Played by Nicola Bryant
Tenure 23 February 1984–25 October 1986
First appearance Planet of Fire (regular)
Last appearance Mindwarp (regular)
Last appearance Dimensions in Time (guest)
Number of series 1 1/2
Appearances 13 stories
click on images to enlarge
source TARDIS Wikia
Perpugilliam “Peri” Brown (born 1966) was an American college student who accidentally joined the Doctor during his visit to Lanzarote. She then elected to remain with him for the rest of her vacation time. She remained with the Doctor after his regeneration into the Sixth Doctor, but found it harder to get along with him because of his newfound arrogance. She was separated from him by the Time Lords so that They could cover up the Ravolox conspiracy. According to the Master, Peri ended up wed to King Yrcanos.
Peri was born to Paul and Janine Brown in 1966. Her parents were married on 21 November 1962 and she was their only child. (Peri and the Piscon Paradox) She was raised in Fell’s Point, Baltimore, Maryland, where her mother lived until her death. However, her parents and her stepfather were all archaeologists. She travelled around the globe as much as she enjoyed a stable life in Baltimore. Her best friend was Kathy Chambers. In her youth, she was attracted to Kathy’s elder brother, Nate. ( Blue Box, The Reaping)
As a girl, Peri used to read the comic book Swamp Thing. (Players)
During her childhood, Peri read about the Philadelphia Experiment, which concerned the disappearance of the USS Eldridge in October 1943. (The Macros)
When Peri was thirteen, Paul Brown died in a boating accident. (Synthespians) Janine married Professor Howard Foster, who already had two children. One account claimed Foster abused Peri sexually and Janine never forgave him. ( Shell Shock)
In high school Peri was a straight A student. She studied Christopher Columbus in great detail. (Trouble in Paradise)
Peri could not sing. (The Macros)
She had an aunt named Mona who was still alive in 2009. Mona lived in a trailer park and collected golliwogs, which she ordered from England. She seemed to dress in a manner reminiscent of the Sixth Doctor. (Peri and the Piscon Paradox)
At some point Peri lived in a college town in Pasadena. She described that it was an easy weekend drive from Pasadena to Las Vegas, a place she’d only been once. (Something Borrowed)
ADVENTURES WITH THE FIFTH DOCTOR
Peri studied botany, (Timelash, The Mind’s Eye) and had an interest in archaeology fueled by her parents’ passion for the subject. (Blue Box) On a vacation to Lanzarote circa 1984, Turlough saved her from drowning, and she subsequently met the Fifth Doctor. The shape-shifting android Kamelion, controlled by the Master At The time, assumed the form of Peri’s stepfather, Professor Howard Foster, and later that of the Master himself. He then seized control of the TARDIS to take her to the planet Sarn to meet the real Master. After the destruction of Kamelion and the defeat of the Master, Turlough returned to his homeworld, Trion, and Peri joined the Doctor on his travels. (Planet of Fire)
Immediately after the events on Lanzarote, the Doctor took Peri to Astroville Seven, a 31st century space station where she saw many different alien races and got a taste of what travelling in the TARDIS was like. While on the station, they got caught up in an epic quest for the legendary treasure of Rovan Cartovall. (The Ultimate Treasure)
On early 21st century Mars, the Doctor and Peri arrived inside the final resting place of the Ice Warrior, Izdaal. After discovering a team from the Argosy to pick up a survival suit, Sub Commander Sstast went to the Argosyto retrieve Peri and the others, but was knocked out by Paul Webster to create a clone army augmented by Ice Warrior biology and technology.
As the Argosy took off, it was fired at with missiles from the tomb, ut the Doctor prevented the Ice Warriors from finishing them off. The Argosy crashlanded and Peri, Paul and Tanya Webster returned to the tomb of Izdaal. The Doctor and Tanya were held hostage by Paul, but Lord Zzaal took the place of the Doctor, sacrificing himself to the “Red Dawn” to allow Sstast to fire a sonic charge at Paul. The Doctor and Tanya fled from the attack and headed back to the tomb. (Red Dawn)
She helped a group of human colonists beset by the carnivorous Farakosh (Exotron) and pretended to be a waitress in an alien restaurant to figure out why three different gourmets wanted to kill the Doctor (Urban Myths). The pair also ran into the Master in 1880s California, (A Town Called Eternity) met an Essex priest who was hiding radioactive alien bodies in his church crypt in 1953 ( The Canvey Angels) and met the Brigadier before encountering a race known as the Arix, who lived their lives in the span of one Earth day. (A Life in the Day) While visiting a quiet planet, Peri got badly injured and the Doctor carried her to Karn in order to save her life. She later developed into a guerrilla leader in the war that The Doctor, together with an army of Draconians, Sontarans and Cybermen, fought against Morbius. (Warmonger)
The Doctor intended to drop Erimem off on the Braxiatel Collection so that she could have an education. Instead they arrived in 17th century Paris. There, Peri was kidnapped by the Duke of Buckingham who believed that she was Queen Anne who was a double of Peri. After this adventure, the Doctor invited Erimem to join them travelling in the TARDIS. (The Church and the Crown)
The three Of them visited Nicaea in 325 AD where they found themselves in the middle of a religious conflict. (The Council of Nicaea)
The Doctor, Peri and Erimem answered a distress call from the Ice Warrior prince and ambassador, Zixlyr in the 41st century. Zixlyr had blown up an explosive within his ship to smuggle a Xanthoid volataliser onto Peladon after his sister, the previous ambassador to Peladon, Alixlyr, had disappeared; he claimed he had been attacked by Arcturans and knew that if he entered Peladon through more conventional means, the volataliser would have been detected. As the ship began to fall towards Peladon, part of the ship’s hull broke off, leaving the TARDIS around Peladon’s orbit and making escape impossible. The Doctor, Peri and Erimem helped Zixlyr safely crash land the ship as it entered Peladon’s atmosphere, crashing it into a forest. Zixlyr and Peri went to the citadel of Peladon, while Erimem took care of the Doctor as he recovered.
Peri discovered Zixlyr was going to set off his volataliser against the Peladonian royal family after discovering a message from Alixlyr on her memory hub, which warned not to trust the royal family and that something dark was at work in the citadel. Peri explained to Zixlyr that this didn’t mean the royal family was responsible.
An explosion set off by the criminal Arktos and his accomplice, Elkin, had ripped apart the floor of the nearby mines, killing the miners inside. Within the wreckage, Erimem discovered a message in Egyptian hieroglyphs warning of the Osirian, Sekhmet, whom the Egyptians worshipped as a god. Upon realising the Osirian had killed Alixlyr, Peri rushed to Zixlyr to tell him and bring him to Sekhmet’s trisilicate tomb.
The Doctor found a secret passageway leading to Sekhmet’s tomb, where three of her fourblood locks had been broken after she fed on the blood of three royal women, including Alixlyr and the newly-crowned King Pelleas‘ predecessor, Queen Elspera, and used the Aggedor to break down the door. Erimem offered her blood to Sekhmet, but had poisoned it with mandrake root that was inside her ring. Zixlyr grabbed onto Sekhmet and set the countdown on his volataliser. Zixlyr sealed the chamber, blowing himself up along with Sekhmet. The Doctor and Erimem escaped, but Erimem was still dying from her poison. Peri used the Time Lord biochemistry in the Doctor’s blood to revive Erimem by performing a “very crude” blood transfusion on her.
Pelleas proposed to Erimem, and she accepted. She parted company from Peri and the Doctor, staying behind to rule Peladon. The Doctor and Peri departed for the TARDIS, still in orbit around Peladon with the help of Alpha Centauri‘s ship. (The Bride of Peladon)
Soon after Erimem’s departure, Peri and the Doctor went to the planet Grallista Social for a spot of relaxation, but found themselves in the midst of aviral decontamination effort by the Viyrans. (Mission of the Viyrans) Soon after this, Peri was intentionally separated from the Doctor on an unnamed world. During this separation, the Doctor travelled briefly with a tracer named Amy whom he helped find the Key to Time. Peri likely reunited with the Doctor soon after his second attempt at finding the Key to Time concluded. (The Judgement of Isskar,The Chaos Pool)
Peri and the Doctor went to the village of Sair during the Middle Ages, where a young man named Tabilibik used a form of magic to make her fall in love with him. The Doctor swiftly broke his spell. (Fascination)
After contracting spectrox toxaemia and then getting accidentally involved in local politics on the twin planets of Androzani Major and Minor, Peri was abducted by Sharaz Jek. Upon her escape, she began to die from the disease. The Doctor saved her, but not having enough bat’s milk, an antidote, to save himself, regenerated into a very different, new and unstable persona. (The Caves Of Androzani)
ADVENTURES WITH THE SIXTH DOCTOR
Peri immediately challenged the sixth incarnation to prove he was still the Doctor. He got her to believe it was still him despite his new face and personality. Despite having stabilised physically, he suffered initial personality and mental issues which caused him lapse into extreme paranoia. He tried to strangle Peri. He decided to exile himself on Titan III as punishment until he had attained appropriate humility, but soon got involved with stopping Mestor and his gastropods. On Titan III, he met another Time Lord, his old friend Azmael. (The Twin Dilemma)
The Doctor and Peri worked to stop the Cybermen from trying to destroy Earth with Halley’s comet and save Mondas, which was destroyed by the First Doctor, and keep the Web of Time from being damaged by their carelessness. (Attack of the Cybermen)
After the TARDIS ran out of Zeiton-7, the Doctor landed on Varos for more to resupply the TARDIS. The society on Varos nearly forced him to participate in their deadly “games” when he attempted to free those trapped in the Punishment Dome. The Doctor and Peri stopped Sil, the swindler behind the “games”, and obtained Zeiton-7 for the TARDIS. (Vengeance on Varos)
Tracing a time distortion to 19th century England, the Doctor and Peri found the Master and a female renegade Time Lord called the Rani working together for one of her monstrous experiments and for the Master’s plan to accelerate Earth technology beyond its normal level. The Doctor sabotaged the Rani’s TARDIS and had her and the Master thrown off into the Time Vortex. (The Mark of the Rani)
When landing on Space Station Chimera, the Doctor and Peri became involved with the Androgum, Chessene. There they met the Second Doctor and Jamie McCrimmon. Together they foiled a Sontaran bid for time travel and that of Chessene, who wished to have the second Doctor for her consort. Peri grew close to Jamie, even kissing him before leaving paths. (The Two Doctors)
The Doctor and Peri accidentally went through a time corridor to arrive at Karfel, where the sinister Megelen ruled. The Doctor stopped Megelen from mutating Peri into a form as hideous as his own and, with the help of new companion H.G. Wells, sent the villain through the Timelash. (Timelash)
The Doctor and Peri went to the planet Necros, where the “Great Healer” was trying to kill him. The Great Healer was in fact Davros, who had arranged for the Doctor to be killed at a funeral home. Davros was eventually taken to Skaro to have a trial by the Dalek Emperor. After the deaths seen on the planet, the Doctor promised to take Peri to (Revelation of the Daleks) Blackpool. (The Nightmare Fair/ The Nightmare Fair)
The Sixth Doctor once described Peri as having “a bit of an attitude.” (The Macros)
During a travel to the Gogglebox, the Doctor and Peri learned of the death of a man known to Peri as Anthony Chambers. They went to Earth in 1984 where they met Peri’s mother Janine and her best friend Katherine Chambers. They also learned that The Cybermen were at work converting dead people. Anthony, now a Cyberman, rose from the grave and attacked them. The Doctor tricked the Cyber Leader by taking him to Mondas. He left and found that Nate, Katherine’s brother, had been brutally attacked and paralyzed by Anthony. Peri, feeling the weight of all the deaths, decided to leave the Doctor after a teary goodbye. The Doctor returned to the Gogglebox and learned that There would be an explosion in Peris house that would claim the lives of her mother and another. The Doctor rushed back to Earth, but arrived too late. After a sad reunion, Peri returned to the TARDIS, now with no family left on Earth. (The Reaping)
The Doctor and Peri arrived on a colossal spaceship and became separated after Peri fell through a ventilation shaft. The Doctor discovered that The ships computer was planning to cause the Big Bang and avert manâs creation into such a violent race. Before he could intervene, a Time Lord drew him, Peri and his TARDIS away and informed him that this event was always destined to occur. Angry at almost averting the existence of the universe, he and Peri took off. When asked where they were going, the Doctor commented that he was going to find the biggest library he could and study up on his history. (Slipback)
The Doctor and Peri visited a galactic fair and took part in a virtual immersion experience that played out as a fantasy. Peri became trapped, while the Doctor tried to convince her virtual self of the danger. An alien parasite using the name Mr. Darcy asked Peri to marry him, knowing that if she accepted, he’d be able to take over her mind. The Doctor intervened, but fell prey to Darcy who had planned on taking him over from the very start. Peri woke up in the immersion room and supplied the system administrator“ Crompton“ with her own story to feed into the fantasy before returning to help the Doctor and defeat Darcy. (A Most Excellent Match)
Peri soon became homesick for 1980s America. (CHAOS) She left the TARDIS to pursue a life in New York City in 1985, though she grew frustrated at her job as a skivvy there and soon quit before gratefully rejoining the Doctor and Frobisher. (Kane’s Story)
In the TARDIS Peri and Frobisher were cleaning until they found an Alien family in one of the rooms. When the Doctor refused to help them, Peri convinced him to help them. When the family left, the Doctor decided to go to their planet.(Exodus)
As soon as they arrived they were locked up. The Doctor was allowed freedom and after he defeated the menace he came back for them. When they left Peri discovered that her new travelling partner had Mono-morphia (Revelation/Genesis!
Peri, at one point enjoyed a baseball match. (Time Bomb) When she came back, she forced the Doctor on a diet.(Salad Daze) When the TARDIS was invaded, Peri and Frobisher went to help the Doctor. However they were separated in the memory vaults and Peri ran into the invader who took her form. She was rescued by the Doctor and Frobisher. (Changes)
After their series of stressful adventures, Peri was taken to the planet Ravolox to relax due to its similarity to Earth. However, they soon learned, to Peri’s horror, that Ravolox was indeedEarth, moved light years from its original position. They met the primitive and dimwitted descendants of humans, whom they barely avoided being killed by multiple times, and faced the egotistical machine Drathro. The Doctor also learned Ravalox had been moved to protect secrets stolen from a higher species. Who they were remained a mystery.
(The Mysterious Planet)
On the planet Thoros Beta, the Doctor found the Mentors were back at work, trhying to make deals with a savage king named Yrcanos through a failed attempt to manipulate his mind. After a failed attempt to probe his mind to see if the Time Lords had sent him to intervene on their behalf, the Doctor pretended to be on the Mentors’ side and helped Mentor Kiv transplant his mind to a deceased Mentor. When Peri was in danger of having her mind overwritten by Kiv’s, the Doctor was put under the control of the Time Lords before he could rescue her. (Mindwarp)
The reason for the large number of contradictory accounts regarding Peri’s life was that competing factions of Time Lords chose different ways to rewrite her life. According to an unnamed Time Lord who visited the Sixth Doctor and a version of Peri living in Los Angeles in 2009, no fewer than five versions of Peri existed:
She was strapped to a bed, gagged, and was killed when Lord Kiv replaced her brain with his own, as the Doctor viewed during his trial Kiv-in-Peri’s body was subsequently killed byYrcanos. (Mindwarp) The Time Lord encountered in 2009 likened this to an assassination, strongly implying that it was orchestrated by the Time Lord faction behind the trial, i.e. The Valeyard, as a way of removing a potential witness who could contradict the altered recordings played At The trial. It’s unclear whether Sil and/or Yrcanos were knowing accomplices. (Peri and the Piscon Paradox)
THE WARRIOR QUEEN
A rival Time Lord faction, feeling the assassination unwarranted, pulled Peri out of that timestream at some moment before her death and allowed her to, as the Time Lords put it, “live out her days” as a warrior queen alongside Yrcanos, as revealed to the Doctor At The conclusion of his trial (The Ultimate Foe, Bad Therapy, Peri and the Piscon Paradox).
Peri would later be visited by the Seventh Doctor when she was in her early forties. By this time, still bitterly unhappy with the Doctor, she felt resigned to her fate. (Reunion) Another account suggests that The Doctor returned Peri to late 20th century Earth. (Bad Therapy)
She had least three grandchildren, two of which being Actis and Euthys. By the time the Sixth Doctor visited Krontep again, the two children had found it impossible to work together, as each thought that The other had made a pact with aliens, and Peri left the kingdom, vowing to not return until the twins could work together again. She watched the Doctor from a far during his visit, never revealing her identity. Despite this, The Doctor knew it was her and called out to her as he prepared to leave. (The Age of Chaos)
HOME WITH MEMORIES WIPED
An unnamed female Time Lord president (possibly Romana), feeling that forcing Peri to spend her days with Yrcanos was a fate worse than death, arranged for another permutation of Peri to be removed from the timestream and returned to Earth in the mid 80s with all her memories of travelling with the Doctor erased, except for her first encounter (Planet of Fire), similar to what occurred to Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot following the Doctor’s first trial (The War Games). Although the president’s intentions were good, this version of Peri faced great challenges over the next quarter century. After returning to America, she married her childhood sweetheart, who proved to be extremely abusive to her, ultimately injuring her so badly she could not bear children and required reconstructive surgery to her face. This Peri became a relationship counsellor and, later, a popular TV talk show host in Hollywood, as well as an actress. In her late forties, she reunited with the Doctor on an adventure that saw her interact with her younger self and, ultimately, learn about her other selves. Offered a chance to travel with the Doctor again, she declined and returned to her life in 2009 Los Angeles. (Peri and the Piscon Paradox)
Mind parasite and further travels with the Doctor
Another version of Queen Peri, visited by the Sixth Doctor on Krontep, was revealed to actually have been Mandrake, the Doctor’s childhood imaginary enemy that became a mind parasite, transferred to Crozier’s computer when the Doctor was connected to the machine, and then to Peri’s body instead of Kiv. Oblivious of the fact, Yrcanos died seven days after the wedding, having been poisoned by Mandrake. Then, Mandrake poisoned Peri’s own body, wanting to force the Doctor to transfer his mind to the body of princess Dirani of Hurn.
Together with the Doctor, she visited the Dalek-occupied Scotland in 2163 (Masters of Earth) and the College of Advanced Galactic Education, where they encountered the a href=”rani”Rani in her new incarnation. She also gained an honorary degree in Botany. (The Rani Elite
The other permutation of Peri, and the reason for its creation, were not specified by the Time Lord. (Peri and the Piscon Paradox)
There is one account that suggests a version of Peri and Yrcanos settled on Earth at some point after their marriage, with Yrcanos becoming a professional wrestler and Peri his valet. (Mindwarp)
Another glimpse of Peri after the Doctor saw her returned home with all her memories of the Doctor intact. She had at least one child, and told him stories about the Doctor. (The Mind’s Eye)
MYSTERIES AND DISCREPANCIES
- During the Doctor’s fifth incarnation, Peri spent a year as a guerilla fighter while separated from the Doctor, who meanwhile headed a military organisation known as the Alliance (Warmonger) (Where this falls in terms of Peri’s personal timeline remains unknown.)
- The length of time Peri spent with the Doctor is unclear. Some accounts suggest her travels with the Doctor occurred over the space of months, but at least “a couple of years” passed (for her, anyway) between her first encounter with Jamie (The Two Doctors) and the second (The World Shapers). As noted above, she was also separated from the Doctor for as long as a year on one occasion (Warmonger) and two years on another (The Kingmaker). The fact one version of Peri was returned to Earth immediately after her first encounter with the Doctor suggests her time with the Doctor was brief enough that she didn’t change physically unless the Time Lords altered her appearance. (Peri and the Piscon Paradox)
BEHIND THE SCENES
Using her real English accent, Nicola Bryant played “Miss Brown” (who was never actually referred to by name on-screen), an obvious analogue to Peri, in three BBV Productions videos in the Stranger series: Summoned by Shadows, More Than a Messiah and In Memory Alone. Later videos in the series would make clear that The Stranger series did not take place in the Doctor Who universe and that Peri and Miss Brown had no connection with each other. Bryant also played Elenya “Ellie” Brown, the girlfriend of Colin Baker‘s character, TV weather forecaster Arnold “Arnie” Davis, in another BBV production, the non-Doctor Who The Airzone Solution.
Counting audio and televised adventures together, Peri effectively shares the longest-serving companion title both in terms of number of stories and recorded time with Ace. As they are tied, the title essentially alternates as new stories are released. Her nearest rivals are Jamie McCrimmon, Charley Pollard and Nyssa. Of these, only Jamie and Nyssa appear to be in active use past 2010. Nyssa’s appearances are considerably more frequent than Jamie’s so she represents the only potential threat to Peri and Ace’s record-breaking number of appearances.
While she clearly eclipses the amount of time Sarah Jane Smith has been seen or heard as acompanion, Peri is easily outpaced by the character of Sarah, due to Sarah’s latter-day appearances as a solo character.
While Peri is supposed to be an American, her English accent often slips and her American accent wanders between different regional accents. She sometimes uses phrases and pronunciations that Americans would not use, such as “lift” instead of the American “elevator”.
Indeed, the Attack of the Cybermen DVD commentary maintained that it was mandated that Peri only use British slang to avoid confusing the audience. This may have worked for the British audience but, as Peter Davison pointed on on the DVD commentary for Planet of Fire, it had the opposite effect on American viewers. They could spot Bryant’s fake American accent or, really, any British actor’s attempt at American with ease. This was one of the principal reasons that Davison fought hard against adding an American companion to the show. This idiosyncrasy of language did not end with the TV series, as it can be heard as recently as the 2011 release Peri and the Piscon Paradox
According to Nicola Bryant on the DVD commentary for Planet of Fire, there was an active effort to cover up the fact that she was not, in fact, American. She recounted there how John Nathan-Turner insisted she use her American accent when making public appearances or appearances that could have been monitored by the press. At least during the recording of her earliest serials, like Planet of Fire, she was even required to use the American accent when she broke character between takes.
It’s unclear how long this obfuscation lasted, but evidence for the subterfuge can be heard on a clip from Breakfast Time broadcast the day the first episode of aired. During the interview, the interviewer asserted that as a “little girl in America” Bryant used to watch Doctor Who and dream of being a companion. Bryant, who used only a very mild English accent during the interview, failed to correct the interviewer or to even look as though the interviewer had made an error. Near the end of the 1984 production block â€” which is to say after the recording of Season 22, but probably slightly before its airing â€” Bryant gave a radio interview in which she used her natural British accent. (Doctor Who At The BBC Volume 3)
RELATIONSHIP WITH HER STEPFATHER
The idea of Howard Foster sexually abusing Peri is one never considered by the production team on Planet of Fire and does not have resonance in audio and print literature beyond Shell Shock. Nicola Bryant says that The idea, as envisioned by Fiona Cumming, Dallas Adams and her was to suggest that she and her stepfather had an appropriate but friendly relationship. Indeed, according to Bryant, Peri much preferred the company of Howard to that of her mother. (Planet of Fire) However, the character of Peri (or at least one aspect of Peri) was still destined for an abusive relationship as revealed in Peri and the Piscon Paradox.
An entry cred to Peri herself â€” evidently having access to early 21st century Earth’s Internet mentions that The Doctor had “walked into my life one day, and right out of it” and that she wanted to get back in touch with him.
Back to Assistants page