Today we celebrate the 13th Anniversary of possibly the most unusual episode of Doctor Who in the program’s history. 13th Anniversary you say? The math simply doesn’t work in the context of nu-Who doesn’t it? On February 29th, 1964 episode 2 of the William Hartnell historical Marco Polo entitled “The Singing Sands” was broadcast for the first and only time on BBC1.
Sure Mission to the Unknown has the distinction of being the only recognized single-episode story in the classic canon, but this one is the only episode to have been put out on leap day itself, so technically we honor it’s 13th anniversary today.
Marco Polo is often cited as one of the most desired stories which are incomplete (or in this case completely missing) in the BBC Archives. Looking at the Tour’s gallery for the story it’s easy to see why. It looked simply sumptuous and, having listened to the audio for the story a few years back, would have been a great example of early Doctor Who at it’s best.