TV Series: The Legend of the Condor Heroes
The TV series “The Legend of the Condor Heroes” is produced by Guo Jingyu, and is a 52-episode period costume martial arts drama directed by Jiang Jiajun. Starring Yang Xuwen, Li Yitong, Chen Xingxu, Meng Ziyi, Zhao Lixin, and Wang Kuirong. It premiered in the Oriental TV Weekly Theater on January 2017.
The drama started its production in March 2016 with a total of 100,000 people participating in the filming. However, the costs of the actors was less than 1/3 of the total investment. Other than having top rated actor Wang Kuirong, it also starred several famous actors from overseas such as Miao Qiaowei and Lu Liangwei, Among the younger actors, “The Ferryman”’s two stars Liu Zhiyang and Xiao Yin also had roles.
During production, Guo Jingyu insisted on authentic locations. In the selection of shooting locations, the drama was made to resemblance as much to the description of Jin Yong’s novels as possible. In order to present a more realistic picture effect, the crew insisted on the actual scenery for shooting. Yellow River and Shilin area of Gansu province were chosen for shooting.
When choosing the main leads, Guo Jingyu decided to select new faces knowing this decision could bring risks to the production. It took half a year to shoot, and the production officially wrapped on August 2016. Many casts went on Weibo to express their sadness.
“The Legend of the Condor Heroes” tells the story of Guo Jing, who enters the pugilistic world and eventually becomes a “Hero” through countless journeys and with Huang Rong’s help.
During the Song Dynasty, Guo Jing and Yang Kang, whose parents are murdered, are brought up by the Seven Freaks of the South and Quan Zhen Sect’s Qiu Chuji respectively.
Eighteen years later, Guo Jing goes to the South following his master’s order. However, Yang Kang, strongly driven by wealth, fame and glory, regards the powerful enemy as his father.
Guo Jing falls in love with Huang Rong at first sight. However, due to his previous engagement to Princess Hua Zheng and opposition from his masters, the Seven Freaks of the South, their relationship encounters various setbacks. Guo Jing leaves Huang Rong in fury after his masters are brutally killed in Huang Rong’s home, the Peach Blossom Island. The two get together eventually after many drastic turn of events.
Yang Kang dies from poisoning after attempting to kill Huang Rong at a temple. Thereafter, Guo Jing and Huang Rong travel throughout the country, learning from top martial artists, upskilling their martial arts techniques and eventually manage to seek revenge for the death of Guo Jing’s parents and masters. With the “Book of Wu Mu”, which teaches war techniques, Guo Jing helps his fellow Han Chinese counter the impending Mongol invasion. The plot follows the couple’s adventures and their encounters with the Five Greats. The originally dull and honest Condor Hero has transformed and becomes a great man for his country and people.
Through constant word-of-mouth, the popularity of the show has continued to rise since the show’s first broadcast. By the end of the finale, the number of Internet broadcasts reached 4 billion. Douban score of the show reached 8.0 points. More than 60,000 people participated in the review and more than 76% of netizens praised it with more than four stars.
This show also received the 2017 Annual Top 10 Gold Medal Online Drama Series Award.
“The Legend of The Condor Heroes” Review
“The drama retained its originality, compact storyline and martial arts scenes, leaving a lasting impression on the viewers.” – Huanqiu
“The remake of this drama deserves a recognition. For instance, removing the novel’s minor details without affect the essence of the storyline. Not only being applauded for keeping it original, the emotions and theme song of the drama moved the audience too.” – Shanghai Morning Post, 163.com
“The drama was not draggy, instead it focuses on integrity and justice kind of message. Delivering the chivalrous spirit and positive human touch energy to viewers.” – 163.com
“While keeping the original storyline, the drama showcased the story in details and the martial arts were strived for perfection.” – China Daily
“Not only the drama retained the original Hero’s patriotism, it showcased the characters’ destiny and story development very strongly.” – 163.com
“The martial art spirit has been fully showed with no exaggeration which makes the drama more natural.” – Xinhuanet
“The drama strike a perfect balance between artistic visual and logical reality, giving it an overall “visual comfort”. Adding on some chivalrous and heroism of swordsmen.” – Phoenix New Media