Lee Dong Wook and Song Ji Hyo Lead Script Reading for Mandate of Heaven

An sageuk bonanza is coming soon so if you’re not a viewer of sageuks I suggest getting prepped to checking them out. I love sageuks, my first K-drama ever was a 55-episode sageuk, but lately nothing from that genre has been able to hook me. I’m hoping that’ll change starting next month onward because a deliciously meaty sageuk is always a great treat to dig into. Of the three sageuks I’m planning to check out, Mandate of Heaven (or Heaven’s Order) is the last one to start filming and the last to premiere (first comes Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love, followed by Gu Family Book). Starring Lee Dong Wook in his first sageuk role, joined by veteran sageuk actress Song Ji Hyo, with the main lead rounded out by relative newbie actress Yoon Jin Yi (she got a lot of exposure last year in A Gentleman’s Dignity), this sageuk is billed as a medical thriller. The production team appears to not have any serious sageuks under their belt, with the PD from Strongest Chil Woo, Birth of the Rich, and Baby-faced Beauty along with the scriptwriter wrote Birth Of the Rich and Only You. Lee Dong Wook plays a royal physician who is a single father to a very sick daughter. In his cure to treat his daughter, he gets embroiled in a conspiracy to poison King Injong. He then goes on the run and Song Ji Hyo plays a royal physician’s assistant who loves Lee Dong Wook’s character while Yoon Jin Yi does a 180 from her rich princess character in a AGD and plays the daughter of a bandit leader who ends up on the lam with the runaway doctor. This drama is scheduled to air in April on KBS following IRIS 2. That means it goes up directing against Gu Family Book which follows That Winter, The Wind Blows on SBS as well as When a Man Loves on MBC. This ought to be interesting – a showdown between Song Seung Heon, Lee Seung Gi, and Lee Dong Woo, in three completely different offerings. I sure like some variety in my meals, yes I do.

The cast continues to get fleshed out and reportedly Im Seulong of 2AM is joining in the role of the Crown Prince, who will later assume the throne after the short-lived King Injong dies. A couple of the secondary characters have also caught my eye – Kang Byul (loved her in Kim Soo Ro), Kwon Hyun Sung (Dong Ha from The King 2 Hearts), and Song Joong Ho (Answer Me 1997 and The Princess’s Man). Last week there was an uproar when KBS opening admitted to the casting of the leads being unconfirmed because the rumor was they wanted to recast Lee Dong Wook and Song Ji Hyo, worried that those two didn’t have enough star power to go up against the competition. I wish KBS would focus on the actual problem with their dramas, really bad writing, instead of throwing big name stars onscreen and hoping viewers will overlooking completely stupid and boring stories. Here’s to hoping for this drama to be a solid hit.


Lee Dong Wook and Song Ji Hyo Lead Script Reading for Mandate of Heaven — 19 Comments

  1. Hhh what in what!? However I’m a picky eater and my plate only fits for LEE SEUNG GI handsdown HE IS THE BEST THERE WAS,THE BEST THERE IS, AND THE BEST THERE WILL EVER BE ! My sweet strong and tender honey Bonnie Hhhh I can’t wait till GFB! I just love him and my eyes go blind when he is off screen ! Forgive me but u know better ! How u can resist a stupporn heir , a tender gumiho boyfriend , a king and a damn half gum-man ! Hhhaha loves to blame !

    • GFB for me too!

      But I thank you, Koala, for your insights / comments about Mandate of Heaven. Sounds good and I will follow it as long as it doesn’t clash with the airing time of GFB.

      As for Lee SeungGi, our journey with him is constant! As constant as the staying power of the earth moving in its own axis! Whatever happens to music charts, whatever happens to dramaLand, whatever happens to the rest of Hallyu, we journey with LSG, hand in hand, no letting go…

      Peace & smiles

      • Hh I’m sure we are two of millions . Lol but still oppa’s heart can fill every body !

  2. I’m so gonna follow this! Thanks Koala, you put a bright smile on my face on this rainy Friday! There are so many that I love, and Song Ji Hyo is soo lovely to watch although I’m not a big fan of LDW, but his appearance won’t prevent me from checking it out. Im Seulong, like him as a singer, acting is just so so though his appearance in Personal Taste made an impression. 😉 All in all, I’m anticipating the drama! Bring it on!

  3. GFB is on MBC and it follows the Horse Doctor so it’s against Kim Tae Hee’s new drama and some office romance on KBS with Oh Ji-ho on Monday and Tuesday. I think anyway. But I do know GFB is on MBC since I dreaded Seunggi going back to MBC since they tend to be a hot mess.

  4. This actually sounds meatier and more promising than any of the new upcoming shows especially with a cast that I can actually get behind…well except Yoon Jin Yi…I’m sorry but I still remember how unintentionally hilarious all her crying scenes were in AGD and it still makes me chuckle (she cried like toddler)

  5. Hasn’t KBS learned from their previous mistakes that big names doesn’t always mean success. I mean KBS time and time again casts popular idols who can’t act to save their life in hope of getting the fan base to check in. What ends up happening though is that those dramas fail miserably (Love Rain anyone?) . Or they cast people that definitely bring in an audience and can actually act but the drama still fails because it crashes and burns in the second half due to horrendous writing. Not sure how much free time I will have when these air but I will probably check out GFB first.

  6. Eep what shall i do?? I was all set to focus on gu family book (not a fan of SSH and the plot of when a man loves doesn’t interest me at all sorry) and then this pops up. I LOVE jihyo on running man and the supporting cast seems pretty awesome. I can handle saeguks but medical is a bit eh; does anyone know how many eps it’s slated for?

  7. Koala, Just to correct you. Gu Family Book will be aired in the Monday-Tuesday timeslot after Horse Doctor. So it will compete against Jang Ok Jung instead of this drama.

  8. Really, you’re not watching any sageuks right now? I am enjoying Horse Doctor as it is directed by Lee Byung Hoon who did Dae Jang Geum, my alltime favourite drama by which I measure all sageuks. Also, this is a great showcase for Cho Seung Woo, who is a great actor doing his first tv drama.

    The upcoming batch don’t really pique my interest as it has some really questionable casting with unproven mettle in the world of sageuks.

    We shall see who reigns supreme.

    • You are spot on about the questionable casting. You know you’re in trouble when Song Ji Hyo is probably the most competent of the main leads. She’s nice and all but girl can’t act for squat. I was hoping the recasting rumors were true.

  9. When I read medical thriller, I immediately thought of Dr. Jin. I hope it will not be like that. I’m glad to see LDW on screen again.

  10. I will be tuning to “gu family book”…..really the plot is refreshing and compelling when i read it……..can’t wait for the drama to air..and can’t wait to see in fantasy saeguk half human and half beast avatar…”gu family book” fighting!

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