Kim Ji-hoon cast in sci-fi mystery sageuk
Kim Ji-hoon in a “Joseon-era X Files”? Sold!
Okay, I can see a myriad of ways that a science-fiction-y mystery sageuk drama might turn out badly — particularly if they take the X Files comparison too far. But with the historical angle, this is such an odd mix of elements that I find myself weirdly compelled, and that’s before even hearing about the story.
The series is 기찰비록, which translates roughly to “Secret Investigation Record.” It’ll air on cable channel tvN as a 12-episode series, starring Kim Ji-hoon of Wish Upon a Star and Im Jung-eun of Swallow the Sun. (Im has also been cast as a gisaeng — a Joseon-era entertainer — in the upcoming youth sageuk Sungkyunkwan Scandal.)
The show is based on true records in the Annals of Joseon History, and uses that as a jumping-off point to feature “bizarre incidents that have never before been illuminated.” As such, it’ll deal with UFOs, mutations, and other mysterious events that cannot be explained through science. Of course, it’ll also include a massive conspiracy, which our hero digs up.
Kim Ji-hoon plays an inspector of the state whose duty is to investigate administrative misdeeds. He’s the type to focus solely on his own concerns, ignoring those of people around him, wholly uninterested in politics or ambition. After dipping his feet into the sageuk genre in Iron Empress, this will mark Kim’s second go at the genre, and it’ll be a familiar character for him in that he is cool, logical, and intelligent. (Not unlike the lawyer characters he’s played before in Wish Upon a Star and Love & Marriage.) According to a production rep, his character is “hard on the outside” but hurty on the inside — it’s how we best like our heroes, no?
Im Jung-eun’s character is a government employee who’s proficient in several languages and knowledgeable about culture. She’s the one who believes strongly that something exists out there that cannot be explained in these odd incidents, making her the Mulder to his Scully. The production source said of her, “During the process of discussing casting, she proposed a lot of ideas on her own, and we felt she could really portray this character positively.”
The drama will begin filming on June 17 in Guryepo, on the Taean peninsula in southern Korea. The first episode airs at midnight on August 20 on tvN.