I love Nyssa. I’ve always loved Nyssa. Lots of people don’t, and that makes me sad. It doesn’t usually make me sad when people don’t like companions (or even Doctors) I love. Why does this? Because Nyssa is me. More than any other companion ever, Nyssa reflects who I was as a young girl. There were plenty of other companions I wanted to be (Sarah Jane, Romana, even Leela), but Nyssa genuinely reflected me. It’s taken a couple of decades, but I’ve finally come to realize that that was a pretty great thing.
Note that, at the time, I didn’t see myself as Nyssa. I just liked her because I liked her. I think as little kids we don’t think too much about why we like things. They’re just neat. Leave it to the stodgy adults to dissect stuff until it barely means anything.*
So anyway, I thought Nyssa was neato. I still do. Now I’ve thought about why. In breaking it down, I can now clearly see that the things I did and do appreciate about her are facets and reflections of myself—perhaps more at that age than at present, but there’s still a lot of her in me.
Nyssa is smart. There’s no question about it. Nyssa knows her stuff. She can communicate with the Doctor—much of the time on his own level. In some ways she’s a spiritual successor to Zoe. She doesn’t quite have Zoe’s panache or bravado or spunk, but she’s got the brains for sure. Adric’s a bit of a genius too (as he never lets us forget), but Nyssa’s genius extends beyond the realm of numbers. She’s able to *do* things with her intelligence. Which brings me to the next in the list of her outstanding qualities. Continue reading