Everything you ever wanted to know about Marco Polo but were afraid to ask

What are people’s opinions of Doctor Who’s fabled historical which has the unfortunate accolade of being the first set of missing episodes?

I’ll be honest and say that I struggle to enjoy this one - although I can see how wonderful the production itself was.

Click on this link to find out all there is to see about this story online

I love Marco Polo! It has its faults, mostly due to the time in which it was made, but I find the story compelling. I read the Target book when it first came out and have subsequently enjoyed the audio and several different versions of the reconstruction. I still hold out hope that one day some, or all of it will resurface. I know that that possibility gets less and less likely as time goes by, but there were so many copies struck that it seems bizarre that all of them were destroyed when so many of its contemporaries survived.

We can at least hope it will get the animation treatment eventually.

For me some of the faults aren’t really to do with when it was made but more the rather repetitive structure and the fact that, for seven episodes, the main character of the show is suddenly Marco Polo rather than the Doctor. The obvious villainy of Tegana being ignored by everyone except Barbara really grates on me and the fact the TARDIS crew play no part whatsoever in his defeat rankles.

But next time I’m in the mood for a Hartnell historical, I will no doubt give it a whirl and may find it works for me a little more. I’m a big advocate of revisiting stories even if you think you don’t like them because very often you notice things, or your different mood, allows you to appreciate it in a different way.

Absolutely. Your mood when you watch definitely affects your enjoyment. I love the historicals and I wish that they’d made more of them, even though I know that they weren’t popular. You’re right that the regulars don’t affect the plot all that much, but they are engaged in the quest to get the TARDIS back and to get away, which was enough involvement to keep my attention. I probably give it a pass because I loved the novelisation so much, but I still think that it’s an engaging story.

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I’m actually in the process of watching a fan made animation of this one with my partner that I found on YouTube (https://youtube.com/@MMF294) and while it’s not my favorite, I’ll forever be sad that it’s missing for the costumes and sets alone

(I really don’t want to subject my partner to loose cannon, but they want to watch all the episodes)

Blimey - they’re brave!

I rather like the Loose Cannon reconstruction, especially the one based on the telesnaps, but the artwork on that animation looks beautiful!

Loose cannon not bad for the telesnaps. They also have a 30min condense version if you want a little taste of it and do not want to suffer through 7 episodes.


I’ve watched them all before, and I applaud what they managed to do with what they had, but for me they hurt to watch more than anything

I enjoy this one and, while not a favorite, really wish they’d either find or animate this one.

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I was not that big off a fan off it when I saw it. But that might be beccose i was not used to telesnaps yet. It might be better on a rewatch.

I listened to the BBC audio soundtrack with linking narration. Maybe that would work better.