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Adaptations

Until now, there are 5 adaptations has been made adapted from the novel. 3 TVB productions, 1 Taiwan production and 1 Mainland production. Smallest number of adaptations compared to it's sequels ^.~ I dunno why, but I think the story is incredible and amazing too!!

The very first adaptation produced in 1970s, I don't know the exact year, by TVB. With Wong Man Biu as Guo Jing and Michelle Mei Suet as Huang Rong. For your information, in case you didn't notice, Wong Man Biu once again portrayed Guo Jing's character in "Return of The Condor Heroes" 1995 TVB version ^_____^

The second adaptation produced in 1982 by TVB. Starring, all-star casts, Felix Wong Yat Wah as Guo Jing, Barbara Yung Mei Ling as Huang Rong, Miu Kiu Wai as Yang Kang and Sharon Yeung Pan Pan as Mu Nian Ci. Known as the most popular and the BEST version that has been made EVER!!^_~

The third adaptation produced by a Taiwan film company, in 1988. Starring Howie Wong Man Ho as Guo Jing and surprisingly, Idy Chan Yuk Lin as Huang Rong!!@_@ From 78's Xiao Zhou, 83's Xiao Long Nu, straight to 88's Huang Rong!!! =P Unbelivable!

The fourth adaptation made in 1994, for the third time by TVB. With Julian Cheung Chi Lam as Guo Jing, Athena Chu Yan as Huang Rong, Gallen Lo Ka Leung as Yang Kang and Emily Kwan as Mu Nian Ci. Lots of people dissapointed with this version, as it failed to bring out the magical twist appear in 1982 version once again =(

The latest adaptation being a mega-budget production by Mainland China in 2003, looks really promising. Most Jin Yong fans have high expectations on this adaptation. Starring Li Yapeng as Guo Jing, Zhou Xun as Huang Rong, Zhou Jie as Yang Kang and Shui Ling as Mu Nian Ci. Turns out? I'm quite surprised with myself, coz I dare to dub this adaptation as the BEST adaptation ever been made!! Yes, yes...LoCH82 is now #2 for me...x) I thought I'll never do that to LoCH82...but its the truth. I really think this one is the best one!!^^

You can find LoCH2003 news archive here: Legend of Condor Heroes Mainland 2003 Making News

I've only watched the 1982 TVB, 1994 TVB & 2003 Mainland adaptations only, so as for my opinion, I can only compare these 3 adaptations.
 

Plotline, Costumes, Themesongs, Special Effects

TVB 1982
The plotline in 1982 version didn't get pretty close with the novel, however, with the writers' creativity and the amazing portrayal of the actors, it suceed to make this version as an INCREDIBLE ancient TV series ever, as it also became the second most-watched TV series in it's time, next to 'Looking Back In Anger', starring Felix Wong, Deric Wan and Carina Lau.

As for the costumes, I have to say, AWESOME!! And, also not boring to see, since the characters change their outfit every few episodes!!^^ I just luuvvvv Huang Rong's outfits, so cute!!^___^ And, also Yang Kang's royal outfit! Made Miu Kiu Wai looks soooo cool!! =P Although, he didn't change his royal outfit as much as Huang Rong's.

As for the themesongs......SUPERB!!!!!^O^ Afterall, most of 1980s themesongs, in my opinion, are wonderful and classy!!! The theme songs used in this version is just soooo appropriate and fit in to portray a scene or someone's feelings!! Just luv it!!!!^____^ The opening theme songs are also suceed in portraying every part of the series!!!^^ Actually, my favorite one is the third opening theme.....a very heroic themesong!!!^_~

The special effects in 1980s, as we all know, didn't come out maximum, but it's good enough just to liven up the fantasy ^_~ I think....this is the only flaw ever occur in this version O_o Wow...just wish the version made with the same script, same actors, same costumes, but produced in the 90s, where we can get better effects!!! =P

TVB 1994
The 1994 version......personally, even though I think 1982 is the best, but that doesn't mean I hate this version, in fact I also like this version in some ways!^_~

The plot adapted more closely to the novel, so it should be more acceptable, however, I find the 1982 is MORE interesting, as I'm pretty sure many other people would also think so ^_~

The costumes are also awesome! But...still it's a little boring, since they change their outfits when it comes to half of the series...>_<  As far as I know, there are only four outfits for Huang Rong, the green one(MOST-used), the pink one, the beggar one and whenever she disguised as a man. Compared to 1982's Huang Rong, which maybe has 5-10 outfits, or even more!!^^ But, it is only noticable if you watched the whole series over and over, anyway =P

The theme songs in this version....hmm.....as I watched it 2 years ago, I don't really remember, but for the opening theme song, which is only one song....two words, NOT GOOD!!>_<

So, overall...this version could be a GOOD or even BEST version to be produced, if only the 1982 version has never been made!!!^_~

Mainland 2003
Plot is near perfection!^-^ Althou not quite there yet... I'm surprised that some important scenes are either shortened or erased. But, it didnt really bother me, actually^^ I'm amazed with the dialogues accuracy with the book even to little things, which is quite rare we find in other adaptations! Since it is 90-95% faithful to the book...the plot pace has no problem, neither fast nor slow-paced....just perfect!
Special effects is one of the thing I really despise in this serial!! >=\ I thought they're making this serial with a mega-budget? How come they used cheesy FX?? I was expecting a good, simple and neutral FX like they did for Xiao Ao Jiang Hu! =( Really dissapointed with it...~_~
Fights is ok....althou not many difference with HK and Taiwan serial. Quite dissapointed, actually. Coz, again...I'm expecting fight scenes like in XAJH01, which most of them are really memorable......but in LoCH, just 1 or 2 of them that I find memorable x)


However, this serial have such breathtaking sceneries!!!!*o* EXCELLENT and AMAZING sets!!! It really has the best shooting locations! And great cinematography, too! Just, plain superb!
This serial use LOTS and LOTS of extras, too!! Really perfect to add in the colossal and grandeur feel to this serial!^_^

Musics are excellent!!!!!! I'm giving it 4 thumbs up!! bb^o^dd Great, beautiful and such classic background musics!! Really fit in all the scenes in a colossal serial! I really want to have the soundtrack cd here!! x) Opening themesong is great! Really depicts the heroic theme of the story! Ending themesong? I loooooooooove it very much!!!!!!^o^ddddddd
I DID pray very hard that LoCH03 will have great musics...coz I was so dissapointed with XAJH's musics....ha, it came true!!^.^ But, I guess, we get the lousy FX and fights in return x)


Final verdict! I luuuuuurveee this LoCH Mainland 2003!!!!!!*o* Its suppose to be, I love this one equally with Xiao Ao Jiang Hu....coz, the plus and minus points of this 2 serial are quite the same. But, since the special effects factor is really important for me.....XAJH01 is still slightly up there!!^_~

Characters
 

Characters/Versions
TVB 1976
TVB 1982
Taiwan 1988
TVB 1994
Mainland 2003
Guo Jing
No Image
Wong Man Biu

Felix Wong

Howie Wong

Julian Cheung

Li Yapeng
Huang Rong

Michelle Mei

Barbara Yung

Idy Chan

Athena Chu

Zhou Xun
Yang Kang
No Image
(Unknown)

Miu Kiu Wai
No Image
(Unknown)

Gallen Lo

Zhou Jie
Mu Nian Ci
No Image
(Unknown)

Sharon Yeung
No Image
(Unknown)

Emily Kwan

Shui Ling

TVB 1982
Heheh...my most favorite part to discuss!!^_^ I have to say that the portrayal of the characters by the 80's actors are TERRIFIC!!!^O^

Felix portrayed Guo Jing incredibly looks dumb, innocent, kind-hearted and sometimes funny!!!^_^ I just love how he act the character!! Afterall, he IS one of the very best actor in 1980s! There's a lot of his funny scene that made me laugh!! Like how he can't keep secret from Yang Tie Xin about Mu Nian Ci seeing Yang Kang, or when Huang Rong  nicknamed his teacher as 'the blind old man', while his teacher is standing right behind her and then he's blinking his eyes, to signal Huang Rong!!*LOL* Very funny, you have to see it yourself!!!^_^

Barbara Yung is superb as Huang Rong!! She portrayed her as a spoiled, selfish, quick-witted, but cute girl!! And very cheerful, too! Also, I love how she portray her feelings to Guo Jing through those expressions, as she and Felix has a very good on-screen chemistry!! She's my most favorite actress from The Golden 80s!!!^O^

As for Miu Kiu Wai...one word to express my opinion....WOW!!!!!!!!!^O^ He is soooooooo cool as Yang Kang!!! In the first episodes, we can see Yang Kang's playful side, as he act a little spoiled towards her mother and fosterfather, just appropriate in portraying he's the ONLY son, and that the parents spoiled him. He also loves to fight on the street, which is definitely portray him as a naughty prince!!^^ I also love his on-screen chemistry with Sharon Yeung as Mu Nian Ci!!! I just love how he makes Mu Nian Ci shy, since he is so charming =P
He starts to use lots of serious expression when he got to know his real identity...but, then again, sometimes he can express mad and sad at the same time, portraying Yang Kang's uncertain feelings towards the situation!!^^ INCREDIBLE!!!

Mu Nian Ci is a -gentle and sensitive, yet firm- woman. I have to say Sharon Yeung succesfully liven up the character, not making her as a boring character, but also not to forget her real characteristics!!
When Sharon Yeung is only in my memory and I forgot how she act out Mu Nian Ci, she's my least favorite in the series. But, now, after I got the chance to watch the series again, I have to say that although her looks not as beautiful as Barbara, but she suceed making her character quite attractive!!! She portrayed Mu Nian Ci, soft, sensitive, but not weak! She has that firm expression on her face. She's also VERY good with kungfu!!O_O I can even say, that Mu Nian Ci's kungfu is a lot better than Guo Jing's kungfu when he first came to town!! I know that Sharon Yeung is an acrobatic expert, which is why she almost never use stunts to do her action scenes, maybe this is why the writers didn't want to waste Sharon's talents ^_~ Imagine, she manage to fight ALL the Jin's soldiers all by herself!!! And, I also like her fight scenes with the contestants for her marriage arrangement! And, oh.....can you imagine Mu Nian Ci drunk and say ridiculous words to Yang Kang???@_@ Well, it happened! And, it's very interesting, as we never see this side of Mu Nian Ci ^_^

TVB 1994
For the 1994 version, overall, the actors portrayed the characters averagely =P

Julian's version of Guo Jing is not as dumb as Felix's...he's innocent, alright! But, not that dumb...>_< Even so, isn't Guo Jing supposibly has a dumb-face?!O_o While, Julian Cheung is too cute and handsome to be Guo Jing!! Heheh......all my friends (that's not really into ancient series) said they prefer to watch the 1994 version than the 1982, since it has cuter and more handsome Guo Jing!! >=P

Athena's Huang Rong is not as selfish and not as quick-witted as Barbara Yung's!! In fact, she somehow portray her as an intelligent girl!!^_^ (Note : that being smart and looks intelligent is not the same...)
But, she still has that cheerful attitude and a little coquettish too! And, I also like how she manage to create her own Huang Rong's style by grabbing her hair most of the time by her one hand or even two hands. Although, some people find that annoying, I think it looks cute!!^_~ And, I have to say...that she's the most superb actress in this version!! However, unfortunately, no matter how terrific she is as Huang Rong.....Barbara Yung is still on top!!! =P Oh, she and Julian Cheung got lots of romantic scene, but their on-screen chemistry isn't as good as Felix & Barbara's =(((

Yang Kang's portrayal by Gallen Lo is too much serious and mean! And, he also never showed his spoiled and playful side of Yang Kang >_< Which is actually my favorite side of Yang Kang!! Gallen's act really dissapointed me, as I was hoping he can act as good as Miu Kiu Wai =(

Emily Kwan portrayed Mu Nian Ci soft, sensitive, weak and pretty quiet, too. She can do kungfu alright but not as good as Sharon's Mu Nian Ci. So, it's a little boring watching her character >_<

I guess only produced 35 episodes compared with 1982's 59 episodes, effects pretty much to the actors too...they can't improve much their acting skill, while the 80's actors have a lot of chance to keep improving their acting skill from part to part! And, also....in this version, they too much focused on Guo Jing and Huang Rong, so we never get to see Yang Kang and Mu Nian Ci as important characters and also it didn't pretty much show their relationship problems >_<

Mainland 2003
I really like the way Li Yapeng portrayed Guo Jing!!^.^ Quite different with the other Guo Jing-s.....althou sometimes he looks too dumb and his expressions sometimes annoying, but he's 80% most of the time...ok!!^_~ Hmm...now, I cant decide....who's my favorite Guo Jing? Felix Wong or Li Yapeng? x)
It takes really amount of time, to get used with Zhou Xun's Huang Rong! It didnt happen until the 20th episode or so. But, once I get used to it...I really got hooked with her portrayal!! x) I like her even more, when I watch the serial for the 2nd time!! I really give thumbs up to Zhou Xun, for not imitating Barbara's portrayal!^-^ And for now....I actually dub Zhou Xun as the BEST Huang Rong!!!^.^ Yes, I like her HR that much!!
And, I think Li Yapeng and Zhou Xun have a great chemistry!!!^_^ And really such a compatible duo! Well....that wouldn't be a wonder, since they were real-life lovers...even rumored that they have got married, after finishing LoCH03 shooting, but its just a rumor^^ But, to tell u the truth....I looooove LiYapeng and XuQing's chemistry a lot more in XAJH01...heheh....=P

Zhou Jie as Yang Kang? Do i even have to start? =( Urgghh.....really annoying!! He definitely dont have the looks to be YK!! >=\ But, ok, ok....objectively, his acting as YK is quite ok......quite OK, I say x)
Shui Ling is the most perfect Mu Nianci so far!^_^d By appearance AND portrayal!!

The actors who acted as Five Greats are overall, did a good job...althou not excellent. Hong Qi Gong is ok, once you get used with his portrayal and way of acting^^ Huang Yao Shi did a good job...but I still think Kenneth Tsang(LoCH82) is the best HYS!! Great Ou Yang Feng!!! Yes, I like 2003's OYF the best, compared to OYF82 and OYF94!^_~ Zhou Botong also did an equally great job with ZBT82!! They both make me laugh!^^ Basen as Genghiz Khan is perfect!! It really stuck in my mind now, that he is THE Genghiz Khan!!^-^

Overall...I love the way these Mainland actors and actresses act and portray the characters...not exagerrating expression...looks real and neutral. And I love these little gestures they made which can actually happen in our daily lifes^^ To sum it up....good casts for LoCH2003!! And, for me personally, Zhou Xun is the most outstanding one, and whose performance is really memorable in this serial^^ Zhou Xun rocks!!!!!

Now....I'd love to hear your opinion!!!^O^ And if you have watched the 1970s version or the 1988 Taiwanese version, pls, review it for me!! Or, at least, tell me what it's like compare to the other versions! Especially, I want to know how Idy Chan portrayed Huang Rong, since it's a little hard to believe, from Xiao Long Nu's character straight to Huang Rong's character =P Ironically, Barbara Yung is also considered to portray Xiao Long Nu's character for the 1983 version of ROCH, wondered how that would work out!!!^____~

Anyway, if you have ANYTHING....email me!^O^

A review and a picture of LOCH 1988 Taiwanese can be found at : Blast To The Past - LOCH Tw 88

And, these are the guest's reviews I have so far :
Mu Nian Ci, The Novel and The Series by Priscilla