Often touted as the missing 1960s Doctor Who story that fans would most love to see returned to the archives, Marco Polo still exists as an off-air audio soundtrack. Digital technology has enabled the recordings to be cleaned and enhanced. Now, thanks to Demon Records, the seven-part historical adventure set in the 13th Century, starring William Hartnell as the First Doctor, is to be released on 4 x 140g Desert Sandstorm Vinyl from 11th September 2020.
When the TARDIS breaks down in Central Asia, its occupants are met by the explorer Marco Polo. The year is 1289, and Marco is crossing the Gobi desert to Peking, for an audience with the emperor Kublai Khan. Marco sets his mind on offering the TARDIS as a gift to the Khan, despite the Doctor’s protests. The time travellers must endure a long journey, fraught with danger, as they join Marco’s caravan in the company of the treacherous warlord, Tegana. Can the Doctor ever win back his magical blue box?
Presented across 4 x 140g vinyl, with an etched TARDIS Side B, this 1964 TV soundtrack – no episodes of which survive as film recordings – is narrated by William Russell, who co-stars with Jacqueline Hill and Carole Ann Ford as the Doctor’s companions Ian, Barbara and Susan. Coronation Street’s Mark Eden co-stars as Marco Polo himself, with Derren Nesbitt and Zienia Merton among the supporting cast. Incidental music is composed by Tristram Cary, and the familiar strains of the Doctor Who theme are courtesy of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
The coloured vinyl LPs are presented in fully illustrated sleeves which, when assembled together, form the cover image. Original episode billings, and full cast and credits, are also supplied.