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"Doctor Who", Marco Polo: Marco Polo Audio CD – Audiobook, Nov 3 2003


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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A thrilling early adventure of our favorite Time Traveller May 11 2011
By Eric Noble - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I was introduced to the wonder of Doctor Who through the current series (2005 on). Since then, I have started watching every adventure from the very beginning. Unfortunately, many of the early adventures that were filmed were scrapped by the BBC (morons). However, there is hope. The BBC still has the audio, which they've made into audio books. Playing like a mixture of an audiobook and a radio play, we obsessive fans of the Time Lord can now experience these treasures.

Marco Polo is the earliest of these missing adventures. This was the fourth story broadcast, and it's a damn good one. Although there are no aliens, it is a thrilling journey in 13th century China. I do enjoy the historical stories (The Aztecs being one of my favorite stories so far). This story had me on the edge of my seat, wondering what will happen next. This story has plenty of intrigue, political and otherwise. I always felt that the best Doctor Who stories deal with how humans interact with each other, the camaraderie and tension we build. In fact, that is at the heart of all great drama. This story is wonderful, everybody doing a terrific job at portraying their characters. The only part that made me cringe was the role of the hotel owner. It was such a blatant Chinese stereotype. I know I shouldn't judge it by today's standards, but it still made me shake my head. Either than that, this is an essential listen for fans of the First Doctor, and of Doctor Who in general. Happy Listenings.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Missing Episodes Begin April 14 2010
By Grateful Jerry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is Story #4 and the first not only to have a missing episode but the entire story is missing from the BBC film vault. Kind of odd considering that this was one of the most sold abroad of the '60's stories. It was also only in the last few years that photos from some of the missing episodes turned up. This also is the first "proper historical" of the show's run. This show has achived almost legendary statis among fan for it's then visual effects so how does it translate to audio? Quite well actually. The sound remastered from off air fan recordings turns out to be very nice and William Russel (who played Ian Chesterton) does a wonderful job of narrarting and the story itself has a nice big feel to it. If you're a First Doctor fan, you'll want to hear this.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A rare gem Feb. 11 2009
By MSC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Considering that we will probably never get to see the actual episodes, this is as good as it gets. It's almost like listening to old radio plays. The narrative added to complete the "missing" bits helps to visualize what we cannot see.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Only Way You're Going To Hear the Whole Doctor Who Story #4 July 18 2010
By prussianette - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a previous reviewer has stated, if you actually want to get to "see" a condensed version of this seven episode story then you must buy the "The Beginning Collection" DVD and view the 30 minute or so collection of photos with corresponding audio from the episodes. However, to "hear" the ENTIRE seven episodes, you must buy this CD collection. There is no product currently available to hear and see the entire seven episodes (and there won't be unless someone suddenly discovers some long lost tape(s) in their attic or archive).

The sound is good on this collection, not "scratchy" at all and is very clear. On my 5.1 surround sound system, "most" of the sound comes out of the right front speaker, but due to the clarity of sound and the fact we are dealing with an almost 50 year old sound track, that is not an issue with me. The narration is a plus as at least you can keep track of what is happening, especially when people do not speak for a while.

One thing the other reviews do not mention (maybe they didn't realize) is that CD 1 is actually a data disc--plays the episodes in your CD player, but on your laptop/PC, you can also get a copy of the audio script and a pdf map of the route taken during the couse of these episodes.
Epic Historical March 23 2015
By Adam Graham, Superhero and Detective Fiction Author - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"Marco Polo" is the fourth Dr. Who Serial and ran seven episodes from February to April 4 and follows after the events of "The Edge of Destruction" which left the TARDIS damaged and finds the Doctor and the TARDIS crew (Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright, and Susan Foreman) stranded on top of a snow capped mountain and in danger of freezing to death. However, they encounter several Chinese as well as a Mongol warlord named Tagama who wants them killed. However, the Chinese are led by Marco Polo who saves them and treats them kindly. However, they quickly find that Polo's motives are not entirely pure: He wants to give the TARDIS to Kublia Khan in hopes of securing his own return home to Venice. However, the warlord Tegana has designs on TARDIS of his own.

The audio is narrated by William Russell (who played Chesterton in the series) who shares bits of action that the soundtrack can't pick up. These bits are minor. In some ways, being in an audio format helps this series as the setting is quite ambitious with luscious and ornate Oriental settings.

This serial also seemed reminiscent in its slower pacing of radio serials I've listened from the 1940s and '50s which often had more deliberate pacing overall with cliffhangers built in to keep the audience's attention.

The character of Marco Polo makes this story unique from many early serials. While in other programs like "The Aztecs, " characters like Tegana scheme and turn initial allies of the TARDIS crew into enemies, this is a lot more complex as Polo is enlightened. He isn't superstitious, bloodthirsty, and works to save the crew despite requests to kill them. His broad experiences have made him willing to consider anything including their claim that the TARDIS is a flying caravan, which is why he stole it. He feels bad about it too. Polo's moral struggle really does create some solid dramatic tension.

Less interesting is the overused trope of the girl about to enter into an arranged marriage that doesn't want to do it, and the convenient plot device used to resolve it, though they did do a decent job making the character likable and someone you care about.

This is a fun historical adventure serial. It works well with the audio format and for now, it's the only way to encounter the classic Marco Polo story line unless you want to read the novelization.


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