Pull To Open
Pull To Open
Big Trouble in Ancient China (Traversing “Marco Polo”)

Big Trouble in Ancient China (Traversing “Marco Polo”)

Often when Doctor Who visits Earth’s past, a lot is made of whether the characters can “change” history or not. Outcomes vary, but it’s oddly refreshing to look back on the series’ first historical, Marco Polo, where the question never comes up. Instead, the story creates stakes by thrusting the TARDIS team smack in the middle of the rivalries, duplicity and politics of quasi-real events in history, and letting the drama naturally unfold. At seven episodes, it’s a gradual unfolding — and some accounting for the time it was made is a given — but even if you don’t grade on a curve, Marco Polo sets a strong standard for Doctor Who historicals, missing or not.

Commentary for Marco Polo begins at 21:21.

Color reconstruction of Marco Polo (audio combined with telesnaps and audio) at DailyMotion.

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Story Essentials

  • Season 1, Serial 4

  • Story number: 4, per the The Pull To Open Codex

  • Writer: John Lucarotti

  • Director: Waris Hussein (1–3, 5–7), John Crockett (4)

  • Producer: Verity Lambert

  • Aired 22 February – 4 April 1964

Pull To Open: Marco Polo

  • Season 4

  • Episode 21

Hosts: ⁠⁠Pete Pachal⁠⁠ and ⁠⁠Chris Taylor⁠⁠

Music: Martin West/⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Thinking Fish⁠

Pull To Open
Pull To Open
There are many Doctor Who podcasts. Only one dares review the entire show... in entirely random order!
Join journalists Pete Pachal and Chris Taylor as they summarize stories in record time, play the Whomoji game, enter the History Corner, answer the Four Questions to Doomsday, and cower in fear before the almighty Randomizer.
New episode every Saturday!