Marco Polo: Season 1 (2014)

SEASON:

Season 1
Marco Polo

Critics Consensus

An all-around disappointment, Marco Polo is less entertaining than a round of the game that shares its name.

33%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 45

93%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2477

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Episodes

Air date: Dec 12, 2014

Marco Polo is taken prisoner by Kublai Khan in the opener of this series chronicling the adventures of the young explorer.

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Air date: Dec 12, 2014

Kublai Khan battles his brother.

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Air date: Dec 12, 2014

Marco begins a dangerous relationship.

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Air date: Dec 12, 2014

Kublai questions Marco's allegiance.

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Air date: Dec 12, 2014

Marco searches for the mastermind behind a murderous plot; Prince Jingim considers retaliation.

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Air date: Dec 12, 2014

Marco searches for the culprit behind an assassination attempt on Kublai Khan.

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Air date: Dec 12, 2014

Marco and Hundred Eyes attempt to infiltrate the walled city of Xiangyang.

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Air date: Dec 12, 2014

Marco's allegiance is tested.

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Air date: Dec 12, 2014

Chancellor Sidao sets his sights on regaining power.

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Air date: Dec 12, 2014

Marco's ingenuity and loyalty are tested in the Season 1 finale.

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Marco Polo: Season 1 Videos

Marco Polo: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

The first season of this historical fiction drama series follows Venetian explorer Marco Polo (Lorenzo Richelmy) through his adventures in 13th-century China after he is taken prisoner by Kublai Khan (Benedict Wong). Marco must learn to navigate through the politics and culture of life in the court of Kublai Khan, who is in the midst of his quest to become emperor of the world and sees Marco as a valuable tool in this conquest. Marco's allegiance is tested throughout the season, especially as Kublai Khan makes plans to conquer the walled city of Xiangyang. The show also features Joan Chen as Empress Chabi, Remy Hii as Prince Jingim, and Zhu Zhu as Kokachin.

Cast

Lorenzo Richelmy
as Marco Polo
Benedict Wong
as Kublai Khan
Zhu Zhu
as Kokachin
Tom Wu
as Hundred Eyes
Remy Hii
as Prince Jingim
Chin Han
as Jia Sidao
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Critic Reviews for Marco Polo Season 1

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (27)

[Marco Polo] aims to be a grand historical epic, but is too caught up in borrowing from other works to find its own voice.

May 13, 2019 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

A big budget, high hopes, and good intentions it seems wasn't enough to buoy a boring protagonist and flaccid story.

Nov 12, 2015 | Full Review…

The series is a sloppy, clattering mess, intended to draw international attention, not plaudits. The yawning intricacies of international taxation and trade are the perfect subject matter for a spectacle this cynical.

Nov 12, 2015 | Full Review…

The 10-episode historical drama will appeal to viewers who miss miniseries of the past like Shogun and whose screens are big and bright enough to appreciate its rich scenery and costumes.

Dec 18, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Viewers who are hoping for the story to develop will start to feel like kids in a swimming pool playing the namesake game who keep shouting "Marco!" without hearing anyone shout "Polo!"

Dec 15, 2014 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Once viewers overcome the sluggish pace thereÂ's something for everyone with Marco Polo.

Dec 15, 2014 | Full Review…

It hasn't been a complete wash... but the ten episodes of Marco Polo's first season are a large collection of underdeveloped or overcooked plot points, brought to life by a collection of mostly one-dimensional characters.

Feb 28, 2020 | Full Review…

Marco Polo is a terribly boring character, particularly as played by Lorenzo Richelmy.

May 14, 2019 | Full Review…

Marco Polo shows promise for those with a thirst for political machinations with a side of kung fu and a smattering of sex and violence on top.

May 14, 2019 | Full Review…

Yep, it's basically their take on HBO's fantasy drama Game of Thrones, but this new series actually holds up pretty well against the world of Westeros, mainly thanks to the genuinely turbulent period of real history it's based on.

May 13, 2019 | Full Review…

Marco Polo is a fun, body-flinging, old-fashioned epic, the sort of story that drops a sensually handsome young man with a beard into a string of adventures in a world heavily spiced with the exotic.

May 13, 2019 | Full Review…

Dramas like these often get off to a slow start: sprawling casts must be introduced, and intricate webs woven, before the intrigue and betrayals can begin. But writer John Fusco is able to set the stage without too much tedium.

May 13, 2019 | Rating: 7.5/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Marco Polo: Season 1

  • 4d ago
    The first episode is a slog, but the show picks itself up quickly and outclasses its more popular competition.
  • Sep 13, 2020
    Loved this show. SO DISAPPOINTED it lasted only a season. Beautiful plot and historical insight, and where it was dramatic in facts it was creative and ingenious. Enjoyed far more than GoT.
  • Sep 08, 2020
    Firstly I really enjoyed this series, it mixed beautifully shot scenes with great historical interpretation albeit based on a Marco Polo's journey. I found it extremely educational and eye opening which compelled me to do further research. The story line and character development was steady and you grew to connect to all the characters as you saw their flaws and insecurities. It also demonstrated how hard it is to hold on to power, fight through betrayal, make the right decisions, trust in loyalty and the conflicts in morality. The cast was brilliantly put together with a real mix of English, Australian and American Asians, I cannot recall another Western show that highlighted great Asian acting as most of cast shown and put their own marks on the show. Pretty good Kung Fu scenes especially with legit Kung Fu masters in Michelle Yoeh and Tom Wu. There was a tasteful amount of brutality that gave you a feeling of what it was back in those days. The costumes, set and Mongol music created a great atmosphere for the acting, creating different layers of complexity and requires utter concentration to enjoy and understand it fully. The timelines didn't always flow well and the acting can be a little over dramatic but it was trying to recreate what scenes would've been like 800 years ago and how courtesans would've spoken to each in a diverse court. I really don't understand why it had such negative reviews and the 3rd season was cancelled.
  • Jun 25, 2020
    Lots of ups and downs, constantly keeping you guessing. There is drama, there is fighting, there is innovation and politics.
  • May 25, 2020
    I don't get the critics at all, this show was a masterpiece. Great compelling story, amazing cinematography and crazy unforseen twists. Just finished the second season and I just can't believe that there won't be a third season, crazy.
  • Apr 24, 2020
    Horrible. Set design is good. But acting and the story and actors are mostly horrible. I could not finish first episode. It was just too painful to watch it
  • Apr 17, 2020
    I want this show back!!!!!!!! What a rip off to end it or have to. Someone needs to find a way to bring it back. It's untold history brought to impressive life. From the characters, to the actors who play them, the landscapes, the unique take on how the characters express their individual situations, was/is intriguing. Not one episode bored me. I was captivated, if not a bit annoyed by Marco's and Princess Kokuchin's romance. Held out hope though and still do - for the return of the show as well. Anyways, by the end of the second season with everything left in suspended time on this cancelled show, I was imputently angry but also realized how dense humans can be and lacking depth. Not the characters, the viewers. I only realized this at the end when it's conclusion and answers to all my questions and misunderstandings were taken from me. My rating is for both seasons. I watched them both back to back. I've had Netflix for less than a year now. Found this exceptional show, its actors and crew and now it's been taken away. Four years ago, true but I'm still feeling it. Watch for yourself without the influence of others, including me. I love this show. It was, is and I hope will be again, AMAZING!🤗And oh, original, beautifully made...I truly could go on.
  • Mar 26, 2020
    Great photography and narration. It is slow at the beginning but then it grows big and wonderful. Really entertaining!
  • Mar 24, 2020
    As an Asian, don't overanalyze it and just enjoy it. Really beautifully shot and immersive on my projector. Great for the good screen. Underrated show.
  • Jan 26, 2020
    Very well acted, beautiful cinematography, well-done historical context.

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