Exploring the impact of the Time War on those closest to him, this month’s Short Trip is A Heart on Both Sides, a new tale pairing Fifth Doctor companion Nyssa, played by Sarah Sutton, with the Eighth Doctor.
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 spoke to Big Finish about his short trip 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!”
Doctor Who – Short Trips: A Heart On Both Sides is available to buy now for £2.99 from the Big Finish site.