Hello everyone! 🙂
I discussed this topic on the now-deceased Big Finish forum in 2015. Here, I’m re-introducing it for this week on ‘The Nyssa Challenge’ on the story called ‘The Elite’. I hope you’ll enjoy these thoughts of mine.
In ‘The Elite’, a ‘Lost Story’ by Barbara Clegg and John Dorney, Nyssa was given a bar of chocolate by Tegan during their time in Amsterdam. However, whilst eating her chocolate bar in the TARDIS at the start of the story, the Doctor snatches it from her, saying that it is bad for her Trakenite biology.
I thought it was really mean of the Doctor to snatch Nyssa’s chocolate bar from her in that moment, since she claims she was ‘enjoying that’. I’m inclined to disagree with the Doctor that chocolate is bad for Nyssa. I’m sure she’s had chocolate given to her before by boyfriends in her TARDIS travels.
In my ‘Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ series on ‘Bradley’s Basement’, the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa are joined by a new male companion called Billy Walker. I’m sure Billy gave chocolate to Nyssa when he was travelling in the TARDIS, especially before Tegan had returned to the TARDIS in ‘Arc of Infinity’.
I’m also sure that Nyssa enjoyed having chocolate bars in the TARDIS or during her travels without the Doctor noticing. I don’t see how it would affect Nyssa’s Trakenite biology according to the Doctor. Of course, chocolate is bad for you if you eat too much, but I’m sure Nyssa wouldn’t do that.
It has been suggested that in ‘The Elite’, that the Doctor was greedy and he wanted the chocolate for himself when he snatched it away from Nyssa. Eventually of course, the Doctor shared the chocolate with others when he was trying to encourage the Elite cadets to have it when they’re not allowed to.
It also been suggested that it’s the kind of thing Peter Davison would write into a script to get a few laughs. It was meant to be a comedic moment, as the Doctor definitely wants the chocolate for himself and he makes an excuse. However, it could be the Doctor’s getting paranoid at this moment.
The Doctor is also a hypocrite when he says chocolate is bad for Nyssa. Later on in ‘The Judgement of Isskar’ by Simon Guerrier (the first of ‘The Key 2 Time Trilogy’), the Doctor remarks to Amy (now Abby) how he recalls getting Nyssa to try chocolate. I wonder if that was before or after ‘The Elite’.
To be fair, there’s now plenty of Big Finish audios made today of ‘Doctor Who’. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if John Dorney hadn’t heard ‘The Judgement of Isskar’ before or didn’t know about the detail in Simon Guerrier’s play about the Doctor getting Nyssa to try out chocolate for the first time.
Although, I find it a surprise that Nyssa finds it difficult to pronounce the word ‘chocolate’ in ‘The Elite’. Surely if Nyssa had chocolate before that story, she would have found easy to say it properly. But then, chocolate isn’t a common consumable to have on Traken so should I be surprised by this?
Another point to mention is that the Doctor was eager to eat all the sandwiches when he was the Third Doctor with Jo Grant in ‘The Sea Devils’. Poor Jo had to help save the world on an empty stomach when the Doctor snatched those sandwiches from her, although this was a funny moment.
The Doctor was hypocritical too when he told Jo that they didn’t have time for sandwiches, took them from her, ate some and shared them with everyone except her. I would like a story where Nyssa meets Jo and they discuss their annoyance when their Doctors leave them out of the buffet.
On a side track, an off-hand comment was made by Sarah Sutton at the end of the DVD commentary of ‘Time-Flight’. The commentary track goes silent during the closing credits of ‘Part Four’, but after the credits and sonic boom at the end, Sarah decisively states, out of the blue, “I need chocolate!”
That off-hand comment by Sarah made me laugh out loud for five minutes when she said it. I was so delighted to hear Sarah say that and it made my day. I chatted to Sarah about it at the ‘Cardiff Film and Comic Con’ in March 2014. This doesn’t really relate to this topic, but I like Sarah’s comment from the commentary.
What does everyone else think on this topic? Is chocolate good or bad for Nyssa?
Please feel free to leave a reply or comment on what you make of this subject.
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!