Thursday 9 December 2010

017 Marco Polo Part 4: The Wall of Lies

EPISODE: Marco Polo Part 4: The Wall of Lies
TRANSMITTED: 14 March 1964
WRITER: John Lucarotti
DIRECTOR: John Crockett
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: (1964-1965)

Marco finds where the Doctor has gone and leaves with Ian for the cave. The Doctor doubts Susan has seen the eyes move when they meet Tegana, closely followed by Marco & Ian, who deduces there's a room behind the cave wall. The door to the room opens and they are attacked by a warrior who they defeat to rescue Barbara. Marco & Tegana argue about travelling with the Tardis crew. Barbara tells Marco about Tegana who denies having been to the cave before. Tegana overhears Susan & Ping Cho talking and discovers there is a spare Tardis key. Ping Cho spots a flaw in something Tegana said but Marco will not believe her. Tegana plots the slaughter of the travellers with an ally. The Doctor works on the broken circuit, while Ian talks with Marco. Tegana enters and tells Marco that the Doctor is at work in the Tardis via a second key, which Tegana takes from him by force. The Doctor bluffs that putting the key in the lock will destroy the Tardis. Marco has the Tardis crew taken prisoner. Ian wants to escape from confinement, and they plot to capture Marco and seize a key back. Ian cuts his was into Marco's tent with a broken plate, tackling the guard but finding that he's already dead.

This story is an up and down experience so far for me: I've liked the odd numbered episodes but the even numbered ones have left me cold.

Episode 4 is the only episode of Marco Polo not directed by Waris Hussein, John Crockett is in the chair instead. It seems to be a common thing in first year of Doctor Who to give a director new to the series a single or couple of episodes before unleashing them on a complete story: see the shared responsibility for the Daleks, Edge of Destruction & Planet of Giants for other examples. John Crockett would return ten weeks later to direct The Aztecs, which is his only other work on Doctor Who.

Missing Episodes 4) John Cura's Telesnap Photos

Photographer John Cura had a business in the 1950s & 60s taking photos from television programs to provide the makers with a permanent record of their work. These remained forgotten for many years but were gradually rediscovered from the mid 1980s onwards. Several stories that were missing from the BBC's libraries exist in the Telesnap format so they've become very popular as the only way of seeing what these missing stories looked like.

Telesnaps from The Power of The Daleks were first printed in Doctor Who:The Early Years by Jeremy Bentham and over the years many other stories have had their telesnaps printed in several publications. Doctor Who magazine has serialised several stories worth of telesnaps over the years.

For many years no Telesnaps from Marco Polo were known to exists: None were found in the BBC's written archive, the source of many of the pictures that exist today. However in 2003 Six of the Seven episodes of Marco Polo were acquired from the director, Waris Hussein, who had kept copies. As we've already said the fourth episode, for which no telesnaps are known to exist, was overseen by a different director, John Crockett who died some years previously.

Several sets of telesnaps can be found at The BBC's Classic Doctor Who Website, but unfortunately they don't have the set for Marco Polo displayed.

No comments:

Post a Comment