The Lost Empire
Miniseries based on the 16th century classic of Chinese literature, "Journey to the West," by Cheng-en Wu. In this updated version of the classic, Nick Orton is on a quest to find a rescue a famous Chinese manuscript -- "Journey to the West" -- from a group of demons who have kept it and author Wu prisoner in a mythical underground world.
Nick, 35, is a China scholar-turned-business consultant whose world-weary cynicism belies a poet's heart. While on an archeological dig of secret Chinese tombs, Nick's epic adventure begins by a "chance" meeting with Kwan Ying, a beautiful goddess sent by the Terracotta Warriors (who recognize Nick as the "Scholar from Above") to recruit him for the heroic task of rescuing the manuscript within three days -- or face the world's end. is recruited by a goddess to save the world by battling the malevolent spirits of the "Five Traditional Masters." His heroic mission is to prevent them from erasing a vital manuscript without which, mythology dictates, civilization will be crushed -- but along the way, he also discovers the true meaning of love.
Though initially rebuffing the challenge, Nick wonders if he isn't supposed to accept the mission when the earth begins to shiver and shake. He then descends into the tombs where he frees the powerful Monkey King, a god who has been trapped for 500 years. Here begins a mentor-student relationship as Monkey King teaches Nick the skills of the noble warrior. In return, Monkey King learns something about the human heart. Together with Monkey King's sidekicks, Pigsy, a wig that walks like a human, and Friar Sand, a dour behemoth, they battle against Shu the Censor, enemy of the manuscript, and his army of demons.
For Nick, however, the battles are both internal and external. Not only must he defeat Shu and rescue "Journey to the West," but he must also convince Wu, its disheartened author, that his work matters. And when Nick falls in love with Kwan Ying, he must choose between stripping her of her powers, or letting her go.