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[Mainland Chinese Drama 2020] Qin Dynasty Epic 大秦帝国之天下


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Details:

Chinese title: 大秦帝国之天下/Da Qin Di Guo Zhi Tian Xia 
English title: Qin Dynasty Epic

Genre: Historical, Political

Episodes: 78

Director: Yan Yi (延艺)

Broadcast Period: 12/1/2020 - 12/26/2020

 

Cast:

Zhang Lu Yi as Ying Zheng
Duan Yi Hong as Lü Buwei
Li Nai Wen as Li Si
Zhu Zhu as Zhao Ji
Xin Bai Qing as Ying Zichu
Vivian Wu as Lady Hua Yang
You Yong as Wang Jian
Li Hong Tao as Kun Yue
Zhou Tie as Ying Zixi
Wang Qing Xiang as Ying Ji

Synopsis:

It follows the Qin State during the late stages of the Warring States era. Ying Zheng, Lu Bu Wei, Li Si, Wang Jian, and many formidable politicians work together to unite the six states under one rule. The Qin Empire becomes the first dynasty of Imperial China. 
The Qin State has achieved strategic dominance among the six states due to aggressive measures put forth by King Zhao Xiang. After the consecutive deaths of King Zhao Xiang and his successor King Xiao Wen, the royal court was thrown into disputes over legitimacy. Lu Bu Wei, a powerful and influential merchant attempts to seize power by helping Ying Yi Ren, a prince in exile, to the throne. The eldest prince leaves the capital bringing the political unrest to a close. 
Qin strikes down the other states with the ambition to rule all the lands. However, the battle between Qin and Zhao proves to be difficult and deadly. After Ying Zheng, a prince of Qin, and his mother Zhao Ji make their way home, Ying Zheng begins to exhibit the qualities of a ruler under the guidance of Lu Bu Wei. In order to seat her son on the throne, Zhao Ji and Lu Bu Wei join hands against Huayang Furen. Ying Zheng starts on a bloody path to becoming an emperor as he uses the people around him to secure power.
(Source: Chinesedrama.info

 

Preview:

 

OSTs:

Coming soon...

Additional Links:

Qin Dynasty Epic 大秦帝国之天下 English Subbed Episodes

 

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  • 2 months later...
3 hours ago, mvrecci said:

hope to watch this soon...

the synopsis seems good...

It's been rumoured to air for awhile, still waiting for it. You can try its sort of prequel on Netflix, Qin Empire: Alliance. It's about this Emperor's great great grandpa, it's the second entry in the series while this is the fourth, the entries are all about different people so watching them in order isn't strictly necessary.

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  • 4 months later...

This drama has been liscensed by several streaming platforms with English subtitles under the title "Qin Dynasty Epic".  Drama is region restricted so you will need to go to the sites to see if it is available in your country. (I could access all  platforms in US)

 

NewTV Hit Drama YouTube Channel Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUg6CGAXr7plEC_spiDqQ1Wmz6Lh74pHg

 

Kukan Drama Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVm75cj78njo38Izz_suQQA

 

WeTV: https://wetv.vip/en/play/ppyvmvgo4s0xpq3-Qin-Dynasty-Epic/s0035qx8uii-EP01--Qin-Dynasty-Epic

 

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Someone on MDL noted that the subs on wetv are better than youtube's at times, in that they translate people's names/banners, so if you found youtube little hard to follow, maybe try the wetv version.

 

I watched the first 20 episodes. It's fairly easy to get into, since it starts you off with action, and there's not as much power struggle as I expected. The pacing is pretty darn quick, considering its length, I expected lot slower. The dialogue can be real questionable at times, but it's less classical Chinese compared to the previous installment so it's easier to watch for those that don't need subs.

 

My complaint largely lies with casting of our protag, Ying Zheng. He really doesn't fit most people's impression of Ying Zheng, and I actually like Zhang Luyi as an actor. He also appeared way way way too early, they should have cast more child actors. I mean I guess I understand worrying child actors can't handle the intensity/real important scenes for teenage Ying Zheng, but there's plenty 17 ~ 21 year old to cast, let's be real. He could have appeared when Ying Zheng is 20 (but that looks like it might be ep 30 lol).

 

The drama is very helpful and will tell you the year in BC of important events (so and so king dies, so and so state conquered), but I listed them out + some important events that weren't noted in drama + i dated according to history (in italics) for my own reference anyways.

Spoiler

ep 1: 259 BC, Ying Zheng born, start of Battle of Handan
ep 1: 257 BC, Ying Yiren/Zichu escape Handan with Lv Buwei
ep 4: 256 BC, Western Zhou lost in battle against Qin, end of Zhou Dynasty
ep 4: 251 BC, King Ying Ji (Qin) dies at 75
ep 6: 251 BC, Zhao Sheng/Lord Pingyuan (four lords of Warring States) dies 
ep 7: 250 BC, King Ying Zhu (Qin) dies at 54 after only 3 days of reign
ep 8: 249 BC, Lv Buwei becomes chancellor
ep 9: 249 BC, Qin conquers Eastern Zhou
ep 13: 247 BC May, King Ying Zichu (Qin) dies at 35 after 3 years of reign, Ying Zheng ascends the throne at 13
ep 15: 245 BC, General Biao Gong kills 30k people during battle, gets stripped of his title
ep 16: 246 BC, start constructing Zhengguo Canal
ep 20: 245 BC, King Zhao Dan (Zhao) dies

 

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  • sugarplum892 changed the title to [Upcoming Mainland Chinese Drama 2020] Qin Dynasty Epic 大秦帝国之天下
  • sugarplum892 changed the title to [Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2020] Qin Dynasty Epic 大秦帝国之天下

Gosh the pacing is utterly awful in the middle, Lao Ai's arc lasted way way too long. I expected Lv Buwei to be relevant for half the drama, like he's relevant for half of Ying Zheng's life, but it looks like he's around most of the drama. This is rather disappointing, since a lot of Ying Zheng's achievements are after unification, they do set up for some of it (sprinkled in dialogue here and there), but I definitely wish that was the focus, much like Zhengguo Canal seem significant enough to be a mini arc. We are well on our way to unification though plot-wise, even though historically the timeline isn't quite there.

 

ep 20 to ep 50's timeline:

Spoiler

ep 20: 245 BC, King Zhao Dan (Zhao) dies

ep 22: 241 BC spring

ep 24: 239 BC, completion of Master Lv's Spring & Autumn Annals

ep 19 ~ 26: 248 ~ 243 BC, Lord Chunping (Zhao) was held hostage in Qin

ep 27 ~ 28: 241 BC, last time of five states fighting together against Qin

ep 30: 240 BC, General Meng Ao dies, Queen Dowager Xia dies

ep 33: 239 BC, Cheng Jiao's rebellion fails and dies

ep 36: 239 BC, Lao Ai gets promoted to Duke Changxin

ep 38: 238 BC, King Xiong Wan (Chu) dies, Huang Xie/Lord Chunshen (Chu, one of the four Lords) murdered

ep 45~47: 238 BC, King Ying Zheng gains control of the court at 22, Lao Ai's rebellion fails and dies

ep 48~49: 237 BC, Lv Buwei demoted

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finished the drama, I think the middle lasted too long, so it looks like the focus were all on relatively unnecessary stuff. Zhang Luyi definitely appeared too early, could have appeared in ep 20, if that's too late for the drama, then they shouldn't have stretched the beginning for 20 ep (even though it's some of the better bits of the drama). He's a miscast imo, he looks way too old for the role (especially when most of your drama is when Ying Zheng is in his 20s), I know younger actor might not act that well or hold themselves enough as a king, but there's actors his age that looks younger.

 

The battle scenes are fantastic and I loved discussions about political and society reform that's sprinkled all over. Zhao kingdom was fairly interesting, even though I think they got too much focus, if the other kingdom also get decent amount of focus (even if it's not to the level of Zhao), this would also have been so much better. So overall I'm rather disappointed with the drama. I know fair amount of people that enjoyed the drama though since they didn't go in with much expectation, and you get like one epic drama every 2 years.

 

ep 50 to 78 timeline:

Spoiler

ep 50 ~ 51: 237 BC, Ying Zheng kicked all the foreigners out under pressure from all his relatives/nobles, then recalled the order after Li Si submitted a brilliant argument, 谏逐客书 (jian zhu ke shu) could be required readings for kids in Chinese schools (not at all schools though)

ep 53: 237 BC, Mao Jiao risked death to ask Ying Zheng bring his mum to the capital

ep 58 ~ 60: 236 BC, Zhao and Yan at war, Qin went to "help" Yan and grabbed bunch of cities

ep 60: 236 BC, King Zhao Yan (Zhao) dies

ep 64: 235 BC, Lv Buwei dies

ep 64: 229 BC (drama says 233 BC), General Huan Yi (Qin) dies

ep 65: 236 BC, Zhengguo Canal complete

ep 69: 233 BC, Han Fei (Han) dies

ep 69: 230 BC, Han King surrender to Qin, Han Kingdom conquered

ep 71: 229 BC, General Li Mu (Zhao) dies

ep 72: 227 BC, Zhao lost its last battle against Qin, Zhao King surrenders, Zhao Kingdom conquered

ep 72: 227 BC, Queen Dowager Zhao Ji dies

ep 73: 228 BC, Xiong Fuchu kills King Xiong You (Chu) and replaced him as King

ep 74: 227 BC, Jing Ke fails to assassinate Ying Zheng, Ji Dan (Yan) dies, Yan King Ji Xi fled to Liaodong

ep 75: 225 BC, Qin floods Wei's capital Da Liang, Wei King surrenders, Wei Kingdom conquered

ep 76: 225 BC, Qin lost against Chu's army led by Xiang Yan (later King of Western Chu Xiang Yu's grandpa), Mi Qi/Xiong Qi betrayed Qin

ep 77: 223 BC, Qin conquered Chu's capital, captured Chu King Xiong Fuchu, Mi Qi/Xiong Qi became Chu King but dies when Qin attack again, Xiang Yan dies, Chu Kingdom conquered 

ep 78: (completely skipped over lol) 222 BC, Qin captured Yan King Ji Xi, Yan Kingdom conquered

ep 78: 221 BC, Qi King Tian Jian surrenders, Qi Kingdom conquered, Qin ends Warring States, starts Qin dynasty and Ying Zheng becomes an emperor at 38

 

I had hilarious hard time figuring out Wei King's last name, as they had two at the time. I figured out the other ones because there's other royalty that'll intro themselves. For interest, they are:
Qin: Ying + Zhao or Ying + Qin (debatable)
Zhao: Ying + Zhao
Chu: Mi + Xiong
Han; Ji + Han
Wei: Ji + Wei
Yan: Ji + Yan
Qi: Gui + Tian (Jiang + Lv in Spring & Autumn)

 

I did some more digging later when trying to explain it to someone else, and the whole thing is kind of complicated but I'll crosspost it here anyways. They are kinda fuzzy on things, and Sima Qian (who wrote Record of Historian) does not help because he gets things wrong sometimes. One of the two last names are xing 姓, which started from matriarch society, you can sort of see it as people from the same "tribe". Widely used xing at the time such as 妫 gui, 姬 ji, 姜 jiang, 嬴 ying all have the character women 女 in its character. In Warring states, it was used to figure out who you can't marry (can't marry someone that share the same xing). It's generally not used, unless you are a woman or getting married.

 

Side note, apparently they could also add characters in front of xing to note you are first son, second son, third son's daughter. So Meng Jiang Nv 孟姜女's last name is Jiang, meng just means she's the first son's daughter? That's not necessary how the legend goes, because when it got to late Warring States, it was all messed up, which we'll get to. I'm just using it as an example because I always forget her last name is Jiang. Married women might have their husband's fiefdom or posthumous title added in front of their xing (I only recall Spring & Autumn ladies as example though.)

 

shi 氏 came into play because once population got big enough, people wanted to differentiate themselves, so they used their fiefdom, rank, position to say ok my branch is different from all those other people, thus it's to denote their nobility and heritage. Poor people don't have them. Men generally use shi + name or titles.

 

BUT, if you are royalty (within 3 generation of the duke/king), you don't use shi. You use kingdom + duke/king/prince/king's grandson + name. so technically Ying Zheng is Qin King Zheng (and the drama's chinese subtitles does do this). Ji Dan is Yan Crown Prince Dan. Han Fei can also be Han Prince Fei. Shang Yang from Qin Empire 1 is actually a prince from the country Wei 卫, not to be confused with 魏 Wei Kingdom, so he's called Wei Yang initially, Shang is from his fiefdom that he gets later. 卫 is a small kingdom, by the time our drama started, it's a vassal state of 魏. 卫 have two other very notable people, Jing Ke (the assassin) and Lv Buwei (also judging by his Jiang + Lv, his ancestors were from Qi I guess?)

 

Ji is an incredibly huge xing, apparently Zhou dynasty had 71 countries/states, and 53 of them were Ji LOL. Han + Wei + Zhao used to be one kingdom, Jin, and basically the three families had a coup and killed royalty + other powerful families at the time which marked start of Warring States, and they just used their own shi to name their country.

 

Qin actually got its fiefdom not long after Zhao got theirs, so in some historical text, Ying Zheng's family have Qin as shi. By the time Zhao family got shi, Qin's branch were already 5 or 6 generation away, so totally unrelated. The reason everyone think it's Zhao is because....Sima Qian's Record of Historian (90 BC, so 100ish years later) called Ying Zheng "Zhao Zheng", thanks a lot dude! Ok granted, apparently Qin ancestors insisted their shi was Zhao for awhile, I guess Qin wasn't spiffy enough at the time. But they had a notable duke in Spring & Autumn, long before Zhao had a notable duke, so you'd think Qin would be good enough to be shi? Interestingly enough, Sima Qian doesn't call anyone else from Qin "Zhao + name", so that's why plenty people don't think Qin's shi is Zhao. There's some speculation that Ying Zheng needed a fake name while he was still stuck in Zhao, or because he's 4th gen royalty while in Zhao, he needed shi, and they just used where he was born/living, then people sort of extrapolated his shi and backtraced to his ancestors when they shouldn't have. It's all a mystery and not very clear.

 

As for why we call him Ying Zheng now, it's because Qin dynasty started merging xing + shi (xing shi is what surname is in modern chinese, just like ming + zi, name + courtsey name is given name in modern chinese). Of course, nobility still used shi, but by late Western Han (200 years later), people start mixing them up, so everyone is all oh yeah Qin Shi Huang is called Ying Zheng. I have NO idea what Ji Dan is about, so I'm going to handwave it. Qin Empire 2 & 3 had Qu Yuan, a well known poet, but he's named Mi Yuan in it, and I looked it up at the time, but only understood they were the same person and he had two last names. Now I get it, Mi Yuan is totally wrong for the time period! Lord Changping/Mi Qi is also wrong, drama!

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  • sugarplum892 changed the title to [Mainland Chinese Drama 2020] Qin Dynasty Epic 大秦帝国之天下
  • 1 month later...

@skibbies

Tqvm for the information that you have compiled. 

 

Did you get the info from chinese or english websites? 

 

Btw, do you have any idea how and when Fan Wuji betrayed Qin/Ying Zheng? He did save Prince Fusu so I don't get it when he became a fugitive. 

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7 hours ago, Wuzetian said:

@skibbies

Tqvm for the information that you have compiled. 

 

Did you get the info from chinese or english websites? 

 

Btw, do you have any idea how and when Fan Wuji betrayed Qin/Ying Zheng? He did save Prince Fusu so I don't get it when he became a fugitive. 

You are super welcome! Glad to see someone watching this and find the info useful. I read up on wiki for the timeline, and several sites in chinese on the other stuff.

 

They didn't really smooth out that bit, I think it was because he didn't manage to protect Dong'er, who was very important to Ying Zheng as well. It's just really dumb though, since the drama talked up Li Si+Ying Zheng knowing everything and planned ahead and it still felt like a huge struggle, I mean regular people had to help lol. Historically, the rebellion was suppressed reasonably easily with 3000 soldiers. Fan Wuji's betrayal was because he lost some battle unrelated to the rebellion so he deserted basically, which make sense since laws was really strict at the time and he'd likely have to face some harsh consequences for losing battles?

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On 03/02/2021 at 12:02 AM, skibbies said:

You are super welcome! Glad to see someone watching this and find the info useful. I read up on wiki for the timeline, and several sites in chinese on the other stuff.

 

They didn't really smooth out that bit, I think it was because he didn't manage to protect Dong'er, who was very important to Ying Zheng as well. It's just really dumb though, since the drama talked up Li Si+Ying Zheng knowing everything and planned ahead and it still felt like a huge struggle, I mean regular people had to help lol. Historically, the rebellion was suppressed reasonably easily with 3000 soldiers. Fan Wuji's betrayal was because he lost some battle unrelated to the rebellion so he deserted basically, which make sense since laws was really strict at the time and he'd likely have to face some harsh consequences for losing battles?

It was quite weird because when I looked up for Fan Wuji, he was categorized under Huan Yi the general who committed suicide. The accounts just dont tally. 

 

Guess their strict reward and punishment rule also caused Mi Qi to defect and earlier on he had disagreement with Ying Zheng on fiefdom. 

 

What other dramas related to history that you have watched? Can you recommend?

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On 2/5/2021 at 5:48 PM, Wuzetian said:

It was quite weird because when I looked up for Fan Wuji, he was categorized under Huan Yi the general who committed suicide. The accounts just dont tally. 

 

Guess their strict reward and punishment rule also caused Mi Qi to defect and earlier on he had disagreement with Ying Zheng on fiefdom. 

 

What other dramas related to history that you have watched? Can you recommend?

Mi Qi is also a little weird, I think his characterisation and why he betrayed Qin worked in the drama, since historically it's all a mystery. There are actually analysis about how Chancellor Qi & Chu King Qi are different aren't the same person even though lot of people think they are.

 

Oof, it's really hard to recommend them since most of them are on the dry side, fairly long and made many years ago so subs aren't really available? Qin Empire 2 or Qin Empire:Alliance which is on netflix is about Ying Zheng's great great grandfather, and I think it's the best in the series. I liked the other two too, but I don't think it's has subs? Someone told me there's a dub version on youtube? If you want to see the other kingdoms more and are interested in how Qin established foundation for powerful Qin and a lot of diplomatic stuff, definitely watch that.

 

Three Kingdoms (2010) which mixes Romance of Three Kingdoms the novel with history was pretty engaging and the characters aren't as black and white as the novel or the 1994 version. Advisor Alliance and Growling Tiger, Roaring Dragon is technically the same drama, just split into two is also about three kingdoms period, just from point of view of Sima Yi, pretty fictionalised though. If Three Kingdoms is too dry for you, this is probably easier to get into.

 

The most well regarded series of the genre is probably Da Ming Dynasty 1566 (2007), which actually recently got subbed and on youtube! Then it's Yong Zheng Dynasty (1997), I think it's on viki? I need to rewatch them though. Kang Xi Dynasty (2001) is also on youtube, but I think that also only covers like half of Kang Xi's life. I really liked Han Wu Da Di/Han Wu Emperor (2004), Xiao Zhuang Epic (2002) (also pretty fictionalised lol), Palace of Desire/大明宫词 (2001, half fictionalised and have some monologues, weirdly Shakespearean/artsy dialogues) but I don't know if they have subs. i also watched Legend of Lv Buwei (2001, highly fictionalised) and Qin Shu Huang (2007, MUCH better paced, 22 ep covered 78 of this drama), and in the middle of rewatch of A Step into the Past (hk, 2001) due to watching this, but mhmmm probably also don't have subs? The last one miiight since it's hk drama? The rest I might rec aren't based on actual history, like Nirvana in Fire and the Rise of Phoenixes (this series have a lot of issues, especially towards the end but I really liked it)

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On 06/02/2021 at 7:58 AM, skibbies said:

Mi Qi is also a little weird, I think his characterisation and why he betrayed Qin worked in the drama, since historically it's all a mystery. There are actually analysis about how Chancellor Qi & Chu King Qi are different aren't the same person even though lot of people think they are.

 

Oof, it's really hard to recommend them since most of them are on the dry side, fairly long and made many years ago so subs aren't really available? Qin Empire 2 or Qin Empire:Alliance which is on netflix is about Ying Zheng's great great grandfather, and I think it's the best in the series. I liked the other two too, but I don't think it's has subs? Someone told me there's a dub version on youtube? 

 

If you want to see the other kingdoms more and are interested in how Qin established foundation for powerful Qin and a lot of diplomatic stuff, definitely watch that. Three Kingdoms (2010) which mixes Romance of Three Kingdoms the novel with history was pretty engaging and the characters aren't as black and white as the novel or the 1994 version. Advisor Alliance and Growling Tiger, Roaring Dragon is technically the same drama, just split into two is also about three kingdoms period, just from point of view of Sima Yi, pretty fictionalised though. If Three Kingdoms is too dry for you, this is probably easier to get into.

 

The most well regarded series of the genre is probably Da Ming Dynasty 1566 (2007), which actually recently got subbed and on youtube! Then it's Yong Zheng Dynasty (1997), I think it's on viki? I need to rewatch them though. Kang Xi Dynasty (2001) is also on youtube, but I think that also only covers like half of Kang Xi's life. I really liked Han Wu Da Di/Han Wu Emperor (2004), Xiao Zhuang Epic (2002) (also pretty fictionalised lol), Palace of Desire/大明宫词 (2001, half fictionalised and have some monologues, weirdly Shakespearean/artsy dialogues) but I don't know if they have subs. i also watched Legend of Lv Buwei (2001, highly fictionalised) and Qin Shu Huang (2007, MUCH better paced, 22 ep covered 78 of this drama), and in the middle of rewatch of A Step into the Past (hk, 2001) due to watching this, but mhmmm probably also don't have subs? The last one miiight since it's hk drama? The rest I might rec aren't based on actual history, like Nirvana in Fire and the Rise of Phoenixes (this series have a lot of issues, especially towards the end but I really liked it)

Tqvm for the recommendation. Will look up for them. I've watched A Step Into the Past when I was I high school! Couldn't really remember much about the story except how handsome Louis Koo is :wub:  and Gong Wah being the left armed fighter? 

 

Happy Chinese New Year if you are celebrating! 

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1 hour ago, Wuzetian said:

Tqvm for the recommendation. Will look up for them. I've watched A Step Into the Past when I was I high school! Couldn't really remember much about the story except how handsome Louis Koo is :wub:  and Gong Wah being the left armed fighter? 

 

Happy Chinese New Year if you are celebrating! 

Hahaha same I don't remember most of the plot, only bits and pieces, beginning and the end, so I decided to revisit.

 

Happy Chinese New Year to you too :D

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