Has the Lost Doctor Who Serial Marco Polo Been Found?

Doctor Who Marco Polo

Hey podKast fans! The omnirumour simply will not due, and this week we look at the rumours surrounding the rediscovery of Marco Polo.

Christian Cawley and James McLean also discuss Peter Capaldi’s jumper – costume or warmth aid? – and also ask whether or not the rumours concerning his planned single year in the role are anything more than ill-advised conjecture. As we recorded the podKast, Samuel Anderson’s casting as Danny Pink was announced, so listen out for a bit of discussion on that.

Also, Matt Smith recently recorded an awesome video for a poorly child – what a guy!

Oh, and we also try to work out what is wrong with The Horns of Nimon. Someone has to.


The Kasterborous PodKast theme tune is arranged by Russell Hugo.

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14 thoughts on “Has the Lost Doctor Who Serial Marco Polo Been Found?

  1. I generally never listen to podcasts, because they take so much longer than just text. If there was a transcription, I’d read that, cuz I can read so much faster that it takes to listen to it.

  2. Lovely podcast. Re: whether Matt regrets leaving…perhaps he will. But it did seem the logical time for him to go. He’d done 3 full seasons over 4 years, just like David and he got to stay for the 50th. I felt like he’d done full character growth during his time and staying would be more of the same. On the other hand, the Doctor’s character would inevitably change after the events of the 50th anniversary, so perhaps it would have been more challenging and fun for him. But I can certainly see that the longer an actor with no other major roles stays in such a defining part that he would be irreparably typecast. And he probably wants to move back to London and have some semblance of a life.

    Do you think David regretted leaving? I wonder especially since he had such a personal investment in the show. It took him awhile to find his footing, but he’s certainly done so now with Broadchurch and Richard II (plus Much Ado with C. Tate back in 2011). I still think it would have been fun to see him under Moffat’s stewardship for a year.

  3. I find the idea of Capaldi pulling an ‘Eccleston’ to be preposterous! Capaldi is a self confessed long time fan of the show. I really don’t think that after achieving what must be a ‘dream job’ for him that he’d be in any hurry to leave after one season. besides, I really don’t think that would be all that fair to the fans who are just getting used to the idea of having a new Doctor to suddenly tell them ‘oh sorry, here’s another new Doctor’ AFTER ONE BLOODY SEASON! The only reason Eccleston left after a year was largely because he was unhappy with the rigors of weekly television production. Tennant and Smith left because they still wanted to have careers beyond the series. If anything, I would think that the person that will be leaving at the end of the season would be Moffatt, but in a movie not seen since the classic era, a new executive producer will come onboard while the Doctor will remain the same.

  4. Nooooooo! You fools. Horns of Nimon is superb. I won’t have you lot duffing it up like the weedy kid in the school yard. Here’s why.

    The Twanger – that sequence with the Tardis breaking down is comedy gold. If you love it, as I say I suspect it defines your taste in Who.
    It’s a Romana spin-off or a Doctor light episode, and works for it.
    Graham Crowden and Tom Baker – I need say no more, comedy gold.
    The lightweight tone fits beautifully. It’s essentially a Doctor Who Christmas special.
    It’s the end of an era and I missed it. The end of Graham Williams, Dudley Simpson, the underrated David Brierley K9, the classic costume, the title sequence.
    It’s fun and is unashamed of it. It’s 20 times more watchable than most of Season 18 that follows.
    It’s the end of Doctor Who as a popular programme until 2005. After this, only the fans were watching.
    Like most of Season 17, it’s maturing very well. This is no table wine, but a witty, sophisticated brew that Douglas Adams was crafting and the height of the comedy/drama hybrid that the Moffster seems keen to emulate.

    Boo to you!

    1. I really wanted to like Nimon, and while I fancy it is probably better than Meglos I would say that the comparison’s with S18 are unfair, that being the real end of an era.

      The problem with Nimon is that it seems to manage to be some of the very worst of DW all in one place. Crowden isn’t to blame, as I said in the podKast, and there are some interesting things in it, like the pilots in episode one. I can’t agree that it is a “Romana spinoff” though – if it was, it’s quite obvious why she never got her own series. She simply has nothing to do, nothing to really get her teeth into. Compare and contrast her role here with Warrior’s Gate.

      Not really Doctor lite either – he’s there all the time, just pulled out of the action in the TARDIS. I think those are the best moments.

      Nimon also suffers by not having enough of Doctor v Soldeed scenes. Many missed opportunities 🙁

      1. Ahh, Mr.C I’m enjoying our post podkast debates.

        Well Season 18 certainly stands alone thematically and stylistically. It’s all intents and purposes a brand new show, and not a very successful one in many ways. I did (and still do) think of it as cold, aloof and with the exception of Full Circle is more often than not devoid of drama and thrills. Meglos however is packed with cheeky treats. In fact, the scenes with Grugger, Meglos and Brotodac feel like the ITV sitcom I never got.

        This, of course reflects my taste in Who and in particular, my unabashed love of Season 17 which for me, is the end of an era for all the reasons mentioned. Yes, Season 18 has Tom, Lalla and K9 in it, but they’re so different it may as well be a new Doctor.

        As for Romana, she is the lead for most of it though and beings a different energy to those scenes as she opts for haughty and aloof, as opposed to the Doctor’s cheek and verve. It’s not Doctor lite though, to be fair. As you say, he’s parked in the Tardis with K9 and indeed, those are such lovely moments.

        It’s a curate’s egg for sure, like much of Season 17 but the sparkling wit keeps it fresh for me. In fact, I remember living in a student house and trying to get my housemates to watch Who, to get my obsession with this dead show. I popped on Caves of Androzani, having sold it as a sophisticated Jacobean revenge tragedy, proper grown up drama and they hated it, aside from a few giggles at the Magma Beast. ‘We want to see some proper Doctor Who, all cheap with Tom Baker. So I cued up Horns of Nimon and they lapped it up.

        After all, arguably it’s Doctor Who at it’s most popular, whether we like it or not.

        1. Interestingly I found Nimon an example of where I felt Romana couldn’t be a lead, I didn’t feel – whether this is direction/acting/writing I’m not sure – that she really had the strength to carry it. I must admit – and this may be a little contentious – but I found Tamm and Ward seemed to me to occasionally struggle finding the zone for Romana, where she seemed genuine yet quirky. She must be a tough one to play, having to be superior to the Doctor and the cast of characters, yet still fulfill the damsel in distress criteria/secondary antagonist model. I would say Ward found it more often and she’s pretty fluid throughout City of Death, but I found Nimon – and Destiny of the Daleks – two stories where I think the legacy of Romana is greater than the actual truth.

  5. For me, S18 was the highpoint of DW’s classic series. It was, and remains, gorgeous to look at. It promised much, but the series declined afterwards and rarely hit anything like the same level. I’d drifted away from DW on TV (I still read the Target books) around season 15 – to this day I have never seen Nimon or Eden – and came back to it with S18.

    1. I think this must be an age thing. The Davison era remains golden for me, as I was in later primary school and the Williams years are the discovery years. Season 18 turned me off, however. It still does in many ways, although many aspects have improved greatly with age.

  6. Must admit it, did make me laugh out loud what GK said about his student friends and the difference with there reaction’s between CAVES and NIMON. I think you’ll find Gareth that’s got something to do with them wanting to take the piss out of you ( however so gently towards a mate ). Confronted with something like CAVES, like Gareth said apart from the magma; there’s not a lot to take the piss out off, hence they got bored and started moaning. Put on NIMON BINGO!!, you’ve given them all the ammo they wanted. I bet Gareth was taking it left right and center,lol and probably loving it. You should of rounded the night of with TIMELASH. They would of loved you even more then Gareth. Heard a lot of rubbish about season 17 and 18 over the last few years, all of it revisionist bullshit. At the time there was a reason why J-N-T and C-H-B where treated liked messiahs almost 100% by the fans and some fans will cry blasphemy now but Adams wasn’t missed and 99 % of the fans where glad he was gone. Another pet hate, how many times have fans of that season cried over the last few years but it was the most popular it’s ever been. ITV WHERE ON STRIKE!!!!, THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE TO WATCH ON THE BLOOD TELLY, lol. No ch 4, didn’t exist yet, no sky, same reason, ch 5, the same, INTERNET, think you know where this is going by now. No offence Gareth, just spouting off, your opinion is just as valid but that did make me laugh mate and just like you am sure when it comes down to it, love all of Who. Great point by James by the way about the inherent sexism regarding the age of companions against the age of the lead actor regarding the so-called fan girls, they need to be considered as much as us old boys. Don’t always agree with what James says but always puts his arguments over well and always in a interesting fashion. Keep up the good work fellas.

    1. Oh I enjoyed that response!

      Seriously Richie, they liked the idea of Doctor Who (this was in the year of the TVM) but hated Caves. They just didn’t see it as worth their attention and couldn’t see it for what I was describing. All they could see was men in shellsuits, the bloke off Fools and Horses (Chellack), obviously reused everyday props like the 80s TV remote Timmin uses and the painted silver mousse bottles. And the magma beast whch had them howling. But they loved Nimon, it had them in stitches not just for the cheapness but for the Tom Baker wit and the B Movie sensibility, which was what they expected of Who and what they got, lovingly lashed on in spades.

      As for Season 17, yes there was an ITV strike until early 1980, but the figures remained consistently high for Who. There wasn’t 12 million people watching Aph Kaa Hakh just because it was the only thing on t’box. It suggests that they were at the very least enjoying it.

      Season 18 I do like, and it is an issue in some ways as I’ve met and chatted with a fair few of the creators of that season over the years. I can see better things in it now (although Traken, Logopolis are just snorefests, State of Decay is poor and whilst stylish, Leisure Hive and Warrior’s Gate have real pacing issues), but the 7/8 yar old Gareth had voted with his feet and was tuning into Metal Mickey and Buck Rogers on ITV. Alongside the rest of his class. Season 18 is to all intents and purposes a disaster that the audience rejected, but the older fans who took it ‘seriously’ embraced, together with BBC households who didn’t watch ITV out of principle (madness, I know but these people existed. I know a few people whose parents disapproved of ITV in principle and it was not to be on in the house). I loved (and still loved) that late seventies Who and, I think it has outlasted Season 18 in the minds of many in fandom.

      No offence taken though, yours are all fair points and Who is a broad chuch. And I’m enjoying the podcast and the chats after. It’s the best part of this site!

      1. I remember showing an ex the classic City of Death and seeing her eyes glaze over on episode one – and she’s a nerd/geek whatever, though 10 years younger than me. So I think its hard to quantify “classic” Who through younger eyes. I would be interested what the young generation of Nu Who fans find/enjoy in the old show. I wonder if the loathed Silver Nemesis would be more popular given that story goes at a pretty fast pace and has a considerable amount of action in it.

        Thank you for your kind words Rich. I’m glad you enjoy what we do, I certainly have no qualms with people not agreeing with all I say, as long as they get some enjoyment in listening how its said! After all, we’re here to entertain primarily given I imagine most people listening have just as much knowledge of the show as we do.

        Meglos Gareth? Funny, it’s the one story of the final season that does very little for me, though I most confess only having watched it once. Maybe I need to rewatch!

        1. Hah, Meglos! I can almost 100% guarantee you’ll hate it, James.

          It’s very daft, pretty slight and very cheap. But absolutely hilarious when any combination of Meglos (cactus), the pirates and the Doctor are on screen. A nice score and some impressive experimental scene synch add up to a surprisingly fun package that really belongs in Season 17, but I assume Bidmead’s preferred scripts weren’t read.

  7. RE Capaldi only doing a year – I’d point to another post on Kasterborous, where he talks to a five year old girl to reassure her that it’s alright for him to be the Doctor – and ask, seriously, is this a man who will be here for just a few episodes and then gone?

    For me the clear answer is NO!

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