Jul 11
DAY 02- FAVOURITE COMPANION: NYSSA(DAY 01: x)
This was a bit of a harder choice than Doctor, because, well, there are more companions. They’re a very varied set, and it feels much more like comparing apples and oranges than comparing Doctors does. There are many companions I love, and many of them are almost entirely unlike one another. However, I think it was probably always going to be Nyssa.
Nyssa is, I think, the most impressive person to have ever travelled with the Doctor. She’s on the younger end of companions, at probably around seventeen or eighteen, but she’s also one of the most mature and responsible people to ever set foot in the TARDIS. The first thing about Nyssa that shows how amazing she is happened before she even met the Doctor, and that’s that she’s a scientist. There are a lot of scientists in Doctor Who, so that would only be a little bit impressive, if not for the fact that she’s also pretty much a princess. Her father was one of the consuls on Traken, and Traken was a very peaceful, wealthy, relaxed sort of planet. Nyssa didn’t need to be educated in anything other than court diplomacy stuff and, well, being a princess (which she absolutely was educated in, and great at). However, she decided to study biochemistry anyway, because she liked it and she thought it was important. She’s amazingly good at it, likes doing experiments, and is actually a much better scientist (and, well… doctor) than the Doctor. He deferred to her a bunch of times. Keep in mind that she’s eighteen. And, despite being both a genius and a princess, she’s not stuck up or obnoxious about it at all. She knows she’s a capable person, and she can stand up for herself, but she doesn’t rub it into anyone’s face at all.
At the end of her first serial (which was going to be her only serial, but then Peter Davison liked her and wanted to keep her, and IDK why he had any creative control over Logopolis given that he was only in about a minute of it, but I suppose I’m glad he did because Nyssa), she gets left behind after the Master murdered and stolen the body of her father. Ouch, poor Nyssa. Except, slightly less poor Nyssa, because Nyssa has AGENCY, so rather than just stand there and be upset about it, she decided to go find the Doctor because she figures he can help (He can’t. He doesn’t even try. It was still a good idea.). So, she’s not only a science genius, she’s super practical and has logic on her side too.
Oh, and at the end of Logopolis, her whole planet is destroyed. Once again, poor Nyssa. She loses everything. At this point, it would be totally reasonable and justifiable for her to basically have just become an inconsolable cry-puddle on the floor. When the same thing happened to the Doctor, he angsted about it for two whole regenerations.  Except, she doesn’t. She actually handles it all really well though, and incredibly maturely. She understands what happened, but she realises that being upset won’t make anything better, so she stays super strong and… handles it. For the most part, it’s not that the writers forgot about Nyssa’s backstory, Nyssa just manages to incorporate her experiences into herself and carries on with her life, because even though a ridiculous amount of angst happens to her, she’s not an angsty person, which is great. Not that I’d blame her if she was, but I like that Doctor Who decided to show a different side of things than that.
It’s a good thing that Nyssa manages to have herself together, because about two minutes after Traken gets destroyed, the Doctor manages to trip and fall off a radio telescope and so he spends about 90% of the next serial laid up recovering from it (well, not so much the fall as the regeneration it caused, but still), and being completely adorable but also almost entirely useless. Then Adric gets kidnapped, so he’s entirely useless too. So, Nyssa and Tegan, who have just met eachother, have no experience being companions, and have both been through massively traumatic experiences (Nyssa’s is worse, but Tegan’s was pretty bad too), manage to get stuff done, take care of the Doctor, and generally save the day, because they are super capable and brilliant. Seriously, Castrovalva would have been a tough serial for the characters at the best of times, and Nyssa just became the last of her kind about five minutes before it started. And she has to deal with the Master, who not only killed her father but is still wearing his face.
For a lot of the rest of Season 19, Nyssa unfortunately didn’t have very much to do. This is a shame, because, as previously mentioned, Nyssa is one of the most competent people the Doctor has ever had the good fortune to travel with. However, it’s pretty much because of that that she doesn’t ever have much to do. The companion has three jobs- get in trouble so plot can happen, ask questions so plot can be explained, and save the Doctor whenever he needs rescuing, which because for the most part the Doctor in question is Five is always. Nyssa being as intelligent, reasonable, and competent as she is, the only one of those three things she’s any good at is the last one. She generally stays put when she’s told to, figures out the science bits on her own, and manages to solve problems by sitting in the TARDIS and building the McGuffin they need to save the day while everyone else is being kidnapped. Since she’s got two co-companions, both of whom are very loud, this usefulness makes her get left out.
Nyssa does get a very small time as a solo-companion on the show, which she is great at. This is one of the reasons why it’s a good thing Big Finish is a thing which exists, because they make it last for years. Anyway, during her time as a solo companion, she manages to convince the Doctor to stop procrastinating and actually make the TARDIS work better. Then they get kidnapped by the Time Lords, and Nyssa grows into an absolutely awesome BAMF. She’s willing to do anything for the Doctor, including holding a gun to the head of the Lord President of Gallifrey, who was in the process of trying to murder the Doctor. Then, when the Doctor told her to stop, she did, and she was willing to accept that she had just lost…. the one person left in her life pretty much, and she was going to be stuck with the people who killed him. But then the Doctor survived because of course he did he’s the Doctor. Then Tegan came back, and that’s the end of Nyssa and Five as a team TARDIS on TV, but again Big FInish is a thing which exists and if you like Nyssa and you don’t listen to Big Finish you should go get ‘Circular Time’. 
Nyssa also had one of the best companion departures on the show. Given that Traken no longer existed, the Doctor couldn’t drop Nyssa off at home when they decided to part ways. After having killed Adric only a year before, the show couldn’t very well have another companion die right away. By the traditional methods of the show, that means she had to fall in love with someone random over the course of about a day and marry him, which would have been utterly out of character for her. Nyssa didn’t leave the Doctor because she was done adventuring. She didn’t leave because she found somewhere nice and cozy and safe. She left because she realised that she could do more good for the universe by using her scientific skills to improve medicine. Life on Terminus was going to be hard, Nyssa knew that, and she decided to do it anyway because it was the right thing to do. She really is a remarkable, very brave person, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of anyone ever than the first time I saw Terminus.
I realise that I made Nyssa seem like a totally over-perfect character here, but she’s actually not at all. She’s a real, absolutely believable, and flawed person. Most of those flaws have to do with being seriously too good of a person for her own good though. She trusts people who are absolutely not worthy of her trust (Five has this problem too, which makes them an interesting team). Another problem she has is 80s hair, which is possibly fair because she’s from the 80s, but also not because, well she’s from another planet. She’s also quite serious and reserved, and her practicality turns into a bad thing when it seems like she really doesn’t know how to have fun or to do things because she enjoys them.
Anyway, I’ve been rambling on for long enough (1500 words oops). Nyssa is great. That is all. I promise that not every positive answer will be from the Fifth Doctor Era. 

DAY 02- FAVOURITE COMPANION: NYSSA
(DAY 01: x)

This was a bit of a harder choice than Doctor, because, well, there are more companions. They’re a very varied set, and it feels much more like comparing apples and oranges than comparing Doctors does. There are many companions I love, and many of them are almost entirely unlike one another. However, I think it was probably always going to be Nyssa.

Nyssa is, I think, the most impressive person to have ever travelled with the Doctor. She’s on the younger end of companions, at probably around seventeen or eighteen, but she’s also one of the most mature and responsible people to ever set foot in the TARDIS. The first thing about Nyssa that shows how amazing she is happened before she even met the Doctor, and that’s that she’s a scientist. There are a lot of scientists in Doctor Who, so that would only be a little bit impressive, if not for the fact that she’s also pretty much a princess. Her father was one of the consuls on Traken, and Traken was a very peaceful, wealthy, relaxed sort of planet. Nyssa didn’t need to be educated in anything other than court diplomacy stuff and, well, being a princess (which she absolutely was educated in, and great at). However, she decided to study biochemistry anyway, because she liked it and she thought it was important. She’s amazingly good at it, likes doing experiments, and is actually a much better scientist (and, well… doctor) than the Doctor. He deferred to her a bunch of times. Keep in mind that she’s eighteen. And, despite being both a genius and a princess, she’s not stuck up or obnoxious about it at all. She knows she’s a capable person, and she can stand up for herself, but she doesn’t rub it into anyone’s face at all.

At the end of her first serial (which was going to be her only serial, but then Peter Davison liked her and wanted to keep her, and IDK why he had any creative control over Logopolis given that he was only in about a minute of it, but I suppose I’m glad he did because Nyssa), she gets left behind after the Master murdered and stolen the body of her father. Ouch, poor Nyssa. Except, slightly less poor Nyssa, because Nyssa has AGENCY, so rather than just stand there and be upset about it, she decided to go find the Doctor because she figures he can help (He can’t. He doesn’t even try. It was still a good idea.). So, she’s not only a science genius, she’s super practical and has logic on her side too.

Oh, and at the end of Logopolis, her whole planet is destroyed. Once again, poor Nyssa. She loses everything. At this point, it would be totally reasonable and justifiable for her to basically have just become an inconsolable cry-puddle on the floor. When the same thing happened to the Doctor, he angsted about it for two whole regenerations.  Except, she doesn’t. She actually handles it all really well though, and incredibly maturely. She understands what happened, but she realises that being upset won’t make anything better, so she stays super strong and… handles it. For the most part, it’s not that the writers forgot about Nyssa’s backstory, Nyssa just manages to incorporate her experiences into herself and carries on with her life, because even though a ridiculous amount of angst happens to her, she’s not an angsty person, which is great. Not that I’d blame her if she was, but I like that Doctor Who decided to show a different side of things than that.

It’s a good thing that Nyssa manages to have herself together, because about two minutes after Traken gets destroyed, the Doctor manages to trip and fall off a radio telescope and so he spends about 90% of the next serial laid up recovering from it (well, not so much the fall as the regeneration it caused, but still), and being completely adorable but also almost entirely useless. Then Adric gets kidnapped, so he’s entirely useless too. So, Nyssa and Tegan, who have just met eachother, have no experience being companions, and have both been through massively traumatic experiences (Nyssa’s is worse, but Tegan’s was pretty bad too), manage to get stuff done, take care of the Doctor, and generally save the day, because they are super capable and brilliant. Seriously, Castrovalva would have been a tough serial for the characters at the best of times, and Nyssa just became the last of her kind about five minutes before it started. And she has to deal with the Master, who not only killed her father but is still wearing his face.

For a lot of the rest of Season 19, Nyssa unfortunately didn’t have very much to do. This is a shame, because, as previously mentioned, Nyssa is one of the most competent people the Doctor has ever had the good fortune to travel with. However, it’s pretty much because of that that she doesn’t ever have much to do. The companion has three jobs- get in trouble so plot can happen, ask questions so plot can be explained, and save the Doctor whenever he needs rescuing, which because for the most part the Doctor in question is Five is always. Nyssa being as intelligent, reasonable, and competent as she is, the only one of those three things she’s any good at is the last one. She generally stays put when she’s told to, figures out the science bits on her own, and manages to solve problems by sitting in the TARDIS and building the McGuffin they need to save the day while everyone else is being kidnapped. Since she’s got two co-companions, both of whom are very loud, this usefulness makes her get left out.

Nyssa does get a very small time as a solo-companion on the show, which she is great at. This is one of the reasons why it’s a good thing Big Finish is a thing which exists, because they make it last for years. Anyway, during her time as a solo companion, she manages to convince the Doctor to stop procrastinating and actually make the TARDIS work better. Then they get kidnapped by the Time Lords, and Nyssa grows into an absolutely awesome BAMF. She’s willing to do anything for the Doctor, including holding a gun to the head of the Lord President of Gallifrey, who was in the process of trying to murder the Doctor. Then, when the Doctor told her to stop, she did, and she was willing to accept that she had just lost…. the one person left in her life pretty much, and she was going to be stuck with the people who killed him. But then the Doctor survived because of course he did he’s the Doctor. Then Tegan came back, and that’s the end of Nyssa and Five as a team TARDIS on TV, but again Big FInish is a thing which exists and if you like Nyssa and you don’t listen to Big Finish you should go get ‘Circular Time’. 

Nyssa also had one of the best companion departures on the show. Given that Traken no longer existed, the Doctor couldn’t drop Nyssa off at home when they decided to part ways. After having killed Adric only a year before, the show couldn’t very well have another companion die right away. By the traditional methods of the show, that means she had to fall in love with someone random over the course of about a day and marry him, which would have been utterly out of character for her. Nyssa didn’t leave the Doctor because she was done adventuring. She didn’t leave because she found somewhere nice and cozy and safe. She left because she realised that she could do more good for the universe by using her scientific skills to improve medicine. Life on Terminus was going to be hard, Nyssa knew that, and she decided to do it anyway because it was the right thing to do. She really is a remarkable, very brave person, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of anyone ever than the first time I saw Terminus.

I realise that I made Nyssa seem like a totally over-perfect character here, but she’s actually not at all. She’s a real, absolutely believable, and flawed person. Most of those flaws have to do with being seriously too good of a person for her own good though. She trusts people who are absolutely not worthy of her trust (Five has this problem too, which makes them an interesting team). Another problem she has is 80s hair, which is possibly fair because she’s from the 80s, but also not because, well she’s from another planet. She’s also quite serious and reserved, and her practicality turns into a bad thing when it seems like she really doesn’t know how to have fun or to do things because she enjoys them.

Anyway, I’ve been rambling on for long enough (1500 words oops). Nyssa is great. That is all. I promise that not every positive answer will be from the Fifth Doctor Era. 


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