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Who do you love? 4: Marco Polo

In episode 4, Ping-Cho, Susan's friend, pledged in marriage to a Chinese nobleman, has been told to travel separately from Susan. "You will be leaving," she says. "Will you say good-bye to me before you leave? Even if it is very late?" That last question is the killer: Ping Cho is still a little girl at heart, having the last thing she loves taken from her. But her question is also brave: the most important thing to her is to have no false hopes.

And that's the thing about Marco Polo: it's set in open countrysides and under enormous skies, and everyone in it is a prisoner, bound by fear or force or loyalty to powers they can't control. Unable to escape their situations, they give themselves some measure of control by simply telling themselves the truth. Except the TARDIS crew, of course; they still think they can escape, and so they lie and lie and lie.

(Longer version of this submitted to Celebrate, Regenerate, don't know if they used it).


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 25th, 2013 10:30 am (UTC)
I've never looked at it that way before, but you are right; the serial subterfuges of the TARDIS travellers have always seemed futile within the context of the story, and I'm inevitably drawn to compare the powers the characters can't control to the limitations of the actors' physical environment in Lime Grove.
Apr. 26th, 2013 11:03 am (UTC)
It's a real shame that Lucarotti didn't write more for the series. His scripts are so thematically rich, without sacrificing action.
Apr. 26th, 2013 11:20 am (UTC)
At one stage he was pencilled in to write the final 'future' story of the first production block, eventually given to Terry Nation to become The Dalek Invasion of Earth. That's an intriguing road not taken.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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