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Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary 'The Giggle' review: I don’t want him to go

Doctor Who five star rating picture
Doctor Who five star rating picture

Sometimes watching Doctor Who feels like getting through a task that you don’t really want to do, like cleaning your teeth or changing the bedding. As a Whovian, there’s no possible way you simply can’t watch it, but a lot of the time, it’s plenty of effort for very little payoff. But then, the payoff comes.

After a murky few years trying to find its footing, with rays of light here and there during Peter Capaldi and Jodie Whittaker’s eras (Heaven Sent, Sacha Dhawan, The Flux being among the more enjoyable elements), we’re finally back to basking in the warm glow of its brilliance - and after the excellent episode Wide Blue Yonder, I am delighted to say that The Giggle can only top it - especially if you like your Doctor Who on the angsty side!

Unfortunately, it only took the return of iconic duo David TennantCatherine Tate as the Doctor and Donna Noble, and Russell T. Davies as the showrunner, to get to this point - and the trio’s reunion has been all too brief. Unfortunately for me, I was also only given a little over half of the episode to review, so didn’t even have the chance to be immediately charmed by Ncuti Gatwa, as I expect I will be. No, right now I’m still wrapped up in the Doctor and Donna’s final adventure, and can’t wait to see how it consoles.

David Tennant in Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials
David Tennant in Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials (James Pardon)

So what to say about the episode? The Giggle kicks off with more shenanigans with the Doctor and Donna as they return to 2023 following their adventures in a spaceship on the edge of the universe, only to find out that the world has turned to chaos.

Donna Noble in Doctor Who
Donna Noble in Doctor Who (James Pardon)

Without revealing any spoilers, the BBC’s synopsis for the episode reads: "The giggle of a mysterious puppet is driving the human race insane. When the Doctor discovers the return of the terrifying Toymaker, he faces a fight he can never win."

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Neil Patrick Harris plays the Toymaker
Neil Patrick Harris plays the Toymaker (Alistair Heap)

To say more would be the give away details of a plot that is rife with all of the wit, humour and pathos that we would expect from any RTD finale, and Neil Patrick Harris is an absolutely epic addition to the cast as the chameleonic, attention-seeking Toymaker.

David Tennant returns as The Doctor
David Tennant returns as The Doctor (James Pardon)

With The Giggle already standing, in my view, as one of the show’s best episodes in literally decades, it seems a tragedy that the DoctorDonna aren’t around that little bit longer for us to enjoy them, and the finale made it all too clear to me that I wasn’t ready for their flash-in-the-pan appearances to be over. To partially quote the Tenth Doctor himself… I don’t want him to go.

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