The Toy reviewed

The ToyOriginally meant as a Monthly Short Trips, this Fifth Doctor Nigel Fairs story The Toy was, in fact, given away as the free gift with the third subscription package of Doctor Who: The Complete History. Big Finish has included a ‘this is Big Finish’ advert / documentary as the extras, but in essence this is a standard half-hour story with bits.

The story

This from the blurb on the back of the CD jewel case (and on TARDIS wikia):

In her bedroom on board the TARDIS, Nyssa drams of her long-lost home, and a Forbidden Archway that never really existed – or did it?

In the TARDIS corridors she finds a flight of steps, a door marked ‘Keep Out’, and beyond a locked room full of secrets. In particular, a casket containing a jewel seems to call to her. “Nyssa of Traken, do you want to be my friend?”

So begins a journey that takes Nyssa from snow-capped mountains to cast cities, and introduces her to people she seems to know so well. What dangerous landscape has she wandered into — and can she ever escape to safety, and the comfort of her travelling companions?

Under the whimsical and somewhat convoluted, fantasy setup is a wonderful story of Nyssa interacting with the Doctor’s past. It is made all the more interesting to fans as we recognise much more of what is happening than Nyssa does. At its heart it is a tale of trust — should she believe a figure with charm and a familiar beard or an ever-changing set of strangers who seem to mistake her for someone else?

It’s a lovely homage to the show and it is shame it won’t be more available to a wider audience.

The storytelling

Sarah Sutton is on good form as Nyssa and the various other characters, and any fan of Nigel Fairs’s work will enjoy this. It might not add much to Nyssa’s story, but does give a lovely moment or two to bring a smile to the face.

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