East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Other People’s Pulps: Marco Polo

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Beyond The Black Stump-1I live at the borders of the empire.
Beyond the black stump, like that old Nevill Shute novel, but without the fiery redhead that graces the old Pan paperback.
In my 900-souls village there are people that were born after the war and never was farther than 80 kilometers from the main square of this place.
The web is slow and erratic, we see seven of the few dozens digital TV channels for which we pay a stiff yearly fee, the trains don’t stop in this town and cell-phone reception is better, probably, in the depth of the basin of the Congo.
This is really the back of beyond.

All this to say that I have good excuses for having missed Marco Polo, that looks exactly like the kind of show I might love, and I should cover on Karavansara…

No, really – I completely missed this.

But of course, no Netflix hereabouts – not on a 70K copper cable connection.
And now there’s a second season going…

I have to see this, absolutely.
And then blog about it. Because it seems a rather action/adventure take on the old classic, Il Milione. Marco Polo as a Silk Road James Bond, or something.
But why not – if Avram Davidson had him meeting the Sleeping Beauty, why not turn poor old Messer Polo da Venegia into an action hero.
There seems also to be quite a bit of sex, in that.
And it apparently focuses a lot on Kublai Khan, which sort of makes sense, but then why not call it Kublai Khan?

I wonder, also, how it compares to the classic, groundbreaking Giuliano Montaldo series of the 1980s, that I loved as a kid…

… and yes, the guy that played Marco Polo back then was the same guy that did Krull.
But we’ll talk about Krull another time1.

  1. as we’ll talk about Nevil Shute, and Avram Davidson, and maybe also of the Japanese animation series version of Marco Polo’s travels. 

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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