Friday, April 19, 2013

Marco Polo

Marco (Mark Eden), Tegana (Derren
Nesbitt) and the Doctor (William Hartnell)
Seven episodes (The Roof of the World, The Singing Sands, Five Hundred Eyes, The Wall of Lies, Rider from Shang-Tu, Mighty Kublai Khan, Assassin at Peking)
First broadcast Feb 22 to Apr 4 1964
Average audience for serial: 9.47m

William Hartnell (The Doctor) Jan 8 1908 to Apr 23 1975 (heart failure after a series of strokes) For a full career biography for William Hartnell, click here.

William Russell (Ian Chesterton) Born Nov 19 1924 For a full career biography for William Russell (aka Russell Enoch), click here.

Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright) Dec 17 1929 to Feb 18 1993 (bone cancer) For a full career biography for Jacqueline Hill, click here.

Carole Ann Ford (Susan) Born Jun 8 1940 For a full career biography for Carole Ann Ford, click here.


Gabor Baraker (Wang-Lo) Jun 10 1926 to Apr 30 1983
Doctor Who credits
Played: Wang-Lo in Marco Polo (1964)
Played: Luigi Ferrigo in The Crusade (1965)
Career highlights
After Doctor Who he appeared in Redcap (1965), George and the Dragon (1966), The Saint (1969) and From a Bird's Eye View (1971).

Leslie Bates (Man at Lop) Died Jan 14 2014
Doctor Who credits
Played: Shadow [the one cast across the TARDIS at the end of episode 1] in An Unearthly Child (1963, uncredited)
Played: Tribesman in An Unearthly Child (1963, uncredited)
Played: Man at Lop in Marco Polo (1964)
Played: Mongol warrior/ bandit in Marco Polo (1964, uncredited)
Played: Second guard in The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve (1966)
Played: Villager at inn/ pirate in The Smugglers (1966, uncredited)
Played: 1862 Confederate soldier in The War Games (1969, uncredited)
Played: BBC3 TV crewmember in The Daemons (1971, uncredited)
Played: Lunar guard in Frontier in Space (1973, uncredited)
Played: Draconian in Frontier in Space (1973, uncredited)
Played: Extra in Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974, uncredited)
Played: Exxilon in Death to the Daleks (1974, uncredited)
Career highlights
Other work includes Barnaby Rudge (1960), The Ghost Sonata (1962), Adam Adamant Lives! (1966) and David Copperfield (1974), as well as various episodes of Z Cars between 1964 and 1977.

Paul Carson (Ling-Tau)
Career highlights
Later appeared in A Countess from Hong Kong (1967) and You Only Live Twice (1967).

Claire Davenport (Empress) Apr 24 1933 to Feb 25 2002 (stroke and kidney failure)
Career highlights
Claire debuted in The Rag Trade (1963, as Myrtle), then appeared in The Baron (1966), Queenie's Castle (1971), On the Buses (1971/73), Shoulder to Shoulder (1974), Fawlty Towers (1975), I Didn't Know You Cared (1975-78), Couples (1976), Adventures of a Plumber's Mate (1978), Carry On Emmannuelle (1978), The Elephant Man (1980), Sink or Swim (1981), By the Sword Divided (1983-85), Alice in Wonderland (1986), Camping (1990) and The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer (1993). One of her most unusual roles was as the buxom Askajian dancer, Yarna d'al' Gargan, in Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi (1983).
Before becoming an actor, Claire was a teacher in the late 1950s. A series of strokes in the 1990s hampered her acting career.

Mark Eden (Marco Polo) Born Feb 14 1928
Doctor Who credits
Played: Marco Polo in Marco Polo (1964)
Played: Donald Baverstock in An Adventure in Space and Time (2013)
Career highlights
Mark debuted in Quatermass and the Pit (1958), then took roles in The Password is Courage (1962), Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964), Catch Hand (1964), Doctor Zhivago (1965), The Prisoner (1967), Crime Buster (1968), Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968), Clouds of Witness (1972), Poldark (1975), Jesus of Nazareth (1977), The Detective (1985), Cluedo (1991), Agatha Christie's Poirot (1993), and Doctors (2002/06). His most memorable role was as the villainous Alan Bradley in Coronation Street (1986-89).
Mark received little formal education as a child as he spent two years in a tuberculosis sanatorium. His first wife was Joan Malin, who went on to marry actor John Le Mesurier, while his third wife is Coronation Street actress Sue Nicholls. His granddaughter is actress Emma Griffiths Malin, best known from her role as Louise in The Cazalets. In 2013 he co-wrote a musical about the Beach Boys.

Jimmy Gardner (Chenchu) Aug 24 1924 to May 3 2010
Doctor Who credits
Played: Chenchu in Marco Polo (1964)
Played: Idmon in Underworld (1979)
Career highlights
Jimmy first appeared in Tyger's Hart (1954), then Stranger in the City (1962), The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964), The Elusive Pimpernel (1969), 10 Rillington Place (1971), The XYY Man (1977), Coronation Street (1978), The Company of Wolves (1984), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), Martin Chuzzlewit (1994), My Hero (2002), Finding Neverland (2004) and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005). He played Ernie Prang, driver of the Knight Bus, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).
Before becoming an actor, Jimmy worked as both a clapper boy at Gainsborough Studios, and as playwright John Osborne's personal driver. Jimmy's father Teddy was a jockey; he won the Epsom Oaks riding Pogrom in 1922, and came second in the 1923 Epsom Derby. Jimmy was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal as an air gunner with No. 10 Squadron during World War Two. The medal was one of several stolen by thieves from the Yorkshire Air Museum in 2014.

Michael Guest (Mongol bandit)
Doctor Who credits
Played: Mongol bandit in Marco Polo (1964)
Played: Saxon hunter in The Time Meddler (1965)
Played: Interviewer in The Daleks' Master Plan (1965-66)
Career highlights
His acting debut came in Quatermass and the Pit (1958-59), then Pathfinders in Space (1960), R3 (1965), The Champions (1968), Menace (1970), Upstairs, Downstairs (1972), Special Branch (1974) and Dixon of Dock Green (1975), after which he went into production, helming Memoirs of a Survivor (1981), Starship (1985), A Woman's Guide to Adultery (1993) and The Toybox (2005).

O. Ikeda (Yeng)
This was his only credit.

Peter Lawrence (Vizier) Died Mar 18 1998
Career highlights
Further work included How Green was My Valley (1960), Crossroads (1964), Weavers Green (1966), Department S (1969), The Befrienders (1970) and Play for Today (1978).

Tutte Lemkow (Kuiju) Aug 28 1918 to Nov 10 1991
Doctor Who credits
Played: Kuiju in Marco Polo (1964)
Played: Ibrahim in The Crusade (1965)
Played: Cyclops in The Myth Makers (1965)
Choreographed: The Celestial Toymaker (1966)
Career highlights
Tutte had a long career appearing in The Lost People (1949), Moulin Rouge (1952), Hancock's Half Hour (1957), The Guns of Navarone (1961), The Moon-Spinners (1964), The Wrong Box (1966), Fiddler on the Roof (1971, as the title character), Theatre of Blood (1973), Huntingtower (1978), Sphinx (1981), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Red Sonja (1985). He was also an experienced choreographer, including on Casino Royale (1967), and helped adapt Ibsen's The Wild Duck (1983) for film, for which he was nominated for an Australian Film Institute Award.
Tutte's first wife was Swedish actress Mai Zetterling.

Zienia Merton (Ping-Cho) Born Dec 11 1945
Doctor Who credits
Played: Ping-Cho in Marco Polo (1964)
Played: Registrar in The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith (2009)
Career highlights
Burmese born Zienia debuted in Masters of Venus (1962), then Strange Report (1969), Casanova (1971), Beryl's Lot (1973), The Wilde Alliance (1978), The History Man (1981), Bergerac (1983), Lovejoy (1986), Chiller (1995), The Lakes (1997), Family Affairs (2000), Dinotopia (2002), Judge John Deed (2006), Wire in the Blood (2008) and Wizards vs Aliens (2013). She regularly played Sandra Benes in Space: 1999 (1975-77).

Martin Miller (Kublai Khan) Sep 2 1899 to Aug 26 1969 (heart attack)
Career highlights
Czech-born Martin's career began in Squadron Leader X (1943), then Night Boat to Dublin (1946), Bonnie Prince Charlie (1948), The Gamma People (1956), Peeping Tom (1960), Children of the Damned (1963), The Pink Panther (1963) and Department S (1969). He died just a week before his 70th birthday while filming the Michael Caine/ Omar Sharif film The Last Valley (1971) in Austria.
After fleeing from the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany, Martin (born Rudolph Muller) established the Little Viennese Theatre in Britain in 1939. During the 1950s, he appeared in over 1,000 performances of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap as Mr Paravacini on stage. He was married to actor Hannah Norbert.

Derren Nesbitt (Tegana) Born Jun 19 1935
Career highlights
Derren's first credit was in Sword of Freedom (1957), followed by Room at the Top (1959), Victim (1961), The Rat Catchers (1967), The Prisoner (1967), Where Eagles Dare (1968), Monte Carlo or Bust (1969), Burke and Hare (1972), Spy Story (1976), Return of the Saint (1979), The Chinese Detective (1982), Eat the Rich (1987), Bullseye! (1990), Hale and Pace (1993), Flawless (2007) and Home for Christmas (2014). He had recurring roles as Campbell Goffin in Emergency Ward 10 (1963), DCI Jordan in Special Branch (1969-70) and Judge Arnold Francis in The Courtroom (2004). He also wrote, directed and produced sex comedy The Amorous Milkman in 1975.
His career was damaged in 1973 when he was convicted of assault causing actual bodily harm on his wife, actress Anne Aubrey. He thrashed her on the bare buttocks with a leather strap after she admitted an affair.

Basil Tang (Office foreman) Dec 22 1912 to Dec 19 2000
Doctor Who credits
Played: Office foreman in Marco Polo (1964)
Played: Chinese diplomat in Day of the Daleks (1972, uncredited)
Played: Coolie in The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977, uncredited)
Career highlights
Other work includes Adam Adamant Lives! (1966), Callan (1967) and Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers (1977).

Philip Voss (Acomat) Born 1936
Doctor Who credits
Played: Acomat in Marco Polo (1964)
Played: Wahed in The Dominators (1968)
Career highlights
Philip's debut came in Top Secret (1962), then Suspense (1963), No Hiding Place (1964), The Troubleshooters (1970), Elizabeth R (1971), Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973), Melissa (1974), Lillie (1978), Ladykillers (1980), Octopussy (1983), Clockwise (1986), Inspector Morse (1987), Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Boon (1995), Let Them Eat Cake (1999), Fish (2000), North Square (2000), The Brides in the Bath (2003), About Time (2013) and Vicious (2013-16).
In 2014 Toby Hadoke released his Who's Round interview with Philip here.

Charles Wade (Malik) Apr 2 1901 to Dec 14 1968
Career highlights
Other credits include David Copperfield (1956), The Avengers (1961), Dixon of Dock Green (1965) and Z Cars (1967).


John Lucarotti (writer) May 20 1926 to Nov 20 1994 (spinal cancer)
Doctor Who credits
Wrote: Marco Polo (1964), The Aztecs (1964), The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve (1966), The Ark in Space (provided idea for story, uncredited, 1975)
Career highlights
John's writing career began in 1954 with Playbill, followed by work on Tomahawk (1957), Encounter (1958), City Beneath the Sea (1962), Dimensions of Fear (1963), Secret Beneath the Sea (1963), Ghost Squad (1963), Dr Finlay's Casebook (1965), The Avengers (1961-65), The Troubleshooters (1965-70), Joe 90 (1969), Paul Temple (1971), Moonbase 3 (1973), Operation Patch (1976), Star Maidens (1976), The Onedin Line (1974/78), The Ravelled Thread (1979-80) and Into the Labyrinth (1981). He also worked for French and Swiss television.
In November 1990, John wrote a short story under the Brief Encounter banner for Doctor Who Magazine (issue 167), later to become known as The Meeting. It featured the First Doctor, and was his final completed work before his death.

Waris Hussein (director, episodes 1-3 & 5-7) Born Dec 9 1938 Click here for Waris Hussein's entry on An Unearthly Child

John Crockett (director, episode 4) Jan 31 1918 to Oct 11 1986
Doctor Who credits
Directed: Marco Polo (episode 4, 1964), The Aztecs (1964)
Career highlights
John began his career with a travelling theatre company called The Compass Theatre, taking quality drama to people who might not ordinarily get to see it, and then he moved into directing stage productions. It was this that led to his brief TV directing career on Suspense (1963) and Compact (1964-65), after which he became an art teacher in Somerset.
John spent his final years as a Benedictine monk at Prinknash Abbey in Gloucestershire, where he is now buried.

Verity Lambert (producer) Nov 27 1935 to Nov 22 2007 (cancer) Click here for Verity Lambert's entry on An Unearthly Child

Mervyn Pinfield (associate producer) Feb 28 1912 to May 20 1966 Click here for Mervyn Pinfield's entry on An Unearthly Child

David Whitaker (story editor) Apr 18 1928 to Feb 4 1980 (cancer) Click here for David Whitaker's entry on An Unearthly Child

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