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Adaptations

                    

Well...here it is, the Adaptations section!!!^O^ Hope you enjoy here....now, I have this very own opinion about the serial adaptations that I'd like to share.....so, please, remember that this is JUST an opinion, no offense, alright???^_^

Until now, there are 7 adaptations produced adapted from the novel. 3 TVB productions, 2 Taiwan productions, 1 joint production and 1 movie. Now, I won't talk about the movie in this section, since it's a completely different category with TV series ^_^ So, the movie adaptation will be discussed in a separate section, The Movie section.

The first ever adaptation to be produced, is the 1978 TVB series, starring Adam Cheng Siu Chow as Zhang Wuji, Lisa Wong Ming Chin as Zhao Min, Gigi Chiu Ngar Chi as Zhou Zhiruo and Idy Chan Yuk Lin as Xiao Zhou.

The second adaptation made in Taiwan, 1984. Starring Lau Tak Kai as Zhang Wuji AND Zhang Cuishan, Lau Yuk Fat as Zhao Min, and Yu Ho Yan as Zhou Zhiruo. Apparently it's a VERY RARE version, and most of Jin Yong's fans missed this version. Some people in the Jin Yong forum mentioned that this version had lousy sets all in doors, but the customes were great, the plot follows the storyline to the word almost (including voice overs on important thoughts of characters), the actors did a pretty good job on the acting, the fighting was slow, but definitely choreographed and actually done by the actors themselves.

The third adaptation produced in 1986 by once again, TVB. Starring Tony Leung Chiu Wai as Zhang Wuji, Kitty Lai Mei Han as Zhao Min, Sheren Tang Siu Man as Zhou Zhiruo, Maggie Siu Mei Kei as Xiao Zhou, Simon Yam Tak Wah as Zhang Cuishan and Dodo Cheng Yu Ling as Yin Susu. It is told, that this version is majority people's favorite version, including me!!^^ Afterall, it is produced in The Golden 80's!!!^_~

The fourth adaptation produced in 1994 by Taiwan. Starring Steven Ma Chingdao as Zhang Wuji and Zhang Cuishan, Cecilia Yip Tung as Zhao Min and Yin Susu, and Kathy Chow as Zhou Zhiruo. No offense, but personally, this is the least version I ever want to watch so far >=<

The fifth adaptation produced in the beginning of the 3rd millenium!!^O^ Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre 2000 produced for the third time by TVB. Starring Lawrence Ng Kai Wah as Zhang Wuji, Gigi Lai Chi as Zhao Min, Charmaine Sheh as Zhou Zhiruo and Liz Kong as Xiao Zhou. This adaptation is pretty average. Some actors are miscasted, but some other did their job very well. Fine plot. Bad over-done effects. Just plain regular...nothing spectacular.

The latest adaptation is a joint production of Mainland, Taiwan and Singapore, released in 2002^^ Starring Alec Su as Zhang Cuishan & Zhang Wuji, Alyssa Chia as Zhao Min, Gao Yuan Yuan as Zhou Zhiruo, Florence Tan as Xiao Zhou and Phyllis Quek as Yin Susu. I dub this one as 2nd best adaptation!!^-^ Really, not bad at all!

Plotline, Costumes, Themesongs and Special Effects
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Before I start comparing the adaptations, I want to let you know, that I haven't watch the TVB 1978 and Taiwan 1984 yet, so I'm very sorry, I can't comment much on these adaptations.

TVB 1986
1986 version's plotline is adapted closely to the novel. So, I guess nothing's wrong with that, the plot is perfect!!^^ I personally loved the beautiful costumes, this kind of costumes is my favorite kind of Chinese ancient costumes! Also, the Mongolian costume that Zhao Min wear, with those pretty little accesory on her forehead that comes with the little hat she wear. I also love the ancient hairstyles for the men and especially for the women! Gee...I'll never know how they can do so many things to the hair, the women's hairstyle looks very complicated!!@_@
As for the themesongs, I would say, unfortunately....this one didn't follow much the prequels(LOCH 82 & ROCH 83) beautiful and awesome themesongs.....i'm sorry, but this is what I s---, sorry, this is what I hear =P The themesongs isn't as good as the prequels' themesongs >_<
Well....as we all know, it's the 80's...they have very limited technology, so the effects isn't very good, but I think it's enough to liven up the fantasy!!^^

Taiwan 1994
The Taiwanese 1994 version is the worst version I've ever watched so far >_< I'm sorry, but this is what I see. Because how the actors brought the characters, it looks much more like tragic drama series than an ancient kungfu series. They tried to make an alternate plotline without changing the ending, but I guess they failed, the alternate plotline very much looks unnecessary scenes.
The costumes...well, I personally don't like it, especially Wuji's hairstyle, didn't portray Zhang Wuji as a handsome, dashing, noble hero >.< Effects didn't impress me.
Oh, the only thing I reeeeaaallyy love from this version is the themesongs!!^^ Yup....especially, the romantic scenes' themesong!!! Sooo beautiful...and romantic!!!^_~

TVB 2000
Just got to watched episode 35 and 42(finale), so can't give much opinions. Although, the plotline changed...surprisingly, as the novel diehard fan, I'm okay with it ^_~ The changes of the plot is pretty reasonable. I like how they(TVB crews) made a happy ending for Zhou Zhiruo^^ But, I don't like the way they switched some scenes. And I don't like the way they focused on Zhao Min's family too much. And what's with the crying scenes when Zhao Min sacrifice herself for her family??O_O ZM cried is of course okay, she's a woman. But, her father and brother???? The scene in the jail where Ruyang, Wang Bao Bao and Zhao Min hug together and cry looked pretty silly >_< For all I know, Mongolian men tend to be strong, and don't like sensitive things. Moreover, making Wang Bao Bao(ZM's bro) become so caring with Zhao Min...is just not appropriate. I prefer the way he is in the novel, selfish, don't even think about his sister's safety.
Costumes are great, hairstyles are good...except, for a few hairstyles =P
The special effects are..okay, although sometimes they over-done it(and looks like a cartoon), but i can still bear with it ^_~ I personally hate the fake sceneries!!>_< Why do they have to use fake sceneries anyway?? I'd never know...~_~
Music is pretty good!!^^

Mainland-Taiwan-Singapore 2002
When I watched disc-1, you dont know how much dissapointed I was with this serial! Really dissapointed....BIG TIME!! Problem is.....I watched this, right after I watched LoCH03....hehee.... To tell u the truth, HSDS02 is *nothing* like XAJH01 and/or LoCH03, it looks more of a Taiwan series than a Mainland series for me =P HSDS02 has no that colossal and grandeur feel, like Zhang Jizhong's productions has. HSDS02 shoot in Mainland alrite.....but, I feel they dont really take advantage of the beautiful sceneries, like XAJH and LoCH did. In these 2 productions, I dunno how...even only in normal scene, where characters only talk casually, they can capture the sceneries as background esthetically and made the sceneries looked as the important factor of the series. While in HSDS02...not.... Fight scenes in XAJH really impressed me, in LoCH dissapointed a bit since the fight scenes' quality lower than XAJH.....in HSDS....*sigh*.....do i really have to mention?? x) And the special effects......urrghh.....cmon!! Much worse than LoCH03!

Plus....Cuishan and Susu's story is definitely messed up!! I was like....ehhh?!? Whats this? I almost drop this series by disc-1.....but then I changed my mind, since I've read lots of positive reviews on this...so, there must be somthing with this serial =P So, I just hopped to disc-18, scene where Wuji and Zhao Min first meet....hehe......Zhao Min is my most fave character in HSDS!!^_~
It really does make a big turn!!!^____^ Bcoz I looooove Alyssa Chia as ZhaoMin!! And the plot for Wuji is pretty good, too. So, I end up enjoyed this serial 'til the end ^-^ And then, watch the discs I haven't watch. Man, Cuishan and Susu's story is definitely screwed! Really such a waste, since Phyllis Quek as Yin Susu is actually good!

Asides Cuishan-Susu's & ZhaoMin's engagement with the Mongolian prince plots, HSDS2002 is quite faithful to the novel. I wouldnt say, it made a lot of deviation...since it's actually not.....it shows scenes that ONLY mentioned by characters or as flashback in the book or maybe things we didn't get to see in the book, such as Zhao Min's childhood...and they made it quite make sense...so, its actually interesting! Examples?

1. Yang Xiao and Bu Hui first meet with Xiao Zhou, and how she act strangely later...in the book, Bu Hui only told this story to Wuji.

2. It made, all happenings between Ming sect and the 6 sects, are truly planned by Zhao Min and she has been watching and paying attention to all the events, all this while. It does make sense! It kinda explain, why in the book, Zhao Min knows about the -Zhiruo stabbing Wuji- incident.

3. Madam Gold Flower & Yin Li going to the Ice Fire island to find Xie Xun is shown, while it is only mentioned in the book...but it does happen^-^

4. The stance that Yin Li Ting created to fight Yang Xiao....there wasnt actual scene in the book on how Zhao Min learned it, only explained by 1-2 sentences after she use it to save Wuji in the island. But in HSDS02, it was shown how Zhao Min got and learned that stance....from Sung Qing Shu^^

Overall, HSDS02 is only mediocre...a mediocre serial that I quite like^^ But since I'm not that satisfied with it...I will pray HARD from now, that Zhang Jizhong will make his own version of HSDS!!^.^ With Li Yapeng as Zhang Cuishan & Xu Qing as Yin Susu....hehe....!!!!^_^v Hmm....and it would be nice, if there's an apperance of Guo Xiang in the beginning by Zhou Xun....=P*dreaming*

Characters
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Characters/Versions
TVB 1978
Taiwan 1984
TVB 1986
Taiwan 1994
TVB 2000
Mainland 2002
Zhang Wuji

Adam Cheng

Lau Tak Kai

Tony Leung

Steven Ma

Lawrence Ng

Alec Su
Zhao Min

Lisa Wong
No Image
Lau Yuk Fat

Kitty Lai

Cecilia Yip

Gigi Lai

Alyssa Chia
Zhou Zhiruo

Gigi Chiu
No Image
Yu Ho Yan

Sheren Tang

Kathy Chow

Charmaine Sheh

Gao Yuan Yuan
Xiao Zhou

Idy Chan

(Unknown)

Maggie Siu

Chan How Suen

Liz Kong

Florence Tan
Zhang Cuishan

Har Yu

Lau Tak Kai

Simon Yam

Steven Ma

Damian Lau

Alec Su
Yin Susu

Gigi Wong
No image
(Unknown)

Dodo Cheng

Cecilia Yip

Michelle Mei

Phyllis Quek

TVB 1986
Tony Leung did a good job as Wuji, but most of his expressions on this series are serious, and lack of innocent expression. And as for Zhao Min, Kitty Lai did a great job! Just like in the book!^^ Sheren Tang also did a superb job as Zhou Zhiruo!!^O^ Looks saint, but evil inside. Makes her looks very hypocrite. And, she can also made the audience feel sick with her fake attitude!^^
But, I have to admit that my most favorite actor here is Simon Yam!!^O^ He suits the role of Zhang Cuishan very much! And, the way he died is just plain cool...=P The scene where Cuishan and Susu died is my favorite scene! It's the only scene that can actually make me cry...swiftly!!O_O
Overall, I love how the actors and actresses act out their characters, although there are some laxity.

Taiwan 1994
As for the Taiwanese one, I don't even want to start >.< Okay, okay...first, Steven Ma and Cecilia Yip portrays their characters a lot with desperate expressions(whats up with that???O_O)! Zhao Min cries a lot. So, my favorite actress here is KATHY CHOW!!! Yup...as Zhou Zhiruo, she did a good job! *sigh* I even feel I want Wuji and Zhao Min dead in Zhiruo's hand in this series!!@_@ Oh, yeah....what makes me confused here is...Xiao Zhou's character didn't count as Wuji's love interest, Wuji and Xiao Zhou are more like brother & sister or bestfriends O_O What makes me bored also...is how they put Steven and Cecilia both as Cuishan & Susu AND Wuji & Zhao Min!! It makes me feel, that they are the same character...>_< Really annoying......~_~

TVB 2000
The casts in this serial pretty upset me, because most of them are too old to play the characters >_< Cuishan and Susu are suppose to be somewhat 20-25, but Damian Lau and Michelle Mei are in their 40s! Don't get me wrong, I like their portrayals as Cuishan and Susu, esp. Michelle Mei as Susu!!^^ But, their old appearance is just...not right...>_<
Moreover, Zhang Wuji was acted by a 40 years old Lawrence Ng!!!O_O Oh, my god....Wuji is suppose to be 21 yrs old when he becomes the leader of Ming Gao...Lawrence Ng is just too old to play the part! It'd be a lot better if they just stay use the teenage-Wuji actor! Lawrence Ng isn't that good either as Wuji...I noticed some of his expressions are not natural.
Gigi Lai as Zhao Min? After I watched her bad performance in the Kungfu Cult Master as Zhou Zhiruo, I really hate her!! But, surprisingly, her performance in this serial as Zhao Min impressed me!!^^ I like her portrayal, like Kitty Lai...almost the same with the book.
I also like Charmaine Sheh as Zhou Zhiruo, she's a pretty good actress! I have no idea why some people think she's like a wooden doll >_<

Mainland-Taiwan-Singapore 2002

Most of the main casts are good...most of the supporting casts sux x) So, its quite 50-50...but since the good ones are the main casts...it makes the casts looks more outstanding^^ Y'know wat I mean?
Surprisingly, Alec Su is pretty good as Wuji. However, I still think Tony Leung is the best Zhang Wuji!!^_~ Alec's minor points only when he exaggerate his frustation expressions a bit^^

Love Alyssa equally with Kitty!^^ I just looooove the way Alyssa Chia portrayed ZhaoMin!! I even think she's better than Kitty once...but then, I realized both Alyssa and Kitty portrayed Zhao Min in their each own way...both of them good....so they're both are the most perfect ZhaoMin-s for me!^_^
Gao Yuan Yuan as Zhou Zhiruo is just so-so....definitely not to the superb extent....I prefer Sheren Tang and Kathy Chow. Yup, she's quite cute....but not that pretty actually....just regular prettiness, I'd say...*GYY's fans pls dont kill me! =P* So, I do not agree if she were to play Xiao Long Nu in mainland's RoCH^^
I like Florence Tan's Xiao Zhou alot!! She's very cute!^.^ She is definitely perfect as Xiao Zhou by appearance and performance!
Alec Su as Zhang Cuishan didnt really pull out well. Phyllis Quek is actually good as Yin Susu! But for me, the best Cuishan and Susu will always be Simon Yam and Dodo Cheng!! The way Simon died is the coolest Cuishan's way of die, me think! Hehe...!

If you have your own opinion about one version or all versions, then don't hesitate to e-mail it to me and I'll post it right here!!!^^ Coz, I'm sure, the other fans would like to know the other opinions too!!^^

These are the guest's reviews I have so far :
HSDS Taiwan 1994 is The BEST! by Nurhaci