Fans began to speculate that Neil Patrick Harris was portraying the Celestial Toymaker soon after he was cast as the Doctor’s latest nemesis in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials.
For those who are new, the Toymaker first made an appearance in 1966, when William Hartnell’s First Doctor was seen being separated from his companions and had to play silly games before they could return to the TARDIS.
Now, after months of anticipation, it is official: Harris will portray the Toymaker. This will be the character’s first appearance in the long-running science fiction series in 57 years.
Following the release of the most recent trailer for the 60th specials, which aired ahead of the first Strictly Come Dancing live show, Harris’s role as the Toymaker was affirmed.
🎲 Neil Patrick-Harris is the Toymaker.
— Doctor Who (@bbcdoctorwho) September 23, 2023
It wasn’t the only revelation in the video, which also confirmed that Jemma Redgrave is reprising her role as Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and that Donna will regain memories of the Doctor – for better or worse.
Returning showrunner Russell T Davies stated in a statement along with the trailer’s release: “This is just the start, as the fever starts to burn. We’re heading for a November full of Doctor Who surprises, for fans and new viewers alike. Stay alert!”