Wednesday 8 December 2010

016 Marco Polo Part 3: Five Hundred Eyes

EPISODE: Marco Polo Part 3: Five Hundred Eyes
TRANSMITTED: 07 March 1964
WRITER: John Lucarotti
DIRECTOR: Waris Hussein
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: (1964-1965)

More narration, as Marco wonders where Tegana is. The Doctor is asleep in the Tardis when he is awoken by water dripping on him which he and Susan hurry to collect. Condensation has formed but Marco does not understand what it is, giving Ian an opportunity to explain what condensation is for the children at home. They proceed to the oasis where Tegana strings them a story about being delayed by bandits. From there they go to the way station at Tuang-Huan. Marco tells Susan, Ping-Cho & Barbara the tale of the cave of Five Hundred Eyes, where the faces of 250 evil warriors who were slain are painted. Tegana sneaks out to the cave, followed by Barbara, to meet a couple of contacts who are hiding there. They plan to attack the caravan, capture the Tardis and kill everyone. Barbara is spotted and captured giving Jacqueline Hill a chance to scream. Barbara is missed at meal time: Ian, Marco & Tegana set out to search for her. Ping Cho tells the Doctor that she thinks Barbara may have gone to the Cave of Five Hundred Eyes. Tegana's servant reveals the location to them and they travel there. The servant finds Tegana and tells him what has happened. The Doctor is fascinated by the faces carved from rock exposing the quartz structure at the eyes. Barbara's handkerchief is found and the travellers call out for her while she is held silent by one of Tegana's allies. Susan notices a pair of eyes in the cave moving and screams.

An easier episode than the last one, this held my attention a lot more.

Missing Episodes 3) Ian Levine, The Film & Video Library & BBC Enterprises Film Store

The figure of Ian Levine enters our story in 1977. A successful record producer and Doctor Who fan he negotiated with the BBC to buy some episodes. At the time the earliest episodes available to buy commercially were the Pertwee ones. He negotiated with the Writers Guild and Equity and got dispensation to buy older stories. However when he got to the BBC's Film & Video Library he discovered they held just 47 of the 253 episodes of Doctor Who broadcast in the sixties, 17 Hartnells and 30 Troughtons and just one complete story: the first. The F&VL believed they held a 48th: Part 4 of the Daleks Masterplan had been borrowed by the BBC Childrens program Blue Peter but went missing following it's use on that program. For many years when this story was told by fans with a huge error in it, substituting Tenth Planet 4, the only episode of that story missing, for Dalek Masterplan 4. To this day many people believe that the final episode of The Tenth Planet was lost by Blue Peter!

After searching the BBC Film & Video library, Ian Levine then discovered that BBC Enterprises, the division of the BBC that sold the programs abroad, also had a film store. It was here that he discovered all seven episodes of The Daleks tied together and ready to be destroyed. The Film & Video library took possession of the films adding a further 56 Hartnell Episodes and 5 Troughton episodes to the collection. Three Troughton stories had been donated to the British Film Institute and were retrieved from there. This completed 15 Hartnell stories and 5 Troughton stories with several odd episodes existing from other stories. At this point 139 episodes of Doctor Who were missing: 137 episode of 60s Doctor Who made up of 61 Hartnell episodes - including all Seven episodes of Marco Polo - and 76 Troughton episodes, plus a further two episodes from Jon Pertwee's tenure as the Doctor during the 1970s - Invasion of the Dinosaurs 1 & Death to the Daleks 1. In addition a number of Pertwee episodes only existed in Black & White. I'll look at what happened with the various Pertwee episode when we get there.

Today the number of missing episodes stands at 108, with episodes having been recovered from a variety of sources. The story of the missing Hartnell episodes and how they came to be returned/recovered will be picked up in a few weeks with Part 1 of The Reign of Terror.

Marco Polo is the longest complete story, at seven episodes, that is completely missing from the Doctor Who archives. However, if you look elsewhere in Doctor Who, there are greater numbers of consecutive missing episodes. Ten consecutive episodes are missing from Galaxy Four part 1, through Mission to the Unknown & The Myth Makers to The Dalek Masterplan 1. There's two "runs" of 13 missing episodes: Tenth Planet 4, through Power of the Daleks & The Highlanders to the second episode of the Underwater Menace, then again from Web of Fear 2 through Fury from the Deep to the second part of the Wheel In Space.

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