At the end of 1987, Bonnie Langford departed the TARDIS for the final time, having accompanied not one, but two Time Lords in adventures across time and space. Her debut in the classic series was alongside Colin Baker’s dazzlingly eccentric Sixth Doctor midway during the Trial Of A Time Lord mega-series, one year earlier.
However, in a candid interview with The Radio Times, Sylvester McCoy, Baker’s successor, has revealed that he had to argue a case for Langford to have an exit scene from the show.
“A little sad bit was when Bonnie left. When they said Bonnie was going to leave, it was just lucky for Sophie (Aldred) because it was in that episode and for some reason (Bonnie) decided she couldn’t take it anymore; you’ll have to ask Bonnie.”
“She decided to leave. And they were going, ‘That was it.’ And I said, ‘No you can’t let her leave without a scene! We need a scene!’ I was the Doctor… She was Colin’s companion, she’s been with me, he and me are the same. You can’t just say goodbye and close the door.”
“They went and found a scene that I’d done a screen test for and they took that scene and they wrote it up to do. I remember that being an emotional moment and I was so pleased I argued to get that in, so that I could say goodbye.”
After thirty-seven years, Langford will reprise her role as Mel Bush in Doctor Who alongside Ncuti Gatwa for his first series as the Fifteenth Doctor. “How wonderful to hear Bonnie is coming back to Doctor Who,” McCoy said. “How brilliant it will be for us all to see how bright beautiful Bonnie can be in Who.”
Doctor Who will be returning in November with three 60th-anniversary specials.