정조암살미스터리 8일 (Eight Days)

Channel CGV

10 Episodes
An Advantech TPC Production
Timeslot: Saturday and Sunday Evening, 11:00 PM
Genre: Political Sageuk
Format: 1080i Dolby Digital 2.0 – 50 Minutes
Ran from: 2007/Nov/17~Dec/16

WITH 김상중 (Kim Sang-Joong) as Jeongjo; 박정철 (Park Jung-Cheol) as Jung Yakyong; 정애리 (Jung Ae-Ri) as Lady Hyegyeong; 이선호 (Lee Seon-Ho) as Jang In-Hyeong; 희원 (Hee Won) as So Hyangbi; 박찬환 (Park Chan-Hwan) as Shim Hwan-Ji; 이대연 (Lee Dae-Yeon) as Moon In-Bang; 장기용 (Jang Gi-Yong) as Hong Jae-Cheon; 박수현 (Park Soo-Hyun) as Officer Choi; 조달환 (Jo Dal-Hwan) as Kim Chun-Deuk; 김태훈 (Kim Tae-Hoon) as Kim Han-Joo; 김성겸 (Kim Seong-Gyeom) as Yeongjo; 박웅 (Park Woong) as Chae Je-Gong; 김기현 (Kim Gi-Hyeon) as Kim Jung-Soo; 김희정 (Kim Hee-Jung) as Queen Jeongsun; 조한준 (Jo Han-Joon) as Prince Sado; 박건태 (Park Geon-Tae) as Yi San;

CREW Production Director 박종원 (Park Jong-Won) Main Writer 김원석 (Kim Won-Seok) Executive Producer 이호찬 (Lee Ho-Chan) Chief Producer 고장원 (Go Jang-Won) Producer 안상휘 (Ahn Sang-Hwi) Director of Photography 장성백 (Jang Seong-Baek) 김재호 (Kim Jae-Ho) Lighting 박현원 (Park Hyeon-Won) Editor 강미자 (Kang Mi-Ja) Music 전창엽 (Jeon Chang-Yeop) Art Director 조근현 (Jo Geun-Hyeon) 김종우 (Kim Jong-Woo) Action Choreography 홍상석 (Hong Sang-Seok) Assistant Producer 김창선 (Kim Chang-Seon) 김경모 (Kim Gyeong-Mo)
Based Upon Oh Se-Young's 원행 (Journey)

RATINGS
AGB Nielsen Nationwide
HIGHEST: N/A
LOWEST: N/A
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Photo © Advantech TPC

IN SHORT

Particularly in these days, when the sa (history) part of sageuk has as much credibility and importance as a scriptwriter for a porn film, it's important to single out those works that, albeit in the form of fiction, live up to the original spirit which made historical dramas great. That is, history being a very large portion of the proceedings, not just glorified salad dressing. It's peculiar then that two of the best examples of this faction (fact + fiction) "mini-renaissance" were both short (8 and 10 episodes), aired in 2007, and dealing with the tumultuous reign of King Jeongjo. But while 한성별곡-正 (Conspiracy in the Court) has won its share of mania fans both in Korea and abroad, the second example was a little less lucky. This little known cable drama aired in late 2007, with little to no fanfare, no DVD releases at home, no reruns on any cable or network channel, not even any online services to speak of.

Adapted from Oh Se-Young's 원행 (Journey), Channel CGV's first ever drama 8일 (Eight Days) was a success on all fronts, surprising many sageuk fans who were expecting total collapse of the genre around 2007, and were blessed with this badass, hard-hitting political thriller instead. Costing 4 billion won for a mere 10 episodes, this was on average one of the most expensive sageuk of all time, bringing in acclaimed film director Park Jong-Won -- who, interestingly, directed what's still the best big screen Korean sageuk of the last 20 years, that 영원한 제국 (Eternal Empire) which... sure enough, dealt with more or less the same period as this show -- and TV sageuk veteran Kim Won-Seok, who wrote the fantastic 임꺽정 (Im Kkeok-Jeong) over a decade ago. It cast sageuk mainstays like Kim Sang-Joong, Jung Ae-Ri and Kim Gi-Hyeon along with interesting newcomers like Jo Han-Joon. And, last but not least, it interpreted this historical period with the kind of verve and panache only those well versed in the genre and period can do. It might not be as easily accessible as what passes on as sageuk nowadays, but any history buff will find the "theories" exposed here particularly relevant, especially a jaw-to-the-floor moment highlighting the double standards of the famous 한중록 (The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyeong), which many people still consider an historical document worth the paper it was written on, when it's clearly not the case.

King Jeongjo was known as the "reformist ruler" of Joseon, but he had mostly been portrayed on the losing end of things on the big and small screen, either connected to the tragedy his father (Crown Prince Sado) faced at the hands of King Yeongjo -- 홍국영 (Hong Guk-Young), 대왕의 길 (The King's Path), 하늘아 하늘아 (Oh! Sky!) and so on -- or through Ahn Nae-Sang's unforgettable portrayal in Conspiracy in the Court, once again ending in sorrow. The Jeongjo portrayed here is instead the strong willed and masculine ruler of the middle portion of his reign, when it seemed as if he could really be the man to change things in the rotten Joseon politics of the period, dominated by the Byeokpa party and their vile shenanigans. To celebrate the 60th birthday of his mother Lady Hyegyeong and late father Crown Prince Sado, King Jeongjo organized an immense retinue headed for the tomb of Prince Sado, in the current Hwaseong Fortress. The "journey" lasted eight days, starting from February 9 of the 19th year of his reign (1795). This is where the annals stop, and the imagination of the brilliant original story begins: what if those who couldn't tolerate a reformist like Jeongjo on the throne decided to assassinate him, right as this spectacular journey took place? There's no better way to get rid of a beloved, brilliant ruler than creating the perfect accident. And it only would take eight days...

ACTING GRADES

85 김기현 (Kim Gi-Hyeon)
82 김상중 (Kim Sang-Joong)
80 정애리 (Jung Ae-Ri)
80 조한준 (Jo Han-Joon)
78 이대연 (Lee Dae-Yeon)
76 박찬환 (Park Chan-Hwan)
74 김희정 (Kim Hee-Jung)
72 김태훈 (Kim Tae-Hoon)
72 조달환 (Jo Dal-Hwan)
70 김성겸 (Kim Seong-Gyeom)
70 박정철 (Park Jung-Cheol)
69 박웅 (Park Woong)
67 장기용 (Jang Gi-Yong)
66 박수현 (Park Soo-Hyun)
60 박건태 (Park Geon-Tae)
59 이선호 (Lee Seon-Ho)
50 희원 (Hee Won)

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