Return of the Condor Heroes

TVB is currently airing the new, Mainland China’s version of “Return of the Condor Heroes” (ROTCH). (Which was renamed to “The Saviours of the Soul”.) Earlier this month, TVB aired the promotional comercial for this series, and the audience mistaked “Yeung Guo/Yang Guo” (YG) as Lam Fung (Raymond Lam). Looking at the clip more closely, it turned out that the leading male was actually Mainland China’s extremely popular star, Huang Xiao Ming. TVB decided to air this mainland version of ROTCH during the evening. This series contained mainly unfamiliar casts to the Hong Kong viewer’s eyes. The only cast member that they are familiar with was Chung Jun To, who was a famous HK singer back in the 1970s-90s. The series was expected to have decreasing points because of the unfamiliar people at first, but seeing TVB’s confidence in airing this series, this assumption is definitely a doubt. This version of ROTCH only receieved pleasant ratings in the Mainland, and was lower than expected. Now, this is the time to test Hong Kong viewers tastes.

When Lau Tak Wah (Andy Lau) and Chan Yuk Lin played as YG and Siu Long Nue/Xiao Long Nu (XLN) back in 1983, it was already decided that they were the couple that had the most chemistry, but the Koo Tin Lok (Louis Koo) and Lee Yuek Dan (Carmen Lee) 1995 version also attracted many viewers. 10 years later, Huang Xiao Ming’s and Liu Yi Fei’s (Crystal Liu) ROTCH is decided to be most similar to Louis’s version – with similar make-up and clothing, but the martial art style, scenery, and graphics of this new version is definitely more captivating and improving than before.

Brief Background

Since birth, wuxia youth YG was an orphan, and was later adopted by his father’s god brother, Kwok Jeng/Guo Jin (GJ). YG has an extremely strong, stubborn, and childish personality, and are enemies with GJ’s wife, Wong Yung/Huang Yong (HY). Because of this, GJ decides to send YG to the Daoist Clan (Chuen Jun/Chueng Qi) to learn kung fu. YG suffered at the Daoist Clan and escaped, finding himself trapped deep inside a cave, but was lucky enough to become XLN’s apprentice, who lived there. These two master and apprentice grew up together, practiced martial arts together, and their feelings for each other slowly developed. When they left the cave, the two were intertwined with troubles in the land of wuxia. XLN was later infected with a diseased called “Flower Lust” and disappeared, leaving a letter for YG that they will meet in 16 years, which also left behind the myth of the “Condor Heroes”.

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