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Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography

4.39  ·  Rating Details  ·  451 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Aunique, insider's view of the world's longest running science fiction series, from one of the fans' favorite companions. David Tennant's foreword caps this warm, wittymemoir—a fitting tribute to a woman who will be sadly missed by legions of fans.

When Elisabeth Sladen first appeared as plucky journalist Sarah Jane Smith in 1973 Doctor Who story "The Time Warrior," little
Hardcover, 346 pages
Published December 2nd 2011 by Aurum Press Ltd (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,254)
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Mar 06, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: doctor-who, 2012
Review from Badelynge.
Ninety-nine out of every hundred people reading this book are going to be dyed in the wool Doctor Who fans. Lis knew this quite well. Which is probably one of the reasons the bulk of the book is taken up documenting the short period of her life working on the show. She's giving the target audience what they want. I'm a hardcore Doctor Who fan myself. I love all her insights and observations about the show. But I would also have liked to read more about the real Elisabeth Sl
I finished reading Lis's autobiography yesterday. It was very much a career autobiography, as Lis was very much a private person it pretty much focused on her acting career, all the plays she did before who, her other tv roles and of course Doctor who. It was a wonderful mixture of very sweet and sarcastic comments. I managed to read it through without crying too much before the end. The old Who stuff was lovely to read but it wasn't until she sat down with RTD that I found myself tearing up. I ...more
Mar 03, 2012 Alistair rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A Tear Sarah-Jane?

So why did I give this book five stars? Well to be honest I wish Goodreads did half stars.
To me this is a 4.5 star, mainly due to the later part of Elisabeth’s life jumping forward too much.
That very minor annoyance apart, this is a great read.

Elisabeth’s personality really shines and her humour and occasional ‘naughty’ word always bring a smile. The Doctor Who fan will find a lot here and the little insights, especially about Jon Pertwee are fascinating. It has been said Elisa
Jan 19, 2012 Vanessa rated it it was amazing
Elisabeth Sladen, the “S” is for Star. And truly she was.
I’ve never read any sort of biographies before, mainly because no one that I actually cared for to know more than simply the “celebrity façade” ever wrote one. However, when Elisabeth died and we knew the autobiography would come out, I knew I couldn’t miss it. Moreover, as you can see, this rating can be a bit biased but do you think I care? Not one iota. The lovely Elisabeth deserves it all.
I’ve never met Lis and thanks to cancer that ch
Highly entertaining, this gives a huge behind the scenes insight into early Doctor Who, and many of the actors and behind-the-camera people involved - along with a glimpse into the nuts and bolts of being an actress.

Quite a few tasty bits of gossip as well, and particularly interesting for the light it shines on Jon Pertwee, and early Who script development. The indifference of some of the directors toward anyone but the Doctor, and some of the uncomfortable sexism which was embedded in the time
Feb 24, 2013 Gareth rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiography
Plenty of stories I didn't know about making Doctor Who, even though I thought I knew that well. Plus reading about the rest of her career was fascinating. It is surprising and a little sad that she was so self-critical of her own performances but I can understand that attitude, suffering from it myself. She concentrates on her professional life and so the epilogue by her daughter about her mum is especially poignant.
Dec 21, 2011 Leisa rated it it was amazing
One thing I always look for in a celebrity bio is copious background info about the show or movie that made the person famous in the first place. For example, as much as I adore Carrie Fisher in all her eccentric insanity, she doesn't talk much at all about the making of the Star Wars movies in her memoirs...and that's what I want most to read about! To my delight, Elisabeth Sladen's posthumously published autobiography really delivers on the Doctor Who backstage tales. It's like when she sat do ...more
Collin Kelley
Dec 19, 2011 Collin Kelley rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Nicholas Whyte
Jan 17, 2012 Nicholas Whyte rated it really liked it

I liked it very much; Sladen comes across as a modest person, driven by her instinctive desire to be an actor, prepared to tell of her own bad experiences as well as the good - a run of difficult directors in the Pertwee era, health problems while filming both The Five Doctors and School Reunion - but generally enjoying the process of recounting her career highlights and making the reader/listener enjoy the process as well. I have noted one particular poin
Nov 15, 2014 Lynne rated it really liked it
Surprisingly quick and somewhat breezy to read. Absolutely fascinating insider point-of-view from the late (and by all accounts delightful) Lis Sladen, the inimitable Sarah-Jane Smith herself. For those of us who grew up with Dr Who and have been more than pleased with its Russell T Davies reboot and the era of Moffat, Tennant and now Capaldi, (though we will draw a veil over the ginger bint's stint and the pandering to fanchildren for much of the Smith era) Sarah-Jane, like the Brigadier has re ...more
Stephanie A.
Nov 17, 2014 Stephanie A. rated it it was amazing
MAGNIFICENT. Even though I knew very little about her work prior to 2006, that didn't matter. Every page was engaging, intriguing, informative. A wonderful walkthrough of her career, while at the same time infused with warm personal commentary that made it seem like a more intimate reveal(frequent side references to her present-day work helped - a better introduction, they could not have written). I learned so much about her, and all of it good. Now I miss her even more.
Courtney Williams
Jan 06, 2015 Courtney Williams rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
This was the first book I finished in 2015, though I started it a few days earlier in 2014. I picked it up for perhaps the same reason that most other people did: I'm a Doctor Who fan and Sarah Jane Smith is probably my favourite companion. When I'm feeling sad, I like to watch her episodes to make myself feel better. (Okay, I admit, I'm a fan of The Sarah Jane Adventures too. Haven't watched K9 and Company yet though.) For this reason, I didn't find it disappointing that this book contains so l ...more
Mar 03, 2014 Taksya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sono di parte, terribilmente di parte. Ho conosciuto Liz Sladen come Sarah Jane la prima volta che Doctor Who arrivò in Italia, nel 1980, e da allora è la mia companion preferita. In seguito l'ho vista in altre produzioni, ma DW resta il punto di riferimento, così come è il punto focale della biografia. Partendo dai suoi primi passi nel mondo del teatro, fino al ritorno in tv con la serie dedicata al suo personaggio in DW, la Sladen ripercorre i periodi felici e quelli più difficili della sua ca ...more
Adam Stone
Sep 27, 2012 Adam Stone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography was written during the last couple of years of the actress’s life and was published shortly after her death in 2011 to much acclaim.

The book isn't just about her time working in Doctor Who but also talks about her early life growing up in Liverpool and her early years as an actress in the theatre working with all sorts of people included Dame Helen Mirren and was tipped more like to make it than she was, and her early television career which included appearan
M Christopher
May 07, 2013 M Christopher rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography-memoir
I finished this book some time ago and have been so busy that I've not posted...

Elisabeth Sladen, for all that she enjoyed a strong stage career in the UK prior to "retiring" to motherhood, is universally remembered as Sarah Jane Smith, companion to the Third and Fourth Doctors on Doctor Who. Sarah Jane is perhaps the most beloved of the Doctor's many companions. She was the first of the Doctor's "assistants" to be an effectively strong female character (Dr. Liz Shaw was conceived in that manner
Sean Kennedy
Jan 15, 2012 Sean Kennedy rated it really liked it
This is a must have for any Who fan, or really, just if you had any love at all for Sarah Jane Smith and the actress who played her - the seemingly immortal Elisabeth Sladen.

Only finished months before she died, it is hard to read this autobiography without a sense of sadness at knowing she is gone. Her book is very in the moment, with a sense of now, as if she is reading it to you while making corrections. It is possible she may have had a ghostwriter helping her, as so many actor and celebrity
James Perkins
Jan 28, 2012 James Perkins rated it it was amazing
Fans of Doctor Who were saddened last year to hear of the death of Elisabeth Sladen, one of its most popular actresses, who had been playing companion Sarah Jane Smith on and off since 1973, appeared in the modern revival of the programme, and had recently been given her own spin-off show, The Sarah Jane Adventures. Before she passed away, she completed writing her life story. It paints a picture of a smart, witty, and amiable woman, who was modest about her abilities, yet talented enough to enj ...more
Безусловно, это сокровищница для любого почитателя whoniverse, особенно олдскула. Грандиозное полотно, на котором Лиз обозначила свой жизненный путь, постоянно пересекающийся с Who самым потрясающим образом.

Первые главы хронологически отслеживают путь юной Слейден на театральную сцену, историю ее семьи и служат иллюстрацией того, сколько в этой чудесной женщине профессионализма и в какой-то степени перфекционизма, а ее любовь к своему ремеслу безгранична. Во второй трети Лиз рассказывает о том,
Aug 21, 2012 Emma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I wasn't sure what to expect when reading this autobiography, but I have to say I really enjoyed it.
I found the writing style so easy and friendly as if she was just telling you a story face to face.
I zoomed throught this book within a couple of days as I just found it so interesting. even though I read it due to being a fan of Doctor Who, I discovered I was more interested in her work in the theatre and starting out in the world she wanted to be a part of. though I understand why she dedicated
Feb 17, 2012 Charlotte rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
I picked this book up in December, just before Christmas. Since 2005, when I started watching Doctor Who, I have been a massive fan. The modern Who series provoked my father into nostalgia, and so he went around and bough many classic DVDs. Most of these happened to be Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen episodes. I was also a huge fan of The Sarah Jane Adventures, which I'd watch with my younger siblings whenever they aired.

So when she died, there was obviously distress in my household. My father, o
Nicole-Anne Keyton
Jan 12, 2012 Nicole-Anne Keyton rated it it was amazing
Reading about Elisabeth Sladen has brought back the tears I forgot I still had for her. I learned a lot more about her, not just from her times on Doctor Who, but before and after that, and even some times in between. What I absolutely love about this book is that Lis did NOT omit her association with Doctor Who, and that's the part of the book I was itching to get to when I first cracked it open. Lis is quite hilarious, and her jokes written throughout made me ache with endless laughter. And my ...more
Apr 16, 2013 Leilani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Lots of behind-the-scenes Who stories, written with grace and liveliness. The early sections described her theater career in great detail; clearly work and memories she loved. When she gets to Doctor Who, it's clear she and Jon Pertwee had a bit of trouble adjusting to each other's very different styles, and she immediately loved working with Tom Baker, but then after they all left the show, Tom Baker pretty much disappears from the book, while she and Pertwee become much better friends on the c ...more
Manfred Wendler
Sep 15, 2014 Manfred Wendler rated it really liked it
Autobiography of the actress Elizabeth Sladen who would, of course, go on to become Sarah Jane Smith, companion to Jon Pertwee's and Tom Baker's Doctor. Entertaining read, lots and lots of names, funny glimpses into how TV was produced in the 60s and70s. AND behind the scenes of classic Who. Of course sadness arises because she died shortly before the publishing of the book.
May 01, 2015 Elisabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: fandom, people
The book is a delight, rich with her voice, with her opinions good and bad, with her modesty. As a meta fan I adore hearing about her co-stars and the rest of the eternal Who family. I grieved with her at the passing of Jon Pertwee and Barry Letts, original Sontaran Kevin Lindsay and fellow companion Ian Marter, among others. I laughed at Jon’s melodrama and Tom’s antics, the tumult of her career, the steady chaos of her personal life. It’s a wonderful read for fans. Elisabeth Sladen – or Miller ...more
Jun 05, 2014 Pascale rated it really liked it
Just ordered. Can't wait!!!! I love that woman. She had such a nice expressive voice, especially in her audio episodes!

I discovered Doctor Who when the new series started in 2005. I had no clue who Sarah Jane was. I finally got to School Reunion episode and I watched the Sarah Jane Adventures which I really enjoyed even if it was meant for a younger audience (sometimes it feels good to skip all the violence).

I even listen to some of the radio episode recorded by Elisabeth and I loved her voice.

Roger Royer
Feb 28, 2014 Roger Royer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Doctor Who
Recommended to Roger by: Heidi gifted this to me
Shelves: autobiography
This book is amazing and written by an amazing woman. Her story is a wonderful adventure. It shows just how amazing this woman was. It is sad that the book could not be continued because of her passing and it does feel unfinished but that could also just be my wish to see her acting again.
Feb 01, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it
What a great book! Lis shares so many funny stories and special memories that only she could tell. The very beginning as she breaks into the business as a teenager is a bit slow as I recognized none of the names she mentions (except Helen Mirren, great little story there!) but the book quickly moves into her time in the classic Doctor Who series. It's fantastic to learn about how they made it happen and her perspective as an actor on their stage and screen work. "School Reunion" is one if my ver ...more
Jan 08, 2013 Kris added it
Fantastic book- The foreword from David Tennant summed up many people's feelings when Liz Sladen passed away... She was part of your childhood- a friendly face on teatime tv. The book tells of her beginnings on the stage and then her audition for Doctor Who when Jon Pertwee was the time lord, through her "wilderness years" after the show and her eventual return along side a giddy David Tennant (who worshipped her as a kid!). Upon completing the book you are left with a feeling of loss, but also ...more
Nov 18, 2015 E rated it really liked it
Arguably the best Dr. Who companion and a wonderful person. It's a shame she died so early. I loved reading this book and recommend for every fan of Dr. Who.
Tricia Brady
Mar 09, 2014 Tricia Brady rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down. Full of interesting stories about life in English theatre and television, and of course Doctor Who. Epilogue made me cry.
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Elisabeth Sladen played Sarah Jane Smith. She appeared as a regular on Doctor Who with both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. She also appeared in the pilot for the spin-off series, K9 and Company. Most recently, she reprised her role as Sarah Jane on Doctor Who and in its spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures.
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