That night, Susan speaks with Ping Cho and is shocked to learn that youngster is on her way to an arranged marriage to a seventy five year old man.
Meanwhile Tegana talks to Marco about his concerns. "They are evil spirits... sorcerers... magicians! The carriage they travel in has no wheels! It just stands there like a warlord's tomb on one end! And another thing... it is not large enough to carry four people and yet, I saw all four walk from it!"
The Caravan stops at the waystation in Lop and here Marco tells the Doctor of his intentions. He will give the TARDIS to the Kublai Khan so the old man will allow him to return home to Venice.
Meanwhile Tegana also has his eyes of the TARDIS. He buys poison from an agent, planning the water the travellers are taking with them across the Gobi desert.

TEGANA: You will follow us and on the third night, I will walk back to you...then we're gonna ride back here to Lop, wait for two days and then return to the caravan to collect the thing of magic that will bring the mighty Kublai Khan to his knees!

EPISODE TWO: THE SINGING SANDS Marco Polo's caravan has set out across the Gobi desert...
That night, Susan and Ping Cho are looking at the moonlight when they spot Tegana heading away from the camp. They decide to follow him.
Susan and Ping Cho have become lost the sandstorm. Barbara discovers they are missing as Ian makes the discovery of Tegana.
In the sandstorm, a menacing figure stands over Susan and Ping Cho!
The next day, Ian discovers the remaining water gourds have been slashed and are empty. Fearing bandits, Marco must decide whether to return to Lop or press on to an Oasis. Tegana elects to go ahead alone and return with water.
But when Tegana reaches the oasis, he drinks heavily himself with no intention of returning to Polo and his friends.

The story continues for another five episodes but the above is all I made. The full story can be found on the official Doctor Who Website.

First Doctor (custom)
Susan (custom)
Barbara (custom)
Ian (custom)
Marco himself was a galoob Star Trek: The Next Generation Riker with a cloth tunic while Tegana was a generic soldier figure I picked up many years ago with a felt tunic.
Later episodes would have seen the Kublai Khan 'portrayed' by Ikira from Xyber 9 with his vizier being a repainted Queen Amidala figure.
Tegana's mogol cohorts were the GI Joes Airbourne and Quick Kick, decked out in felt robes. I also put together a custom using the body of Bib Fortuna and the head of Qui Gon Jinn with a painted eyepatch to be the thief later in the story.

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Marco Polo is a favourite of mine. It's the first proper historical Doctor Who story and is a lavish epic tale of the TARDIS crew forced to travel the silk route with Marco Polo, dealing with the machinations of the Mongol warlord Tegana and all the while facing the threat that when they reach the Khan, he'll take possession of the TARDIS.
Sadly none of it exists in the BBC's archives apart from the audio so it was ripe for making as an AFT strip.

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Above, comparisons between my palace set and the real one. Below, Marco Polo's tent. Bottom, the TARDIS crew in Lop in their new outfits.


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I think this production just ran out of steam. In hindsight I should probably have chosen a shorter story with less sets.

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The story would have ended with the caption Next Time: The Homecoming. The title of our first Hartnell AFT episode.

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Shooting for this story took place in early 2004.
I managed to shoot two locations (the mountain top and Marco Polo's tent) comprising most of the first two episodes. I had made sets for the entire story, including the inn at Lop and the Kublai Khan's impressive palace, based on images from the show itself.
I had also made tunics for the Susan, Ian and Barbara figures matching the new Chinese clothes they acquire during the story.

Above, the back of Ian's outfit. Below the walls I made for the cave of Five Hundred Eyes