Sylvester McCoy had to fight for Bonnie Langford's Doctor Who exit scene
"You can’t just say goodbye and close the door."
Langford, who played companion Mel Bush, first appeared alongside Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor before continuing with McCoy's Seventh Doctor. In 1987, she left the show and was replaced by Sophie Aldred as Ace.
Chatting to RadioTimes.com for a new interview at his North London home, McCoy recalled: "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."
The actor also admitted Langford was "underused" on the show - but that she was able to explore her character more in later Big Finish audio dramas.
Plus, Langford is set to return to Doctor Who for Ncuti Gatwa's first season. Speaking to RadioTimes.com at the time of the announcement, McCoy revealed he was thrilled for his friend.
"How wonderful to hear Bonnie is coming back to Doctor Who," he said. "I’m sure she won’t mind my stating, when she was with me, the production underused Bonnie. She has shined brightly since in the Big Finish Doctor Who stories she recorded with Colin [Baker] and I."
He added: "How brilliant it will be for us all to see how bright beautiful Bonnie can be in Who. She was bloody marvellous in EastEnders!"
Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Episodes of the classic series can be streamed on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.
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