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 Exploring China’s 4,000-year history yields insight into its future in


Available on DVD and Blu-ray from PBS Distribution on June 27th

Arlington, Va.May 17, 2017 – PBS Distribution announced today it is releasing “THE STORY OF CHINA WITH MICHAEL WOOD” on DVD and Blu-ray. PBS offers an unprecedented, six-part series exploring the 4,000-year history of China, home to more than a billion people and an emerging global superpower. Host and historian Michael Wood, who brings a joyful curiosity to the series that is matched only by the warmth and enthusiasm of the Chinese people, suggests that to understand China today we must examine its past.

Produced by Maya Vision International, “THE STORY OF CHINA” goes deep into China’s breathtaking landscapes to find the people and stories that have helped create China’s distinctive character and genius for more than four millennia. Wood treks through the deserts of the Silk Road, visiting the ancient cities of Luoyang and Kaifeng, and to the modern metropolises of Beijing and Shanghai.

THE STORY OF CHINAWITH MICHAEL WOOD” will be available on June 27, 2017. The run time of the program is approximately 360 minutes on 2 discs. The DVD SRP is $34.99 and the Blu-ray SRP is $39.99. The program will also be available for digital download.

From the First Emperor to the Mongols and from the Opium Wars to the Communist Revolution, Wood paints vivid pictures of some of the great characters of Chinese history, not just emperors but scientists, poets, rebels and novelists as well. Viewers meet the intrepid Buddhist traveler Xuanzang, the great woman poet Li Qingzhao, and Su Song — China’s Leonardo da Vinci. Wood captures the essence of key dynasties of China — from its first historical empire, the Shang, dating from 1500 B.C., through its last, the Qing, which ruled from 1644 to 1911. The series concludes with the great rebellions of the 19th century that led to the rise of Mao Zedong and shows viewers the living culture of China today, from intimate family celebrations to vast communal rituals in the Yellow River plain.

In the first part, Wood goes back to the beginnings of Chinese history to meet the astonishing First Emperor. Next the series travels the Silk Road to tell the story of China’s brilliant Tang dynasty (618-907) and sails the waters of the Grand Canal, still in use today. The third part presents the gripping tale of China’s most brilliant dynasty, the Song (960-1279), and the Chinese Renaissance in the city of Kaifeng. Following is the story of China’s most famous dynasty, the Ming (1368-1644), and the splendors of the age of the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Chinese gardens, ceramics and other art, and far-reaching exploration. The fifth part focuses on the last empire, the Qing dynasty. It’s an age of surprises and an explosion of arts, all of which collapsed at the clash with the British in the First Opium War. And in the final part, viewers see how the Taiping Rebellion, the Boxer Uprising, the Japanese invasion and the rise of the Communist revolutionary Mao Zedong gave birth to today’s China.


About Michael Wood

Historian and filmmaker Michael Wood has brought history alive for PBS viewers for 30 years. He is the author of several best-selling books and more than 100 documentary films, which The New York Times has described as “among the best history documentaries ever shown on TV.” Wood’s series include IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT and THE STORY OF INDIA, which the Wall Street Journal said was “still the gold standard” of history documentary filmmaking.  Producer and director Rebecca Dobbs, a founder of Maya Vision International, has been making award-winning dramas and factual programming for worldwide audiences for 30 years. She has worked with Wood on several projects for PBS, including IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT, THE STORY OF INDIA, CONQUISTADORS, IN SEARCH OF SHAKESPEARE and MYTHS AND HEROS before their STORY OF CHINA collaboration.


About PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally, extending the reach of these programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system, stations, and producers.

PBS Distribution offers a broad range of high quality content in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-ray, digital download, and digital streaming.  PBS International offers factual content for broadcast, cable, and satellite services internationally.  The PBS Distribution catalog includes films from Ken Burns, documentaries from award-winning series such as NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, dramas from MASTERPIECE, as well as films from independent producers and popular children’s programming.




Street Date: June 27, 2017

Genre: Documentary

Run Time: Approx. 360 Minutes on 2 Discs

SRP: DVD $34.99 and Blu-ray $39.99

Format: DVD and Blu-ray