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Time Lady Nyssa
This story by Nigel Fairs is read by Sarah Sutton. It features the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric.
‘The Toy’ is a fantastic Short Trip audio by Big Finish featuring Sarah Sutton as Nyssa. It was a treat for me and I’m so glad I’ve heard it. Sarah Sutton is a wonderful narrator in this audio and Nyssa’s journey shines throughout in this. I couldn’t be happier with a lovelier ‘Doctor Who’ audio CD as this.
Nyssa has lately had vivid dreams of Traken. After she wakes up, Nyssa soon walks down a corridor to find a locked room with a ‘KEEP OUT’ sign on the door. She goes in and finds a casket containing a beautiful crimson jewel. The jewel calls out to her, “Nyssa of Traken, do you want to be my friend?”
Once Nyssa touches the jewel, she finds himself on another world that is full of snow capped mountains and has a domed city in a valley called Arcadia. What is this strange world Nyssa’s found herself on? Is the old man she meets her grandfather and who is the grey-bearded sinister man?
This Short Trip audio was released as a free gift as part of a book series called ‘Doctor Who: The Complete History’. I had to subscribe online to this book series in order to get this Short Trip audio, as I’m a huge fan of Sarah Sutton and Nyssa. I couldn’t wait for the CD to come in the post and was so pleased to have it.
I remember Sarah mentioning she was doing ‘The Toy’ Short Trip audio at the ‘Valiant 2015’ convention in Sheffield, March 2015. After enjoying ‘The King of the Dead’ Short Trip audio, also narrated by Sarah, I couldn’t wait for ‘The Toy’ to be released. I was surprised when it came out as a special CD release.
I received this CD when it came with issues #4 and #5 of ‘Doctor Who: The Complete History’ in October 2015. I was so happy to receive the CD that I couldn’t wait to listen to it. I luckily got the chance to hear it in the evening. Sarah’s voice is so reassuring to listen to and I enjoyed Nyssa’s story in it.
This story took a number of listens for me. I liked the story making references to Nyssa’s past on Traken and some of it in a surreal version of Gallifrey. I wondered what was going on and how Nyssa came to be on Gallifrey. I don’t claim to fully understand the story, but it was engaging to listen to.
I’ve had the CD cover of ‘The Toy’ signed by Sarah Sutton at the ‘Science of the Time Lords’ event in Leicester, January 2016. I told Sarah how much I enjoyed this Short Trip audio with her narrating it. Sarah remarked that I like her in anything and suggested I should be her agent, which pleased me very much.
I really like the CD cover of ‘The Toy’ with Nyssa dressed in Time Lord robes/clothes. Sarah liked the CD cover too and it convinced me that Nyssa had become a Time Lady on Gallifrey when I saw it. She also looks good holding the crimson jewel in her hand with the city of Arcadia in the background. 🙂
Sarah get the chance to do voices for other characters in this story. In the story, Nyssa meets up with the First Doctor on Gallifrey. Sarah’s impression of William Hartnell’s Doctor is very good. Sarah found it challenge to do so many voices in this story, but she obviously has a great talent for it.
As well as voicing the First Doctor, she also did voices for the Second, Third and Fourth Doctors as well as playing Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor. She also did the voices of two Masters in this. There’s the Anthony Ainley Master and also the Roger Delgado Master, who Nyssa meets when on Gallifrey.
It was also great to hear Sarah voicing the characters of Tegan and Adric in the story. Although they briefly appear in this Short Trip audio, I liked the scenes when Nyssa overheard Tegan and Adric arguing with the Doctor in the console room and also when they check up on Nyssa at the story’s end.
‘INSIDE THE AUDIO WORLDS OF DOCTOR WHO’
At the end of ‘The Toy’ disc, there’s a special audio documentary about the Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’. I was slightly disappointed, as I hoped the documentary would be about the making of ‘The Toy’ and it would feature an interview with Sarah Sutton. But it was a very interesting documentary to listen to.
The documentary is presented by executive producer Nicholas Briggs and producer David Richardson. They talk about the audio ranges of ‘Doctor Who’ in Big Finish and what’s on offer to enjoy. First, there’s a look into the new series of ‘Doctor Who’, as there’s a preview of ‘U.N.I.T. – The New Series’ with Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart and Ingrid Oliver as Osgood. There’s a trailer for the box set ‘U.N.I.T.: Extinction’ and there are interviews with Jemma Redgrave and Ingrid Oliver.
Then there’s a brief overview of ‘The Early Adventures’ audio range of stories, featuring the First and Second Doctors. There’s also a preview of ‘The Third Doctor Adventures’ that includes a trailer for the Volume 1 box set. There are interviews with Katy Manning as Jo and Tim Treloar as the Third Doctor. There’s also a look at ‘The Fourth Doctor Adventures’ and there’s an interview with Tom Baker. There’s also a look at the Fifth Doctor audios with a trailer for ‘The Entropy Plague’ and a preview of the 2016 trilogy. I felt sad there weren’t any interviews with Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton regarding this.
There’s then a look at the Sixth Doctor audios, which includes the Constance Clarke audios and a preview of ‘The Sixth Doctor: The Last Adventure’. There’s also an interview with Colin Baker. There’s also a look at the Seventh Doctor audios with the recent trilogy featuring the Seventh and Mel and there are interviews with Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford. There’s also a look at the ‘Novel Adaptations’ range with a preview for ‘Damaged Goods’ as well as an interview with Russell T. Davies.
Finally, there’s a brief look into the ‘Doom Coalition’ audio series with the Eighth Doctor. This also features an interview with Paul McGann. I wish a preview on the audios with the Tenth Doctor was in this documentary. The documentary was fun and interesting to listen to. I wished Sarah Sutton was interviewed in the documentary, as I feel her contribution to Big Finish has been vitally important over the years, but it was great to hear her as the main star of this audio CD, since she narrated ‘The Toy’.
‘The Toy’ has been an extraordinary, puzzling and unusual ‘Doctor Who’ audio to listen to. I don’t fully understand what goes in this story, but it was great to hear Sarah Sutton narrating it. Sarah has a talent for voices and she did so well for a number of ‘Doctor Who’ characters we fans know and love.
I’m looking forward to more Short Trip audios by Big Finish with Sarah Sutton reading them. I hope that it’ll be soon, as I greatly enjoyed Sarah reading ‘The Toy’ and ‘The King of the Dead’ on audio.
N.B. Since writing this review, Big Finish have re-released ‘The Toy’ as one of the ‘Short Trip Rarities’ on their website. You can purchase ‘The Toy’ as an audio download from Big Finish.
‘The Toy’ rating – 9/10
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