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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Last Word from the Top Companion"
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...
Published on 15 Nov 2011 by Bob Marlowe

versus
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh I feel such a traitor but...!
Let me first say that I adored Sarah Jane & Elisabeth Sladen (indeed, as a child, I was shocked to learn that they are actually two separate people!) However, this book has been a bit of a personal disappointment to me as Elisabeth doesn't come across as the person I thought she was.
As another reviewer mentioned, she is very catty - bitchy at times - about people...
Published 19 months ago by Kelly A19


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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Last Word from the Top Companion", 15 Nov 2011
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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. he thought it was supportive to watch her film her 1st scene & to introduce her to fans who had at that point no idea who she was. He had no idea that it made her feel more daunted. The 2 worked better toward the end of his time and later became good friends.

She clearly hit it off and gelled with Tom Baker from the off & found he was happy to listen to her, was full of mad ideas himself & quick to champion her suggestions. She jokes that she didn't want to watch him with other companions likening it to seeing your husband with another woman.

There are in this section and (in the rest of the book but I noticed them here most) some great insights. She believes when he had resigned because the Beeb refused to give him a raise (this has been questioned more recently but she seem certain it's true) Jon Pertwee regretted his decision. He didn't really want to leave the show but it had only hit him once it was too late to stop. She believes this and a form of jealousy over Tom's apparently greater success & longer tenure in the role, coloured the bad relationship between the 2.

Her account of the making of the 5 Doctors is similarly interesting e.g. all Doctors going off with their own cliques at breaks.

She recalls her initial reluctance to return to Sarah Jane Smith, the false start with K9 and Company all leading to a triumphant return in "School Reunion" and then her own show "The Sarah Jane Adventures." She speaks about the role attending conventions with Jon Pertwee played i bringing her back to Who & her affection for her fans shines through.

Acting jobs between Who are covered well too as is her decision to retire from acting(fortunately temporarily).

There's plenty of humour e.g. she jokes that Yasmin Page who left Sarah Jane Adventures early on to avoid typecasting will probably manage her career better than she did & compares acting opposite Alpha Centauri to playing Shakespeare with a tellytubby! She's also very amused most papers etc. knocked 2 years of her date of birth.

Whatever work her family and co-author Jeff Hudson did to get the book ready for publication, I commend them because it does not read as rushed or unfinished.

There's an introduction from David Tennant and some material form her husband & daughter.

A fine tribute to Elisabeth Sladen which I recommend to anyone who enjoyed her work.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good............But Made Me Feel Sad!!!, 13 Nov 2011
By 
Mark Elmer "Markie Mark" (North Harrow, Middx, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly spellbinding!, 10 Nov 2011
By 
L. Thompson (Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Utterly spellbinding! I literally couldn't put this book down... kids late for school? dinner burning? Nevermind, I need to get to the end of this chapter...
Honestly, my face hurt from smiling while I read - I never laugh out loud reading books, but I did with this one. (I mean, if you're gonna throw up on stage at age 11, you have to make sure it's all over a future Tory Minister, right?)
This book is written with such wisdom and humility - the only person who didn't realise the extent of her following was Elisabeth herself!!
From her childhood, through the days of working in Repertory theatre in Liverpool and Scarborough, to the early 'Doctor Who' with Jon Pertwee, and on through Tom baker and up to the present day 'Sarah Jane Adventures', this book conjures up pictures and scenes so perfectly, that you feel like you were privileged to be there yourself... (Jon pertwee reversing his car into the props truck is just great...)
And of course, amidst the humour, there is the poignancy of reading first hand accounts from such a vivacious woman who had such a fascinating life to write about, whilst knowing that that life was so suddenly and so shockingly cut short last April. This is a fitting tribute, with foreword by David Tennant, and a moving Post script by Sadie and Brian Miller, whose love for her, and pride in her acheivements is heartbreakingly clear.
An absolute must for any Dr Who or Sarah Jane fan, whether from 1973 or 2011, and all points inbetween. Goodbye Elisabeth/Sarah Jane, we will miss you!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Autobiography Of Doctor Who's Greatest Companion, 10 May 2014
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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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.
As I'm a huge Doctor Who fan especially of the Tom Baker Hinchcliffe era, Sarah Jane is my favourite Doctor Who companion & seeing her on screen chemistry with Tom Baker together the duo made some of the shows greatest story's.

So when I heard of her passing from cancer in April 2011 I was shocked & devastated as I couldn't believe Lis had left us & as I read the newspaper tears filled my eye's & I cryed feeling I'd lost a close friend.

Lis wasn't just a Doctor Who companion she was much more than that she was one of Doctor Who's greatest ambassadors & promoted the show wherever she went & was alway kind & caring speaking to fan's at Doctor Who conventions.

Her spin off series The Sarah Jane Adventures was equally as good as Doctor Who mostly down to Lis fine performances, Yet the book also shows she was a loving wife & mother yet a very private person which is all detailed in this excellent autobiography.

With a foreword by David Tennant to a emotional afterword by her daughter Sadie & husband Brian this book is a real page turner filled with great anecdotes by Lis on her early life & varied stage career & most importantly Doctor Who/Sarah Jane Adventures, This book includes some interesting clashes with actor Jon Pertwee to Lis genuine warmth & friendship with eccentric actor Tom Baker & last but by know means least Lis great rapoire with actor David Tennant who is a self confessed Doctor Who/Sarah Jane fan.

This autobiography is a fitting tribute to an exceptional actress, Wife & mother, that delivers a witty humourous insightful entertaining read.

Elisabeth Sladen maybe gone from our lives but you'll never be forgotten by any of us Doctor Who fan's.

God bless.

Timelord Rating10/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elisabeth Sladen, 19 Aug 2013
By 
Sheila Potter (Liverpool United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I read this book within one day. Elisabeth's autobiography was brillant. The way it is written it is as if Elizabeth was talking to you, very honest, funny and it is a shame that Elisabeth died so tragically. Elisabeth deserves to more remembered as one of the greatest of Doctor Who companions. Very good read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed from start to finish but......., 7 July 2013
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This review is from: Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography (Kindle Edition)
Why are there no photos? Why Are those who purchase Kindle readers denied the photo collection in the printed version? Elisabeth's life story is well written, you can hear her voice as you read. It's the first autobiography I have ever read so was really not sure what to expect. I was not disappointed (apart from the photos guys, hence 4 stars).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read about a great subject, 21 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography (Kindle Edition)
If you're a fan of WHO then this book should really be part of your library. The writing is such that you can hear Lis' voice talking to you so you get a really close feeling of being involved in the back stage gossip of the productions she was in: it feels like you've snuck out the stage door with her for a ciggie and a natter. The book starts with the 'I was born in..' stuff but very quickly takes you to where her career started. The non-Who stories are just as interesting as the ones covering her time as Sarah-Jane Smith and there are one or two surprising confessions make this a book that will need re-reading more than once (did she really say that?).
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it without any hesitation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SARAH JANE MEMORY, 9 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography (Kindle Edition)
This was my first Amazon kindle read. I decided to try it out while relaxing on holiday to read on my Smart phone. I couldn't put it down, once I'd begun reading it.

I guess like so many other Dr Who fans, Sarah Jane Smith was a part of my influential teenage years and when her character returned for the new generation Dr Who and then with her own show, I was absolutely delighted. It was as if a piece of my past had come back and I too had almost travelled back in time. It is common to have 'signposts' in your life that bring back memories, but in Elisabeth Sladen's case what was more incredible was the fact that she stayed timeless and didn't seem to have aged at all.

I was so shocked and genuinely upset when the news of her death was announced and it took a while to get over this. Having read the book now, (May 2013) it has acted as a bit of a softener because it's almost as if she's back with you again when you read the book. A fascinating tale of her acting career from her very early days and an inspiration to others - notably my own daughter who is looking to follow a similar path and who was a fan of her programmes in the new generation. If you're a fan of Dr Who or indeed looking to follow a theatrical career this book is really interesting. Unlike some autobiographies - It is NOT a warts and all scandal ridden book - just a lovely tale of hard work and ups and downs along the way with some fascinating insights into her fellow actors and the behind the scenes characters involved at the BBC and elsewhere along the way in her career.

It's a very gentle tale and very Sarah Jane-Smith - It's an absolute must read for Who fans and I now feel as if I can put her to rest after reading her story. Elisabeth and Sarah Jane were clearly very close and from the same friendly 'cuddly' mould. I often considered writing to Elisabeth as a fan, but never quite brought myself to do so and regreted it so much when the news of her death was announced. I'd love to have told her how much enjoyment she brought to a growing lad and then again to a middle aged man! Thanks Elisabeth for taking the time to write this and to her family for going ahead and releasing it - I feel honoured to have been allowed into her life just a little bit and this has made up for not having actually met her at an event or in real life. Her book has left me with the same impression I always had and I am delighted about that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So good!!!!!!!, 12 April 2013
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I'm 14 and I loved this book, because I was very sad when lis sladen died and I was really happy when her autobiography was released it covers loads of stuff and I really enjoyed reading about her time on doctor who the sarah Jane adventures
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wonderful Lis Sladen; the incomparable Sarah Jane, 24 Jun 2012
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
I leapt at the chance to read this book, the story of Elisabeth Sladen's acting career. Clearly she is best known to most people from her Doctor Who and associated Doctor Who career - and it was terribly sad to hear of her early death. She never really seemed to age, or change - Sarah Jane was always Sarah Jane - visually, aurally, in every way. Very sad, but I'm so glad she was able to get so much down on paper for so many fans to be able to read in the future.

It was extremely interesting to read of her early life and her family - and her schooling and choice to become involved in acting. I had never really heard of many of the people who she worked with, but some were certainly familiar. Funny to hear of their early days.

Once Elisabeth joined Doctor Who, as the replacement companion for Jon Pertwee's Doctor Who, the story really becomes fascinating. I can imagine Jon Pertwee being larger than life as she writes - demanding, yet kindly in his own way. I would also imagine life as an actress in the 1970's not being all that easy, being looked down upon by many in the industry. More power to Ms Sladen for her drive and forthright approach to her work. It's interesting also to read of the way in which the stories were put together, the rehearsals, the filming, and the power of the Unions in those days. The anecdotes are really interesting to read; the stories of having to get back to the boarding house first to get the hot water for the bath - who would have thought the life of an actor was all glamour and champagne?

I've read Tom Baker's Who on Earth is Tom Baker? Autobiography, and I have Nicholas Courtney's book Still Getting Away with It to read on my shelves, so I was definitely glad to have the opportunity to hear Lis Sladen's story. She clearly had a loving and supportive family, and she had a great opportunity with Doctor Who which seemed to stand her in good stead for so many years, even after leaving the original tv show.

This book is a great memento of the years of a much-loved and missed actress; her writing is, as I image Lis herself was, forthright and honest. She clearly didn't suffer fools gladly, and took her work very seriously, while still retaining her sense of humour throughout some very difficult circumstances. She will be missed by many; I'm glad we get the chance to read her story. The final pages bring tears to your eyes; the mixture of sad and happy is what Lis' life seems to have been about; a bit like Sarah Jane's.
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