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Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography First Edition Edition

40 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1845134884
ISBN-10: 1845134885
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Editorial Reviews


'A fitting and fascinating memorial to the Doctor's one true assistant' -- Paul Mount Starburst 'The book is a marvellous read on many levels. It is a first rate insider's view of Doctor Who and classic Doctors Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. Not to mention a perspective on the new show and the workings of the BBC. But it is far more than that. It is the life story of a wonderful, witty, warm, kind and amazing woman who fleshed out an endearing and enduring fictional character' 'It's a great read, and contains much that was not previously known about Lis and her life. It stands as one of the best of the Doctor Who autobiographies' -- David Howe Howeswho 'Who fans will not feel shortchanged ... gives you a sense of her down-to-earth nature' SFX

About the Author

Elisabeth Sladen (1946–2011) played companion Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures. She also appeared in Coronation Street, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, and Z-Cars, and enjoyed a long, successful, and very happy career in the theater. David Tennant is a widely respected theater actor who played the tenth Doctor Who for three seasons.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press; First Edition edition (December 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845134885
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845134884
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By DRob VINE VOICE on December 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would have bought Elisabeth Sladen's autobiography even if she had not died this year, as she has always been my favorite of the Doctor's companions. Yes, there are many companions that I have liked, and I thoroughly love the new Who, but for me, Doctor Who will always be Tom Baker and Sarah Jane.

Elisabeth Sladen was one of those people about whom you never hear a bad word. Everyone who ever met her or worked with her seems to have absolutely loved her, and in reading her autobiography, you can see why. It seems to be impossible for her to say anything critical of anyone-- the most she might say is that Jon Pertwee liked to have things his way or that a particular director was hard to work with. Even then, she counterbalances much of this by attributing it to the professionalism of Pertwee or the director, and their desire to have things done right.

It was interesting to read that she was not a Who fan to begin with and that when she left the show, she expected to never go back but planned to go in other directions with her acting. If anything, this book is the story of her coming to terms not only with her impact on Doctor Who, but the show's impact on her. I am glad that she was able to realize her incredible impact on the show and on the viewers before she died.

I enjoyed hearing the anecdotes about the show and the people she worked with, but more than anything appreciated her generous spirit. You can see why the Sarah Jane character is so beloved because Lis put so much of herself into Sarah Jane without probably realizing it. It is telling that even when she found out she was terminally ill, her greatest concern was for her co-actors on The Sarah Jane Adventures who would now be out of work because of her.

Rest easy, Lis. This Doctor Who fan will never forget you.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Haugh VINE VOICE on December 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Late one Sunday night back in the mid-eighties, I was channel-surfing the handful of channels that was cable TV in those days. I was sixteen and had just gotten off the closing shift at McDonald's. I wasn't yet able to sleep despite the late hour. Coming to the PBS station, I was sucked into a show I'd never seen before--a man in a great coat and impossibly long scarf was going through caves with a young girl and what looked like a man made of rocks. I was very into science fiction in those days, and this looked like one of the cleverest science fiction shows I'd ever seen.

Thus began my love of Doctor Who, which I learned about only slowly, video-taping it week after week on my parents new VCR. It took years for PBS to cycle back to the story that was my introduction to the series, "The Hand of Fear". So, though Sarah Jane Smith was the first companion I ever saw, she was the last one I really got to know. Even so, it was easy to see (when I finally got to see) how Sarah Jane is the companion among companions.

When Doctor Who returned in the 2000's, I was right with it from the first episode. Though I still enjoyed watching the classic series on my now 20-year-old VHS tapes, it was exciting to have the series back. It's had a number of truly great moments--"Are you my Mommy?", weeping angels, Vashta Nerada, Pandorica--but one of the greatest has to be the return of Sarah Jane in "School Reunion". It is a well-done episode that makes a nice connection between the classic series and the new series. And it led to The Sarah Jane Adventures, a show that both my kids and I have enjoyed.

So what does this rather unusual and extended introduction mean?
Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Montgomery on December 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sladen's voice is on every page of this very readable account of her career. Keeping her private life private, Sladen is generous in revealing her emotions during the highs and lows of her career. Quick with praise, sparing with blame (unless self directed) Sladen makes the reader feel they've spent some private time with her. Sarah Jane was the defining role of her career, but it would not have held the resonance it did without Sladen in it. While she is at times overly critical of her own work she seems to appreciate the unique perspective she brought her defining role. One of the most compulsively readable celebrity memoirs I've read, and also one of the saddest. When her family takes over to explain how quickly illness took her the fan in me felt the loss again. Soon the last moments of Sarah Jane will be aired and with them the last of Sladen's career. Her memoir is a great gift to those who will feel that loss. There is no doubt she loved Sarah Jane as much as we loved Elisabeth Sladen.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Collin Kelley on December 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Elisabeth Sladen - the seemingly immortal Sarah Jane Smith -- has died. She is hilariously and wickedly alive in the pages of her autobiography, finished just before she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Lis Sladen was "my" companion on Doctor Who. When I started watching the show on PBS back in the 80s, Tom Baker was the Doctor and Lis was his feisty companion Sarah Jane. When she returned to the show in 2006 for the School Reunion episode with David Tennant, I was verklempt. When Russell T Davies had the smarts to give Sarah Jane her own show -- The Sarah Jane Adventures -- I was overjoyed that Sarah Jane Smith would be around for many years to come. Still clever, still funny and looking as if she'd made some bargain with a Time Lord, because Lis Sladen did not look like a woman in her 60s. This autobiography is for Who fans.

The majority of the book is dedicated to her time on the show in the 70s, meeting fans at the Who Conventions and her inability to escape the famous character. It's a loving, playful book of memories and you can hear Lis' voice almost narrating it in your head. It's a fitting tribute to her time on Doctor Who and a lovely goodbye for the fans. Sarah Jane Forever!
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