Medievally Speaking reviews: Marco Polo, by Dene October


Please find Minjie Su's recent review of Dene October, Marco Polo, The Black Archive 18. Edinburgh: Obverse Books, 2018, at Medievally Speaking:


Among all the missing Doctor Who episodes, Marco Polo – the fourth serial of the first season – is no doubt one of the most lamented losses. Initially aired between 22 February and 4 April 1964, the seven-episode serial is not only critically acclaimed for its beautiful costume design, careful staging and elegant (albeit slow) story-telling, but is also quite unique, in the sense that it marks Doctor Who’s first attempt at history drama, in which a historical figure takes the lead, while the alien and the sci-fi step back.

However, in a digital era as is ours, the loss of the original does not mean the story’s total disappearance. At any rate, these episodes are by no means forgotten. The past decades have seen a Marco Polo novelisation (1985) created by John Lucarotti (who was responsible for the original screenplay), fan theories and discussions, reconstruction with photographs and pictures, and the Loose Cannon reconstruction with a new introduction voiced by Mark Eden, the actor who played the title role in 1964.

Indeed, the missing Marco Polo episodes have become a component of the collective memory and a cultural phenomenon, and their ever-changing role itself a worthy subject for a cultural study. READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

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