In the early 1980s, Burgess was commissioned to work as a screenwriter on an eight-part television miniseries about Marco Polo. First broadcast in 1982, the miniseries was an international co-production, financed by the U.S., Italy, Japan and China, and filmed on location in Beijing, Inner Mongolia, Italy and Morocco. Key members of the cast and crew included:
Giuliano Montaldo: Director
Screenwriters: Vincenzo Labella and David Butler (along with Burgess)
Producer: Vincenzo Labella
Composer: Ennio Morricone
Starring: Ken Marshall, Denholm Elliott, David Warner, F. Murray Abraham, and Ian McShane.
The miniseries was first broadcast in 1982 and was nominated for two Emmys.
The series consists of 4 revised scripts for the series.