Sungkyunkwan Scandal Screenwriter’s New Drama Dr. Frankenstein Confirmed for June Airdate on KBS

It’s a testament to Kim Soo Hyun‘s star power these days that the media was buzzing about upcoming K-drama Dr. Frankenstein when he was offered the role, despite the drama having no confirmed broadcast network or time slot at that time. Now Dr. Frankenstein is confirmed as headed our way, KBS has picked up the drama and slotted it for June. That was the time slot originally given to Descendants of the Sun but that drama was pushed back to September earlier this month to give it more time for the bulk overseas shoot and to clear up the schedules of the rumored leads.

Dr. Frankenstein is best described as a cross between two of the trendiest recent topics in K-dramas – doctor (Blood and Dr. Stranger) and mental health disorder (Hyde, Jekyll, Me, It’s Okay, It’s Love, and Kill Me Heal Me). It’s the romance between a cardiothoracic surgeon who suffers from dissociative identity disorder and his curing romance with a lady police officer. I’m withholding judgment on both the similarity and range of this purported story line because the screenwriter behind Dr. Frankenstein did Sungkyunkwan Scandal and I really enjoyed her fun light touch in that piece. With Kim Soo Hyun out, now the watch is on for the titular leading man.

Now that Kim Soo Hyun has passed, any of the rest of his near-age colleagues above want to be the mentally screwed up but brilliant genius Dr. Frankenstein? I don’t think this drama will be that hard to cast considering thus far Jo In Sung, Hyun Bin, and Ji Sung have all convincingly delivered on the mentally ill leading man role. Also easier to sign on might be the rumored leading lady of IU, two years out since her last drama which was Pretty Boy (Bel Ami) on KBS. Going to keep an eye on this one.


Sungkyunkwan Scandal Screenwriter’s New Drama Dr. Frankenstein Confirmed for June Airdate on KBS — 46 Comments

  1. So glad Kim Soo hyun is not in the running for this. I mean, there’s PLENTY of potential in split-personality dramas, but with two of them airing at the same time, it’s more than enough for 2015. (For me at least)

  2. Good lord. We really need more variety in kdramaland…

    Lol, I bet KSH is offered every role going. I sort of think he might do Descendants of the Sun instead. Kim Eun Sook likes her male leads with star power. Although maybe he’s too young for the part, idk.

    • Yeah, I think producers make an exception for him and let him play much older than his actual age even if he doesn’t look the part. That’s why I don’t think that the role being offered to Kim Soo Hyun means that the actor eventually cast will be one of the ’87 crowd. Even an ’82er is pushing it.

    • Song Joong Ki has more than enough star power to lead KES’s drama. And hr will be out this May, Sep drama is a perfect schedule for him if he wants to work right away.

  3. I personally think the drama team will be more sensible and up the age groups of the actors involved. I hate seeing actors this young being cast for roles that require years and years of training (CT surgeon) or experience on the job (the female lead is a police captain).

    • Exactly my thoughts. That trend of casting 20-year olds to play doctors and other highly qualified professionals is absolutely ridiculous. Take Sung Joon for example. The kid is in his early twenties and barely even looks his age but he is playing a doctor for a second time in less than a year. Does anyone honesly think it looks believable? Because I certainly don’t.

      • IKR!!! Totally ridiculous!!!.. I’m 24 and still in med skl, by the time i graduate, do my internship and then complete my residency, that would put me in my early 30’s and I’m supposed to believe this 24yr old dude who like you said barely even looks his age, is supposedly a “doctor”. And IU as a cop is just ludicrous.

  4. WTF, Korea, WTF??? Should I join in on the mentally ill “trend” and rip apart my shirt while howling at the sky?

    I don’t understand why Korean pop culture insist on derivative herd mentality. As soon as any trend hits, it’s copied/recycled/appropriated to death. What’s next? A vampire genius doctor with schizophrenia, who time-travels to the ice age and falls in love with a club-holding fur-wearing cave woman? Kdramas will take something and beat you in the face until you’re bloodied and missing teeth.

    Also, this mentally ill thing. No. Just no.

    I know pop culture in general likes to romanticize illness (you know, in that A Walk to Remember/TFIOS sort of way …so *tragic*), and Kdramas has a track record of pinning romances against the grand angst of Sudden Cancer in the Last Episodes.

    And now this mentally ill thing in kdramas. WTF. East Asian societies are SO intolerant of mental illnesses in reality, even ‘common’ ones like depression/ocd/bipolarity. Korea has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. But then writers and producers turn around and appropriate mental illness as a kdrama novelty plot device. “Omomo get it? He’s INTERESTING! He has 7 different people inside him! Love is pain, ladies! Accept your man for who he is, beast and angel! Heal him!” These dramas fundamentally misrepresent mental illnesses, and is seriously disrespectful. (lol, in kdrama-land these days, being a sociopath = parlor trick)

    Mental illness is not a joke. People who suffer from these disorders live in a prison constructed by their own neurochemistry. People who care for those with mental disorders often go through an ordeal akin to hell on earth. I know first hand there’s no romance in loving someone with a mental illness; it isn’t beautiful or tragic or healing.

    I know Korean dramas are all about separation from reality, but this is going too far.

    • I love your rant Lulu. Absolutely spot on. I also think that the mental illness plot device is being recycled until it a new trend emerges. That’s why I’ve the metal illness drams are on hold but Binnie’s dimples are hard to resist.

    • LOL @ your comment!
      Maybe after MBC and SBS, KBS decided they need to have their own DID drama. After all it seems like the only mental illness which can fit into the RomCom genre.
      Do all these writers go to a retreat and decide on the flavor of the year or something?

      • IKR!!! Totally ridiculous!!!..I’m 24 and still in med skl,by the time I graduate, do my internship and then complete my residency,that would put me in my early 30’s and I’m supposed to believe this 24yr old dude who like u said barely even looks his age is supposedly a “doctor”. And IU as a cop is just ludicrous.

    • But there are kdramas that actually portray the reality of mental illnesses though, like It’s Okay That’s Love. That’s the only kdrama that doesn’t romanticize it because the writer intended for the audience to be well informed about it.

  5. hopefully they will not cast actors in their twenties. And IU as Police Officer?If she’s indeed being courted..She might look like a highschool girl wearing a police uniform for a costume party..

  6. As someone who grew up in a household of a college psychology professor, I can’t recall how many British/American/Japanese Psychiatric films I had watched with my dad. Unless it’s as refreshingly hilarious as Kill Me Heal Me, all the aired Korean psychiatric dramas sort of feel like copycats of those classics. I’m kinda tired of this frenzy K drama trend. Can’t K drama producers come up with more mentally normal projects to work on? All this on screen insanity has been enough for me.

  7. Lel, KBS is still forging ahead with another mental illness drama? Aren’t they concern about viewer fatigue.

    I also like to add Jang Guen Suk in the running. The boy seriously needs a good role to remind people that he’s actually a good actor. As for considering wispy IU as a cop? Er, have they gone cuckoo?

  8. Ms Koala, if you see this please could you tell me who the rumored leads for Descendants of the Sun are??? I have been soooo curious ever since the drama was announced but there’s been absolutely no news about the cast. I would love to know the rumored leads. Thank you

    • i read some people write that they heard rumour in DC that the actor is A list actor, his last project is big success n he make comeback with musical, n they guess it’s Joo jin mo
      when i first read news about descendant of the sun,i read that they choose actor on 30’s, i guess it’s right, i pray it’s true i will really like it

  9. A surgeon with DID?! Unrealistic ttm. Afaik, medical professionals are not supposed to have any mental or major physical illnesses.

    • Mental illness is more prevalent than you would think amongst the medical community in the form of depression (self – medicated) and personality disorders like narcissism/OCPD. Multiple personalities is a bit out there, I’ll admit, but it’s not anything that would necessarily prevent someone from reaching career goals like florid schizophrenia. As a physician, what irks me most is inappropriate casting – no one comes out of a decade plus of residency and fellowship looking like a college kid!

      • Yes I agree about depression and narcissism. But DID can potentially be dangerous? I dont think it will fly. Not in my country at least.
        Hahaha about the casting. Late 20s is the youngest for post-residency i think. In my country you can join residency as a HO so you come out around 29. Not sure about post fellowship.
        I just hope they dont make the doctor some senior consultant or something cos then the casting will really be inappropriate.

      • @karecity, in what country can you start practicing as a CT surgeon at 29? I feel like I’ve wasted all my time in the US ;-/ The youngest ones I’ve seen were mid 30s and those were the ‘geniuses’. And yes, this character will likely be quite senior in the field.

      • Oh right CT surgeon. Im not too sure about the exact time but for certain specialties its possible to practice at 29. Im from Singapore 🙂 in US medicine is a post grad course isnt it? In Sg we start at 19 and come out to work at 24. For a 5 year residency course like A&E, if you’re female, at 29 you can finsih residency and be an assoc consultant. Guys have to go for 2 years mandatory army so they finish later. Probably takes longer for surgery specialties though

  10. From what I remember…Koala didn’t watch Sungkyunkwan Scandal and even hated it…have you watched and completed the show now??

  11. I can’t see most of those guys taking it. Yoochun will do the SBS drama. LMH and LSG probably won’t take sloppy seconds from KSH and LSG already turned down a drama about personalities disorders when fans didn’t want him to do it. I could see Joo Won do it since he likes KBS and needs to recover from his last flop drama. Though he did just do a doctor drama. Yoo Ah In I swore was going to the army soon. This sounds like a bad drama so hopefully nobody I like will take it lol

    • The same way KMHM sounded like a bad drama and now it’s quite a good watch..Let’s not just assume that before the drama is out.

  12. …Why another drama about DID? D:

    It sounds very interesting, but after KMHM and HJM I just don’t think my heart has room for another one! Plus, the writer will have to make sure they don’t “copy” anything from the two previous dramas… After something like KMHM where you have 7 personalities, I think it would be tough to make something as memorable.

  13. This is news! SKKS was a nice little story with all kinds of pretty moments but they wasted it all in the end.

    My hope with these dramas is there is enough time for the script to evolve, even after it starts filming. So, yes, it will have ridiculously young MDs and cops, but the story will change over time. Not that it will ever be realistic, but they may have time to add another dimension and ease out the trendy ones.

    SKKS used an old premise of a girl playing a boy, but, MAN! that cast definitely raised the level of the script with their performances. I still get weak in the knees watching SJK with anyone in the cast, and YAI with PMY. A good director can make magic with a good cast.

    I vote for YAI !!

  14. I am IUs fan but i dont think the cop role will suit her.. lol. This is too mature for her…

    But i hope she will have a drama soon..

  15. Sungkyunkwan Scandal is one of my favorites kdramas all the time, so although the story is a bit.. i think i’ll check this drama later.
    hope they can get good actors and actress in it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.