“I think immersive is the thing that you're looking for in a story like this,” Wood said in January at a press conference during the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “What you want is to bring to the PBS audience a sense of being there. I traveled first in China in the early '80s and went all over China, and I came away with a very strong sense of the hospitality and sociability and friendliness of the Chinese people, which isn't always how people describe China.
“So one of the things we did was to doorstep Chinese people and to just pick them up on the street in shopping malls and places like that and in historical places and ask them, ‘Why have you come here? Why is this place important?’ So the voices of the Chinese people are really crucial in this,” he continued. “I'm a great believer in portraying the living culture. It's not a didactic exercise where some professor talks down to the audience and gives them facts. You want to bring the people on a great adventure. And the voices of the people are really crucial. The idea that it is still a living civilization and the Chinese haven't lost connection with their deep past is one of the things that you will see in the series.”
This item initially appeared in Sunday's Post-Gazette Sunday Magazine section.