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Summary

The first Doctor, William Hartnell, and his companions join the caravan of the legendary explorer Marco Polo in this seven-part 'lost' story from the programme's original 1964 series.

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

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story!

Like many early stories, this is a little slow paced, but it's a great historical adventure. I was worried I wouldn't enjoy what is essentially an audio copy of the original TV show, but there is enough added narration to keep the story easy to follow. I really enjoyed this, and it has left me eager to buy more 'lost episode' audio books.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Philip
  • 01-08-05

Both a wonderful story and a sad loss

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...

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Carole
  • 15-04-13

Good Version

What about William Hartnell and full cast ’s performance did you like?

It really was the cast from the tv show and was a dramatisation.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

The video version of this episode is not available, but this is basically an audio version of that telecast with descriptive narration added.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eric Siglin
  • 11-08-18

Wonderful story

It is a shame the video for this story is missing. The narration helps one visualize the scenes.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jay Phoenix
  • 03-04-18

Lost Episodes, Part One

Would you consider the audio edition of Doctor Who to be better than the print version?

Being a lost episode serial of Marco Polo from Season One makes this audio book a must have for all science fiction and Doctor Who fanatics.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Doctor Who?

Everything.

Which scene was your favorite?

I don't like spoiling things so those who want to listen and find out will have to get this audio book for themselves.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to the Marco Polo episodes within the same day as the purchase date.

Any additional comments?

Doctor Who: Marco Polo was a great adventure.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Paul B. King
  • 15-10-17

Missing Doctor Who Story

Excellent story, formatted well for audio presentation. Would do well if presented in an animated format as well

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • katrine
  • 08-06-17

A great alternative

This mix of the original sounds and a voice-over provides a great opportunity for experiencing the lost stories of classic Who. If it wasn't the original sound with the actual cast I'm not sure if it would be worth it, but as it is I'm a fan, and I'm ready to explore more lost stories this way.