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Doctor Who: Marco Polo (Doctor Who Library (Target) #94)

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  274 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Novelization of the Doctor Who TV episodes/story of the same name.

As the TARDIS lands on a remote mountainside, the power fails and leaves the Doctor and his companions stranded without heat or water. They are rescued by the Venetian traveller Marco Polo, who tells them it is the year 1289. They join Marco's caravan travelling to the Great Kublai Khan's palace in Peking. A
Paperback, 144 pages
Published April 11th 1985 by Target Books, W.H. Allen (first published April 1st 1985)
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The meeting of two iconic explorers!


The First Doctor

Companions: Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright


Cathay (former name of China)

Year: 1289


After suffering a malfunction on the TARDIS, the First Doctor and his companions traveled in a caravan lead by Marco Polo.

This is the novelization of the fourth story arc in the TV series which is was written by the same author of the screenplay used on the TV series. (Actually, John Lucarotti wrote the three novelizati
This is the novelisation of the 1964 Doctor Who serial of the same name. Lucarotti wrote the original TV script too. The story is one of many early Who stories which were literally thrown out by the UK so this novelisation is now one of the best ways to 'see' the story.

I was surprised to find I rather enjoyed it. In my head, Marco Polo was a dull story where nothing happened and with not much going for it. I was mostly wrong.

I have to concede that in many ways this is quite dull. The novelisati
Marco Polo is a purely historical adventure, one that is lost from the BBC archives. The only way to experience it is through a few surviving clips, photos, the audio, and this novelization.

There weren't many sci-fi elements in the historical stories of the 60's, and the Doctor and his companions Ian, Barbara, and Susan don't usually influence the stories much. Mostly they're there as (often unwilling) observers.

In the earliest stories, the TARDIS crew usually get swept up into events because o
I must admit to a certain ammount of reservation reading Marco Polo, there was so much racism in Talons of Weng Chiang that I really wasn't expecting very much of this. But like the Aztecs I was pleasantly surprised. There were very few Chinese cliches at all, indeed most of the characters were European and Mongols. But it was interesting to have an adventure take months of traveling, rather than all over in a matter of minutes or hours. I liked that Pingo Chou and Susan devloped a really close ...more
One of the better historical yarns from the Hartnell era. Since the original episodes are all missing it was nice to get some decent descriptions of the locales and the events in the story. One nice tidbit: the Doctor mentions the first Emperor Terracot warrior statues to Marco Polo which weren't discovered until 1974...ten years after the original show was broadcast (the book was published in the 1980's)! It would have been cool if it was mentioned in the TV show but, alas, it was not.
Daniel Kukwa
Some "Doctor Who" novelists can swing violently between excellence & disappointment when it comes to adapting the TV stories to print...even when they are adapting their own scripts. Great authors like Malcolm Hulke can go from the heights of "The Doomsday Weapon" to the low that is "The War Games". John Lucarotti himself isn't immune to this affliction -- his novelization of his best story, "The Aztecs", is rather wet compared to the fantastic television episodes. Yet with "Marco Polo" he m ...more
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]Doctor Who - Marco Polo is certainly the best of John Lucarotti's three Who books (the other two being Doctor Who - The Aztecs and Doctor Who - The Massacre). Possibly the need to be fairly concise - cutting down from a seven episode story, rather than writing up from four - made a difference. It's a cracking good story anyway, and the fact that we have only sound rather than video records of it makes Lucarotti's presentation all the ...more
Christian Petrie
This is one of those epic Doctor Who stories, that is now lost as the BBC wiped it. Unfortunately, this book does not cover the grandeur as it should. You get the feel for the story from this, but being seven part episode the Target page restriction hampers it from being an epic story. Probably will see more examples of this, in future books.
The book is still enjoyable, but you can sense there is more to it. There are a couple of times John Lucarotti gives details, that if he was able to do this
Steven Poore
The first (if you don't count An Unearthly Child, which I don't) proper historical adventure in the Tardis. The original serial is now lost by the British Barbarian Corporation, so this is the first time I've been able to follow this adventure. And rather good it is too, if a little too reliant on moving from village to village and town to town as the Doctor tries and fails to negotiate the return of his Tardis. Looking at it with the benefit of hindsight, the Beeb's intent to educate as well as ...more
Jamie Birnie
This book is a great, interesting novel by John Lucarotti but at points it does drag on the story. Would reccomend to any Hartnell lovers.
I really enjoyed this novel. It's an adaptation of the Doctor Who adventure Marco Polo from the 1st series of the programme. I've never seen the original television episodes but if the characters and story are as entertaining as the novel then it could easily be one of my favourites.

This is the first novelisation of a Doctor Who television adventure that I've enjoyed as a novel. The previous First Doctor novelisations I'd read either didn't fit in with the TV continuity (The Daleks) or were too
Amber Baker
Quite an interesting story. I rather enjoyed it.
I love the original Doctor Who series. I think it is great. This is the novelization of one of the lost episodes. I don't usually like novelizations but this was one of the better ones. I thought the story was fairly engaging. It got a little iffy when trying to add in a love story between the two youngest guest stars. The resolution was arrived at a little hap hazardly but thats about on par with how the resolutions happen in the show.
Great story that has the Tardis crew getting dragged along on Marco Polos journey and then getting mixed up in court intrigue at the palace of Kublai Kahn.

One of the best of the pure historical TV episodes. Not to be used as a source for a school term paper, but a fun story and a good way to get a kids interest in the history started.

Shame they stopped doing the historicals. Some of them were a lot of fun.

I will have to admit that I don't really like this story of the First Doctor. Not just because it is a reconstruction, but also because of all the padding. Seven episodes are not really needed for this. Thankfully, this book eliminated most of the padding while keeping the story intact, resulting in a much quicker read than I was expecting.
Emily Ellis
my student found this at goodwill and lent it to me. I was pleased since I've never seen the original serial. It dragged on a bit in the middle, but there were some cool historical details, like the origin of the phrase "checkmate" in chess, and a description of Kublai Khan's summer palace (the "stately pleasure dome" in Xanadu).
It's really unfortunate that this serial was lost. So many of the scenes must have been great fun to watch! That being said, there surely would have been many stretches which would have been tedious.
I love these novelizations, but this one dragged on a bit. I love the characters (and how ridiculous they are), and this one kind of rode roughshod over them to add more plot points.
Twists and turns and intrigue! All I could think of, though, was Coleridge's poem. I was looking for pleasure-domes at every turn.
Dave Lefevre
A pale version of a great Doctor Who story. A worthy read to get an idea of how great this lost serial mush have been.
Iain Hamilton
This must have been fantastic in the original transmission. Such a shame it is missing. Really enjoyed. A delight.
My fav first Doctor book - and the only version left available after the episode was lost.
Absolutely stunning; it makes it hard to imagine how this story was ever translated to the screen.
Found it boring as a kid.
2 1/2 stars.
Christina Miskey
Christina Miskey marked it as to-read
May 22, 2015
Cary Morton
Cary Morton marked it as to-read
May 15, 2015
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Doctor Who Book Club: Marco Polo 1 9 Apr 24, 2013 06:51PM  
  • Doctor Who: The Highlanders (Target Doctor Who Library, No 90)
  • Doctor Who and the Zarbi (Target Doctor Who Library)
  • Doctor Who And The Crusaders
  • Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror
  • Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth (Doctor Who Library Target, #17)
  • Doctor Who and the Invasion of the Dinosaurs (Target Doctor Who Library)
  • Doctor Who: The Myth Makers (Target Doctor Who Library)
  • Doctor Who and the Keys of Marinus
  • Doctor Who: The Edge of Destruction (Target Doctor Who Library, No. 132)
  • Doctor Who: Castrovalva (Target Doctor Who Library)
  • Doctor Who And The Daemons

Other Books in the Series

Doctor Who Library (Target) (1 - 10 of 156 books)
  • Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen (Doctor Who Library Target, #1)
  • Doctor Who And The Android Invasion
  • Doctor Who and the Androids of Tara (Target Doctor Who Library)
  • Doctor Who and the Ark in Space (Target Doctor Who Library)
  • Doctor Who and the Armageddon Factor (Target Doctor Who Library)
  • Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion
  • Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius
  • Doctor Who and the Carnival of Monsters
  • Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters
  • Doctor Who and the Claws of Axos (Target Doctor Who Library)
Doctor Who: The Aztecs (Doctor Who, #88) Doctor Who: The Massacre (Target Doctor Who Library, No. 122) Doctor Who: Marco Polo (TV Soundtrack) Doctor Who: The Massacre (BBC TV Soundtrack) Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes: Volume 1: 1964-1965

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