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Patrick Troughton: The Biography of the Second Doctor Who Hardcover – 1 Dec 2011

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Hardcover, 1 Dec 2011
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Hirst Publishing (1 Dec. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907959475
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907959479
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,015,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Michael Troughton has been an actor and writer for over 35 years. He started his career as an A.S.M. at the Arts Theatre in London. He has appeared in many film and television roles, most notably as Sir Piers Fletcher-Dervish in The New Statesman from 1987 to 1992. In 2005 after being fast tracked as a teacher he took five years out from acting to teach physics and drama at secondary school level. In 2010 he returned to his first love writing and acting. He lives in Suffolk with his wife Caroline. They have two children, Matthew and Sally.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By The Hamster Factor on 16 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's a good account of the man's life and illustrated with many rare photographs. We learn just why Troughton was so private. He had, shall we say, a rather complicated home life and incredibly he managed to keep it a secret from even his mother for nearly 25 years.

There are lots of lovely anecdotes here as well as a brisk telling of his extensive film and tv career. Predictably, and perhaps the reason why we are all reading this, there is plenty of first hand detail about Troughton and his work on Doctor Who. It's interesting to read that some of the creakier episodes were seen for exactly what they were even back then ie tv produced on slightly too little budget with the results being less than convincing.

There's a bit of a feeling of reading his life through a filter (perhaps inevitable when your biographer is one of your children and a fair amount of time has passed). The effect is a bit like watching the Zarbi through a Vaseline smeared lens. You kind of feel you are close to seeing the real picture but not quite. Tellingly, there is almost no contribution from Patrick's third wife - and that's a real pity. And one point of annoyance - quite a few spelling/grammar mistakes and other typos have been left in. It's not enough to spoil your enjoyment, but you might laugh at some of the dafter ones.

In the end, while I felt I'd got a few flashes of insight about Troughton, I still found him a bit of enigma.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Greystone on 28 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
And never was a truer word spoken in regard to Patrick Troughton. I think the most disappointing aspect of this book is not Troughton's cheating - many are guilty of that, and the man was human - but his cavalier attitude towards it and the people around him who suffered because of it. Almost immoral in some ways as though he had no consideration for others at all. Or when interests came into conflict, Patrick's interests would always be the better served whatever the circumstances. I've done some things I'm not particularly proud of but I was quite shocked at some of Troughton's antics and his disregard for others closest to him.

This is the problem when you have heroes; your expectation of them is so high that they could never possibly live up to the ideal. After all they are just people and carry the same burden as the rest of us.

The book is very informative and well worth reading; it is quite confusing at times due to the writing style not being made clear, but that said very enjoyable.

I did feel for Troughton's first wife, out of the three she was the only one that came across as a genuinely decent person and she was shoddily treated by him. It is quite understandable that the straw that broke the camel's back, as far as his daughter was concerned, came with his dealings with another woman and his daughter never spoke to him again. I think Troughton genuinely regretted that, but by that time the damage was done and a reconciliation never occurred - speaking as a father - that is sad.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Greg Boyd on 28 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Behind almost every truly great actor, artist, singer or sportsman is a story of how much of a scumbag they are. I seem destined to discover that every celebrity whom I respect and admire is really a bit of a prat.

Mr Troughton is no exception. I feel like I should warn fans of the man (not just Doctor Who fans) that he does not come across as a pleasant man. The author, his son, does try to throw in the occasional heartwarming tale of fishing or visits to the studio but when you look at the bigger picture you see a lying womaniser. However, I can't review a biography based on my opinion of the subject.

The book itself is very nice to look at and hold. The glossy hard cover is beautiful with a lovely design which is very pleasing. Clearly a lot of care has gone into crafting this book and the result it stunning. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the content. The book gets three stars because it is interesting to read about Mr Troughtons life. The interviews, diary extracts and photos paint a very intimate picture of the man as his family and close friends knew him. If you're as nosey as I am, this is gold. However, I'm not sure anyone proof-read or edited this book. Glaring spelling mistakes, misused, commas, full. stops in the middle of sentences and frankly wierd paragraphing keep cropping up which is quite jarring and can stop you mid flow.

The writing style is occasionaly awkward with events mentioned twice and details repeated. Some events are mentioned twice and details often get repeated. Photos appear in random places with little relevance to the writing. Michael Troughton may be a good actor, I don't know, I've never seen him in anything but he's not a writer. Certainly not a biographer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Katt Wilkinson on 28 Jun. 2013
Format: Audio CD
First, read or listen to it.

It is a difficult read as other reviewers have mentioned, for practical purposes. It does appear to have been printed unedited in any way, shape or form and that causes confusion at times. Stories begin and go nowhere too often and crucial facts are raised and dropped almost immediately. Much is overwritten.

It is a tale of facts rather than an insightful, critical biography. We meet a man of divided loyalties and questionable conscience. A man who was remembered as a true gentle man but also a womanizer who could pick fights over religion at the drop of a hat or sink into deep, inconsolable depressions as quickly. There is also a mention of childhood sexual abuse, which is raised as crucial then dropped like a stone.

What we have here is a trail of breadcrumbs which, in the hands of a skilled biographer, would reveal the portrait of a man beset by mental demons. Workaholism, hypersexuality, depressions, religious obsessions are all hallmarks of disorders such as PTSD (his war years), Bi-polar (childhood sexual abuse), or any number of others. In his last year of Doctor Who he even referred to himself as feeling schizophrenic, as his son writes.

One would hope that one day someone decides to write Patrick Troughton's life story from an outsider's point of view. With luck all of the pieces of the puzzle will be made available. Input from all of his children, the mother of his second family, and his last wife would be welcome as would the complete family archive.

The current biography is a tantalizing teaser to a deeper, richer story that deserves to be told intelligently, compassionately and completely. I would caution readers to see beyond Troughton's seemingly inexplicable and despicable actions.
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