Marco Polo is one of the legendary ‘lost’ Doctor Who stories; during the 1970’s the BBC wiped a lot of their film stock, to make it reusable. Thankfully, the original soundtrack survived and has been released as a CD audiobook, allowing fans to listen to Hartnell’s cranky First Doctor, complete with the original music and sound-effects.
The Doctor and the Tardis-gang land in Asia, close to the camp of Marco Polo. Polo is on his way to meet Kublai Khan and extends and invitation to the time-travellers, even going so far as to carry the Tardis on a wagon. However, when the finally meet the Kublai, Polo reveals his hidden agenda; he offers the Tardis to the warlord, as a gift. How can the Doctor retrieve his transport without incurring the wrath of the Mongol hordes?
Listening to the original soundtrack is a real treat. First off, you get to hear Hartnell’s Doctor in all his crabby glory and New Who fans will see where the current Doctor has inherited some of his characteristics. The story cracks along at tremendous pace, never letting-up. In addition, the threat isn’t on a universal scale; it’s a simple ‘how do we get back to the Tardis?’ story, which is a refreshing change from the huge horrors faced by Hartnell’s older/younger counterpart.