By @SimonCocking

Big, bold and visually in your face. The new Marco Polo show from Netflix aims to showcase all that is impressive with the new 4K standard for viewing.

What is 4K?

4K is ultra high definition picture quality, showing four times the detail of existing high definition screens, giving you around 8 million pixels instead of 2 million pixels.

It’s an interesting viewing experience, and takes a while to get used to. With that much high definition reality in front of you, it’s important to ensure that the image you have created merits the scrutiny. Cliff Edwards, @cliff_e director of corporate communications and technology at Netflix, is keen that people give Marco Polo a few episodes to get into the characters and the scope of such a range of characters and locations.

Entering into a genre where Game of Thrones has already bloodily laid waste to many preconceptions about what is visually possible, Marco Polo is trying to follow it’s own path. As Edwards stressed too, in the early episodes of GoT there were many characters to be introduced and a lot of, at times hilarious (s)exposition to get the viewer up to speed. Four seasons later GoT has a massive following and wide popularity despite initial mixed reviews from critics. It is hoped Marco Polo will attain similar levels of popularity.

The fact that Netflix is embarking on a growing program of new original content shows how far the company has come, and how it is reshaping the world’s viewing habits. Netflix intends to make all future original programs to 4K standard. This has becomes a key factor in influencing television manufacturers when building their products, to ensure a ‘Netflix ready’ seal of approval.

The sweeping drama’s ten episodes were shot in Italy, Kazakhstan and Malaysia.  The global cast includes Richelmy, Benedict Wong (Prometheus), Joan Chen (Twin Peaks), Chin Han (ArrowThe Dark Knight), Zhu Zhu (Cloud Atlas), Olivia Cheng (The Flash, Broken Trail), Claudia Kim (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Mahesh Jadu (Neighbours), Tom Wu (Skyfall), Remy Hii (Treading Water), Uli Latukefu (Devil’s Playground) and Rick Yune (Olympus Has Fallen, The Fast and the Furious). John Fusco, who wrote the Academy-Award nominated featureSpirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, created the series and is executive producer and showrunner along with Dan Minahan, whose previous work includes Homeland and Game of Thrones. Academy-Award nominated directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) directed the first two hours and serve as executive producers. Marco Polo is produced by Netflix and The Weinstein Company.