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aka ETERNAL LOVE : CHINESE GHOST STORY

Cast: Wu Jing, Jessica Hsuan, Daniel Chan, Xu Xi Yuan, Yuen Wah, Tian Niu, Nie Yuan, Jackie Lui, Amy Chan (Chen Xiu Wen), Yuan Qiong Dan, Zhu Yan, Deng Cui Wen, Mai Jia Qi, Shen Xiao Hai, Chen Chuan Zhi, Huang Wei De, Sang Ni, Apple Hong Yi Xin, Chen Sha Sha

Production Period : Dec 2002 - April 2003

No of Episodes : 40
Producer: Yang Deng Kui
Screenplay : Chen Shi Shan (Thirteen Chan Sap San), Zhang Shi Chang
Directors: Deng Wei En, Li Hui Zhu, Wen Wei Ji
Martial Arts Choreographers: Ma Yuk Sing, Zhang Bing Quan, Tan Zhen Dong

A Chinese Ghost Story TV series is a big budget, star-studded, special effects extravaganza (that is, if you're looking for martial arts, look elsewhere) costing NT $180 million, jointly produced by Taiwan, China and Singapore. It features elaborate and grand sets, exotic locations greatly enhanced by punctilious lighting, all captured perfectly with brilliant cinematography. Based on a one-and-half page short story from Liao Zhai (Dark Tales), this is a big departure from Tsui Hark's classics, since the ghost Nie Xiao Qian, has now been changed to a fox spirit in the TV version, in order to pass through the Chinese Censors. A compelling and convoluted story by Chen Shi San (ATV's My Date with Vampire) that explores the meaning of true love and tugs at the heartstrings without being overly sappy, dragging or both. Wu Jing playing a jovial, boastful, insistently over-helpful and impossible Taoist disciple who is not quite a master of any skills, yet likes to stick his nose into places it doesn't belong to.

Plot Synopsis:

If we've been working, living with and loving that soul for a long time before, in different incarnations, then when we meet this so-called soul reincarnated again in a different body, we feel a sense of familiarity. Because we did things together all the time before, everything is easy; everything is compatible; everything is harmonious. So that's what we call a "soul mate." We encounter it all the time. And people who have encountered this so-called soul mate are happily married to each other, or they become a very good sister and brother together, or a good parent and child together. The relationship is very good. This is what is meant by a soul mate. ~ Supreme Master Ching Hai

Since Year of Yuan, the empire of Tang has enjoyed a hundred years of prosperity. However, calamities and dangers nearly always lurk within affluent times.

Famous Taoist sect, Xuan-Xin Zhen-Zong's forefather once discovered a huge stone cave in the deep mountain range, in the cave was a stone tablet carved with ancient writings. The ancient inscriptions foretold of all events since Tang Dynasty was founded, such as who would be the emperors, when would disasters occur, all of which were predicted with uncanny accuracy. What struck terror into the hearts of people was the last verse on the tablet, prophesying a grim future: When the constellation of Prince of Darkness Clashing with Seven Malignant Stars appears, Estranged Couple of Seven Lifetimes will be reborn. The demon sect will make use of the power from the acrimonious energy of the star-crossed lovers to dominate the world, turning it into a living hell. The tablet also stated clearly the time and place the Estranged Couple will be born, seemingly hoping that some destined person would stumble across the tablet, and come up with a plan to save the masses.

The young and capable Jin Guang (Shen Xiao-Hai) is the Grand Priest of Tang kingdom, and also the present leader of Xuan-Xin Zhen-Zong Sect. At the designated time, Jin Guang calls forth his elders Yan Chi Xia (Yuen Wah) and Si-Ma San-Niang (Tien Niu) to forestall the demons. Together, they manage to locate the newborn babies of Estranged Couple of Seven Lifetimes. Demon realm's
Moon Kingdom, under the leadership of Mo-Jun Liu-Dao (Gallen Lo), comes to get hold of the Estranged Couple of Seven Lifetimes, as was predicted. Yan Chi-Xia and his wife Si-Ma San-Niang, using all their might, fight bravely against Moon Kingdom. Both sides suffer heavy casualties. While Mo-Jun Liu-Dao is badly wounded, he succeeds in taking away the baby girl.

To prevent further complications, Jin-Guang wants to terminate the life of the baby boy, but Yan Chi-Xia and Si-Ma San-Niang cannot simply stand by idly doing nothing while an innocent baby gets killed. While already injured, they turn the table against Jin-Guang and battle against Xuan-Xin Zhen-Zong's disciples, affording time for the mother to bring the baby boy away.

After this major battle of good versus evil, Yan Chi-Xia and Si-Ma San-Niang disappear from the pugilistic circle. Mo-Jun Liu-Dao is rumoured to have died after being critically hurt by Yan Chi-Xia, and the world enjoys a longer period of peace, for the time being...

Eighteen years later, there lives an impoverished, honest scholar in the bustling city, who makes a living by selling paintings. However, all that he sells are imitations. This scholar is none other than Ning Cai-Cheng. Though kind at heart, he puts aside his conscience, replicates the paintings of famous painters flawlessly, and puts them up for sale as the genuine ones, in order to pay for his mother's the medical treatment.

One night, Ning Caicheng passes by Ruolan Temple and decides to spend the night there. Unexpectedly, he meets the baby girl who was snatched away by Mo-Jun Liu-Dao. Liu-Dao passed away eighteen years ago after being gravely injured by Yan Chi Xia, leaving behind his wife Empress Yin-Yue (Zhu Yan) and son Mo Jun Qi-Ye (Nie Yuan). Fearing that the orthodox sects may locate Nie Xiao-Qian, Empress Yin-Yue extracted Nie Xiao-Qian's soul and seal it within the body of a fox spirit with her witchcraft. And now, Nie Xiao Qian (Xu Xi Yuan) has grown into a lovely little fox spirit and finally sees the most important man of her life, Ning Cai Cheng - the baby boy who escaped death.

Nie Xiao-Qian has been living in the remote Moon Kingdom, however, after reading Chronicles of Blue Demon, she longs to find true love. Once, she attempted to sneak away but was discovered by Mo-Jun Qi-Ye. The young Qi-Ye is actually carrying a torch for Xiao-Qian, and commiserating with her, he agrees to let Xiao-Qian enter the mortal world, but only when she agrees to a pact. She only has one month's limit to find her true love, and should he still love her even when she reveals her true form as a fox, she is granted freedom to enter or leave the demon realm. Mo-Jun Qi-Ye also gives her Teardrop of Blue Demon, which would glow when someone with genuine feelings for loves her expresses his love for her. Otherwise, she would have to remain forever in Moon Kingdom. If she breaks her vow, Grim Reaper would come after her.


Being ignorant and inexperienced, Xiao Qian fell into the hands of Tree Demon Mei Ji (Mai Jia Qi). As Nie Xiaoqian hides her identity, Mei Ji doesn't know her relations with Mo-Jun Qi-Ye. Under the pretext of helping Nie Xiao-Qian find true love, she uses her to lure men into her lair to help practise her demonic skills. Nie Xiao-Qian is unaware of Mei Ji's nefarious plan and as the time limit approaches, Nie Xiao Qian, seeing that Ning Cai-Cheng is the only guy in front of her, intends to use all means to make him fall for her. However, Ning Cai-Cheng remains unmoved, and even discovers that she is a demon and scampers madly away. Nie Xiao Qian is agitated and anxious, vowing that she would kill him. Fortunately, Zhu-Ge Liu-Yun (Wu Jing), Yan Chi-Xia's disciple comes to his rescue. Yet, when Zhu-Ge Liu-Yun and Ning Cai-Cheng come to know that Nie Xiao-Qian is but a fox spirit looking for genuine love, they decide to help her fulfill her wish. Nie Xiao Qian jumps over the moon, and starts to have better impressions of Ning Cai Cheng.

Si-Ma Hong-Ye (Jessica Hsuan), daughter of Yan Chi-Xia and Si-Ma San-Niang, unhappy over her parents' separation, runs away from home and goes about subduing demons. At that time, on learning of Ruolan Temple being taken over by a tree demon and fox spirit, she travels there and runs into Nie Xiao-Qian. Thinking that she has been harming the people, she wants to destroy her. Fortunately, Zhu-Ge Liu-Yun intervenes. After coming to blows, the two realise they are from the same sect. Zhu-Ge Liu-Yun is Si-Ma Hong-Ye's senior, however, they have never met. Zhu-Ge Liu-Yun is an orphan whom Yan Chi Xia adopted as a disciple when he was five years old and sent to study with the sect's Elder.


While Zhuge Liuyun is incompetent in occult skills, he insists on labelling himself as Sima Hongye's senior. Si-Ma Hong-Ye, having witnessed his mediocre skills, refuses to acknowledge him as her senior, and seeking freedom of love, she spurns his love and turns down the arranged marriage, which hurts Zhu-Ge Liu-Yun. Both are not willing to budge an inch, thus setting the the fur flying whenever they meet. However, little did Hong Ye know that the silly lad is actually the man of her destiny. As it turns out, Xuan-Xin Zhen-Zong's forefather, as a counter measure to the demon realm making use of the negative energies of Star-Crossed Lovers of Seven Lifetimes to rule the world, decided to look for Destined Lovers of Seven Lifetimes to resist against them. As long as Zhu-Ge Liu Yun and Si-Ma Hong-Ye are devoted to each other, their undying love, coupled with priceless swords Gan Jiang and Mo Xie, would be puissant enough to eliminate the demon realm. However, they have become an odd couple instead..

(source: Martial Arts Movies & TV Series–Wu Jing at www.wu-jing/dramas/Chinese-Ghost-Story)

 

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