It’s called Hallyu: Faith

I am back with another edition of It’s called Hallyu on my blog where we will see everything Hallyu. Now, I started watching Korean dramas since three years ago. I remember I watched by first K-drama in between a very crucial university exam (I passed don’t worry). After that, I have watched and enjoyed many more K-dramas in quick succession. Faith was one of the few dramas that I watched in the beginning, and it was my first historical K-drama. As it was my first K-drama I came to understand little by little about how things were in olden times.

Promotional poster for ‘Faith’

Also known as: The Great Doctor

Country of origin: South Korea

Language: Korea

Written by: Song Ji Na

Directed by: Kim Jong Hak and Shin Yong Hwi

Starring: Lee Min Ho, Kim Hee Sun

Number of seasons: 1

Number of episodes: 24

Status: Completed

Broadcasted by: Seoul Broadcasting Station (SBS)

Aired from: 13 August- 30 October 2012

Genre: Fantasy, Historical fusion, Romance, Medical drama

Lee Min Ho as General Choi Young

The drama starts with a description of ‘The Heaven’s doctor’. The story says there is a healer  or a doctor from the heavens, who can cure any disease.

The story then flashes back to the Goryeo (old Korea) era. King Gongnim of Goryeo (played by Ryu Deok Hwan) has married the Yuan (another empire somewhere close to China) Princess Noguk (played by Park Se Young).  The two and their battalion of soldiers and servants are making their way back to their palace in Goryeo. General Choi Young is the head of the Wudalchi, en elite group of soldiers dedicated to protecting the King. He was earlier in another band of soldiers who were very famous but after his teacher’s death he moved into the palace. He is an excellent swordsman and soldier and has never lost a fight.

During their journey, they are attacked by a group of assailants and the Queen has been slit in the neck. With the medical knowledge available in that day, it is impossible to save the Queen. The king after discussing with his advisors asks Choi Young of a very strange request.

Go through the Gate of the Heavens and bring back the Doctor of the Heavens to save the Queen.

General Choi Young (Lee Min Ho) kidnapping the doctor from the heavens Yoo Eun Soo (Kim Hee Sun)

The General then travels through the magical portal and he is transported to modern day Seoul. He is amazed by the horseless carriages (cars) and the brightness even during the night (streetlights). He somehow makes his way to a medical expo (the coincidence right?) . There he walks in on Yoo Eun Soo a general surgeon turned plastic surgeon explain a video of a demo of a surgery done on the neck. Because Eun Soo was not making lots of money, she turned from general surgery to plastic surgery and hopes to make her own clinic. She spots Choi Young looking at her and thinks he is a person who came from a drama set.

Choi Young forcefully kidnaps Eun Soo and takes her back to the Goryeo era through the magic portal. She is convinced she is in a drama set and is forced to fix the Queen’s injuries, which she does and saves the Queen on the condition that she will be let to go back home.

Ryu Deok Hwan as King Gongnim of Goryeo

However, the advisers explain to the king the advantages they will have if they have the doctor from the heavens with them and forces the king to command Eun Soo to stay. She is then trapped in the palace, and also realizes the magic portal that could take her back to her time has disappeared and no one knows when it will come back. She tries her best to adjust to her life in the palace and starts to grow a very serious relationship with General Choi Young.

She however gets trapped in the political fueds happening within and outside the palace. The fact that she is the healer from the heavens and seems to know things about the future (things she knows from reading history books), has made her a target for many peoplee to trap in between all this.

The story then continues as to how she will evade these problems, and the promise that Choi Young has made with his life, to make sure she can return back to her home.

Park Se Young as Queen Noguk

First off the plot. The plot was the typical time-travel story but the show makers managed to make it more interesting by playing into it the legend of the healer from the heavens and blending it with the character of the modern day character. The kind of political problems involving, the freedom of the king, the relationship with the other more powerful kingdoms, the problems with the royal seal etc. were very authentic and played well with the historical theme.

I liked the kind of path that the director chose to tell the story. The set was very nice, especially the kind of emphasis given to the clothing, palace, the headquarters of the Wudalchi and the royal hospital. Eun Soo eventually ran out of medicines she brought from her time, but the way the medicines from olden times were used were quite authentic and well done.


A very special mention goes to both the actors who played the lead roles in the drama. Having a great chemistry between the leads of the drama, where mostly they have a romantic involvement is not much of a surprise in K-dramas. Generally in K-dramas, the kind of comforted feeling you get from watching a K-drama would be when the hero without even thinking once about himself, goes to save the heroine. It could even be the smallest gestures like holding her hand and of course the on screen kisses are a huge thing as well. But in this drama there is only one actual kiss scene and that too in a very different situation from what you would imagine.

The couple gets a very decent amount of screen time. Being a historical drama even getting them to hold hands is quite less. But in this it was even more lesser than most historical dramas. Most of the scenes have both of them gazing just at each other’s eyes or just sitting next to each other. But the kind of feel you get from that, feels true, sincere and has a lot of depth. Out of the many people who have watched this drama, the amazing chemistry from their on screen performance has been a plus point mentioned by EVERYBODY. The fact that I have written two chunky paragraphs on that is proof of the same, and the fact that I am providing more than one image for it!

Coming to the villains, I was  actually a little disappointed with them. Some of the best K-dramas that I have seen have always had some of the best villains ever. The villains here very good, but were quite many in number. The fact that Eun Soo came through from a magical portal and other events were enough to make the plot seem unique but not far fetched. But the rather more magical capabilities of the villains kind of made it far fetched.

Although this is a beautiful drama there are many kinds of political situations that constantly arise throughout the story. For a beginner it is a little but difficult to grasp it all. This was my first historical K-drama and yes it was a little difficult for me. But, thinking about it now, I think it gave me a good knowledge base onto which I was able to enjoy the future historical dramas.

The fact that the King, Queen and even General Choi Young were real people from history whose stories were altered slightly for this drama was also very interesting.

There was a little lag here and there, but overall a good historical drama, with a good theme and one of the best on-screen chemistry. Their acting together just goes to show you don’t need a lot of kisses or similar kind of scenes to feel the love. This too, is love. Most dramas don’t go for this, and for some it is even “cheesy” but trust me, it’s the kind that touches your heart.

Image courtesy: Google Image Search

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  1. Faith is one of my favorite Korean dramas too! I remember it came out at a time when I was obsessed with any drama starring Lee Min Ho (Boys Before Flowers, City Hunter, Personal Taste, even some of his earlier dramas like I Am Sam). But this one stood out to me and even when I lost interest in Lee Min Ho’s dramas and movies, this drama remains one of my favorites. It is gorgeous to watch! Thank you for your amazing review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I watched boys over flowers,heirs and personal taste and was crazed to watch more and found this gem called Faith. Still remains as one of my favorites. And thank you so much for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember that I started this one last year, and quit after one episode. For some reason I could not really get into it. After having read this terrific review though…I’m really going to give this one another go in September 😊 Yep…that’s how good your post was! Thanks for sharing this, and for making we want to pick this up again 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can totally relate to you quitting it. I watched this drama during my initial days into exploring K-dramas. By that time I had watched Boys over flowers,heirs and person taste and my expectations were very high. With that I entered into my first historical drama which was Faith. Now,faith is a very good drama.a but for a beginner into the historical genre it would be a little difficult to catch up,relate or understand things as we are not familiar with the history and all right? Because of that I did face certain difficulties with the plot. That’s the thing with historical dramas. I think you should start with something light like ‘Love in the moonligt’ and then slowly edge yourself into the other historical ones. That way you grasp it better and you can enjoy it more. Will be looking forward to hearing your opinions!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, that might be the case. I really did not have a lot of options in the beginning days of Korean dramas, but these days I luckily have a lot more things I can watch. Will definitely keep your advice in mind, and I hardly ever give up on shows anyway, so I’m looking forward to giving it a second chance 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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