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In a world replete with greed, betrayal, sexual intrigue and rivalry, "Marco Polo" is based on the famed explorer's adventures in Kublai Khan's court in 13th century Mongolia.

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2016   2014  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...  Marco Polo 20 episodes, 2014-2016
...  Kublai Khan 20 episodes, 2014-2016
...  Empress Chabi 20 episodes, 2014-2016
...  Prince Jingim 20 episodes, 2014-2016
...  Kokachin 20 episodes, 2014-2016
...  Ahmad 20 episodes, 2014-2016
...  Byamba 20 episodes, 2014-2016
...  Mei Lin 19 episodes, 2014-2016
...  Hundred Eyes 18 episodes, 2014-2016
...  Khutulun 16 episodes, 2014-2016
...  Kaidu 15 episodes, 2014-2016
...  Jia Sidao 11 episodes, 2014-2016
Stanislav Satko ...  Armed Escort #2 10 episodes, 2014
...  Yusuf 9 episodes, 2014
...  Niccolò Polo 9 episodes, 2014-2016
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Storyline

In a world replete with greed, betrayal, sexual intrigue and rivalry, "Marco Polo" is based on the famed explorer's adventures in Kublai Khan's court in 13th century Mongolia.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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War from within (Season 2) See more »


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TV-MA | See all certifications »

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12 December 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Markas Polas  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was cancelled after two seasons. See more »

Goofs

There were no Rome Catholics among Mongolian Christians, only Eastern Christians (Nestorians). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Why Him? (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Don't listen to the critics - This show is excellent
22 December 2014 | by See all my reviews

I was anticipating watching this series as it was being advertised before its release. I was disappointed that the initial reviews called it boring and slow moving while lauding the cinematography. I'm glad I decided to see for myself.

All I can figure is that the critics were disappointed that there weren't Kung Fu or large battles two or three times in every episode. I think in some respects, that has become the expectation on any eastern themed movie nowadays. They also complained about slow plot development, and most tried to draw a comparison to Game of Thrones (which I also enjoy greatly). They miss the mark. Comparing Marco Polo to GOT is an apples and oranges comparison, and still with certain parallels which they failed to note.

GOT is fantasy, where MP is based on historical events. That's not to say MP is documentary; I'm sure that the writers have created fictional plot lines and characters to advance the story. However, many aspects of the storyline, and many of the characters are based on historical fact. The character development is thorough and intricate. These are very deep and nuanced characters. We tend to think of Kublai Khan as some short little cartoon character from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, and the Mongol Horde as an undisciplined mob of savages. In this series Khan is shown to be a complex and politically and militarily savvy strong leader, and his army to be as powerful and effective as any of the great armies of Europe from the same era. The development of the peripheral characters are equally as complex and nuanced. There is much intrigue in both the Mongol and the Song palaces, enough to hold our interest, and require careful attention to understand. Next to GOT, the characters are much more complex, and far more interesting.

The critics were right about the cinematography. The locations are striking, and it is easy to see that no expense was spared in the making of the series. Their complaint about the dearth of action is unfounded. Every episode has some action. GOT tends to budget for one major event each season (Battle of the Blackwater, The Purple Wedding). In ten episodes of MP, I counted a number of battle scenes using thousands of extras. The show is impressive in its scope, and very enjoyable to watch.

The critics point out the gratuitous sex. Perhaps there is some, but no more than we would expect in any made-for-subscription TV series. I'm not a prude, but I did think that the producers may have pandered somewhat to the viewership in this respect, but while the nudity and sex don't actually add to the story, they don't diminish it either. I can think of several series (Spartacus and Rome come to mind) where gratuitous sex/nudity is much more obvious.

If there is a negative to the show, it is that you need to pay close attention to each episode to follow each plot line. Some of this is because of my own lack of familiarity with eastern culture. Names are difficult to remember and to keep straight, as are the family relationships, the alliances, the conflicts and the interests of the characters. This is not a show you can watch with one eye. To fully appreciate the story, you must be willing to watch with 100 per cent attention, every episode. If you are prepared to make that commitment, you will be rewarded with a rich and rewarding viewing experience.


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