Nicola Bryant

Nicola Bryant
Born Nicola Jane Bryant[1]
(1960-10-11) 11 October 1960
Guildford, Surrey, England
Nationality British
Alma mater Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art[2]
Years active 1983-present

Nicola Jane Bryant (born 11 October 1960,[1][3] Guildford, Surrey) is an English actress known for her role as Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown, a companion of the Doctor in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who from 1984 to 1986.

Early life

Bryant grew up in a small village near Guildford in Surrey, the older of two daughters of Sheila and Denis Bryant. Beginning dance classes at the age of three, Bryant also began to learn the piano. At the age of ten she auditioned to go to ballet schools, but was unable to take up places offered because of asthma. Upset by this development, she joined a local amateur dramatic group. On leaving school, she auditioned for all of the London drama schools and took up a scholarship to the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. In her final year there, she played the part of Nanette in a production of the musical No, No, Nanette.[4]


Bryant's first professional part was as Peri Brown in Doctor Who.[4] She played the part from 1984 to 1986, first with Peter Davison, and then with Colin Baker as the Doctor.[5] Bryant's tenure on the show was met with raised eyebrows in some quarters as series producer John Nathan-Turner admitted (in his book Doctor Who: The Companions and elsewhere) that his intention was to pump up the sex appeal of the ageing series by casting the young actress who was often seen wearing low-cut outfits in the show. Her character was American and for a while a publicity-driven fiction was maintained suggesting Bryant was also American, something Bryant had herself claimed in press interviews when she landed the part. During her final season on Doctor Who, the actress was allowed to dress more conservatively on the show.

Bryant appeared in the Doctor Who serial The Two Doctors (1985), and she enjoyed working with Patrick Troughton, who returned as the Second Doctor. During the programme's hiatus during 1985 and 1986, Bryant reprised the role of Peri in a BBC radio production entitled Slipback alongside Baker.

After appearing in Doctor Who, Bryant spent nine months at the Savoy Theatre in the West End of London in the thriller Killing Jessica with Patrick Macnee, directed by Bryan Forbes.[4] She was cast in other television roles, including a part in Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988). In the early-mid-1990s, she co-starred with Baker in a series of made-for-video science fiction films entitled The Stranger for BBV, although the first few films in the series were little more than Doctor Who episodes in disguise. She also appeared alongside Baker, Davison, Sylvester McCoy and Jon Pertwee in another BBV production, The Airzone Solution, which includes a love scene between Baker and Bryant.

Bryant has reprised the role of Peri in several of the Big Finish Productions Doctor Who spin-off audio plays, appearing both with Peter Davison and Colin Baker. She also directed UNIT: The Wasting and Judge Dredd: 99 Code Red!.

In February 2006, she performed in a New End Theatre production of the Carl Djerassi play Taboos, and in early 2007 appeared in a London stage production of Tom Stoppard's Rock 'n' Roll at the Duke of York's Theatre. A DVD documentary, "In The Footsteps of The Two Doctors", following Bryant's return to some of the locations featured in the Doctor Who serial The Two Doctors, was released in late 2006.[6]

She returned to the stage in 2008 in a touring production of an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s "Don't Look Now", playing the part of Laura Baxter. This production continued into 2009.[5]

In the summer of 2009, Bryant filmed an improvised documentary-style film for Australian director Ben Briand as well as recording eight audio stories for Big Finish as a "missing season" of adventures for Doctor Who. On 2 March 2010 she appeared in Holby City as a television news reporter,[7] and in 2011 she featured in the Dark Shadows audio drama The Blind Painter.


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Parting Shots Beverley
Year Title Role Notes
1984 Breakfast Time (TV Series) Herself Episode of 22 March 1984
1984 Saturday Superstore (TV Series Documentary) Herself Episode of 17 March 1984
1984 - 1986 Doctor Who (TV Series) Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown 33 Episodes
1985 Saturday Superstore (TV Series Documentary) Herself Episode of 5 January 1985
1985 Children in Need (TV Series) Herself Episode "Children in Need"
1987 Myth Makers Vol. 7: Myth Runner (Video) Herself
1988 Blackadder's Christmas Carol (TV Movie) Millicent
1992 The Stranger: Move Than a Messiah (Video Short) Miss Brown
1993 Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time (TV Short) Peri Brown
1993 The Airzone Solution (Video) Elenya Brown
1993 In Memory Alone (Video) Miss Brown
1993 Doctor Who: Thirty Years in the TARDIS (TV Movie Documentary) Herself
1995 The Biz (TV Series) Martine
1996 The 10 Percenters (TV Series) Julia Episode "Wedding" (2.7)
1998 Animal Ark (TV Series) Sara Lawson Episode "Bunnies in the Bathroom" (2.1)
2000 Casualty (TV Series) Susan Harris Episode " Fall Out" (14.20)
2000 TravelWise (Video) Laura
2000 Doctors (TV Series) Sonia Heyward-Smith Episode "Catch 22" (1.29)
2007 Holby City (TV Series) Catherine Sloman Episode "Someone to Watch Over Me"(10.7)
2009 My Family (TV Series) Anne Episode "A Very Brief Encounter" (9.3)
2010 My Family (TV Series) Janet Episode "Ben Behaving Badly" (10.7)
2010 Holby City (TV Series) Reporter Episode "The Butterfly Effect: Part One" (12.22)
2010 Doctors (TV Series) Jackie Fallon Episode "Naked Ambition" (12.80)
2010 Scoop (TV Series) Anne Boleyn Episode "Back Tud-or Future" (2.12)
2013 Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty (TV Movie) Herself
2014 Doctor Who: The Ultimate Companion (TV Movie Documentary) Herself


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