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Who's There - The Life & Career of William Hartnell

Who's There - The Life & Career of William Hartnell [Kindle Edition]

Jessica Carney
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

From light musical comedy to a succession of mean crooks and bullying sergeant-majors, William Hartnell’s long and varied career included a number of iconic British films including Carry On Sergeant, This Sporting Life and Brighton Rock. However, it is for his role as a time-travelling eccentric that he is most fondly remembered.

Hartnell played the very first Doctor from 1963 – 1966, pitting his wits again many foes and monsters including the Daleks and the Cybermen, laying the foundations for what was to become a global institution.

Jessica Carney’s closely researched biography of her grandfather includes stories from many of the hundreds of stars of stage and screen with whom he worked, among them Richard Attenborough, Verity Lambert, Bob Monkhouse, Carole Ann Ford, David Langton and Lindsay Anderson.

"A fascinating and very moving account of a complicated and talented actor. William Hartnell rose from the humblest beginnings to become a heavyweight screen star and, ultimately, an unlikely hero to millions of children as the first Doctor Who. In this 50th anniversary year, it's wonderful to see how Jessica Carney pulls together all the threads of a tangled life in such a sympathetic but honest fashion. Bill was no saint but he emerges as a fully-rounded, difficult and fascinating personality in this splendid biography”.
– Mark Gatiss

"Like the character of the Doctor himself, Hartnell went through several different incarnations during his career: light comedian, ruthless gangster, tough professional soldier. These, together with his private life, are the subject of this carefully researched and utterly absorbing biography by Hartnell’s granddaughter"
– Jeffrey Richards, Sunday Telegraph

Updated and available for the first time in over fifteen years, Jessica Carney’s biography is published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the character that made him immortal – Doctor Who!

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1980 KB
  • Print Length: 395 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Fantom Publishing (9 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #235,550 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and emotional!!!!! 16 Jan 2014
By Helen
Format:Kindle Edition
This is an amazing book!!! It has made me laugh and cry at the same time!!! It's the best book I've read in a LONG LONG time!!! Well done Jessica !!! ,<3 xxx
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This was wonderful. I listened to the audio book read by Anneke Wills which was just superb. At first it was a little disconcerting to hear Anneke talking in the first person as someone else but quickly I got absorbed in the story. I knew very little about William Hartnell's life before listening to this. I think the most interesting part was hearing about how he'd grown up quite poor and under such difficult circumstances. It was astonishing to hear parts of his own autobiography he wrote as a teenager about his troubled life. It really gave a feeling for the character he became. Likewise the biography paints a very vivid picture of his wife who sounded like a most remarkable woman and a good actor herself.

Despite being written by his granddaughter the biography paints a very realistic portrait of this complicated man. Jessica talks about both the good and bad parts of her grandfather's character. This book really does give you a glimpse into this interesting man. Unlike a lot of actor's biographies this doesn't dwell entirely on his career but balances out his acting with his personal life. It is full of stories from the people who worked with him or were his friends.

Now I've finished the audio version I'm looking forward to reading the hard cover, especially seeing all the old photos. This book has been very expensive for the past decade and it is great that fantom films have republished it with a new edition. For those of you who watched An Adventure in Space and Time I highly recommend this for learning the real story about the man who played the first Doctor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Timelord007 TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This is excellently narrated by Anneke Wills (Polly)from the Autobiographical account of William Hartnells Life & career based on the autobiography written by Hartnells Granddaughter Jessica Carney.

It's quite shocking to know Hartnell was a illegitimate born in the slums of London a secret he took until his deathbed & is also shocking to hear that in his youth Hartnell was involved in a local gang turning to a life of crime.

This biography goes into great detail about Hartnells early career as how he was always cast as Army sergeants.

From The Army Game-Carry On Sergeant through to Verity Lamberts casting him in his most iconic role Doctor Who.

Doctor Who defined William Hartnell were he became a true life Grandfather figure to many children & who relished the love & affection by many fan's for his portrayal of the Doctor.

During his tenure His Doctor battled Daleks & Cybermen yet the greatest battle Hartnell ever faced was his declining ill heath that caused him to fluff many lines & eventually he started forgetting them completely.

Towards the end of his tenure as the Doctor Hartnells moods became ever irascible constantly agruging with cast & crew making come across as a awkward stubborn actor which is not the case he was starting with an illness which started effecting his mind.

No longer able to continue with the series punishing schedule & suffering a bout of Bronchitis resulting in a major rewrite of episode 3 of the Tenth Planet.

Hartnell returned for the 4th episode's final part (although the 4th episode's missing from the BBC archives it has been animated for the dvd release of the Tenth Planet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The 1st doctor 4 April 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Who's There? Is the life and film/tv career of the actor to play the 1st dr in 1963 William Hartnell.
Told through the eyes of granddaughter Jessica Carney to begin with and then from diary logs of William & Heather Hartnell and past friends/Actors read by former dr who assistant Anneke Wills.
It's an all round excellent telling of a great past actor lovingly remembered as doctor who,it's just a shame it's abridged as it leaves you wanting to know more about the man.
Will worth the purchase a brilliant listen.
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