Marco Polo

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Story Code: D / Season 1 UK Airdate: 22 Feb to 4 Apr 1964 Doctor: William Hartnell
First airings by location UK Repeats / Foreign Cable and Satellite Previous Story / Next Story

This story aired in the following countries. They are listed in chronological order according to known airdate. If no month is noted, the actual airdate is not confirmed, and is a close approximate. (Refer also to Selling Doctor Who for expanded airdates.)

New Zealand film can for episode 7 (with thanks to Graham Howard)
Australia Apr 65 b/w
Canada May 65 b/w
Singapore Jul 65 b/w
Gibraltar Jul 65 b/w
Malta Aug 65 b/w
Aden Oct 65 b/w
Nigeria Nov 65 b/w
Rhodesia / Zimbabwe Dec 65 b/w
Zambia Jan 66 b/w
Trinidad & Tobago Jan 66 b/w
Bermuda Mar 66 b/w
Uganda Apr 66 b/w
Jamaica Jun 66 b/w
Cyprus Jun 66 b/w
Ghana Jul 66? b/w
Barbados Jul 66 b/w
Hong Kong Aug 66 b/w
Kenya Sep 66 b/w
New Zealand Oct 66 b/w
Thailand Dec 66 b/w
Mauritius Jan 67 b/w
Sierra Leone Jul 67 b/w
Ethiopia Jan 71 b/w
  • The TV serial was based in part on an 18-part radio serial written by John Lucarotti for Canada's CBC.
  • Marco Polo holds the distinction of being the first complete story ever to be repeated; it was first replayed in Sydney, Australia in 1965/66, and repeated in other regions later.
  • The story was not dubbed for screening in any Spanish or Arabic language countries. And like The Reign of Terror, The Crusade and The Time Meddler, the negatives were not kept.
  • At least seven sets of prints were struck and bicycled to provide for all 23 countries (see Bicycling Chains).
    • Cyprus sent its prints to Hong Kong.
    • Episodes one and two were sent from New Zealand to Iran as "Audition" prints on 20 October 1967. Although Iran did ultimately purchase the series, Marco Polo was not part of the package that was on offer, as it could not be supplied with a "Music / Effects" only soundtrack.
      • NOTE: If New Zealand was able to supply audition prints, we can deduce that by 1967, Aden (a country relatively close to Iran) and all those countries in Africa who had aired it, no longer held any copies of the series?
  • The empty film can for the New Zealand print of episode seven was found in a TVNZ film storage facility in 1989.
  • See Hartnell Junkings

US TV Guide descriptions (1960s Hartnells on CBC)

More Information

  • Episode 1: Dr. Who and his passengers search for food on the Pamir Plateau in Central Asia.
  • Episode 2: While investigating the strange carvings on the wall of a cave, Barbara is captured by a band known as the Assassins.
  • Episode 3: (no blurb)
  • Episode 4: Marco Polo is tricked into capturing Dr. Who's spaceship.
  • Episode 5: Marco Polo's caravan is attacked by Mongol bandits.
  • Episode 6: Dr. Who and his passengers meet Kublai Khan.
  • Episode 7: Tegana, a Mongol warlord, tries to kill Ian.