Drama Casting & News
Teasers, stills, and character info for Nine
by | March 2, 2013 | 82 Comments

One more week to go before tvN’s new time travel drama Nine (the full title is Nine: Nine Time Travels) premieres, and we’ve finally got a story direction along with new posters and teasers… and the character info is a doozy. Lee Jin-wook and Jo Yoon-hee star in the fantasy melodrama from the producers behind Queen Inhyun’s Man about a hero who gets to travel twenty years back in time. The question was whether he’d be going back to reclaim a love or perhaps save her, since the teasers seemed to all point to her disappearing, but it turns out it’s the opposite: it’s the hero who’s on his deathbed and racing to save himself.

Lee Jin-wook plays Park Sun-woo, a broadcast news reporter and anchor who’s ambitious and successful, and a golden boy through and through. He’s well-liked by his teammates, his bosses, his underlings, and loved by his family. But constant headaches send him to the doctor, where he finds out… wait for it… that he has a BRAIN TUMOR and a year left to live. *thunk*

The drama hasn’t even started yet and already you’re throwing brain tumors at me? Is it a gummi brain fetus? Because WE ALREADY DID THAT. Or am I caught in a time loop and doomed to repeat Dramaland 2012 over and over and over again?

The time travel mechanism in this drama will be a mythical artifact that the hero uncovers while on a trip to the Himalayas to cover a story, and it gives him the chance to go back nine times to the past. The question will be whether it’s Fate intervening and giving him a chance to right wrongs or even save himself, or if this is yet another twist in the chain of events leading to the same conclusion. The problem (among many) with the brain tumor trope is that it’s built into the premise that everything he’s experiencing could in fact be a delusion… which kinda makes me resent the journey we’re about to go on, if you’re threatening to pull the rug out from under me later. Urg, why’d you have to do it, Show?

Jo Yoon-hee plays Joo Min-young, a reporter who’s been on Sun-woo’s team for five years. They’re practically a couple, in that they’ve developed a comfortable co-dependent relationship, only Sun-woo keeps her at arm’s length, and never fully lets her in emotionally. It’s among the many things he comes to regret when he faces his death, and will use his time travels to fix his relationship with her.

I’m trying to keep an open mind because there could be a bunch of ways the show could surprise us all. It could subvert all the expected clichés, and be mind-blowingly brilliant. It could. If I say it enough times, does that make it true? *siiiiigh*

Nine premieres March 11 on tvN.

Via tvN


82 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. haruko

    Well…the team did make the 2012 time travel cliche fresh, soo…. here’s hoping!

    • 1.1 hawaiianseoul

      I want to be hopeful because of that reason but then again the time travelling tumour is back…. Ugh. It was so painful to watch in Dr Jin.

      That aside, can someone please tell me the song they used in the teaser? I love it!

      • 1.1.1 inggg

        Ben Fold~ Still Fighting It

  2. Annie

    This looks cute and, dare I say it, kind of fresh? I’ll be tuning in for sure.

    • 2.1 a_fan

      Me as well, but probably on a soundless small browser window. I’m shallow and he’s definitely hot.

  3. Bamsa

    Yay… For the Himalayas, Nepal 🙂 Happy to see my country in the teasers.

    • 3.1 LTT

      I am going to watch it for NEPAL. Really want to see what they capture and how.

      • 3.1.1 ILUKD

        Oh MY Country … MY Pride … Nepal … So happy to see Nepal, dramabeans, and LJW TOGETHER …. dream come true …. Fighting

      • 3.1.2 JoAnne

        oh I will be reading recaps to get your comments then! It’s a country I know absolutely nothing about.

      • 3.1.3 ila

        Although Dr. Jin was a dissapointment I watched it foe Song Seung Hun and Kim Jae Joong, I will watch this for Nepal, my country….Jai Nepal…lol^^

    • 3.2 alua

      I kind of like the look of the drama, though the brain tumour and the high likeliness of the guy’s death at the end I’m not keen on.

      But so cool they filmed part of it in Nepal! (Having visited, I recognise some of the places in the teaser!)

  4. Mystisith

    Hell, no!!!! I was already super iffy with this project and now we are back to magic time travelling tumors? You got to be kidding me, writer! Pass, definitely PASS!

  5. Orion

    Lee Jin Wook is in the same agency as Lee Beom Soo. Maybe a role in a brain-tumorey, time-traveley series is part of their contract. XD That’s some weird fetish their company has…

    • 5.1 Enz

      That’s funny 🙂 but just for Nepal, imma watch it

  6. jandoe

    holy moly, Lee Jin Wook is so smexyyyy. The stills and posters are breathtaking. I am so watching.

  7. Mawiie

    Hmmm if I watch this for the landscape and Lee Jin Wook alone, will it be worth it? *weights the pros and cons while thinking back about Dr Jin*

  8. Daisy

    Not liking the bowl haircut…

    • 8.1 downtheroad

      I thought I was the only one… what’s wrong with actresses and their bowlcuts?? I really hate this haircut. they look like mushrooms… *sigh*

  9. Cindy

    Can’t she have better hair?? It is not that flattering…

    • 9.1 Jo

      she is in that awkward stage of growing out her hair from the crop she had in 2012. I think she should cut it short and keep it that way forever. She was so bland and boring with long hair.

  10. 10 HeadsNo2

    The Count von Count would totally love this title.

    • 10.1 yuki

      Then there’s his Korean cousin, the vampire prosecutor.
      Everyone laffed when I told them the title of their drama.
      No one laffed after they saw it.

  11. 11 all4movoies

    What’s with the fugly bowl cut?

    He’s cool, she’s not. Like the male lead, but not the female lead. Could be the weird hair cut driving me nuts.

    • 11.1 Nokcha

      I was just thinking that…..does bowl cut equal pure hearted hard working virgin?

      • 11.1.1 cheekbones

        LOL 😀

  12. 12 Ash

    Wherefore the dramatic illnesses, dramaland? And a BRAIN TUMOR at that. Is Dr. Jin really the thing you want to be evoking here? Or… ever.

    Yeesh. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but I’ll be waiting until it’s over and the verdict’s in before picking this one up. The potential for tragedy or suckitude or tragic suckitude is way too high here.

  13. 13 mellowyel

    Oooh, clicked on the link to this post and got a new header featuring none other than Lee Jin-wook himself! Double-dose of pretty 😀

    Brain tumor =/= deal-breaker for me narratively speaking. I can see it going a number of different ways, hallucination cop-out nonwithstanding. They could integrate it into the plot right off the bat, and take it in a different direction. These creators aren’t known to follow tropes, so I have hope that they can make it work. I also have some ideas of how they could do it, but I won’t clutter the comments section with my rambling, lol. Instead I’ll wait and see what the drama has to offer.

  14. 14 Dongsaeng killer


  15. 15 MsB

    Just not sure about this one yet. Brain tumor aside.

  16. 16 Kokare

    Yeah the brain tumor just makes it not interesting. It’ll have been better if it was a reflective piece of his life.

  17. 17 Carole McDonnell

    Okay…gotta think. So how could not reading the note or all those things he wished he shouldn’t have done prevent him from getting a brain tumor? Cell phone with brain-attacking radiation I can see…but everything else… not so much.

    Still, if we are going to journey into the mind of someone’s brain delusions, I guess I can watch it. Queen InHyun’s Man writers and all.

  18. 18 Requiem

    Hmmm, I was looking forward to this as it was starting to sound like a better version of Operation Proposal, of which I loved the theme and camaraderie (not so much the writing and execution), since there were going to be finite chances to actually change what happened and made each jump back important, but the whole brain tumor and self-saving changes everything around.

    I’ll probably wait and see if it’s worth picking up.

  19. 19 kopytko

    I am not afraid of brain tumors. I am going to fight this one with a ff button :D. I can endure this and that to watch LJW. Even time travelling.

  20. 20 ck1Oz

    Oh I say. They didn’t mention the word melo did they?

  21. 21 Julia

    I’m using my special memory-erasing dust to forget I read about brain tumors in this review because that makes me not even want to watch.

    Just curious. but after seeing “Do No Harm” abruptly cancelled after only 2 episodes, do they cancel series in Korea like that? If so, why shoot your ratings in the foot with Dr Jin Gummy Tumor in your lead promotional material?

    Dust, sprinkle, dust

    Oh my, I can’t wait for this exciting new drama 9 with the hunky actor. It’s going to be great.

  22. 22 Julia

    Why isn’t the show called 아홉 (ahop) or 구 (gu) instead of nine? I know there is a lot of English adopted into the Korean languaage, but does the show’s title sound cooler to Koreans by spelling it in English? Plus it just puzzles me from a trademark standpoint … 9 is not exactly something you can trademark.

  23. 23 Sabah

    Oh my! They seem to make such a sweet couple. Looking forward to this very much!

    Questions: Is Jo Yoon Hee the girl who played the obsessed Japanese wannabe girlfriend of Lee Wan in Taste Sweet Love? She looks so different but then again so does Lee Wan nowadays though of course they were both so young in TSL. What ever happened to Lee Wan? Shouldn’t he have returned from army duty a while ago?

  24. 24 risa

    I’m still in but I’m kinda relieved that my expectations have now been lowered quite a bit.

  25. 25 JoAnne

    Girl Friday, I heard that if you stand in front of a mirror and say ‘No fetus’ nine times, the show will be good.

    • 25.1 Gaeina Lee

      JoAnne, I’ll join the forces to boot the brain fetus away.. ^^

    • 25.2 YY

      ….and if GF stands in front of a mirror and says ‘No fetus’ TEN times, Brain Fetus will appear and write all the recaps for this show. No kidding.

      • 25.2.1 JoAnne

        OMG, I vote for THAT

  26. 26 Fun-lugha

    If it’s about rghting wrongs, maybe they’ll come out and right all the wrongs that were Dr Jin…I for one live in hope!

  27. 27 Sajen

    well since I didn’t watch Dr. Jin I’ll still watch this. But you know what would have been more interesting, to me at least, is if he starts to travel back in time at uncontrollable times for unknown reasons to see scenes from a past failed love and then eventually we find out that he’s been a cancer patient having hallucinations/dreams all this time and he’s been keeping his cancer a secret from Jo Yoon-hee and pushing her away for years but after his adventures in the past even though he’s still going to die he finally accepts her and spends however much time he has left with her.

  28. 28 Roxy

    Time-travel to fix his relationship with the girl? Sounds a lot like Operation Proposal

  29. 29 lemondoodle

    Brain tumors don’t bother me. Summaries of drama are usually never that close to what actually happens anyway. Plus QIHM team… I put my faith in them.

  30. 30 snow_white

    hmmm….now the premise sounds lesser interesting….but i’m surely giving this a try…..

  31. 31 Gaeina Lee

    The teaser roused my curiosity, and I like her in the fam sitcom MHGAF and Love in Memory, thus I’ll give a try while hoping that this 1 drama won’t disappoint me..

  32. 32 WM

    I’ll wait for the ending of this one before I start watching. No way will I invest myself in a drama that has the possibility of hero/heroine death. I’ve been burned way too many times. I’m glaring evil eyes at you, Fashion King, for that unnecessary ending…and all the idiocy pain in between.

  33. 33 cheekbones


    I thought there’s some dark mystery involving the girl that he’s trying to unravel. That was so much more interesting than brain tumor. 🙁

  34. 34 YY

    “….only Sun-woo keeps her at arm’s length, and never fully lets her in emotionally.”

    He keeps mistaking her for a mushroom, and that’s not a very good way to start a relationship.

    • 34.1 Gaeina Lee

      ROTF LOLing…

    • 34.2 JoAnne

      @yy ‘They call me Bella…Porta Bella…’

      • 34.2.1 thil28

        OMG, thank you, thank you, ROFLing now….

  35. 35 epuda

    mmm….its sounds bit of like Operation Proposal where I lost bit of my grey matters having the hero go back times and again. No matter how handsome the hero was I couldn’t complete it. so for this I will wait till the end and see what the recappers here has to say before I invest my time.

  36. 36 Ivy

    Looks fresh and interesting 🙂 Sort of sweet too, could easily be a really cute and thoughtful drama

  37. 37 anna

    What? No more solving a family crime or something like that? I liked that mystery part or else I have nothing to look forward to now. 😐 Will read recaps if anyone’s willing to write them.

  38. 38 anna

    I keep confusing her with Lee Yuri, even tho she looks a bit more like Lee Hyori.

  39. 39 Carmelia

    tq gf !

    what is she doing to his chest !! ?

    • 39.1 YY

      Tickling his abs?

  40. 40 umbanana

    Le sighs. Not more brain tumours! I was looking forward to nine since I loved QIHM, but brain tumour?! With the potential TWTWB one as well… is this 2013’s theme? Or rather just the typical melo theme.
    Having said all that though, I think I’ll still watch it cos I have faith in the team and Nepal looks gorgeous.

  41. 41 Joy @ OSS

    She looks SO unattractive compared to the VERY attractive LJW. Maybe I’m just biased LOL or still suffering PTSD for her performance in Lie to Me…

    I just feel Jin Wookie deserves better co-stars.

  42. 42 mskololia

    Nepal looks beautiful and I really wish they had shown some Nepalese people in the teaser.

    I will wait for at least 6 recaps to read before deciding to watch this one. The story seems to be only about a workplace relationship with a deadly tumor thrown in for suspense.

  43. 43 Taber

    Queen Inhyun’s Man hands down was the best drama for me in 2012 and if I had the time to really annualize my over all top 5 drama Queen Inhyun’s Man could be at the top. The fact the Director is the same Director for Queen Inhyun’s Man got my attention. I have read that the Director let the cast of Queen Inhyun’s Man do a lot that was off script which I think is why the show flow so smoothly and the chemistry and interaction was amazing natural. I know it not the same writer but the lead girl I like and happy she starting in a drama I like her in MHGAF, as for the lead guy not a fan but I can tolerance him it’s not like I dislike him it just that he don’t evoke any emotions.

  44. 44 Rilakkuma

    It sounds pretty lame to me… But since it’d from the directors of QIHM I must watch it of course… And I’ve been liking most TvN dramas lately, so that’s another reason to watch it. Hope it’ll be better than it sounds. 🙂

  45. 45 goldeng

    I really liked QIHM! it was the best time travel story of 2012… but the brain tumor part is the one that makes me want to run to the hills… no no no no… Im using all my “sad-sad-tragedy-tolerance” to watch That Winter and i’m not that confident I can finish that drama… 🙁

  46. 46 Toystar

    From some reason this feels like A Thousand Days’ Promise (Tears).

  47. 47 alaki

    Bang Yi-sook!! <3

  48. 48 varms

    They could turn this into Operation Proposal if the female lead was about to get married/already married. This role sounds similar to the role he played in I Need Romance 2. He’s good at pushing people away. Minus the time travel. Brain tumour? No wonder he looks deathly pale in the stills… I have high hopes for TVN though!

  49. 49 magnus

    I highly doubt that it will be Dr. Jin-eque in any way and it’s not taking multiple repetitions for me. The writing team did an amazing job with QIHM and they subverted tropes left and right so this taints my expectations in only one way: I really wanted this to be more exploratory of human beings and our pasts but there’s the chance that they might focus on that less than I want them too because of the whole “he’s almost definitely going to die” thing. It just gaurantees that some time is going to be spent on the impending death.

    My expectations have shifted accordingly. I still think it’s going to be amazing, I’m just not going in also expecting them to deal with brain tumors too which might potentially take away from the whole premise of past affecting present and get into enjoying life and whatnot. I prefer one over the other but I don’t begrudge the writers.

    OR it all goes horribly wrong. Still a possibility I must accept. We’ll see when it gets here.

  50. 50 sweetspring

    OMG, going to Nepal for the 1st time ever tomorrow & now thanks to that teaser will be seeing things there with a dreamy persepctive & soft, falling petals floating from the heavens with the great himalayas in the backdrop & some hunky guy ala Lee Jin Wook wandering around *squeals*…

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