Ah, yes — that lazy day after Christmas. You're done with the stress of wrapping and baking, the presents have been opened, the family's been visited, and you still (probably) don't have to go back to work yet. Time to just chill the eff out, right? Which, of course, means parking yourself on the couch and watching some TV. Netflix has decided to give Marco Polo fans a holiday gift with Marco Polo: One Hundred Eyes , which will be available for streaming on Dec. 26. The one-hour special tells the backstory of Hundred Eyes, the Mongolian kung fu master who trains Marco Polo. Fans of the series say he's the best character, so it will likely please them to get some more of him — but what about the rest of the series? Will Marco Polo return for another season?
First, let's address whether or not Marco Polo: One Hundred Eyes has a shot at becoming a spin-off. The news is a bummer, so let's nip it in the bud. As of right now, Netflix is advertising this as a stand-alone special, not the premiere of a new series or the first in an ongoing group of specials. But, never say never — this could be a backdoor pilot to a spinoff series, and, if it does extremely well, it would be silly of Netflix to keep it as a one-shot. Given that Marco Polo hasn't lit the world on fire, though, I'm guessing this is it for the special.
I'm digging the trend of one-shot movies inspired by series, though. It lets the creators explore the worlds of their series without really committing to a season-long arc. The most exciting example of the moment, of course, is going to be another post-holiday treat: the Sherlock Christmas special, which comes to PBS on January 1, 2016.
Like Marco Polo: One Hundred Eyes, the series is using the special to do something a little different. Instead of following the backstory of a different character, though, it's bringing its beloved characters into a different time period. While the show normally takes place in modern, contemporary times, the special will be set in Victorian London. (I'm assuming it's a "what-if" type of thing.) While I'm always happy to have more Sherlock in general, knowing they're doing something crazy for the special makes it all the more exciting.
And, people who are gunning for a Hundred Eyes series, take heart! Even unpopular spinoff features can result in a series. Just look at The X-Files. Its 2008 movie, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, was a stand-alone feature inspired by a series, just like Marco Polo: One Hundred Eyes. It pretty much flopped, earning less than $20 million at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo. And yet, we're getting another X-Files series on TV anyway! Hooray! It's also a post-holiday treat, premiering on FOX on Jan. 24.
So what about Marco Polo in general getting a second season? Netflix doesn't release ratings for its shows, so it's hard to determine how popular it is. But, the answer is — lucky for fans — yes, it will return. Netflix renewed Marco Polo for Season 2, and it'll start airing sometime in 2016. (The date hasn't been announced yet, but it's reasonable to assume it'll be available at the end of the year like Season 1 was.) Even better, Michelle Yeoh will join the cast for the second season.
She'll be playing someone from Hundred Eyes' past, so, no matter what, Marco Polo: One Hundred Eyes won't be the end of his backstory.