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One Classic Doctor Who Companion Almost Didn’t Get A Farewell Scene – Doctor Actor Reveals Fight To Include-TGN


  • Sylvester McCoy fought to give his co-star Bonnie Langford a proper sendoff scene after she decided to leave Doctor Who in 1987.
  • Langford’s character Mel Bush was initially unpopular, but she delivered strong performances despite limited material.
  • Langford’s portrayal left a lasting impression, leading to her return in 2022 and McCoy’s insistence on a farewell scene for her.

Doctor Who actor Sylvester McCoy, who portrayed the Seventh Doctor, revealed that he vehemently persuaded the showrunners to give his companion co-star a proper sendoff scene after her exit from the show. Bonnie Langford played Mel Bush, a 20th-century computer programmer who traveled with the Sixth and Seventh Doctors and initially replaced Nicola Bryant during the “Trial of a Time Lord” storyline. After appearing on the show between 1986 and 1987, Langford decided to leave, after which she was replaced by Sophie Aldred, who played the Doctor’s companion until it was cancelled in 1989.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com about his time on the British series, McCoy revealed that he was sad about Langford’s decision to leave the show. He explained that after his beloved companion exited the show, he had to convince the showrunners, who were simply going to move on, to give her a proper farewell scene. Read his full comments below:

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 I 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.”

Why Bonnie Langford Left The Doctor Who Show

From the onset, Bonnie Langford’s casting as Mel Bush, the Doctor’s programmer companion, was unpopular among the fanbase and the show’s production team. Regardless, the actor put on an excellent showing as Mel, which paid off, as her character’s strength and apparent talent convinced showrunners to keep her on. However, after appearing in 1987’s “Dragonfire,” Langford requested to be written out, believing that there was nothing more she could add to the character.

In truth, Mel Bush did not have much to begin with throughout her tenure. Mel was a programmer who barely did any programming; instead, she was mostly relegated to simply showing trepidation whenever a new alien appeared. Langford, however, managed to still deliver striking performances with the little she had to work with, particularly standing out in episodes “Paradise Towers” and “Delta and the Bannermen.”

Related: Doctor Who’s Returning Companion Explained – Everything You Need To Know About Mel

Even though Langford’s time on Doctor Who was relatively short, she managed to leave a lasting impression. It’s partly why she was brought back to reprise her role in 2022’s “The Power of the Doctor” at Doctor Who‘s companion support group. Furthermore, McCoy was adamant that she received a well-deserved sendoff after exiting the show, which the showrunners heeded to.

Source: RadioTimes.com

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