Marco Polo was a 13th-century explorer whose epic journey from Venice to Asia and beyond has fascinated the world for centuries. This two-part, 176-minute miniseries is a realistic first-person retrospective based on the published journals of Marco Polo in which viewers are treated to Marco Polo’s (Lost’s Ian Somerhalder) reminiscing about his travels from Venice through what is now Russia and Iran to China and beyond. Considered a barbarian in China, Polo developed an unusual relationship with China’s leader Kublai Kahn (Brian Dennehy), becoming a trusted advisor and explorer under the Kahn while simultaneously remaining under the constant suspicion of the court. Nonetheless, Kublai Kahn sent Polo to explore then-unknown places like (modern-day) Thailand, Pakistan, India, Vietnam, and the Spice Islands where he encountered countless wonders, a host of foreign concepts, and new and exciting peoples. Shot entirely in China, viewers are transported to 13th-century China where they experience first-hand Marco Polo’s incredible drive to explore unseen lands, the physical and emotional hardships of his journey, and his sense of exhilaration and wonderment on traveling through new lands. Action and adventure abound throughout the production, balanced by a careful exploration of the intricacies of Polo’s relationship with the Kahn, his servant Pedro (B.D. Wong), and the women of the court Temulun and Kensai (both played by Desiree Slahaan). Just as fascinating as the actual journey is the depiction of the man Marco Polo; his commitment to truth, openness to new concepts, unceasing quest for knowledge, sense of duty, and seemingly instinctive understanding of human nature. This is a gripping, timeless telling of a classic adventure that’s sure to be a favorite with history buffs, adventure lovers, and anyone who loves a good story. (Ages 10 and older) –Tami Horiuchi
This is the absorbing true story of Venetian explorer Marco Polo’s arduous trek to the East—and beyond. The story follows Marco (Ian Somerhalder) as he is enlisted to accompany a pair of priests to the court of Kublai Khan (Golden Globe winner Brian Dennehy), Mongol conqueror of the East. Featuring Desiree Siahaan and BD Wong, Marco Polo is a gripping look at two of world history’s most enigmatic men and a sensuous vision of a legendary time and place.