Nyssa of Traken

Portrayed by: Sarah Sutton
Travelled with: Fourth Doctor, Fifth Doctor
Series: Classic

Nyssa of Traken was a companion of the Fourth and Fifth Doctors, though she did not travel in the TARDIS with the Fourth Doctor. Nyssa was a native to the planet Traken and daughter to Consul Tremas, meaning the Nyssa was a child of privilege on Traken; as well as being gifted with brilliant intellect and specialising in bioelectronics. Nyssa first met the Fourth Doctor while he was travelling with his companion, Adric. At the time, she was preparing to celebrate her long widowed fatherís marriage to Kassia. Unknown to Nyssa however was the Master who had also come to Traken with the intent of exploiting the tremendous power of the Keepership, to which her father was the only rightful heir. One of the Masterís main goals in this was to live beyond his natural regeneration cycle. Though the Doctor and Adric did successfully defeat the Master, they were unable to stop him from killing Nyssaís new step-mother, nor could they stop him from essentially killing Tremas when he transferred his Time Lord essence into Tremasí body, resulting in the Master living on while Nyssa ended up an orphan in her young adulthood in The Keeper of Traken (Classic Series).

Nyssa of Traken

Not long after this encounter with the Doctor, the Watcher transported Nyssa to the planet Logopolis in the Doctorís TARDIS where she learnt that the Master had, in effect, killed her father, Tremas. The Master then moved to enslave Nyssaís mind to involve her in his complicated plan in conquering the universe. The Doctor managed to break Nyssa free of this but then entered an uneasy alliance with the Master, returning to Earth in the Masterís TARDIS with Tegan Jovanka, while Nyssa returned in the Doctorís TARDIS with Adric, with the Watcher assisting Adric in its flight, during which Nyssa learnt that the entire Traken Union had been swept away by the Masterís growing entropy field, leaving her to be the last of her species by the time they materialised on Earth. When Nyssa next saw the Doctor, he had been mortally injured in his battle to stop the Master, prompting his regeneration into his Fifth incarnation, meaning that Nyssa and the Fourth Doctor had never travelled together in his TARDIS. Following his regeneration, Nyssa became a member of the TARDIS crew properly, continuing her adventures with the Fifth Doctor and becoming critical in nursing the Doctor back to health alongside Tegan following the Doctorís traumatic regeneration. Nyssaís adventures took her to an Urbankan ship where she was taken by the android inhabitants to be turned into one of them before the Doctor and Bigon were able to rescue her in Four to Doomsday (Classic Series). Following this adventure, Nyssa fainted and spent a few days recovering. When she was better, she discovered she had a look-alike in 20th century England by the name of Ann Talbot. The pair decided to attend a costume party wearing the same dress, making them unrecognisable from each other and resulting in George Cranleigh accidentally kidnapping Nyssa instead of Ann, though he returned Nyssa to the Doctor in Black Orchid (Classic Series).

The Fifth Doctor kisses Nyssa of Traken goodbye

The death of Adric in Earthshock (Classic Series) upset Nyssa greatly as it did to Tegan. While working through their grief, the TARDIS crew ended up becoming embroiled in a new adventure involving a Concorde being sent back through time. After successfully returning the Concorde to 1980ís Heathrow Airport, the Doctor accidentally left Tegan behind after a misunderstanding leaving Nyssa as the Doctorís only companion. Nyssa and the Doctor continued travelling together until they chanced upon Tegan once more in Amsterdam who rejoined the TARDIS crew. In the same adventure in the Arc of Infinity (Classic Series), Nyssa also stood up to the High Council of Gallifrey on behalf of the Doctor. Reunited with Tegan, the TARDIS crew travelled to Manussa to rid Tegan of the Maraís influence in Snakedance (Classic Series) before assisting the Doctor through a different sort of ďregeneration crisisĒ where she met Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and Vislor Turlough joined the TARDIS crew in Mawdryn Undead (Classic Series). Nyssa left the TARDIS and the Doctor after travelling to the decks of the Terminus space station where they discovered it was a leper colony. Nyssa contracted the disease, the only member of the TARDIS crew to do so, and chose to remain on Terminus to try and help her fellow victims find a permanent cure for Lazarís disease in Terminus (Classic Series).

Nyssa was often more naÔve yet more mature than her fellow travellers on the TARDIS. She did not believe she was superior to anyone else and didnít brag about her scientific knowledge; facing the adventures she experienced with the Doctor with both the serenity of her Trakenite birth right and determination. She turned her sorrow at becoming the last of her species into a desire to help other people, as the Doctor himself would later do when he became the last of the Time Lords. Nyssa never mentioned any grief she might have been suffered for her losses or great misfortune; nor did she seek to revenge herself on the Master despite having many good reasons to do so. Nyssaís trusting nature occasionally made her less alert to any deception than Tegan but it did make her more adept at negotiating an effective balance between strong personalities. Due to her near-royal upbringing, Nyssa found it difficult to relax and enjoy herself, though she enjoyed a close relationship with the Doctor over her fellow travellers. Nyssa tended to have a serious outlook though she did display a dry wit on a number of occasions, particularly when having to deal with the Fifth Doctorís boyish idiosyncrasies. Like the Doctor, Nyssa tended towards pacifism though in The Visitation (Classic Series) she did destroy a Terileptil android. She also used the threat of violence to save the Doctorís life, shooting a pair of guards. While on Gallifrey, she carried a Staser despite the Doctorís own aversions to violence and again fired at and shot guards in the Arc of Infinity. Even though Nyssaís home world and her species were destroyed, she always tried to live by the principles it had once stood for when she was travelling with the Doctor. Nyssa is one of the few companions who was able to assist with TARDIS operations and is considered to be one of the most intelligent companions the Doctor has had.



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