Like the biography of Patrick Troughton which I reviewed before, this benefits enormously from being written by a relation - in this case his granddaughter. It combines honesty with affection and puts the Dr Who years in their proper perspective, following on from an impressive career in theatre, film and TV. Those who saw the excellent docudrama "An Adventure in Space and Time" will find echoes here, but with more emphasis on the man himself. Definitely a five-star tribute.
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.
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.
This is a lovely story but short! I do wish this was not abridged because it felt it was finished before it had even begum but I will say if it was released as unabridged I would quite happily buy it again.
Anneke Wills reads it with such warmth it was a delight to listen to even if you are not a Hartnell fan. A fascinating life and although it explores Williams grumpier side it is shared with affection and I found the story touching.
Would highly recommend. Would be great for a long car journey!