Historical Dramas Still Hot

    January 06, 2004 19:48

    Signs are pointing to another wave of historical TV dramas.

    KBS was originally planning yet another tale of derring-do set in the first half of the Koryo Dynasty, but after taking into account criticism that its previous three historical dramas -- Taejo Wanggeon, Morning of the Empire, and The Age of Warriors -- were all set in the Koryo Dynasty, the station switched to running a series on the Chosun Dynasty’s Admiral Lee Sun-shin, a hero from the Japanese invasion of the 16th century.

    A scene from “Daejanggeum”

    In addition, KBS is readying “King of the Seas,” a biography of Unified Shilla Period trader and naval hero Jang Bo-go.

    MBC, seeing how well its historical drama “Daejanggeum” was received, is preparing “The Age of Heroes.” The Age of Heroes, scheduled to be between 50 to 100 episodes, deals with South Korea’s period of economic reconstruction during the 60s, 70s and 80s. In particular, the story will focus on the lives of two men who rose from nothing to become business giants -- Chung Ju Yung, the late president of the Hyundai group, and Lee Byung-chull, late founder of the Samsung group. Choe Bur-am and Jeong Uk-I are likely to play the businessmen.

    A scene from "The Age of Warriors."

    For the later half of the year, MBC has a drama on Shin Ton, a late Koryo Dynasty monk who was the real power behind King Kongmin’s throne. Meanwhile, SBS began shooting screen adaptations last year of Hwang Seok-yeong’s “Jang Gil-san” and Park Kyeong-ni’s “Land.”

    Jang Gil-san, set to be 80 episodes, tells the story of Jang, born to a runaway slave and raised by entertainers, who dreams of a nation for the people. Jang Hyeon-il, who infected the country last year with “Kim Du-han Syndrome,” through his role as Kim in “Yain Shindae,” has done some trailers for the show, and expectations are high. Jan Gil-san is slated to begin in May.

    Land is set for July. It’s a meaningful production, since this is the first time a dramatization of Park Kyung-lee ’s novel has been made since a five-part series was aired in 1994. This time around, it’s a huge production of 80 episodes and nearly 600 actors, with Kim Hyeon-ju slated to star in its lead role.
    (Kim Tae-heun, amicus@sportschosun.com)
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