After what feels like an eternity since the news about Secret Door was first announced, SBS has finally opened the official website of the drama. It is the first sageuk for SBS this year and the anticipation for it is quite high, at least for me. I notice that the themes for dramas and movies are often intertwined and this year, Crown Prince Sado is one of the recurring characters in both television and movie production. Secret Door promises a retelling of the history that might be familiar to some people with a new approach.
[+Updated with the teasers+]
Crown Prince Sado is perhaps one of the most well-known royal princes in the history of Korea and there are countless views and opinions regarding his life, especially his last days living as the nation’s next king. The details of the events leading to his death remained vague, save for his wife, Lady Hyegyeong’s record in the ‘Memoirs of Lady Hyegyeong’ and the mentions in Annals of King Yeongjo. Yeongjo, who was known as a capable ruler and a respected king, made a difficult decision of killing his own son after Sado’s sudden descend into lunacy.
Secret Door, however, aims to unveil the story behind the events, centering around Yeongjo’s struggle in strengthening his power and delves into the conflicts arising between him and his heir, but with a twist of a murder case. Crown Prince Sado is the figure who sets up a secret investigation team to reveal the mystery, in the midst of the continuous disputes between the factions. With the long list of well-known cast: Han Suk-kyu, Lee Je-hoon, Kim Yoo-jung, Park Eun-bin, Kim Min-jong, and Choi Won-young, just to name a few, the drama is halfway towards its success and the only thing it needs is a good story. Reading the character descriptions make me curious about the characters and it doesn’t make the wait any easier 😉
The king who hides daggers in his tears, Yeongjo
Yeongjo is a king who is well-versed in Confucianism. He often express himself by crying but at the same time holds a dream inside his heart. His origin as the son of a lowly water maid makes him feel inferior and in order to prove himself not only as a king who owns the power after his brother’s death, he strives hard to be a competent leader, hungry for acknowledgement and recognition. In order to protect the throne and the people, he has to make hard decisions, such as turning into a cold-blooded father to his son, Crown Prince Sado.
The prince who masks his fears with laughter, Crown Prince Sado Yi Seon
As an heir to the throne, Sado is expected to be the best in everything but he is struggling to live up to the expectations from people around him. He’s fearful of his father Yeongjo and chooses to hide his fears behind his smiles. His smile becomes his standard reaction to everything. The murder case is his chance to prove himself but he discovers something hidden beneath it.
A woman who is as free as a bird, Seo Ji-dam
A young woman who is brave to challenge the common practice. As a daughter of a librarian, Ji-dam is well-versed in literature but her interest doesn’t lie in the romance novels; books about commoners, taxes, and land management are her favourites. Her dream is to become a writer and the murder case is the bridge to her dream of finding justice for the commoners. Thanks to the fate between her and the crown prince Yi Seon, who dreams of a fair world for the people, she gets involved in the investigation and gains friends from different walks of life.
Princess Hyegyeong, the woman with politics inside her skirt
Lady Hong, wife of Yi Seon and mother of Yi San. She wants to be the best in everything and the thing she hates the most is feeling inferior to and being pitied by someone else. Living in as a poor noblewoman, she begins getting lessons and her father grooms her to become the future queen. Marrying the crown prince makes her a step closer to her dream, but the only thing she has not achieved is to steal her own husband’s love. Yi Seon’s dream of a fair world turns her own dream into bubbles and she decides to abandon her husband in order to protect her son.
The cold-blooded assassin Na Chul-joo
An assassin who has nothing to fear but finds himself intrigued by the young woman he finds at the book rental place he frequents. He eventually becomes her assistant in investigating the murder case.
Sado’s proxy, Chae Je-gong
An officer who receives the trust from the crown prince, he continues to serve the prince faithfully, until the murder case. During the investigation, he becomes the sacrificial lamb to control Yi Seon, for Yeongjo’s sake.
The first teaser has been released today and the texts read,
Why a father killed his son…
The father who needs the power..
The son who desires for the people’s victory..
Will it be death as a criminal..
Or leaving behind [rays of] hope?
Secret Door: Uigwe’s Murder Case premieres 22 September.
Credit to Secret Door’s official website.