Sword Heroes’ Fate with Nicolas Tse and Charlene Choi Avoids Push Away from Time-Travel Dramas

Count on Mainland China to overreact to a trend. At the annual meeting of cinematic producers this past week, the advisory counsel apparently set down an edict to (1) halt all adaptions of the Four Classics (which I approve), and (2) frown heavily on the recent spate of time-travel dramas (which makes me LOL until my belly hurts). Really? Tell that to Hollywood or novelists, both of which tend to beat a trend to the ground once one emerges, be it vampires, zombies, survival mysteries, spy thrillers, et. al.

Of all the recent time-travel dramas, the only one I am interested in Bu Bu Jin Xin, which is the adaption of the novel of the same name. If a time-travel has finished filming, then it’s good to go, otherwise it’s probably wise to move on the next trend. Luckily, the upcoming Nicolas TseCharlene Choi (Ah Sa) fantasy time-travel wuxia drama Sword Heroes’ Fate (剑侠情缘-藏剑山庄) has wrapped production, and should be released soon.

The main characters of this drama, which is based on an RPG (role-playing game) much like Chinese Paladin was, are gamers living in the year 2030. For various reasons, each of them end up traveling into a game, which contains a fantasy wuxia universe set in the Tang Dynasty. Once there, relationships get tested and heroes and villains are created.

I’ve watched the trailer, and is it just me, or has Ah Sa actually become a worse actress. Where is the charming adorable girl of yester years? Even Gillian has gotten slightly better, but conversely Ah Sa has the most unconvincing facial expressions in any of the scenes I’ve watched. Grrrr, this is not looking good. Nic, however, looks wonderfully convincing in both his modern and wuxia incarnation.



I’m a traditional wuxia kind of gal, I like my wuxias adapted from the classic novels and not the newer RPG wacky stuff. That said, I’m curious enough of this time-travel bent to a fantasy wuxia story, so will likely check this out before deciding whether it works for me or not.


Sword Heroes’ Fate with Nicolas Tse and Charlene Choi Avoids Push Away from Time-Travel Dramas — 20 Comments

  1. Ms Koala, may I know what your favorite tv adaptation of classic wuxia novel is?

    I am a big fan of Jin Yong’s novel since small and so far I don’t see one tv adaptation that makes me feel “woah”… I guess that’s because I love the originals soooo much that I can’t stand people changing the plot as they wish…

    • My favorite one? That’s hard, but I would say my top three are Smiling Proud Wanderer 1984 with Chow Yun Fat, Duke of Mount Deer 1984 with Tony and Andy, and Legend of the Condor Heroes 1982 with Barbara and Felix.

      I’ve watched each of these too many times to even count now.

      • Thanks for the recommendations! Hope I can find resources online and watch them, hehe!

  2. This is completely crazy – I think anyone should dramatize anything they want – if they want to adapt 4 classics every year and make every other drama time-travel one, of course they should be allowed. People will vote with their eyeballs – if they want to watch it, they will, and when not, makers will stop making them.

    But of course, I live in the evil-capitalist USA. (The mandate reminds me a lot of my Soviet childhood days :P)

    Hmmm, I have no idea the Nic Tse drama was a time-travel one.

    The only one I know which hasn’t wrapped filming but involves time-travel is the one where they go back to Three Kingdoms but it may be a HK one. Hmmm.

      • I think the one you had mentioned above is a HK drama and Raymond Lam will be in it.

    • Yep, Return to 3K will be a HK one starring Raymond Lam, Kenneth Ma and Tavia Yeung, so it’ll be fine. Which is a good thing because I’ll probably implode with anger if they had to change the plot in any way! I, for one, am not sick of the time-travel thing yet. Sure, it may be like, “Golly, another time-travel drama?” but it does promise some interesting and potentially humorous hijinks if done correctly.

      @ ockoala
      The article over at aiyatheydidnt on LJ pretty much said time-travel dramas have been banned for being unfaithful to history. Has there actually been a rule set, forbidding new additions to the time-travel trend, or is it just unspoken but very, very heavily discouraged?

      • Very heavily discouraged is what I got from all the news articles. Which is probably equivalent to banned since it means no one dares to cross the Powers That Be which control Chinese entertainment.

      • u can still make’em, but they won’t get pass all the bureaucracy to get the golden pass (every Cdrama has one and it’s numbered and shown in bold) to have it aired…ever, unless there’s a change of wind.

  3. I am again watching another time travel C drama about these magical pearls within a vase that has the power to harmonize the 3 spheres/realms. The costumes & the whole movie is well made and I enjoy it a lot. So it’s not the subject, but how they make it that determines it a win or a flop.

    Ah Sa is really cute but somehow her acting is not heartfelt. This new drama’s trailer gives me the feel of a Walmart quality…low quality wardrobe, effects, and all the actors seem like 3rd line actors. Sorry Nicholas, you’re a big star I know, but in this drama, it’s not doing you justice. I won’t even check out ep 1.

    • Walmart? LOLOLOLOL. Yeah, it doesn’t look too expensive, which doesn’t bother me as a veteran of twdramas, but the trailer is awfully disjointed and doesn’t really give me much of an idea of what it is about, which bodes ill for the drama (compare with trailer for BBJX – BBJX may not be my thing, but that was a well-made trailer which clearly conveyed the story).

  4. Hmm, I’m not sure if what tptb did is a smart idea (I think I’m with Dangermousie on this), but heh, only time will tell.

    As for this drama, it kind of intrigues me? I don’t have time to watch it, not these days, but I kind of dig the idea of the gamers.

    Speaking of movies based off novels, I’m reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and dude, I hope the movie is going to be much less graphic about the foot-binding process because eeeehh. I know it’s a huge part of the book, but homg. o___O

  5. Twinnie, I’ll stay far far FAR away fr this one. This has the EEG stamp all over it. I’ve suffered through enough of their ‘wuxias’ shiz they’ve pooped out last decade+ so no way when I saw Yumiko/Kenny and the EEG gang in the lineup will I ever sit through another one. I’m nodding with you on Charlene. I think her case is she’s not extremely awful starting out 10 years ago playing cutesy roles very close to her public persona…and she’s generally well liked by the public and decently received by the critics she needs not improve, at all. Whereas we know what Gillian has been through and she really did have to claw her way back and prove everybody wrong for years now. I’ve always thought G is a better actress the few yrs leading up to the scandal. And we’ve seen Wind Cloud 2…when she has to force it, she’s a disaster to watch and here her role looks like it’s aping that exact character fr WC2.

    I’ve put this in the droolzing of caps or watching pure NicTse’s cuts. I saw a pic of him walking thro the crowd and gosh, talk about star power.

    Saw the theme song MV last wk… and my wuxia nemesis the CG condors r BACK *cringe*….and this is no LoCH.

    • ahahahahh @ “wuxia nemesis CG condors” because I know what you’re talking about. CG condors and I were acquainted way back when and they made me laugh (unintentionally, usually).

  6. I’m also more interested in traditional wuxia dramas. I haven’t watched any of the time-travel ones. There just seems to be too many and I’ve gotten them mixed up. I guess Sword Heroes’ Fate will be another one to add to the list. I’m still not sure which one to watch.

  7. Ah Sa’s acting role in this movie, is to be delicate. You don’t expect her to be all adorable and bubbly in this kind of genre movie do you? Although that’s your opinion, I believe that she’s just following her TYPE of role.

  8. Ah Sa’s acting really has improved and is quite good…if the following criteria are met:

    Her character must be:
    1) modern – she does not have the ancient beauty look and I think she has problems relating to characters set outside of the world as she sees it now
    2) cantonese speaking – see Calling Big Star and ‘nough said, but I would like to point out that Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won totally ripped the situp-kiss from Mike and Ah Sa.

  9. It is hard to judge Ah Sa’s acting from the trailer because her scenes are so short. I have seen a fair amount of her acting throughout the year, and she can definitely act. Going from a movie actress to a drama actress might have caused some problem for her in the beginning of calling for love because she had so much more screen-time for facial expression than normal, but towards the end of calling for love her acting was pretty natural and her mando flows quite natural as well. This drama is airing in a few days, I suggest giving the drama a try before judging Charlene’s acting.

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