Marco Polo review: A sweeping, 13th-century epic

There’s lots of nudity, the costumes are sumptuous, the extras are multitudinous and the backdrops are spectacular

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The Independent Culture

Another show bidding for our subscription bucks this weekend was Marco Polo, the latest Netflix Originals commission to follow the likes of House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black.

Actually, the most obvious precedent for this sweeping, 13th-century-set epic is Game of Thrones, and Netflix will be hoping it can secure at least some of that show’s many millions of viewers during the long wait for series five.

Italian newcomer Lorenzo Richelmy stars as the Venetian explorer, who finds himself a captive in the court of Mongolian emperor Kublai Khan (a charismatic Benedict Wong).

There’s lots of nudity, the costumes (when worn) are sumptuous, the extras are multitudinous and the backdrops are spectacular.

In other words, what charms this show does possess will be difficult to appreciate when propped up in bed with an 11-inch laptop on your knee. And that’s the typical Netflix viewing experience, unfortunately.

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