Doctor Who: The Giggle cut a reference to a major villain

Leon Miller
The Fourteenth Doctor and Mel Bush in The Giggle

Scrapped dialogue from the final Doctor Who 60th anniversary special, ‘The Giggle’, would’ve name-checked a classic villain.

The special’s main evildoer, the Toymaker (Neil Patrick Harris), is himself an old foe of the Doctor. A nigh-omnipotent, immortal baddie, he first appeared in 1966 serial ‘The Celestial Toymaker’.

‘The Giggle’ also sets up the return of the Doctor’s longtime nemesis, the Master. The renegade Time Lord remains trapped inside the Toymaker’s gold tooth as the special ends, however, the sound of sinister laughter hints that a comeback is on the cards.

Universe-chomping Flux likewise gets a mention in the final Doctor Who 60th anniversary special – but a planned nod to yet another villain was ultimately left out.

Doctor Who: The Giggle cut a reference to a major villain

As revealed in Doctor Who Magazine (per Radio Times), ‘The Giggle’ originally included a reference to fan-favorite rogue the Rani.

As scripted, the Doctor’s (David Tennant) former companion, Mel Bush (Bonnie Langford), would’ve mentioned the antagonist by name during the special’s bigeneration scene. Explaining why she’s never seen the Doctor regenerate before, Mel blames the Rani.

“Well, the TARDIS was attacked, by the Rani, she was this evil Time Lady, although not evil, more like amoral,” Mel says, recapping the start of 1987’s ‘Time and the Rani’. “And she dragged the TARDIS down to this planet called Lakertya-.” The Doctor then interjects before Mel finishes her story.

Introduced in 1985, the Rani hails from the Doctor’s homeworld, Gallifrey. Portrayed by the late Kate O’Mara, she’s a brilliant biochemist who pursues her research at any cost. The Rani’s final canonical live-action appearance was in ‘Time and the Rani’, despite persistent calls for her return.

Is the Rani in the 2023 Doctor Who Christmas special?

That said, some Doctor Who fans are convinced she already has – albeit in disguise. That’s one of several theories regarding the enigmatic Mrs Flood, who debuted in 2023’s Christmas special.

In a recent interview, showrunner Russell T Davies and Mrs Flood actor Anita Dobson neither confirmed nor denied the character’s supposed Rani connection. Even so, Davies did promise that the show’s fanbase would learn further details about Mrs Flood soon.

“Mrs Flood is a mysterious character,” he teased. “You will eventually find out more about her. She’s a slow burn, Mrs Flood. Who is Mrs Flood? Come back and find out!”

For the latest Doctor Who news and updates, check out Dexerto’s full coverage here.