In the latest in the Doctor Who Short Trips, we find out how the Time War ripped through the lives of the Doctor’s companions…
After her medical work on Terminus, Nyssa is now the controller of a hospital ship, the Traken. As the universe burns in the crossfire of the Time War, she and her assistant travel to a planet close to Gallifrey where they are needed more than ever. A long time ago, Nyssa knew a Time Lord and understood his people. But it seems they can change...
Writer Rob Nesbit tells us all about this short visit into the madness of the Time War: “Producer, Ian Atkins, remembered a story that I wrote over thirty years ago, which appeared in a fan magazine called Opera of Doom where Nyssa was running a hospital with the help of robot nurses. Ian liked this idea as a setting and asked if I could come up with an original story, oh, and could I centre it around the Time War and feature the Eighth Doctor?! A Heart on Both Sides was the result.
“The Eighth Doctor appears on the fantastic cover by Tom Saunders so his inclusion is no surprise, but, for continuity reasons I could not have Nyssa recognise him. All these constraints actually helped shape the story. I liked the background idea of the Time Lords being at war, so they are not necessarily the good guys. One of the new characters, Doctor Isherwood, is quite vocal; she speaks out against what the Time Lords have done to the planet Reeve where the story is set. I enjoyed writing her part; I described her as having a ‘local accent’ – I’d imagined South African when I wrote it, but Sarah Sutton gave her a splendid northern twang. And, I believe, several planets have a north!”
Next up in the Short Trips is the second part of the Time War Short Trips, written by Eddie Robson. All Hands on Deck, performed by Carole Ann Ford, who plays the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan, will be out in October.
Everyone Susan Campbell cared about has gone. Most of them died in the second Dalek invasion, and her grandfather never visits. She’s living in what used to be Coal Hill School, helping Earth rebuild again.
Then, one night, she’s called away to help with an emergency. A piece of appropriated Dalek technology is malfunctioning, and everyone's afraid of what it might do... This is just the first in a sequence of predicaments facing Susan – and the connection between them will shape the rest of her life.
Keep checking the Big Finish website for more exciting news on future Short Trips coming soon.
Nick and Benji present the first of our three special, holiday podcasts. Guest star: Rufus Hound (The Meddling Monk) Part 2. A special Callan interview with Frank Skinner and Ben Miles. Drama tease: The Chimes of Midnight (starring Paul McGann).