Yes, it’s time for another epic 50 episode sageuk drama directed by Lee Byung Hoon. The last one was Dong Yi the story of a servant girl who becomes a high ranking concubine for King Sukjong and becomes the mother of the future King. (that one was 60 episodes) This time Lee Byung Hoon has teamed up with Kim Yi-Young again (screen writer for Dong Yi) for this new drama Horse Doctor – it is said to be similar to Heojun (MBC 2000) which is based on the life of the great Korean medicine doctor. In fact, there has been talk that it may be TOO similar to Heojun – especially since many of the same actors also appear again and again in Lee Byung Hoon’s dramas. But I’m not worried about too many similarities since Heojun is my ALL TIME FAVOURITE Korean sageuk drama!
In the other sageuks I’ve seen directed by Lee Byung Hoon (Dae Jang Geum, Heojun, Sang do, Dong Yi) the first three episodes are devoted to the main characters as children. But this first episode goes even further back to before the main characters are born. So we get to see the background and the coincidences (or should I say acts of fate) that bring them together. So in episode two the child actors will take over and I’m guessing we’ll be introduced to the leads around episode 4. I’ve only watched the first episode but it’s all looking good so far.
The drama is set in the 17th century and starts during the reign of King Injo (r.1623 – 1649) (see my chart of Joseon Kings and sageuk dramas) who is not considered to be one of the greatest of the Joseon kings. In episode 1, the lives of the doctors are changed forever when the king’s son, the crown prince, returns from China but suddenly becomes mysteriously ill. This is based on fact as King Injo’s first son did return from China and died very mysteriously. So who was responsible? The circumstances around his death were kept very hush hush …
Here are some Posts on the Joseon Dynasty
Did Dong Yi and King Sukjong really have a romance?
Concubine Ranks in the Joseon Period
Jang Hui Bin – Is she pure evil? Or does she act out of love?
King Sukjong and Jang Hee Bin’s Tombs
Jeonju – Home of King Taejo, the First King of the Joseon Dynasty
Searching for original portraits of King Sukjong
The Secret of Joseon Portraits
Portraits of Gisaengs
Book: Great Korean Portraits
China and Korea Ruling Dynasties and Relations Chart
Chart of Joseon Kings and Related Sageuk Dramas
Tomb of King Sejong the Great in Yeoju