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MARCO POLO

EPISODE 4 - THE WALL OF LIES

by JOHN LUCAROTTI
first broadcast - 14th March, 1964
running time - 25mins 30secs


1. CAVE OF FIVE HUNDRED EYES

(SUSAN and PING-CHO continue yelling BARBARA's name. SUSAN screams - pointing to the cave wall...)

SUSAN: They moved... The eyes moved!


2. INTERIOR - WAY STATION AT TUN-HUANG

(POLO and IAN have returned to the way station after an unsuccessful search for BARBARA. They are having a conversation with CHENCHU.)

CHENCHU: Oh, Tegana took a horse, and rode off.
POLO: To the Cave of Five Hundred Eyes?
CHENCHU: So I believe my lord.
POLO: (To IAN.) When will your companions realise I know what I'm talking about when I say it's dangerous to wander about at night? First Barbara, and now the Doctor goes off, taking Susan and Ping-Cho with him.
IAN: All right, Marco, you can be angry later. Let's get to this cave. Do you know where it is?
POLO: Yes.

(POLO and IAN leave for the cave.)


3. CAVE OF FIVE HUNDRED EYES

(In the Cave of Five Hundred Eyes, the DOCTOR closely examines the wall. In particular, he is trying to discover the eyes which SUSAN claimed had moved.)

DOCTOR: It must be your imagination, child. These eyes didn't move - it's quartz.
SUSAN: I saw them move, grandfather. I swear, I did.
DOCTOR: Oh rubbish, child.
PING-CHO: (As TEGANA walks into the cave.) Look! Look!
DOCTOR: Tegana!
TEGANA: What are you doing here?
DOCTOR: If you must know sir, we are looking for Miss Wright.
TEGANA: Well, why would she be in this cave?
DOCTOR: (Holding up the handkerchief.) I think this is your answer. We found it.

(TEGANA looks nervously around the cave.)

TEGANA: You found that here?
SUSAN: (Pointing to a dark area of the cave.) Yes - over there.
TEGANA: In the passageway... it is not wise to remain in these caves - they are possessed with evil spirits.
DOCTOR: I'm not afraid of ghosts.
TEGANA: Oh yes, I forgot, you're the magician, aren't you?

(The DOCTOR laughs at TEGANA's superstitious nature.)

IAN: (Shouting out.) Doctor! Susan!
SUSAN: It's Ian!
IAN: Susan!

(The two groups shout back and forth at one another, and eventually IAN and POLO and reunited with the rest of the group.)

IAN: Have you found Barbara?
SUSAN: No.
DOCTOR: She dropped this handkerchief - we found that over there.

(The DOCTOR hands the handkerchief to IAN.)

IAN: (Examining the handkerchief.) It is Barbara's.
TEGANA: Leave before the spirits are angered.
DOCTOR: (Chuckling.) This man thinks this cave is haunted.
PING-CHO: He's not the only one. Susan saw the eyes in one of the faces move.
DOCTOR: Oh rubbish child, rubbish.
IAN: Which face Susan?
SUSAN: (Pointing to a particular face on the wall.) This one here.

(IAN walks over to the wall, and examines the face.)

IAN: (Excited.) Marco, quick! Look!

(POLO rushes over and joins IAN next to the wall.)

TEGANA: (Shouting at the wall.) Do not strike them down, great spirits of Hashashins. Depart! The War Lord Tegana entreats you.
IAN: (Referring to the wall.) Is it safe for us to look now?
TEGANA: Do as you will.

(Once again, the DOCTOR chuckles at TEGANA's superstitious nature.)

DOCTOR: Well, what are you looking for Chesterton?
IAN: Susan was right - she did see the eyes move.
DOCTOR: Oh, rubbish, rubbish!
SUSAN: Of course I did!
DOCTOR: What proof have you?
IAN: I've just seen them move myself. Look - these eyes you see here have been set in from behind. There must be some sort of a room behind this rock face. Look! There's a crack... there's a door here!
TEGANA: Yes... all we need now is to find out how to open it.

(IAN and POLO feel around the rockface until they find the opening mechanism for the door. The secret door glides open...)

POLO: Ian!

(...revealing a Mongol warrior about to kill a dazed Barbara. SUSAN screams. TEGANA immediately rushes forward and slays the warrior. BARBARA is immediately untied by IAN and is very distressed over the whole affair.)

IAN: It's all right, Barbara...
BARBARA: That dreadful man... There were four of them... They played dice to see who'd kill me. That dreadful man... and he won... he won...

(BARBARA indicates the dead warrior.)

IAN: (Comforting BARBARA.) All right Barbara. You're safe now Barbara. Safe now. Don't worry...


4. INTERIOR - WAY STATION

(The group have returned to the inn at Tun-Huang. POLO and TEGANA are talking in the main room.)

POLO: We were just in time, Tegana. A moment or two later, and she would have been killed.
TEGANA: What is that to you?
POLO: I'm responsible for their safety.
TEGANA: Why not... let go... let them go on their way.
POLO: My conscience does not permit it. Look, I took their caravan away from them. The least I can do is see them safely on their way home.
TEGANA: You think they hold you in such esteem?
POLO: The Doctor, no, with good reason. The others, yes.
TEGANA: Marco, which one leads them?
POLO: The Doctor.
TEGANA: And leaders are obeyed. Has not that cunning Susan already won Ping-Cho from your side?
POLO: She's a child, Tegana.
TEGANA: Only a fool defends his enemies! Be warned Marco - they will set us at each other's throats by lies and deceit, and then, when they have divided us, then they will destroy us one by one.
POLO: They are harmless Tegana.
TEGANA: Harmless? They possess a caravan that flies!
POLO: What power they have is locked inside it, and I have the key.
TEGANA: This very evening, Marco, when we were out looking for this Barbara, Chenchu thought the old man was in his room. He was not. Marco, he was out there with his caravan.

(TEGANA points towards the courtyard, where the TARDIS sits.)

POLO: What are you saying?
TEGANA: I'm saying does a magician need a key to open a door?

(At that moment, IAN, BARBARA, SUSAN and PING-CHO appear from their rooms.)

POLO: (To BARBARA.) How are you feeling?
BARBARA: A little bit shaky.
POLO: You realise you're most fortunate to be alive.
BARBARA: Yes, I know.
POLO: Why did you go to the cave? You know my rule about obtaining permission to leave here.

(BARBARA hesitates...)

IAN: Tell him Barbara.
BARBARA: I followed Tegana there.
TEGANA: (Shocked.) Me? I've only been there once, and you were there when I arrived.
BARBARA: But that's not true! I followed you there.
TEGANA: I have only been there once!
BARBARA: But why would I lie? I was almost killed.
POLO: Be quiet!
TEGANA: (To POLO.) Mark well all that I have said.

(TEGANA turns to walk off...)

POLO: Tegana...
TEGANA: (Turning back to POLO.) My friend, mark it well.

(TEGANA walks up the stairs to his room, without looking back. POLO thoughtfully considers what TEGANA has said. He solemnly turns to PING-CHO.)

POLO: Ping-Cho, you will remove your belongings to another room. From this night on, you will not share with Susan again.
PING-CHO: But Messr Marco...
POLO: Obey me!

(At the head of the staircase, TEGANA is listening. He smiles.)


5. MARCO POLO'S JOURNAL

POLO: (Writing in journal.) Poor Susan and Ping-Cho. Yet what alternative had I but to separate them? Now my caravan seethes with suspicion and discontent as we journey south-west. The route takes us to the ancient cities of Su-Chow and Kan-Chow, where the Great Wall of Cathay begins. Following the wall, we travel south to Lan-Chow, which lies on the banks of the Yellow River. Here, our route swings north, and with the river always in sight, we journey towards Shang-Tu.


6. WAY STATION AT LAN-CHOW

(At the next way station, the DOCTOR, IAN and BARBARA are discussing the state of the TARDIS.)

DOCTOR: The trouble is, Polo's change of attitude has slowed down my progress on the circuit.
IAN: I think you've done brilliantly to make any progress at all, Doctor.
BARBARA: How much longer do you think you will need?
DOCTOR: Well, with a bit more time, and a lot of luck, I should say about another night.
BARBARA: But that's marvellous Doctor!
DOCTOR: The following evening will even be better!
BARBARA: And that's when we say good-bye to Marco Polo.
DOCTOR: Yes, and a jolly good riddance.
BARBARA: Well, I shall be jolly glad to leave here. In fact, the only regrets I'll have will be for Susan.
DOCTOR: What do you mean?
BARBARA: Oh, I think she and Ping-Cho are very fond of each other. It's a pity they've been kept apart so much.
DOCTOR: It's a pity there was any association at all. That Chinese child makes me nervous.
IAN: What on Earth do you mean?
DOCTOR: She found out about the key.
IAN: What!
DOCTOR: Yes, on the night that Barbara was captured, Susan and Ping-Cho thought Barbara had gone down to the cave, and met with an accident, so they came looking for me. Just as I was about to enter the TARDIS, it was then Ping-Cho saw the key.


7. PING-CHO'S ROOM

(SUSAN, cautiously and looking about for anybody else, walks up the stairs of the inn, and enters PING-CHO's room. A sad PING-CHO is sitting on the bed, staring into space...)

SUSAN: Ping-Cho, what's the matter?
PING-CHO: For me, this journey, in spite of all the dangers, was the happiest time of my life, until Tun-Huang.
SUSAN: What did Tegana say to make Messr Marco change so much? Did you ask Messr Marco?
PING-CHO: A hundred times - but he remains silent.
SUSAN: If only we could find out... only we could prove that Tegana had seen the Cave of Five Hundred Eyes before.
PING-CHO: It won't make much difference soon...
SUSAN: Why not?
PING-CHO: You will be leaving.
SUSAN: Leaving?
PING-CHO: Your grandfather must have nearly finished the work on your caravan by now.
SUSAN: (Sadly.) Ping-Cho, he has.
PING-CHO: Will you go home?

(SUSAN remains silent...)

PING-CHO: Will you say good-bye to me before you leave?
SUSAN: Of course I will!
PING-CHO: Even if it is very late?
SUSAN: No matter what time of night it is.

(SUSAN and PING-CHO hug each other.)

PING-CHO: Hey - this will cheer you up!
SUSAN: What?
PING-CHO: I've forgotten hearing anything about the key.

(Outside the room, TEGANA has been listening intently to the conversation.)


8. MARCO POLO'S JOURNAL

POLO: (Writing in journal.) For the past three days, I have followed the course of the Yellow River as it flows north to the small town of Sinju, which lies nestled against the Great Wall.


9. EXTERIOR - SINJU WAY STATION

(The caravan has stopped at the Sinju way station. This way station, although not as busy as Tun-Huang, is just as extravagant. POLO and TEGANA stand outside the inn.)

POLO: Have you seen my... er... clothing bag, Tegana?
TEGANA: Ah yes, it's in the passageway outside your door.
POLO: Thank you.
TEGANA: Oh... I want to go into town.
POLO: Very well.
TEGANA: Thank you.

(TEGANA walks off towards the town, as Polo re-enters the way station.)


10. INTERIOR - SINJU WAY STATION

(PING-CHO is walking through the inn, when she suddenly remembers something.)

PING-CHO: (To herself.) The passageway - why have I not thought of it before?

(PING-CHO quickly finds SUSAN.)

PING-CHO: Susan, Susan! I've got proof. I can prove it!
SUSAN: What?
PING-CHO: That Tegana lied.
POLO: (Overhearing PING-CHO.) You can prove what?
PING-CHO: Messr Marco, do you remember Tegana's reply when Miss Wright said she had followed him to the Cave of Five Hundred Eyes?
POLO: Yes, he said he'd never been there before.
PING-CHO: He lied Messr Marco.
POLO: You bring a very serious charge, Ping-Cho - I hope you have proof.
PING-CHO: When he came into the cave, Susan's grandfather showed him Miss Wright's handkerchief, saying we had found it over there. And the old lord pointed to a dark corner of the cave. And do you remember what he said? He asked if we had found it in the passageway.
POLO: Well?
PING-CHO: If he had never been to the cave before, how could he know that a dark corner was a passageway?
SUSAN: Yes!
POLO: This is your proof? You call this evidence?
PING-CHO: Yes Messr Marco.
POLO: And on these grounds you dare to call the Warlord Tegana a liar? You foolish child, how dare you make such a reckless accusation. Believe me, it will take much more than this to shake my confidence in Tegana.


11. SINJU INN

(At another inn in the town, TEGANA has met up with ACOMAT. ACOMAT is furious with TEGANA...)

ACOMAT: It was your fault!

(TEGANA stares angrily at ACOMAT, but remains silent. He takes a sip of his wine.)

ACOMAT: You should have killed them all when you...

(TEGANA angrily throws the goblet of wine to the floor.)

TEGANA: You listen to me, Acomat, and you listen well. The day after tomorrow, the caravan sets out to cross the bamboo forest. On the second night, I shall silence the guard, and then when all is well, I shall signal you with a burning torch, and then you will move in and slaughter them all. But with stealth, mind you...
ACOMAT: And the magician's caravan?
TEGANA: You will send... that on to Noghai, whilst I will continue on to Shang-Tu with terrible stories of bandit attacks.
ACOMAT: Polo?
TEGANA: Well, I should let Polo die like... umm... an old woman in her bed.
ACOMAT: The... ah... the old magician - how can you kill him?
TEGANA: With a stake through the heart.


12. COURTYARD - SINJU WAY STATION

(The DOCTOR and BARBARA sneak into the way station's courtyard. The TARDIS sits a short distance away. They approach it...)

DOCTOR: There isn't very much more to do - I won't be long. But keep your eyes open...
BARBARA: Yes.

(BARBARA keeps watch as the DOCTOR enters the TARDIS. At that moment, TEGANA returns to the inn. He immediately notices the DOCTOR closing the TARDIS door behind him. BARBARA turns quickly, just as TEGANA rushes off into the way station. BARBARA rushes off in search of IAN.)

BARBARA: Ian?


13. INTERIOR - THE TARDIS

(Unaware of what is happening outside, the DOCTOR completes the repairs to the TARDIS main circuit. He hums cheerfully to himself.)


14. COURTYARD - SINJU WAY STATION

(IAN joins BARBARA in the courtyard.)

BARBARA: I think... Tegana must have seen him going into it!
IAN: Where's Tegana now?
BARBARA: I don't know.
IAN: Stay here.

(IAN performs a quick search of the courtyard to see if TEGANA is hiding nearby.)

IAN: Not a sign of him. Where's Marco?
BARBARA: He must be in his room.
IAN: Good. Now listen. Go and get the Doctor out of the ship, then hide. I'm going to try a bluff. If it works, we may be able to turn the tables on Tegana. Now, go quickly.

(As IAN rushes off to find POLO. BARBARA approaches the TARDIS.)


15. INTERIOR - THE TARDIS

(The DOCTOR continues his repairs, humming to himself.)


16. INTERIOR - SINJU WAY STATION

(IAN has found POLO first.)

IAN: Ah, Marco, I was just coming to have a word with you.
POLO: What about?
IAN: Well, I should have thought that was pretty obvious.
POLO: Be more explicit Ian.
IAN: Oh come on Marco, we're friends aren't we?
POLO: We were.
IAN: Well, why this sudden change? And tell me, why separate Susan and Ping-Cho?
POLO: Susan is a bad influence.
IAN: Oh, you can't really mean that.
POLO: Ping-Cho's first loyalty is to me, yet she backs you against Tegana.
IAN: Perhaps that's because we were telling the truth. It is possible, you know.
POLO: Let me tell you something Ian. Tegana is a special emissary of Noghai on his way to talk peace with Kublai Khan. He's a very important man. You are mysterious travellers from some far-off land I know nothing about. Now, if you were in my position, a servant of Kublai Khan, whose word would you take?
IAN: Well, I should keep an open mind.
POLO: Yes...

(At that moment, TEGANA arrives on the scene.)

TEGANA: Marco, I... (He spots IAN.) I have... err... something... err... rather interesting... err... to show you.
POLO: What is it?
TEGANA: The old magician is in his... err... caravan.
POLO: (Furiously.) He is what! Is this true Ian?
IAN: Well... err... why don't we go outside and have a look?


17. COURTYARD - SINJU WAY STATION

(POLO, IAN and TEGANA enter the courtyard and approach the TARDIS.)

POLO: Are you sure about this?
TEGANA: He's got another key - I saw him go inside.
IAN: So all we can do now is wait for him to come out.
POLO: This you are prepared to do?
IAN: If it will convince you that Tegana is making trouble, we can wait here all night.
POLO: Tegana, are you absolutely positive?
TEGANA: When the War Lord Tegana says it is so, Marco, it is so. He is in there.

(Suddenly, the DOCTOR emerges from the TARDIS.)

IAN: Doctor, shut the door quickly!

(The DOCTOR hurriedly turns around, and locks the TARDIS door.)

POLO: I'm sorry I doubted your word Tegana.

(He marches up to the DOCTOR, hand outstretched.)

POLO: Give me the key, Doctor.
DOCTOR: No.
POLO: You're an old man, and I do not wish to use force.
DOCTOR: That is what you'll precisely have to do Polo.

(TEGANA forces the TARDIS key from the Doctor's hand.)

TEGANA: (Holding up the key.) Bear witness, did I not say he had another key?
DOCTOR: Put that key in the lock, Polo, and you will destroy the ship. Then where will your precious Khan be, hmmm? You need more than a key to enter my ship. You need knowledge. Knowledge you will never possess.
POLO: Tell me.
DOCTOR: No - understand? No! I'd let you wreck it first!
POLO: (Screaming.) Guards! Guards!

(A number of warriors burst in and surround the DOCTOR and IAN.)

DOCTOR: Let go of me!

(POLO turns to IAN.)

POLO: Bear witness. I wear the gold seal of Kublai Khan, and by the authority it invests in me, I do hereby seize and hold your caravan in his name. Be warned. Any resistance to this decree is instantly punishable by death.
DOCTOR: You poor, pathetic, stupid savage.
POLO: Take them away!

(The Doctor and Ian are dragged off by the guards, the DOCTOR's laughing at POLO.)

TEGANA: Marco, are you now convinced which of us makes trouble?


18. MARCO POLO'S JOURNAL

POLO: (Writing in journal.) What a nightmare this journey has become. Our progress is impeded because Tegana, the bearers and I must constantly be on the alert for any signs of trouble from the prisoners, and Ping-Cho's resentment of me only serves to make my task more difficult. But I have succeeded in keeping her away from them by setting up a separate tent for the Doctor and his companions.


19. INTERIOR - THE TIME TRAVELLERS' TENT

(It is night in the bamboo forest. The Doctor and his companions remain closely guarded in their tent.)

IAN: We can't go on like this! We must get out.

(IAN angrily throws a china plate on to the ground.)

BARBARA: Well, that's easier said than done.
IAN: I know Barbara. I know the odds are against us, but at least we've got to try.
DOCTOR: Yes, I quite agree with you. The ship's waiting outside, with the circuit finished and installed.
BARBARA: And Polo has both keys.
DOCTOR: Oh, that wretched child!
SUSAN: Grandfather, Ping-Cho wouldn't say anything about the second key. I know she wouldn't.
DOCTOR: Oh, my dear Susan, if you...
IAN: Oh, don't you worry about that now! We must concentrate on getting one of those keys back.
DOCTOR: Yes, and the only way I can see it, is that we should have to capture Polo.
IAN: Why not? Take him hostage!
BARBARA: But we're hopelessly outnumbered!
IAN: Only by day. At night, we've got the edge on them. They've only got one guard, remember.
SUSAN: Yes, but how are you going to disarm him?
IAN: I don't know - somehow. I'll do it.
DOCTOR: Now just a minute. First things first, young man. How are we going to get out of here, and remember that guard is out there watching for us. Hmmm?

(IAN picks up the broken plate from the floor, and examines the jagged edge.)

IAN: With this - I'll cut my way out.
DOCTOR: That's a very good idea - good!
IAN: As soon as I've dealt with that guard, I'll come back for you.
DOCTOR: Right.

(IAN commences to cut through the tent using the broken plate as a knife.)

SUSAN: Grandfather, supposing Messr Marco won't give him the keys?
DOCTOR: Don't worry my child. I think by the time I've finished with that gentleman, he'll only be too glad to let us go.

(The DOCTOR chuckles.)


20. EXTERIOR - THE TIME TRAVELLERS' TENT

(After cutting through the tent, IAN cautiously sneaks up behind the guard. However, the guard offers no resistance - he is lying motionless on the ground. IAN kneels next to the guard, and turns him over. He is dead, having been stabbed through the chest...)


NEXT EPISODE : RIDER FROM SHANG-TU


Doctor Who
WILLIAM HARTNELL

Ian Chesterton
WILLIAM RUSSELL

Barbara Wright
JACQUELINE HILL

Susan Foreman
CAROLE ANN FORD

Marco Polo
MARK EDEN

Tegana
DERRIN NESBITT

Ping-Cho
ZIENIA MERTON

Chenchu
JIMMY GARDNER

Malik
CHARLES WADE

Acomat
PHILIP VOSS

Title music composed by
RON GRAINER
and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop

Incidental Music
TRISTRAM CARY

Story Editor
DAVID WHITAKER

Designer
BARRY NEWBERY

Associate Producer
MERVYN PINFIELD

Producer
VERITY LAMBERT

Director
JOHN CROCKETT

Transcribed by
BRUCE ROBINSON

Script Adaption / Editing / Additional Description
LEE HORTON

Corrections by
JULIAN HAYLOCK
MAL

 

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