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Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography
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Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography

4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  315 ratings  ·  71 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...more
Hardcover, 346 pages
Published December 2nd 2011 by Aurum Press Ltd (first published 2011)
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52nd out of 211 books — 15 voters
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(showing 1-30 of 901)
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Michael
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...more
Mel
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
Alistair
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...more
Vanessa
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...more
Andrea
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...more
Gareth
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.
Leisa
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
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
annik
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,...more
Nicholas Whyte
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1857495...

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...more
Taksya
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
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...more
M Christopher
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...more
Sean Kennedy
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...more
James Perkins
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
Emma
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...more
Charlotte
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...more
Nicole-Anne Keyton
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
Leilani
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
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.
Pascale
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.

I...more
Roger Royer
Feb 28, 2014 Roger Royer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Ben
I think this is my first time reading an autobiography, so it was hard as a genre to get into, but I was very quickly immersed in this book. Not only did it remind me of my favourite Doctor Who memories, it also shattered some others, such as the controlling behaviour of Jon Pertwee, the Third Doctor and his 'bitchy' attitude towards his successor, Tom Baker.

The epilogue was truly emotionally devastating, having been written by Lis' husband and daughter after she died and I have to admit I did...more
Sara
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
Kris
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
Tricia Brady
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.
Matt Randall
This was a great (and sad) read! Sladen reveals what it was like to be on the set of Doctor Who and tells some very interesting stories about her time on the show. If you love Sarah Jane Smith, you'll really enjoy her thoughts on the show and her character. She completed the final draft only months before she died, which puts a layer of melancholy over the whole book. That doesn't mean it's not funny, though. The only thing I felt missing was a few chapters on The Sarah Jane Adventures. She does...more
Jenna
In general I'm not one for biographies, but I was desperate to get my hands on this one, and I can happily say that it's not something I regret picking up. The little stories she had to tell were fascinating and amusing, and I liked that at the same time, she was respecting the privacy of some of the people who were mentioned, and didn't tell anything to embarrass anyone. Her great love and respect for Doctor Who and it's fans, despite not being a fan of sci-fi is beautiful, and the nearer I got...more
Philip
Jan 30, 2014 Philip added it
This is a *fun* book. Lots of stories about growing up with the acting bug, and of chancing into Dr. Who as a companion, of gravel quarries, of the Doctors she worked with, and of saving the world (well, England that is, the rest of world just happens to be attached) many times over. Yay Sarah Jane Smith! Positive, hopeful, enthusiastic in tone, this was a good read.
Stephen Henning
Great book. Elisabeth Sladen comes across as a likeable, engaging and modest actress. I found it fascinating to read her insights into television making in the 1970s and 80s, and to find out more about her as a person. If you're a fan of Doctor Who, I'd say this is a must-have. But then if you are a Doctor Who fan, I'm sure you have it already.

I didn't grow up with Sarah Jane as the Doctor's companion. I just missed her. But I've enjoyed her stuff on DVD, and the actress's sad untimely death mad...more
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363119
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.
More about Elisabeth Sladen...
The Thirteenth Stone (The Sarah Jane Adventures) The Glittering Storm (Sarah Jane Adventures) The Ghost House (Sarah Jane Adventures) The Time Capsule (Sarah Jane Adventures) The Shadow People (Sarah Jane Adventures)

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