Here’s a brief interview from DWM with Nicola Bryant, talking about getting the part of Peri and her thoughts on the character’s controversial exit during season 23.
“The auditioning process was held up a little because John Nathan-Turner wanted to see if I could get my Equity card. I felt after the second interview that as I had a chance of getting the role of Peri, I had better make the effort to get my card. I had previously done a lot of dancing jobs, so I took my contracts into Equity. They told me that as they were non-Equity contracts I couldn’t get my card, so I did a lot of cabaret, taking my own contracts to pubs, clubs and parties. Eventually I got my card that way.
“In the three months between getting the job and starting filming in Lanzarote, I had worked out a background for Peri and formulated all these reasons why she was going off with this particular Doctor, only to find out that he was going to change! I didn’t know that Peter was leaving when I joined, and I saw no reason why Peri would stay if the new Doctor became a less amicable character, which is what happened.
“I spent most of ‘Timelash’ tied to a pole. It was so small-minded. I have spoken to some of the other assistants and we all suffered from that problem. I found it incredible that ‘Doctor Who’ has come so far and all they could find for me to do was tie me to a pole!
“I loved my violent end. I told John Nathan-Turner that I wanted to go out with a bang, and I certainly didn’t want a tearful ‘Goodbye, Doctor’ scene, or be married off to some hunky Martian. I was disappointed that the ending was negated but I can see that they wanted to soften it, because they were getting complaints from mothers wanting to know what to do with their distressed children, who were all Peri fans.”