Nicola Jane Bryant (born 11 October 1960) is an English actress known for her role as Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown, a companion to both the Fifth and Sixth Doctors in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who. She appeared on-screen from 1984 to 1986, before being succeeded in the show by Bonnie Langford as Melanie Bush.
Bryant at the Television & Movie Store, Norwich, England on 24 May 2008
11 October 1960
|Residence||Surrey Hills, Surrey, England|
|Alma mater||Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art|
Nicola Bryant was born and raised in a small village near Guildford in Surrey, the older of two daughters of Denis and Sheila Bryant. Beginning dance classes at the age of three, she 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.
Bryant's first professional part was as Peri Brown in Doctor Who. She played the part from 1984 to 1986, first with Peter Davison, and then with Colin Baker as the Doctor. 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 stated in press interviews when she landed the part. During her final series 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. She was cast in other television roles, including a part in Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988). In the early to 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.
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, and in 2011 she featured in the Dark Shadows audio drama The Blind Painter. In 2013 she appeared in a Doctor Who-themed episode of the game show Pointless.
|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||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|
|2017||Star Trek Continues (Internet Sci-Fi series)||Lana||Episodes "To Boldly Go", Parts I and II|
- Ms Nicola Jane Bryant company-director-check.co.uk. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- England & Wales Birth Index. Ancestry.co.uk.
- Nicola Bryant biography at nicolabryant.net
- "Look! It's Doctor Who star Nicola - and the fans are flocking to see her". West Sussex Gazette. 3 October 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- ""Nicola Bryant: In the Footsteps of the Two Doctors" DVD". Archived from the original on 16 May 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
- "BBC One - Holby City, Series 12, The Butterfly Effect - Part 1". BBC. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
- "The ultimate guide to Doctor Who's companions - and what they did next". 12 September 2018.