TV series 'Great Expectations' debuts on Hunan TV

Editor:Sharon Lee
Updated:2018-03-30 10:20:31
  Actor-filmmaker Chen Sicheng stars in the series, for which he also works as the executive producer and chief scriptwriter. [Photo provided to China Daily]

  When actor-filmmaker Chen Sicheng was young, he read British author Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations. The book's title, for him symbolizing an aspiration to strive for a bright future, was etched on his mind.

  As a homage to his childhood favorite, Chen gave his new television series the same title. But the story is completely different.

  Set in the 1920s, the 56-episode drama Great Expectations chronicles the rise of Hong Sanyuan, a fictional hero who transforms from a street hooligan to a revolutionary in the unprecedented turbulence of the era.

  The series will air on the provincial broadcaster Hunan TV, as well as five streaming sites: Tencent Video, iQiyi, Youku,, and beginning April 1.  Actress Tong Liya, also wife of Chen, promotes the forthcoming  Great Expectations in a Beijing event on March 27. [Photo provided to China Daily] 

  Cheng plays Hong and also serves as the production's executive producer, and chief scriptwriter. The series marks his return to the small screen, as he has focused on directing movies, such as the Detective Chinatown franchise, in recent years.

  Directed by Xie Ze and Chen Xitai, Great Expectations also casts actor Yuan Hong, actress Tong Liya (Chen's wife), Taiwan model-actress Amber Kuo and veteran actor Zhao Lixin.

  Kuo, familiar to mainland fans for the hit franchise Tiny Times, plays a business tycoon's daughter, who is educated in France and has a crush on Chen's character.

  Aside from Dickens, Chen says the TV drama also pays homage to the iconic filmmaker Stephen Chow and top martial arts novelist Louis Cha, both Hong Kong celebrities.

  Some sequences feature Chow's stylish comic gestures, while other scenes are packed with stunts to create a martial arts production-like atmosphere.