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William Hartnell: The Lost Stories - MARCO POLO

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Author Topic: William Hartnell: The Lost Stories - MARCO POLO  (Read 294 times)
Vampyros Adric
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« on: November 21, 2010, 06:31:08 pm »

If, as I, you have been teased and tormented by elderly Whovians with tales of missing stories and how they are gone forever, fear not, help is at hand. A few years ago my Uncle told me how he used to tape the soundtrack of Dr Who off the TV and send it to his penpal in Canada. It seems other people did the same and there are, in existence, soundtracks of pretty much all of the Doctor Who episodes. The good people at BBC Audio, lead by a fine fella called Mark Ayres, got hold of these, cleaned them up, added some linking narration by an old companion and released them on CD.

In the next few weeks I will be posting topics on each of these missing classic soundtracks and will welcome your comments and thoughts on them. I will try to do them in order, and of course please feel free to beat me to the punch and post your review first...



MARCO POLO

This is the first of the Classic Missing Stories and follows the Doctor and his companions as they journey with Marco Polo (played by the wonderfully protean Mark Eden) heading for the palace of Kublai Khan. Each episode is set in a different location along the journey, tangling with malevolent warlords and the threat of losing the TARDIS hanging over the Doctor. What we have in this story is a show really finding it's feet and the characters becoming comfortable with their dynamic. The script, written by John Lucarotti, is excellent and the story lasts remarkably well over 7 stories. The linking narration is provided by William Russell (who plays companion Ian Chesterton for those not familiar with the Classic Series) and the soundtrack is marked by a real atmosphere. For those looking to dip into Classic Who and want to know what the fuss was about Doctor No. 1 then this is an excellent entry point.

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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2010, 07:52:56 am »

The Lost Stories is an absolutely gorgeous collection of audios and I can't wait to hear your take on them. I've not listened to them all yet but may tie it in with your reviews. The second set is out soon too so you'll have loads to get through.
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2010, 02:37:34 pm »

Its been ages since I listened to Marco Polo so I popped it on last night as I was working and what a little treat. The script has a real 'charming' quality to it and the acting is actually amazing. It almost works as a radio play (the real shame is that we can't enjoy Barry Newberry's magical sets). Having reviewed the audio adventure, Seasons of Fear elsewhere on this section, I must say how well the multi location approach worked in both stories. It is a plot device that gives the story a flexibility and dynamism which is sometimes missing. Each location provides a little more character development and I was particularly impressed by Carole Ann Ford (who plays Susan) and the way in which she develops. This is a genuinely wonderful piece of the Whoniverse and a great way to burn a couple of hours.
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2010, 06:52:37 pm »

Absolutely brilliant audio adventure and probably the one I 'miss' the most. I think I would like to see this one the most out of all the lost stories and the audio is so good it just makes me want to see it even more
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 01:13:42 am »

I'd rate this as possibly the best DW historical of all time.  Although it's seven episodes, it doesn't feel at all overlong, and the pace and colour are maintained throughout.  I'd rate this as possibly the second best of the lost stories.
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 08:45:16 pm »

It's just such a shame that it will probably never be seen again. I would have absolutely loved to have seen it
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