To prepare for the series, Goyer says he read dozens of biographies, da Vinci's journal pages and many of his letters.
He has written or co-written all eight episodes of season one (with work well under way on a second season's scripts), and directed the first two episodes of the show, which shoots in Wales.
Recapturing 15th-century Florence, not to mention the highfalutin exploits of da Vinci, demands impressive visual effects, and Goyer set the bar high: "My goal was to be at least on par with the production values of 'Game of Thrones,'" he says.
But even as it recaptures the past, the show, like da Vinci, is forward-looking.
"The central conflict is about who controls information," Goyer says. "On the one hand, you've got the Vatican Secret Archives. The Church wants to control the information. On the other hand, shortly before our show starts, Gutenberg invented the printing press.
"This is a modern-day touchstone that viewers can identify with. If da Vinci were alive today, his slogan would be, 'Information wants to be free.'"
Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore(at)ap.org and at http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier
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