Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tales From The TARDIS - "Assassin at Peking" & Pearl Mackie



 
 

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

Before we get started, at the time of this recording, it was revealed that Pearl Mackie will be joining  'Doctor Who' as the new lead companion.


And well... I have no real comments on her cause I don't know anything about her beyond that she is cute, she went to the Bristol Old Vic Theater School and has been performing in the National Theatre West End production of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time' (that's a great title) and was on the BBC 1 show 'Doctors'.... She is pretty much an 'unknown'... The only issue I see is that she will be more than likely playing yet another companion from the 'current day', continuing the 'Buffy' trend of the lady companions, hell the clip shown, giving her character's name as Bill, has her cracking jokes about the absurdity of the Daleks design... but I'll shall reserve judgement until she actually debuts as an on-screen character next year.

Anyway... enough about that....we have reached the end of Marco Polo everybody... 7 weeks of a story whose main redeeming factor was Tegan's cunning plans... so lets not waste time, lets get to the final episode of this story... Assassin at Peking!


We open where we left off with Tegana ready to kill Ian, Ping-Cho and his own man Kuiju when Ling Tau and a group of soldiers arrive. THEY kill Kuiju and Tegana talks his way out of trouble... cause no way the main villain is going to be taken out in the beginning of the final chapter. Anyway, Tegana was banking on Ian and Ping-Cho to be killed by these soldiers but the decision is to head off to meet with the Khan at Peking.

At the capital city, The Khan and The Doctor are playing backgammon, and the Doctor is on quite a winning streak... wining 34 elephants, four thousand white stallions, twenty-five tigers, Buddha's sacred tooth and the entire commerce coming out of Burma for a year... that's a nice haul. However the Doctor bets it all to win back the TARDIS but... loses. It was a gamble, but this episode is far from over.

The real road to the end of his serial is when The Khan asks Marco about the history of the 'magic caravan', and Marco admits he was so desperate to buy his freedom that he stole the Police Box... and Khan is less then pleased and certainly isn't impressed, warning Marco that he doesn't regain his trust, he will be banished! You can probably guess where this going.

Anyway, when Tegana, Ian and Ping-Cho arrive, Tegana being the slick tongue devil he is convinces The Khan that Marco has defied the laws, by not straight confiscating the TARDIS and killing the Doctor and his companions when they tried to steal it back. At the same time, Ian and Ping-Cho tell Khan that Tegana is working for his enemies... and this puts doubt in his mind, declaring that it must be judged in the matter of the court!

One plot thread gets resolved, as Ping-Cho is spared from her arrange marriage, cause her groom to be died after drinking an elixir of life.... he must not have chosen wisely... two points to whoever gets that referenced. She is given the choice to return home, but Ping-Cho elects to remain in Peking. So happy days for Ping-cho!

However things aren't so good for the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan... they are imprisoned and know that someone has to stop Tegana. They figure he's going to kill The Khan to clear the way for his enemies. They proceed to escape by attacking their guard and soon meet up with Marco and they tell him what they think is going on. Seeing a chance to get back in the Khan's good graces and save his own backside... Marco rushes off. Yeah...I'm still sour on Marco Polo as a character.

When the group along with Marco arrives, Tegana has already single handily slain the Khan's guards, the Grand Vizier, and is about to kill the Khan himself. Marco engages him in a sword fight that I really wish we had footage off, as it sounds great but the stills leave much to be desired. Seeing that his mission has failed, Tegana kills himself with a spear rather than let the Khan's men have the pleasure of doing so. Got to say this for Tegana... he went out his way.

As the bodies are being carted out, Marco gives The Doctor the key to the TARDIS and tells them to  escape, which he and the other hurry to do. The Khan witnesses the TARDIS fading away as it takes off, and proceeds to forgive Marco and allows him to return to Venice as this serial comes to an end with Marco wondering where The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan are off too.

Reaching the end of this serial there are of course a few things that stand out... one being Tegana nearly succeeds in his mission and probably would've succeed... if this wasn't based on history... for another, Marco Polo comes across so badly... hell the second The Khan tells him what he needs to do, Marco is more than happy to 'do the right thing' without hesitation. It can certainly be argued that this serial was an episode or two to long,

Anyway... Next week... we begin our look at the The Keys of Marinus, and unlike Marco Polo, all six episodes are intact. So if you want to follow along, watch episode one this week!

Till next time my friends... have a good one!

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