The Toy was an audio story originally released solely to online subscribers of The Complete History magazine, alongside issues #4 and #5 of the magazine. It was later released as part of Big Finish's Short Trips Rarities series. It was read by Sarah Sutton.
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 vast cities, and introduces her to people she seems to know so well. What dangerous landscape has she wondered into — and can she ever escape to safety, and the comfort of her travelling companions?
Nyssa wakes from another dream of her time on Traken, and the mysterious "forbidden archway" that she keeps seeing in her dreams. Resolving to tell the Doctor about these dreams, she travels to the console room, only to find the Doctor, Tegan, and Adric arguing yet again. Nyssa instead leaves to go be alone, and breaks down into tears in the TARDIS hallway.
Wandering around, Nyssa eventually finds a doorway that is an exact match for the forbidden archway she keeps dreaming of. Ignoring the ornate, "Do Not Enter" sign on the door, she enters the room to find a sort of map room. Examining what appears to be a star chart, she touches one of the stars on there, only for the star chart to show the destruction of that solar system. Horrified, Nyssa backs away, but is startled when a voice begins to call out to her.
Nyssa identifies the source of the voice, a small red jewel located in a box. The voice asks her if she would like to get away from her current situation, and implores her to touch the jewel. Hesitantly, Nyssa touches it and is instantly transported to Arcadia, where she meets an old man, who calls her Susan. Confused, Nyssa insists she is not Susan, until a man appears, and claims that he can help Nyssa escape her current predicament.
Just as Nyssa is about to help, the old man, now with a younger face implores her not to help. Before Nyssa's eyes, the man transforms into a tall old man with white hair, the first Doctor she ever met, before eventually becoming the Doctor she travels with. All the while, the Doctor implores Nyssa not to give in to the Master, who similarly transforms through different forms, including the face of Nyssa's father, Tremas. As Nyssa struggles with the Master, she sustains a cut to her face and a part of her hair is cut off.
Coming to in the Doctor's TARDIS, Nyssa finds the Doctor, Tegan, and Adric standing over her with worry. The Doctor is angered that Nyssa could give in to such a trick, while Tegan and Adric try to defuse the situation. Relenting, the Doctor explains the origins of the red jewel: that it was a toy gifted to his granddaughter, Susan, by a family friend. The Doctor explains that the jewel is a communication node that acts as a telepathic conduit into an intergalactic transdimensional network. He explains that Susan once used the toy too much, and the Doctor had to hide the toy away. After Tegan and Adric leave, Nyssa asks the Doctor if the family friend was the Master, and the Doctor confirms that. Asking the Doctor if the Master is still alive, the Doctor tells Nyssa that the Master has a nasty habit of surviving. The Doctor then replaces the sign on the window, and heads back to the console room with Nyssa.
- Fifth Doctor
- Tegan Jovanka
- The Master
- First Doctor
- Susan Foreman
- Second Doctor
- Third Doctor
- Fourth Doctor
- Sixth Doctor
- Seventh Doctor
- Eighth Doctor
- Satona chlorensis was a flower that grew on Traken.
- Nyssa dreams that Tegan is her chambermaid.
- The Doctor's TARDIS contains a replicator that can copy clothing.
- As a child, Nyssa spent many hours studying etiquette when she would have preferred to have been playing with other children.
- The First Doctor once planned to live in Arcadia with his granddaughter Susan Foreman.
- Both of Nyssa's grandfathers died before she was born.
- The First Doctor always wanted to visit Traken.
- The Master refers to the Prydonian Chapter as "hippies".
- Adric once described Tegan as being "unreasonably highly strung".
- The Doctor retains a jewel that Susan used to own, which was given to her by the Master.
- Adric says a computer program called The Facebook was banned on 21st century Earth for turning people into "mindless, incommunicative zombies".
- The Toy was originally advertised in VOR 66 and VOR 67 as part of Big Finish's monthly Short Trips range for release in May 2015, before being replaced by The King of the Dead. Whilst early promotional material retained the Short Trips title on the cover, this was dropped for the final release.
- The CD also features a behind the scenes featurette on Big Finish as a company, Inside the Audio Worlds of Doctor Who, with trailers and interviews with Jemma Redgrave, Ingrid Oliver, Katy Manning, Tom Baker, Russell T Davies and Paul McGann, and narrated by Nicholas Briggs and David Richardson. Some of these interviews are repurposed from previous releases.
- It is the first release exclusive to a magazine since The Revenants in 2012.
- On 30 September 2016, this story was made available for general release as part of the Short Trips Rarities range.
- This story was recorded on 28 January 2015 at The Moat Studios
- Nyssa has a dream about the Melkur and her father Tremas and mother. (TV: The Keeper of Traken)
- Nyssa recalls the Master stealing Tremas' body (TV: The Keeper of Traken) and the destruction of Traken in 1981. (TV: Logopolis)
- Nyssa refers to Tegan's bad experiences with dreaming when she was possessed by Mara on Kinda. (TV: Kinda)
- There is snow on Gallifrey. (TV: Gridlock, The Sound of Drums)
- Adric and Tegan do not know who Susan is. Tegan would later meet her in the Death Zone on Gallifrey. (TV: The Five Doctors)
- Nyssa asks if the Master is still out there. The Doctor says that he has a habit of surviving. (TV: Castrovalva, Time-Flight)
- The Doctor says that the Master could not bear a universe without him to cross swords with. He suggests this could be why the Master left Gallifrey in the first place. (TV: The Five Doctors)
- Nyssa sees a future projection of the Master as a snake. (TV: Doctor Who)
- Official The Toy page at bigfinish.com