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Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography Hardcover – 25 Apr 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (25 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845134885
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845134884
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Who fans will not feel shortchanged ... gives you a sense of her down-to-earth nature'


'It's a great read, and contains much that was not previously known about Lis and her life. It stands as one of the best of the Doctor Who autobiographies'

(David Howe Howeswho)

'The book is a marvellous read on many levels. It is a first rate insider's view of Doctor Who and classic Doctors Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. Not to mention a perspective on the new show and the workings of the BBC. But it is far more than that. It is the life story of a wonderful, witty, warm, kind and amazing woman who fleshed out an endearing and enduring fictional character'


 'A fitting and fascinating memorial to the Doctor’s one true assistant'

(Paul Mount Starburst)

About the Author

Elisabeth Sladen played Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures. She also appeared in Coronation Street, Z-Cars and Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, and enjoyed a long, successful and very happy career in the theatre. She died in April 2011.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Bob Marlowe on 15 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm pleased to say that this is a great read. To be honest, if I hadn't enjoyed it, then I probably wouldn't have bothered with a review. I would have felt bad writing a negative one but fortunately I don't have to consider that.
Like all good autobiographies, it's got a good conversational style which the afterword by her family comfirms very much has her turn of phrase etc to it. It's the kind of book best enjoyed on train & bus journeys to & from work, when you can pretend your having a chat with her.
Dr Who is covered in some detail but that doesn't mean the rest is not interesting.

The early portion on her family history suggests enough material existed for a good "Who do you think you are. & similarly the period on her early life (find how she came to vommit on Edwina Currie)& a fascinating and varied stage career will easily prevent you skipping onto the Who section. She clearly loved acting and mixing with people such as actor Robert Morley & playwright Alan Ayckbourn but that's not to say it's a luvvie's bore of a book. Where there were famous names she had problems with she explains why she thought badly of them and in hindsight whether she was right.

Naturally the Who section is of prime interest & even though there will be anecdotes & stories heard before in interviews, commentaries & so on, she still does the fans proud. We learn who were the directors who were difficult to work with were ( some names there will surprise you) and best of all what it was like to work with Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker & more recently David Tennant.

She found Pertwee initially difficult to work with because their styles & approaches clashed but does acknowledge that some of his apparently insensitive acts were just the opposite e.g.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Timelord-007 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hardback Novel.
320 pages.
Foreword by David Tennant.
Afterword by Sadie & Brian Miller.

Book Synopsis.
This autobiography detailed the life of actress Elisabeth Sladen who was one of Doctor Who's greatest companions, This book details her humble beginnings from a blossoming varied stage career, Small part in Coronation Street to losing the part as Betty in Some Mother's Do Ave Em in which she later appeared as a fruit shop owner.

However her greatest iconic role was just around the corner as she became Doctor Who's new companion journalist Sarah Jane Smith in season 11 starring alongside actor Jon Pertwee who she shared a love/hate relationship with to her time with Fourth Doctor actor & loveable eccentric Tom Baker who Lis adored & starred alongside Tom in some of the best Doctor Who stories ever written.

This book also reflects on life after Doctor Who & motherhood coming late in life for Lis to a break from acting & her return as Sarah Jane in her own spin off series one off titled K-9 & Company & of course The Five Doctors, Two 90's Radio adventures reuniting with Jon Pertwee & Nicholas Courtney & finally meeting up with Script editor & producer Russell T.Davis about reprising her role of Sarah Jane Smith in a Series 2 episode of NuWho alongside Tenth Doctor actor David Tennant.

Lis was so magnificent in the episode titled School Reunion which proved so popular Lis was given her on BBC spin off series titled The Sarah Jane Adventures which lasted 4 & a half seasons until Lis tragic death from cancer during the middle of series 5.

Timelord Thoughts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Coincidence Vs Fate TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Jan. 2012
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Being in my mid-40s there are certain people and memories from my childhood in the 70s that will always stay with me. One such memory will be Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen, AKA Sarah-Jayne Smith scaring the be-Jesus out of me every Saturday night during those cold dark winters of the mid 70s. I will always look back on affection at those programmes and have enjoyed them again on DVD with my Dr Who mad five-year-old son who is just as aware of Sarah-Jayne as he is with Amy Pond.

Obviously, Elisabeth passed away in April 2011 so her story has more poignancy due to that sad fact. Like the other recent reviewer I found it hard to listen to another actress -albeit one with a Dr Who connection - reading in the first person. It seemed a little odd and I would have enjoyed it better if they had changed the perspective of the reader. However, really that is nit-picking over what is a fascinating and touching autobiography.

She recounts her times with both Doctors and it is interesting to hear how she felt for them while in the Tardis and outside in the "real" world.

There is a nice intro from David Tennant and something written by her husband and daughter.

Not without its flaws but overall a superb audio book about a fine actress who sadly, is no longer around to enjoy the affection she has in the admirers of her work.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Markie Mark on 13 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not & never have been a great reader but this book was very hard to put down. For any Dr Who Fan it is a must read & if like me you were a Sarah Jane Smith fan then its just excellent!!
Its written so well & the first comments by David Tennant & then the last section by Liz Sladens husband & Daughter brough tears to my eyes!!!............I was so shocked & sad when she died hearing & reading it on the Internet back in April & the last part of the book brought it all back!!!........I recommend this highly & even though it might make you miss her more it also reminds you of her & just how much of a fun person & great actress she clearly was!!!
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