12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 1999
This is a wonderful final memoir from the late, great, Jon Pertwee. This book shows his accounts of his Dr Who days from his memories and it does not disappoint. A good plus is that it reveals other parts of his long, storied career. But the main focus is of course Dr Who. Its very exciting to read this and read about his memories behind each story of his time on the series. The best parts are his funny moments he recalled. Other things are that we learn where the cool Whomobile came from. It was Jon's idea. Its very heartbreaking to know he died after shortly completing this book's manuscript. The book leaves a good memoir for a gifted entertainer. The book helped me learn more about him. I'm from Canada and the book really helps someone like me as I'm not familiar with his career beyond Dr Who. The book accomplishes this. From the Navy Lark to Dr Who to Worzel Grummidge, Jon Pertwee entertained. What a fitting tribute from this man, in his final words.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I bought a copy of this rather spectacular (if also rather spectacularly expensive) book just recently, desperate for something big and desirable with which to impress my former wife. Sad to report, I have been blessed with nothing of my own that might fall rather mightily into that category, so this book seemed like the only viable option. She is, after all, Jon Pertwee's biggest fan (which does not imply that she is in any way fat, because I am in enough trouble with her already without saying something completely suicidal like that).
The cost was extortionate, owing to the fact that this fabulous book has rather bizarrely never been given the honour of any kind of reprint. But, when you are as deeply embedded in your ex-wife's bad books as I am at the moment, to the point where you are fairly certain that every little ache, pain and twinge in your body is down to some little effigy of you that she is more than likely sticking great big pins in, no amount of money is too much.
'I Am The Doctor!' is a wonderful work, although it is more than a little tainted by the fact that poor Jon Pertwee passed away only twelve days after completing work on the manuscript for it. His contribution is truly memorable though, representing the lion's share of the text of the book and consisting of his reminiscences and experiences, interspersed with a selection of anecdotes, all linked together by dozens and dozens of, predominantly black and white, photographs. You've also got little interviews dotted around the place from various personnel associated with the Third Doctor's era.
David J Howe's 'Author's Note' tells us that it was he who approached Jon Pertwee with the suggestion that they might collaborate on a second volume of the latter's memoirs, given that 'Moon Boots & Dinner Suits' terminated rather abruptly long before his tenure as 'Doctor Who'. It is sad enough to read of the last time the two co-authors met... but it is downright heartbreaking to read the last page, in Jon Pertwee's own words. He really was a quite unique entertainer.
After a brief 'Introduction' by the late Barry Letts, comes 'Chapter 1 - Setting The Scene'. This is a brief third-person overview of Mr Pertwee's career, together with a few of his more familiar personal anecdotes ( his experiences at RADA for instance) and a two page spread on 'The Navy Lark', which is completely in his own words. This is Jon Pertwee talking. And he has such a witty, relaxed and humorous style of writing that it really does feel as if he IS talking to you!
'Chapter 2 - Introducing...' covers his thoughts on getting the role of The Doctor, and the whole of his first series. The two pages on 'The House That Dripped Blood' help to explain quite a bit about the final story in that film. But what we really want is 'Chapter 3 - My Best Enemy', which concerns the Third Doctor's second series of films, as well as an appearance on 'This Is Your Life' - and the rescue of 'Bok' from a BBC rubbish skip to live out the rest of his carved polystyrene days in the Pertwees' garden in Barnes. With pictures!
'Adventures In Time And Space' is very much reminiscent of a 'Look-in' colour pull-out, with 16 pages of monsters, companions and Jon Pertwee. Then there's 'Chapter 4 - Daleks!', which looks at the next season of 'Doctor Who', followed by 'Chapter 5 - Meeting My Predeccessors', which kicks off with funny tales of Patrick Troughton's acting methods but which then has to deal with the tragic death of Roger Delgado.
'Chapter 6 - A Time To Leave' says it all really. The Third Doctor's final series, beginning with his encounters with Linx in the simply wonderful 'The Time Warrior' and ending with his regeneration into that bloke from 'The Book Tower'.
Then, what will probably turn out to be my ex-wife's favourite part of the whole book - two pages all about 'Worzel Gummidge', complete with a couple of half-decent photos that she will probably cut out and stick by the side of her bed, knowing her. Poor Mr Pertwee fought tooth and nail to get that programme made, and he was still battling on its behalf in 1996, trying to raise money for his scarecrow to be reborn as a Morph-like animation. This book is so very sad, in so many different ways.
Even the title of the final chapter, 'The Continuing Story' brings a lump to the throat: the text is even worse. He was still so enthusiastic about 'The Doctor', particularly since he was, by this time, travelling around the world attending sci-fi conventions and engaging with a public who clearly adored him. Right at the end of the book though, there is a sense of the frustration he felt at not being allowed to escape the character, in the minds of producers and casting agents. He was a brilliantly talented actor, who really wasn't challenged enough in his later years.
The final paragraphs, the final line even, are difficult to read. But if you are a fan of this superb character actor's work in any way, shape or form I hope you do get the opportunity to see them for yourself. In my opinion, it is a perfect disgrace that this book is not more readily available and that it has never been reprinted. And I am not just saying that because I had to fork out fifty big ones for my (ex-library!) copy. Like I said before, when you're in your ex-wife's bad books, there is no price you will not consider paying. Mind you, I don't know how I'm going to get this to her, given what happened to me when I went round there with a box-set of George Peppard. I can't divulge too much, but it was fast, it was furious and it half-killed me. That is to say, I was fast and she was furious, then she half-killed me.
I doubt I'd get out alive if I gave her this.
I'd better mail it.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2006
One of the unique things about 'Dr.Who' ( the series ) was its uncanny ability - denied to most shows - to reinvent itself every few years. No more was this true than in 1970, when comedy actor Jon Pertwee put on frilly shirt, smoking jacket and cloak to become the Doctor's most flamboyant incarnation yet. For five wonderful years, his Doctor battled Autons, Silurians, Daleks, Axons, Daemons, Drashigs and of course The Master, winning enormous public affection which has never dissipated.
Published posthumously, this memoir chronicles these years, as well as briefly outling Pertwee's pre and post''Who' career. Though many of the anecdotes are familiar, there's enough new stuff to make this fresh and interesting. Jon has a few digs at those whom he didn't get on with, but unlike Patrick Macnee's 'The Avengers & Me', this is not as 'warts-and-all' as it might have been.
The actor's affection for the 'Who family' is there for all to see, particularly Katy Manning and Lis Sladen. His sadness at Roger Delgado's death is particularly moving. Though he clearly relished the role, I suspect he, like other 'Who' actors, was frustrated at losing out on so many other roles because of it.
I defy anyone not to cry after reading the final page. Its a lovely farewell from a great British actor.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This is one of the best showbiz autobiographies I have ever read. It is clear from other sources that people working with Pertwee were in awe of his stature as an actor, and he seems to be modestly aware of this, and not arrogant about it. Where he made mistakes in his career, he was honest about it, and the insights he shares with us are so compelling that you could almost picture him telling them to you over a cup of tea in a quiet corner of the studio.
He lived a remarkable life, and it is a pleasure to share those experiences. It makes you wish you had met him when he was still alive, but at least he lived long enough to complete the book. If you can find a copy (they are very rare, and very expensive), it's worth the effort, and you'll be glad you read it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2014
Rather overpriced at forty something pounds, (not the original retail price but the best price I could get), but having read Moonboots, I just had to have this one. Yes it's good, some new facts in there, but looking at the selling prices now on Amazon, I think I got my copy at the right time. I don't think this book is worth a thousand pounds or even two hundred. But it was worth the price I paid, being a lifelong Pertwee fan and I really enjoyed it.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2008
I had the good fortune to meet Jon Pertwee, and can report that he was, on this occasion, a wonderful, charismatic and very fuuny man. He was to many still THE Doctor (quite an achievment as he hasn't been the Doctor for 34 years!), and this book is a wonderful, lavish read, highlighting his achievments and personality in a warm and funny way. Full marks to David Howe for being instrumental in it's release. It is both amusing and sad, as Jon still had many things he wished to achieve, but he squeezed more into one lifetime than many, and had a lust for life one could almost bottle! Sadly, this book is now hard to find and costly once discovered, it is worth the search and is easily one of the best books on the early 70s period of Doctor Who.