Nicola Bryant (born 11 October 1960) played companion Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown from Planet of Fire to Mindwarp. She later reprised the role for Dimensions in Time and has since appeared in many Doctor Who video and audio spin-offs.
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. Series producer John Nathan-Turner admitted that his intention was to pump up the sex appeal of the ageing series. The young actress was often seen wearing revealing outfits. Her character was American and for a while a publicity-driven fiction was maintained suggesting Bryant was also American. During her final season on Doctor Who, the actress was allowed to dress more conservatively on the show.
After appearing in Doctor Who she has had other television roles, including a part in Blackadder's Christmas Carol. In the early-mid 1990s, she also co-starred with Baker in a series of made-for-video science fiction films entitled The Stranger for BBV Productions. 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 is notable for 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 drama. She has appeared with both Peter Davison and Colin Baker in these. She has also directed several audio dramas for Big Finish.
According to her official website, Bryant's acting in recent years has been limited by a back injury suffered during a fall on stage in the early 2000s but she has continued to work on Big Finish audio productions during her recuperation. In February 2006, she returned to live performances, appearing in a New End Theatre production of Taboos, a play by Carl Djerassi. She has also appeared in DVD interviews for Doctor Who stories in which she was involved, and has recorded commentary tracks, usually alongside Colin Baker.
It is sometimes claimed that she was one of several actors considered for the role of Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager.[source needed] In fact she only auditioned for a guest role in the series.
In 2013, Nicola appeared on a Doctor Who edition of the TV game show Pointless Celebrities and partnered up with Andrew Hayden-Smith. She also contributed to the charity reference book Behind the Sofa: Celebrity Memories of Doctor Who.