Marco Polo (Doctor Who #94)

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Press:Dr Who Target (April 1985)
Publication Date:1985-04
Author Name:John Lucarotti


The young Venetian Marco Polo is on his way to the Emporor's court in Peking when he meets the intrepid time-travellers, for the TARDIS has landed on Earth in the year 1289.


Science Fiction & Fantasy,Science Fiction

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Comment List (Total:3)

  •     I was hoping for a detailed written version of the missing episodes of Doctor Who - I was disappointed. From what I can tell the author wrote this from memory of the episode and forgot a lot.
  •     The Doctor Who serial "Marco Polo" is novelised by its original writer, John Lucarotti. He chooses to follow the obvious path: a direct translation of a television story to the written word.The story is based on a simple premise: the TARDIS materialises in the Himalayas and the travellers meet up with Marco Polo and his caravan. Marco wants to return to Venice, but Kublai Khan won't allow him. He thinks that, if he presents the mysterious TARDIS to the great Kahn he may be allowed to return home.So, a reasonably large proportion of the story involves the Doctor, and to a lesser extent Susan, Ian and Barbara, trying to regain possession of their ship. However, it is also concerned with Marco Polo and two of his travelling companions: Ping-Cho, a young girl engaged to be married to a man she has never met at the Khan's court, and the warlord Tegana, servant of the Khan Nogai, an enemy of Kublai Khan supposedly on a peace mission.In the original format of Doctor Who, the stories were meant to contain a substantial educative component. This one does, delighting in a variety of moderately obscure facts, perhaps the most interesting of which surround the Hashashins (or Assassins, as we would say), a political force who gain power through terror and the threat of assassination.The story is, in essence, a road trip for the travellers who eventually end up in the court of the great Khan, where the Doctor endeavours to regain the TARDIS in a game of backgammon. But on the way, there are a variety of adventures and odd happenings.I suspect that this story would have worked better in its original form, but sadly the BBC have destroyed all tapes of the serial this book is based upon. It makes a reasonably engaging, if almost entirely unchallenging, read.
  •     The writing was not very memorable. It did not really elaborate on the plot or offer any additional insights or twists from what was presented in the TV series version. But it's Doctor Who so hey, if you are a completest, then this is for you. The character depth is minimal - as it is with most of these earlier Dr. Who books that were adapted from television episodes. If you didn't get a chance to watch the TV version then this gives a good, if basic, accounting of the plot. If you are looking for something that expands on the plot or explores the character's thoughts then you would be disappointed.

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