‘A HEART ON BOTH SIDES’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Nyssa in the Time War
This story is by Rob Nisbett and is read by Sarah Sutton. It features Nyssa and the Eighth Doctor.
I loved listening to this Short Trip audio of ‘Doctor Who’ by Big Finish called ‘A Heart on Both Sides’ with Sarah Sutton as Nyssa. I’d been looking forward to this and wasn’t disappointed. Sarah excels as ever in her performance as Nyssa as well as in the narration and playing the characters featured in it.
This story was pretty exciting to listen to as it sees Nyssa meeting the Eighth Doctor involved the Time War. I wondered whether Nyssa would be involved in the Time War after she left the Doctor in ‘Terminus’. I’m glad it happened and told Sarah Sutton that I was looking forward to hearing the tale.
I’ve now had the cover of ‘A Heart on Both Sides’ signed by Sarah Sutton and director Lisa Bowerman at the ‘MCM Birmingham Comic Con’ at the NEC Birmingham in November 2017. Sarah has met Paul McGann before and was able to get the Liverpudlian accent of his Doctor for this audio.
In the story, Nyssa is in charge of her own hospital ship called the Traken. It’s not stated clearly when this story takes place in Nyssa’s Timeline. Although I assume it’s between ‘Terminus’ and ‘Cobwebs’. It was so intriguing to discover a story during the 50 year gap before Nyssa reunited with the Fifth Doctor.
Nyssa and her assistant named Dr. Foster visit a planet called Reeve. It’s close to Gallifrey during the Time War. An explosion happens and Nyssa and Dr. Foster do all they can to help the survivors as they take them aboard the Traken. But it turns out there may be a saboteur who is also a Time Lord.
It also turns out Dr. Foster is the Eighth Doctor himself. He works undercover to save Nyssa and her Traken ship. I like how Nyssa and the Eighth Doctor interact with each other. It’s a shame Nyssa never found out Dr. Foster was the Doctor she knew. I liked it when they said goodbye to each other.
Sarah Sutton is wonderful reading this story as well as playing Nyssa and the other characters. I like how Nyssa responds to what goes on during the Time War. She’s shocked that the Time Lords are considered the enemy, as she knew the Fifth Doctor well and also visited Gallifrey in ‘Arc of Infinity’.
Although saying that, Nyssa did try to save the Fifth Doctor from the Time Lords when they were about execute him. In this story, Nyssa didn’t consider the Time Lords violent. It gets tense when Dr. Foster is suspected of being a traitor and saboteur and Nyssa does not know who to trust anymore.
Sarah Sutton gives a very good interpretation of Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor in the story. Although having not worked with Paul McGann in the Big Finish audios, Sarah does get the tone of his Doctor spot on. I hope it won’t be long before Sarah works with Paul properly in a full-cast audio adventure.
I would like Nyssa to appear in ‘The Eighth Doctor – The Time War’ series of audio box sets in ‘Doctor Who’ as well as appear in her own spin-off series. I’d like to know how he started her own medical ship called the Traken after she finished Terminus. That spin-off series could be called ‘The Traken’.
I also like how Sarah does a Northern-like accent voice for Dr. Isherwood. Dr. Isherwood comes into the story to help Nyssa and Dr. Foster and save the survivors on Reeve. But she seems to be more than she appears. This is especially when she begins to accuse Dr. Foster as the Time Lord saboteur.
There are also the robot nurses that Sarah gets to voice in this story. I like how the robot nurses sound straight-forward and yet seductive at the same time when they speak to either Nyssa or Dr. Foster. Sarah manages to get the knack of voicing robots well, especially for this ‘Doctor Who’ story.
‘A Heart on Both Sides’ is a great story by Rob Nisbet. It’s well-performed by Sarah Sutton and well-directed by Lisa Bowerman. I enjoyed Nyssa’s excursion into the Time War and how she helped people. I found it so interesting how she met the Eighth Doctor without knowing who he actually is.
It’ll be interesting to hear more stories with Nyssa at this stage in her life aboard the Traken ship. I’m looking forward to hearing more Short Trip audios of ‘Doctor Who’ with Sarah Sutton reading and performing them. These Short Trips audio adventures are examples of how great an actress Sarah is.
‘A Heart on Both Sides’ rating – 9/10
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This sounds awesome, i really do wish BF would release these on CD as don’t do downloads, Sarah Sutton is a great narrator & it’s great she gets a adventure with the Eighth Doctor a.k.a Dr Foster.
Excellent review Tim I’m now very intrigued by this story.
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Yeah, I would like Big Finish to re-release some of these Short Trip audios in CD collections for fans to enjoy. Perhaps as a future Christmas gift.
Sarah Sutton is greatly superb as the narrator for this audio and I enjoyed how Nyssa interacts with the Eighth Doctor aka Dr. Foster. There’s going to be another Short Trip audio with Sarah which I’m looking forward to. I’m still waiting for ‘The Moon Stallion’ audiobook with Sarah Sutton to be released soon.
Thanks for your comments, Simon. Glad you enjoyed my review.