TV Highlights

China’s Man Made Marvels

Quest - 10pm

Who's in it?

Forget everything you think you know about the Great Wall of China, as this documentary will be taking us through its long and bloody history.

In a nutshell

No, you can’t see it from space. Well, not unless you’re really close and you’re squinting a bit from orbit, in which case the Great Wall of China is no more or less visible than any other large structure. Myths like these do persist about the most iconic fortified structure ever built – including the idea that it’s just one wall, singular. In fact, the Great Wall is a catch-all term for a series of structures with their origins across different eras.

There were original bits of wall created thousands of years ago, but it was much much later, during the fabled Ming Dynasty, that the major sections we most associate with the phrase Great Wall of China were painstakingly built. With the emphasis on pain, because – as this documentary explores – the Wall was dubbed the “longest cemetery on Earth” thanks to the sheer numbers of workers who died during its epic construction. How did such a monumental, excruciating feat of architecture and engineering come to pass, and what was life really like for the multitudes of men who toiled to make it happen?

What's the verdict?

No ordinary guided tour of the Great Wall, this is a journey through time as well as space, and will banish all twee, touristy thoughts of the much-photographed landmark. This is what the real Wall was really all about.

Record China’s Man Made Marvels now on Virgin TV Anywhere

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07-07-2011