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

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,244,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review is for the 'new' anniversary edition. I am guessing the anniversary is Dr Who's 50th, but it never states this clearly, though that wasn't a selling point for me. I was happy to manage to get a copy, as the initial run seemed to disappear very quickly. This came direct from the author, and is signed by him. The service he supplied was first class, and could not be faulted, and the fact it is self published by PT's son gives it a very nice personal touch.(Thank you Michael)

Like other reviewers I have noticed that in places the book should have been better proof read and edited, my copy has been published directly by the author, and I imagine on quite a low budget, so with that in mind I think the book is very good. The biggest editorial issue I have are the last three chapters, (I think these have been added to the anniversary edition), which really flesh out the last few years of PT's life with him getting involved in fandom and attending the US convention circuit. There is a very detailed, but factually incorrect, description of the 20th Anniversary Longleat celebration. Maybe some help in the research may have helped at this point. Also there is mention of the recovered story's 'Enemy of the World' and 'Web of Fear'. It goes into some dialogue with the dvd range's 'restoration team'. Though strangely refers to one member as 'Crocker' and not his full name of Peter Crocker, which I did think slightly disrespectful, but more likely just a publishing error.

On the whole the book is a good chronological account of the man's life. He is definitely a complex man, who never appears to have 'opened up' to his children. This explains why the book can only hint at PT's inner thought's and motivations.
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