PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 June, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 June, 2003, 12:00am

Makers of the historical TV drama Moving Towards A Republic that has unexpectedly become a hit on the mainland have rushed to release the series on DVD and VCD to thwart pirates in Hong Kong.

The series has been responsible for keeping tens of thousands of mainland residents at home every night during the past two months - a handy antidote to Sars fears.

The 59 episodes were produced by the same team that made the superb drama series on the 18th-century reign of emperor Qian Long.

I am ashamed to say the contents of the last series makes up the sum total of my knowledge of Qing history. Can't wait to watch the latest VCDs. That ought to take me all the way up to the 20th century.