The TARDIS materialises at the Roof of the World, Central Asia, in 1289. There they meet Marco Polo and his fellow travellers on their mammoth journey across the Pamir Plateau and through the Gobi desert to Peking. Unfortunately for the Doctor, his Ship proves to be of immense interest to Polo, who sets his mind on presenting it to the mighty Kublai Khan on arrival at his court.
But Polo isn't the only one with designs on the TARDIS. The war-like Tegana will go to any lengths to steal the magical blue box, lengths which endanger the lives of all the travellers. When the Doctor meets Kublai Khan himself, his precious Ship is his only collateral in a high-stakes game of backgammon, and Khan is a master of the game....
William Russell, Jacqueline Hill, and Carole Ann Ford co-star as the Doctor's companions, whilst Mark Eden plays the explorer Marco Polo. This story is currently missing from the BBC Television Archives.
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©2003 BBC Worldwide Ltd; (P)2003 BBC Worldwide Ltd
It is a sad fact that the BBC were somewhat careless when it came to preserving TV programs and Dr Who is no exception. There are some episodes that were saved and one might ask the question, "Why bother?". The majority of the really good stories belong firmly in the William Hartnell era and 'Marco Polo' is no exception. In some ways being able to listen to this story and having to rely on imagination is no bad thing. Scenes such as the the sandstorm in the Gobi Desert and Polo's penultimate duel with the treacherous Mongol warlord Tegana are best imagined. So, too, with the description of the interior of the Khan's summer palace at Peking. Even so, I would like to have seen the production, even at the risk of being disappointed! This audio production will not disappoint, however, if you enjoy a good story, brilliantly brought to life by an excellent ensemble cast. The linking narration helps to depict what is taking place and is not in any way intrusive. I am no historian and so do not concern myself with historical accuracy - I suspect liberties are taken here, but who is to say what is real and what isn't? Overall, this production is highly recommended so put on a pot of coffee, sit back, put your feet up and enjoy...
It really was the cast from the tv show and was a dramatisation.
The video version of this episode is not available, but this is basically an audio version of that telecast with descriptive narration added.
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