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Patrick Troughton: The Biography of the Second Doctor Who [Hardcover]

Michael Troughton
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Dec 2011
Respected and loved, Patrick Troughton is probably best remembered as the second Doctor Who - a role in which he made television history. A prolific actor, he was also a complex and troubled man, constantly wrestling with two lives, one of which he was determined to keep secret. Michael Troughton presents here an entertaining and personal account of his father s professional and private life. Meticulously researched, he explores Patrick s childhood, his experiences at sea during World War II and the successful acting career which led to his historic casting as Doctor Who in 1966. Patrick s Doctor Who years are recalled in vivid detail, from his initial uncertainty about taking on the part through the legendary monster years , to his troubled final season and three subsequent returns to the role. In this fascinating biography, Patrick s extraordinary career and his multi-layered personal life are enhanced by the memories of family members, actors, friends and colleagues. Michael peppers the book with revealing extracts from Patrick s own diaries, and many rare and personal photographs. This book is an honest, affectionate and complete account of Patrick Troughton the actor, and Patrick Troughton the man. With an afterword by Colin Baker.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Hirst Publishing (1 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907959475
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907959479
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 15.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 734,988 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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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good rather than great bio 16 Dec 2011
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less a biography, more an exposè 28 Mar 2012
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Life depends on change, and renewal!' 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pat Troughton Book 15 May 2012
By G. Reed
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the first book I am aware of about a much loved actor, and a great Doctor Who. Little is known about Patrick Troughton the man, and having read this book, that is as he wanted it. A secretive and distant man, who at times seemed incredibly cruel to family, he was incredibly well liked within the acting profession. A man of contrasts and contradictions then.

But what do we know about Mr Troughton's long history after reading this book? Disappointingly little. For really, in some ways, this is less about Patrick Troughton the actor, and more about a man's relationship as a father, with his young child; a child who was understandably sad and hurt to have been abandoned for the 'love' of a woman who wasn't his mother, and the children she and PT were to have together. This book while acknowledging the 'other' family, the 'other' partners, and wives, only superficially deals with them. For example, we know little about Pat's second wife other than they married and that fact was discovered by Michael from a newspaper. Michael met and had a bad meal with her and his father once and got sick and maybe didn't go round to his father's new place after that. Maybe he and his step-mum just didn't get on. Who knows? It's never really said one way or the other. No clues as to whether she was spoken to in researching the book, or even if she is still alive. And "Bunny' his long standing partner, and their children. There was very little about them, or how they saw things, at the time things happened, or reflecting on events now.

What the book does do well is to fill in our knowledge of Pat's early days from birth to his road to drama school, early theatre, tv and film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The life of the second doctor.
A very interesting listen of the life and times of Patrick Troughton unabridged which makes for a much fuller insight into the actor best remembered for playing the second dr who... Read more
Published 2 months ago by MR DEAN FLETCHER
5.0 out of 5 stars Revelations Of The Actor Behond The Second Doctor

After hearing this Autobiography of the Book now on Audio CD I'm quite shocked at how deep this audiobook went into detail about the exploits of Second Doctor... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Timelord007
3.0 out of 5 stars So Many Questions
First, read or listen to it.

It is a difficult read as other reviewers have mentioned, for practical purposes. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Katt Wilkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Autobiography
A thoroughly enjoyable read from the son of the best Doctor Who of them all. Highly recommended. Patrick troughton Number 1...
Published 14 months ago by Richard Downs
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Who Gift
I purchased this book through Amazon as a birthday gift for my son-in-law and he was delighted as he has been looking everywhere for this book, as has my daugther and myself. Read more
Published on 27 April 2012 by Jan Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Patrick Troughton: The Biography of the Second Doctor Who
This much anticipated biography of Patrick Troughton is a candid, revealing and entertaining account of this much loved and highly talented actor. Read more
Published on 5 Jan 2012 by Alex
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