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Patrick Troughton: The Biography of the Second Doctor Who
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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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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.
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. At times it can seem shallow, but this is solely because PT at times was a stranger to his families. The strain of his complicated private life had to be a burden, but that was for him to bare. The author uses a lot of quotes from people who knew PT well, but there is nothing from his eldest son David, and Michael rarely mentions his older brother. Certain things do become evident, the estrangement from his daughter Joanne really should have been resolved, and though he tried, he never seemed to push hard enough to get in touch, and it is clear Michael just wanted to be in his father's company and you can sense he never got enough time with him, and wanted to know him better. Maybe we can conclude that PT had three families, many children and grandchildren, but he never got close enough to any of them.
It told more about PT than I knew, and for that I am grateful. When you realise how vast his body of work was, it puts his three years as the Doctor into perspective. We were very lucky to have such an actor to play the Doctor.
In an age where character actors have been replaced by 'celebrity' actors, it reminds me how much I missed the 'jobbing' character actors of the 50's,60's and 70's.
From his early days as a child to becoming an actor and through his personal life makes this a fascinating Biography on Audio.
Well worth the purchase.
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It is a difficult read as other reviewers have mentioned, for practical purposes.Read more