Friday, April 8, 2016

Tales From The TARDIS - Rider From Shang-Tu

Another episode of Marco Polo and another cunning plan from Tegana!
A day earlier than usual since Saturday I'll be attending Camden Comic Con... we're going over part Five of the Doctor Who Serial 'Marco Polo' with the Rider From Shang-Tu


Hello and welcome to the Basement and Tales From The TARDIS...

We are covering part five of 'Marco Polo' with the 'Rider From Shang-Tu' and if I'm right, title is a reference to the capital of Kublai Khan's Yun Dynasty in China... or it's Xanadu... one or the other.

Anyway, the episode opens with Ian unwilling to leave Polo to fate intended for him by Tegana after discovering the dead guard, so he alerts Polo of the upcoming danger. Our science teacher comes up with a way to deal with the bandits, using bamboo into a fire to cause loud exploding noises...and thus the Chinese Firecracker was born! But to make things even more interesting, when they are attacked, Tegana kills Acomat when it seems like he's going to tell the truth. Hmmmm Tegana a man of honor he is.

Anyway once the bandits are dealt with. Marco allows Susan and Ping-Cho to hang out again, and Ian, The Doctor and Barbara are free to move about without suspicion. Wonder how many stories of Doctor Who over the years have used the 'Doctor and Companions are locked up unfairly until they do something that earns their freedom for the rest of the story' plot has been used

The story continues with the Doctor and company figuring out that Tegana has been the source of all their troubles they have been dealing with, but Macro Polo despite seeing reason at times is incredibly tense to how much of a threat Tegana is. Actually calling Marco incredibly oblivious to Tegana is more accurate 

Anyway, a new traveller arrives named Ling-Tau, he has come from Shang-Tu, which is over 300 miles away from the groups current location in just 24 hours on horseback. He brings message: for Marco to SPEED THE HELL UP! Guess the plot was moving too slowly... so Marco declaires that once they reach their next destination of Cheng-Ting, everyone will travel on horseback while the TARDIS and everything else will be brought later. So let me stress this, the TARDIS is being left behind!

Oh and guess what, Tegana has yet another cunning plan, he meets up with another ally named Kuiju and bribes him to steal the TARDIS and to take it to Karakorum where the troops of Noghai is getting together.

However all is not loss, Ping-Cho knows where the two TARDIS Keys are being held by Marco and gives one to Susan to help her and the other escape. The episode ends with the Doctor and company sneaking to return to the TARDIS, but Susan goes off to say good-by to Ping-Cho... but when she arrives to enter the TARDIS, she grabbed by Tegana and lets out an epic scream! AHHHH...

Have I mentioned that I love the way Carol Ann Ford screamed? Best damn screamer in all of Doctor Who in my opinion...

Anyway, what to make of this episode... well it certainly gets things moving, cause the rider coming along and basically telling the caravan to get a move on could also be interpreted as the PLOT being told to speed. up

Also want to go over Susan wanting to say good-bye to Ping-Cho, it may seem a bit 'dumb' as it clearly sets up for her to be captured, but she is the type of character that would want to say farewell to her friend, and since and Ping-Cho had a lot of time together, it's reasonable. What's not reason is how hilarious Tegana and his Black Adder-esq cunning plans. Dude comes up with plans on a dime.

So that wraps up this weeks Tale from the TARDIS, next week is part 6 of the story, with Mighty Kublai Khan!

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