smugglers for me along with wheel and actually the myth makers as I love the story and i feel an animation will really help that one live on screen. I’m happy to wait for masterplan even until the end of the animations. Considering its size I think it will be either split into two releases or what about a boxset with three DVD cases, one colour, one black and white and one for the reconstruction. You are looking at at least six discs for it more if they have extras. Personally I’d like mission on it’s own. You could have the uclan version, a new animation and a reconstruction along with the making of the uclan version plus the usual extras as well. You could release mission individually with the understanding that it gives a future team the sets for some kembel scenes and the delegates designs for usage in a masterplan animation.
      I’m just grateful to get any animations and celestial is a good case. It’s not a story I rate. I’m dubious about the animation style. But I’m happy it is being done. I don’t watch the animations for the animation I watch them for the story so even if I don’t like the animation I will probably watch it as the main version. The reconstruction is there so that is great, it’s an option but I do prefer moving images to stills. We have seen so little of the animation so I will reserve judgement on it until I’ve seen it all.

    • Gordon

      February 3rd, 2024 - 12:18am

      The major issue with giving mission its own release is that it’s a 25 minute main feature. Getting people to spend £15 for a dvd or £20 for a blu ray or £30 for a steelbook for a story that length is quite a big ask regardless of how many extras you would put on it.

    • D84

      February 3rd, 2024 - 3:15pm

      Although not exactly related I could see it being done alongside and released with Myth Makers (4pt) to make a 5pt overall

    • Gordon

      February 4th, 2024 - 1:44am

      I suppose it’s possible but I don’t know if the budget would hold 2 stories of animation.

      Btw to respond to your comment about being 3+ months into the next animation it actually could be about 7 as they finished underwater menace in July.

    • SV7

      February 4th, 2024 - 7:45am

      I always thought that Mission would get its own release, but be packaged in a box set with Masterplan. Speaking for myself, I would want Mission to have its own place on my DVD shelf!

    • D84

      February 4th, 2024 - 8:26am

      Thanks Gordon – I was just starting to think …

      1 – IF they are doing another Animation – would they have dived straight into it?or had a small break before work go underway

      2 – How long into that project are they …

      3 – When we may see a teaser trailer, not sure how far into production a trailer usually appears?
      Seems to be only a few months prior to release these days. Some of the earlier animations were around a year weren’t they?

    • Gordon

      February 8th, 2024 - 12:51am

      Oh mission will get its own box as I feel there is enough content to fill a disc but just not sold on its own.

      1. Well previous animations had them go straight into the next animation so I’d like to think so

      2. If they started when they finished menace it would make it the 7 month mark on the next project

      3. Menace was finished a month before it was announced. Not sure how far on toymaker was but i suspect it was near the finish line. Think it all depends on when the best time to announce it.

  • D84

    January 5th, 2024 - 9:26am

    Amazon have updated their listing for the Blu Ray (Non Steelbook) to show a release date of 26th March – which falls on a Tuesday – seems odd?

    But given the short period between announcement and release on UWM (3 months ish) it may be about right?

  • Snowman

    December 24th, 2023 - 11:16am

    I should imagine the picture on the Steelbook will be the TARDIS again. Is there any reason the BBC went with a prominent shot of the TARDIS on these Classic Animated Steelbooks (and not much else). Was anything ever mentioned?

  • Samuel

    December 9th, 2023 - 12:39am


    Your examples of Harris/Saville and what happened to J.Fielding absolutely shouldn’t be included for “compliance reasons”, that’s a matter of distaste and abuses of power.

    My question here, is why not have an alternate version that isn’t the main feature animation, that fully plays the original audio track, with a simple disclaimer on both the discs and media case, explaining the historical context.

    The film Gone with the Wind, the very latest edition from 2020, has now been selling for best part of 3 years at retail, with the main feature film available in it’s original entirety, without censorship – in fact the website link printed on the front cover takes you to this message;

    “Gone with the Wind is a product of its time and depicts racial and ethnic prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society. These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today.

    To create a more just, equitable, and inclusive future, we must first acknowledge and understand our history. This picture is presented as it was originally created. We hope watching it opens up discussion about the roots of institutionalized racism that are still prevalent today. To actively dismantle these systems, we encourage using all tools available including close examination of racist themes depicted in this film.

    We invite you to experience the companion content presented here for important information about the historical context of this film.”

    That makes perfect sense to me, as does the many times in Doctor Who’s history where it has presented institutionalized racism with the likes of ‘Human Nature’, ‘Thin Ice’ and ‘Rosa’ – are we now suggesting that those scripted scenes of racism be blurred out / erased? No.

    As I say, the main feature animations themselves do deliberately go off in different directions away from the original script, even changing the ethnicity of some actors etc. – if the main animation wants to erase that word – that’s absolutely okay. The animations are their own thing, they’re well within their right to do so.

    However – I personally feel strongly that if a photo reconstruction is to be made for this Blu Ray – then it should be a bare bones, unaltered restoration of the original sound recording, with the surviving real images of recording – on the basis that a disclaimer is put in, just as big movie studios are already doing with their own classic films – a disclaimer giving clear context of historical accuracy, and presenting the material as it was, un-chopped, allowing us to reflect on how institutionalized racism was back then, and how far we’ve moved on from it. To pretend racism did not exist in the world of film and television, or to give the impression it didn’t exist at all back in the 1960’s, would make me feel uncomfortable.

    I’d rather we could see the show for exactly what it was, and form our own judgments on it. As far as I know, the latest Blu Ray of Series 3 has kept David Tennant’s Doctor praising JK Rowling, regardless of what we all think on that situation.

    • Anomie

      December 9th, 2023 - 10:14am

      First of all, it makes no difference to the story to remove one unimportant and offensive word. Secondly we don’t all feel the same way about Rowling. I love her books and her personal opinions don’t impact on my personal opinions whereas removing a single offensive word that would instantly generate negative headlines for the BBC and doctor who as soon as it was released seems like a sensible thing to do.

    • Gordon

      December 9th, 2023 - 10:20am

      Doctor who is away to have its first full time poc doctor. No chance it’s getting included.
      Not a chance that word is getting through compliance and it being on a recon or not.

      The animations are classified as new productions. They ain’t going to risk a higher age rating for the recon.

      Gone with the wind does not include the n word. It was originally in the script and in the novel but it was removed from the script in 1938 before shooting commenced. The racial aspect is down to its usage of racial stereotypes and the implication that romanticised slavery and made it seem that for poc it was better being a slave than being free.

      There is a big difference between the scripted institutionalised racism in human nature, thin ice and Rosa and what is said in toymaker. In toymaker the word was never in the script. It was an ad lib. In human nature/thin ice/rosa the racism is scripted story points and are challenged. In toymaker the word is said isn’t challenged in any way and the story moves forward. It simply doesn’t add anything to the story and its removal or changing of the word doesn’t change any of the plot.

      As for the comments about jk. Think it’s fine to say good on jk if it’s celebrating her work. You can celebrate her work but at the same time be critical at the terrible things she says. It’s very much a situation where separating the art from the artist is the best course.

      I think the discussion of word has a time and place but I don’t think it’s a dvd/blu ray of a 1966 doctor who story set in a fantasy surrealist world that the story is aimed at a good percentage of extremely young people.

      I do also want to also point out it was seen as an issue far back as 2001 when the soundtrack was released on cd. They had Peter purvis narate over the offending line. Loose cannon also tried its best to mumble the rhyme and make it unlistenable.

      Since November 2021 the BBFC has become far more stricter about its usage. Following new research carried out by the BBFC, it said it was now “highly unlikely” content including the N-word would be classified lower than 12A/12. Another reason why it won’t be included. It also said that older films and tv shows would be classified as pg but considering the recon would technically be a newly produced item it would not be applicable.

      Finally mark ayres commented about it on twitter:
      “It was excised nearly two years ago, when we started on this project. First thing I did. But no timing has been lost. It simply now follows the script, the original performance being ad-libbed”

    • Bookcollector

      December 9th, 2023 - 12:30pm

      Exactly Gordon. It is a very different circumstance for the toymaker story to other works, both doctor who and others. As for j k I too love her books but don’t agree with her about other things. I look at it like this. If I only read or watched things where I agree with the political/social attitudes of the authors/filmmakers/actors then i really would not have a great deal to read or watch! I separate attitudes of authors and others from the work i can enjoy a book from 1905 or 1890 knowing the attitudes are of the time. J K’s attitude is perfectly valid, she is entitled to her opinion even if I disagree with it. Doesn’t stop me enjoying her work.

    • Rex F

      December 9th, 2023 - 1:07pm

      So Mark cut the whole rhyme, rather than tweak the word? I’m surprised at that, bearing in mind it’s now much easier technically to change. I wonder if it’s the same period of silence on the recon? Or if the recon even includes the newly restored sound?

      As for including any uncut version, the short answer is: they’d never include that word on a kid’s programme.

    • Gordon

      December 9th, 2023 - 2:33pm

      Mark said: Much better simply to put it back as scripted, rather than make a meal out of it.

    • Rob

      December 9th, 2023 - 3:03pm

      Why would the part about JK Rowling be edited? A lot of nonsense

    • DPHill

      December 9th, 2023 - 11:09pm

      Agree indeed, although nothing is being edited about JK, and that’s not who or toy maker Rob

    • Bobby Fackrell

      December 18th, 2023 - 12:25pm

      I think a better understanding of ‘woke’ would help many people, it’s actually the fundamental message of the program and always was. For all the unfair criticism Chris Chibnal gets, ‘The Daleks’ is arguably one of the most ‘woke’ Doctor Who stories and that was back in the 60s

      As others have said, it’s a dated rhyme which adds nothing to the plot

      But I’m all for fair debate if someone could make a case for why you would include unnecessary racism in a Doctor Who cartoon then fill your boots

  • BW

    December 8th, 2023 - 9:06pm

    Christ that animation looks ugly.

  • Basil Funkenstein

    December 7th, 2023 - 8:15pm

    I really doubt “The War Games” will be colourised any time soon. The Daleks was a nice one-off but I’d like them to focus on animations and improving the animations before releasing more colourised stories.

    Plus waiting for episodes and stories to be colourised before releasing a specific Season set would be detrimental to the collection not an improvement of it. We already have Season 2 missing 2 episodes, which isn’t a big deal, but if they decide to animate The Crusade in the future maybe they’ll release Special Edition sets with the additional animations/colourised stories added in as well.

    For example if we don’t get “Marco Polo” animated before Season 1, or if the “An Unearthly Child” rights get sorted after the Season 1 set is released, that could have a Special Edition box set, Season 2 could have one, depending on how many stories from this season get animated before its release there’s a likely possibility that it could get a Special Edition release and that’s Season 3, Seasons 4, 5, and 6 are all also possible as well. They might not do it but I think it’s a cool idea to essentially make the collection an actual complete entire archive of Classic Who, (as much as it is possible obviously with missing episodes/stories from this era.)

    I would like them to get the Limited Edition and Standard Edition sets done first giving extra time for animations to be worked on and released on their own in Steelbooks, Blu-Ray, and dvd, and then colourisations of 60’s Who as well to be worked on and released, if they do release more i think they should just pick 1 story from each Season instead of doing every single story from Seasons 1-6. That way once the normal collection is complete the standalone releases would have had enough time to sell on their own in various formats and it would then make sense for them to release Special Edition box sets of the Seasons from 1-6 that warrant one, which could potentially be all 6 of them.

    Maybe they could add something unique to the Special Edition sets that give them an extra quality compared to the Limited and Standard editions. Potentially a lenticular image as the front and back covers, that would be a phenomenal addition that would embellish and boost the wonderful creativity of these sets. They could also add stuff alongside the booklet in the booklet holder inlay such as stickers or magnets or mini posters or art or literally whatever they fancied really.

    I wouldn’t mind paying £10-£20 extra on top of the normal price for a Special Edition set to get Seasons 1-6 in both Limited and Special editions. If they follow that route I think it would be successful, especially with the right timing and marketing strategy. Obviously they’d have to add stuff and make the sets different and unique in some way but if the Limited Edition sets are about £50 now then £70 for a Special Edition set doesn’t sound too bad. They’d have to stick to 2 sets a year because of the expense but Who fans will double-dip if the purchase is warranted and I think having Standard, Limited, and Special editions in the collection is a cosmic idea.

    • Gordon

      December 8th, 2023 - 1:04am

      The animations and colourisations are separate things. Stoping the colourisations does not mean they are going to have to time/money to focus on the animations. The money is spent elsewhere. Potentially something that’s non who related.

      I suspect unlike the animations they won’t wait on any colourisations. Even if war games is say colourised next and broadcast next November they would have to wait till it was finished broadcast released physically and have a gap before being included in season 6 collection. That could be a potentially be a 2 year wait. I doubt they would wait 2 years on a release because of a colourisation as the original episodes are available. Animations yeah wait but colourations nah.

      I just don’t see special editions. It’s something that’s at probably least a decade off and if it happens there probably is going to be the issue of trying to get people for special features that are still around. There is a couple of 60s stories already where there is only 1 or 2 credited cast members left. Toymaker for example only has Peter purvis I believe. Hopefully it doesn’t happen anytime soon but the reality is there will come a day when there will be doctor who stories where none of the credited cast is still alive. What is more likely will be a repackaging to include the newly added material

  • Joe 90

    December 7th, 2023 - 4:46pm

    Does this mean the return of the animated stories?

    Still living in hope of a complete Troughton season as we were so close before funding was pulled.

    • Scotel

      December 7th, 2023 - 4:52pm

      Yes, we already knew this since The Underwater Menace just came out. Two teams working on animations.

    • D84

      December 7th, 2023 - 8:25pm


      There were rumours of Underwater Menace and Smugglers in Jan 2023 then later on Toymaker animation was thrown in

      At the BFI screening for UWM those involved simply said “more to come”

      If smugglers turns out to be a dud and it was Toymaker all along them this would be 2 of 2 rumoured.

      Let’s hope it’s not though and there are more beyond this

  • D84

    December 7th, 2023 - 2:20pm

    Instant Pre Order of the Steelbook

    Have to say i think the animation style will suit this story well – as its very creepy and “off the wall”

    • Samuel

      December 7th, 2023 - 5:13pm

      I’m just happy that we’re going to get the cleaned up audio, and higher resolution telesnaps. For anyone happy with the animation, good for you guys.

      Just couldn’t help but laugh at the nose they’ve put on Steven, while everyone else’s nose and forehead looks… okayish – poor steven. If he sneezed his forehead would explode.

    • D84

      December 8th, 2023 - 9:20am

      I get what you mean Samuel and each to their own

      I’m happy with any / all of the animation styles – i personally feel any animation is an improvement over Audio only or the Telesnaps

      So for me – keep them coming Auntie Beeb please

    • Pythia Louise

      December 8th, 2023 - 2:12pm

      It’ll be interesting to see if they take any audio from The Randolph Tapes. Obviously they’ll blur or change that one line, regardless of the audio source, but it would be nice to hear them use some really great audio for it.

    • Samuel

      December 8th, 2023 - 8:23pm

      The word in question wasn’t removed from the latest 4k release of Dam Busters (the word being the name of the dog) – instead a disclaimer message was inserted at the very beginning of the movie, with a further disclaimer printed on the front of the physical media case itself.

      Since the animations themselves simply don’t abide by a lot of the original scripts / continuity anymore, I don’t see anything wrong with that word being censored on the main animation feature.

      However, I think the Dam Busters style disclaimer message should be put on the non-animation ‘telesnap’ episodes, so as to deliver and present an original bare bones version of a full clean audio sequence.

      I believe a number of Warner Brother’s home media also opens with a disclaimer message about offensive historical language before the film plays – I don’t see anything wrong with just being informed before watching the thing – while just let the animation version get the censored word.

    • Gordon

      December 8th, 2023 - 9:55pm

      If they are cutting bits from extras because of appearances of Harris/saville and stories of actors pinching Janet fielding bottom for “compliance reasons” no chance in hell that word will be anywhere near this release. Mark ayres said a couple of years ago that if it was ever animated it would be an easy fix to alter it to something less offensive

    • Erato

      December 13th, 2023 - 11:50am

      What’s all this about high resolution telesnaps? There aren’t any for Toymaker! They were never commissioned.

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