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Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography (edition 2012)

by Elisabeth Sladen, David Tennant (Foreword)

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513229,653 (4.29)2
Member:reannon
Title:Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography
Authors:Elisabeth Sladen
Other authors:David Tennant (Foreword)
Info:Aurum Press (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography by Elisabeth Sladen

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Review from Badelynge.
Ninety-nine out of every hundred people reading this book are going to be dyed in the wool Doctor Who fans. Lis knew this quite well. Which is probably one of the reasons the bulk of the book is taken up documenting the short period of her life working on the show. She's giving the target audience what they want. I'm a hardcore Doctor Who fan myself. I love all her insights and observations about the show. But I would also have liked to read more about the real Elisabeth Sladen behind the Sarah Jane Smith parade. There are glimpses of it of course but not enough. Her parent's history is just a short prelude and her childhood rushes by in a confusingly unchronological blur of Elvis posters and tomboy hi-jinx. Her early career on stage and tv bring more structure to the book as the various productions provide a set of hooks to pin her years on. There are some fascinating insights into the many famous faces she worked with or encountered - names like Michael Crawford, Robert Morley and Alan Ayckbourn. Here she also meets her soon to be husband and apparent soul mate Brian Miller . There is a sort of embarrassed reluctance though to let the reader get under the surface of their relationship, whether in defence of their privacy or insecurity about how much personal detail a fan of a tv show would want - I don't know. There is an opinion, probably accurate, expressed by her daughter, that Lis didn't really fully realise just how much she was loved by the fans of the show.
It's no use denying that most fans of the classic show are pretty hard-core nostalgia junkies. I am one of them so I lapped up all the stories about her time on the show. All the stuff about her love hate relationship with Jon Pertwee are priceless, the utter Doctor Who legend that was Barry Letts, Tom Baker, the lovely but tragic Ian Marter. There are also names that she was less impressed with allowing her grumpier aspects to have a bit of page space. Her time on the show comes to an and the book almost fast forwards to the finish, stopping briefly to describe some of her later involvements on specials and spin-offs, conventions, missed career opportunities, the birth of her daughter and the eventual resurgence of the show that would lead to The Sarah Jane Adventures.
We live in a media age where it seems that not a day can go by without someone familiar passing away but I can honestly say I have never been shocked so badly as the night I found out we'd lost Lis Sladen. This book was completed only at the last and it has been a sad pleasure to hear her voice in my head again. ( )
  Finxy | Mar 6, 2012 |
The death of Elisabeth Sladen in April 2011 was one of the few instances where I have felt personally upset and very moved at the passing away of someone from the worlds of TV or film. She seemed so relatively young and alive and reaching new heights in a tremendous new Doctor Who-related career in the Sarah Jane Adventures decades after she was in the main show; her death was a complete bolt out of the blue as it was not known she was ill. She was a big part of my childhood and a part of my adulthood too. This autobiography is very human and shows her to be such a strong contrast to the egotistic celebrities that so often fill our TV screens so less deservedly. She will be sorely missed by me and many others. Thanks to my wife for giving me this book for Christmas. 5/5 ( )
  john257hopper | Jan 9, 2012 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1857495.html

I liked it very much; Sladen comes across as a modest person, driven by her instinctive desire to be an actor, prepared to tell of her own bad experiences as well as the good - a run of difficult directors in the Pertwee era, health problems while filming both The Five Doctors and School Reunion - but generally enjoying the process of recounting her career highlights and making the reader/listener enjoy the process as well. I have noted one particular point on Who history which the autobiography illuminates a bit, and no doubt there are others. It's a shame that she doesn't find time to talk about her role in Big Finish's audios more than a couple of passing mentions, and of course it's a bigger shame that she wasn't able to finalise the text and see the book into print herself. There is a moving foreword by David Tennant (which he reads on the audio version) and an afterword by her husband and daughter Brian and Sadie Miller, read with understandable emotion by Brian Miller on the audio. Caroline John isn't of course the right voice for this - we won't hear that voice again - but makes a decent fist of it. Recommended for Who fans. ( )
  nwhyte | Dec 3, 2011 |
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A unique, insider's view of the world's longest running science fiction series, from one of the fans' favorite companions. David Tennant's foreword caps this warm, witty memoir- a fitting tribute to a woman who will be sadly missed by legions of fans.… (more)

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