[FEATURE] TVB Dramas That Should Have Been Made (Part 2 of 3)

Note: This is part 2 of a 3-part JayneStars feature detailing the canceled series that TVB had conceived, but never filmed. Written by Addy. 

With viewers criticizing the recycled plots of recent TVB dramas, it may be a perfect time for the company to reconsider producing previously canceled projects. Perhaps among the myriad of past proposed series, ideas can be reworked to create new classics.

Following the publication of part 1 of selected canceled TVB projects, below is a list (part 2 of 3) of more dramas announced between 1999 and 2012 that never made it into the final cut. Of the 8 dramas, Ada Choi’s The Beauty of Versatility and Louis Koo’s Possessed received the most attention from fans, critics, and sponsors.

Time for Feng Shui <時來玄到>

According to an issue of TVB WeeklyTime for Feng Shui was a modern drama that TVB planned to film sometime in 2003 or early 2004. It intended to tell the story of a family who practiced feng shui and the Chinese philosophy of Xuanxue, also known as Neo-Taoism. Xuanxue is an altered interpretation of a few Taoism and Confucian-based texts, including the divination book I Ching, the religious scroll Tao Te Ching, and the metaphysical book by Zhuangzi. TVB intended Deric Wan (溫兆倫), Jessica Hsuan (宣萱), Eddie Kwan (關禮傑), and Adia Chan (陳松伶) to star, but Deric left TVB soon after filming The Vigilante In the Mask <怪俠一枝梅> in 2003.

Club Foot <鬼脚七>

Both a legendary hero and a real life martial artist, the character of Wong Fei Hung has spawned nearly 90 biographical films in many shapes and forms over the last few decades. His students, notably Leung Sai Wing and Leung Foon, are just as famous, and their characters also gave rise to many film and television spin-offs.

Wong’s crippled student Club Foot (also known as Ghost Foot Seven) was first portrayed in detail by Yuen Biao (元彪) in the 1993 film Once Upon a Chinese Hero <黃飛鴻之鬼腳七>. However, the best known portrayal of Club Foot of today was by Xiong Xin Xin (熊欣欣) in the Once Upon a Time in China <黃飛鴻之三獅王爭霸> film series.

TVB has done many television drama adaptations of Wong’s students in the past, including ones about Leung Foon and Lam Sai Wing. The station’s next adaptation was planned to be about Club Foot, in which the character would have be based on Xiong Xinxin’s version. Nick Cheung (張家輝), Yuen Wah (元華), and Shirley Yeung (楊思琦) were credited to star in the action comedy. No word on what happened to the production, but Wong Fei hung was later put back into television by TVB in 2005, with Bosco Wong (黃宗澤) starring as the young hero.

Unlucky Magic <撞板法術 >

Introduced at the TVB Sales Presentation 2003 event, the teaser trailer of this quirky period comedy fantasy starred Bobby Au Yeung (歐陽震華) as a failing scholar who had disastrous attempts to pass the imperial exams. He meets a genie, portrayed by Nancy Sit (薛家燕), who promises to help him pass the next string of examinations by feeding him all the words of the textbooks. Although Bobby becomes a successful scholar, eating all of the textbooks made him fat and unattractive.

At the Lantern Festival, Bobby interrupts the poetic musings of scholar Deric Wan (溫兆倫), who is disturbed by Bobby’s protruding belly. Bobby then sees a beautiful girl, portrayed by Niki Chow (周麗淇), and tries to flirt with her, but her attention is redirected to the handsome youth, Raymond Lam (林峯). Jealous and disappointed in himself once again, Bobby tells Nancy that he wants to look like Raymond, and she fulfills his wish. Although Bobby attracts many women after his magical transformation, his ill fortune continues. Raymond turns out to be a wanted rapist by the government and Bobby is mistaken to be him.

Lo Hoi Pang (盧海鵬), Ronald Cheng (鄭中基), Jack Wu (胡諾言), Claire Yiu (姚嘉妮), Sherming Yiu (姚樂怡), also starred in the star-studded teaser.

The production for Unlucky Magic would most likely require a great deal of computer graphics, and television CGI can be a bit cumbersome. However, TVB has done quite a few dramas that involved heavy CGI. Unlucky Magic is not impossible to produce, but this idea was later abandoned by the company for unknown reasons.

Possessed <鬼迷心竅>

Louis Koo (古天樂) and Jessica Hsuan made such a convincing couple onscreen that many fans believed they were together in real life. Needless to say, the real life Louis-Jessice pairing never ended up happening, but their unforgettable chemistry still lives on in the form of television. Their die-hard shippers cherished every single moment they shared down to the second. Although both Louis and Jessica have now left TVB, they remain to be TVB’s most popular golden couple.

Possessed was TVB’s final attempt in milking the power couple. First introduced at the Sales Presentation 2003 event, the foreboding teaser trailer of Possessed featured Louis and Jessica as a lovingly married couple who are torn apart by the supernatural. Their new home is haunted, and Louis is possessed by a vengeful ghost night after night.

At first, Jessica believed that his weird mannerisms had something to do with a murder that occurred in their flat many years ago, but it turns out that Louis was faking his bewitched state so he can leave Jessica to be with his lover. Louis then tries to murder Jessica by drowning her in the bathtub, but Jessica, now seemingly possessed herself, laughs at Louis’ foolishness and tells him that he has already been poisoned.

Possessed was supposed to be produced, at least, according to TVB Magazine. The cast was also changed from Louis and Jessica to Lawrence Ng (吳啟華) and Yoyo Mung (蒙嘉慧), but this production slowly faded to obscurity.

The Light-year Knights <光年騎士>

Allegedly, The Light-year Knights was first mentioned in passing by Kenix Kwok (郭可盈) in an interview in 2003. Like its name, the action-adventure drama would be about a pair of friends who travel back in time to ancient China. Chilam Cheung (張智霖) was also said to star, but this project was later unrealized.

It is impossible to confirm this piece of information today due to the lack of official sources, but we should not be surprised if this turns out to be true. Thanks to 2001’s A Step into the Past <尋秦記>, time traveling became a popular genre in many television dramas. TVB has produced a handful of original time traveling dramas of their own as well.

The Demon Sisters <姊魅驚魂 >

Horror series never fared well for TVB, and this may be a likely reason for why The Demon Sisters failed to attract sponsors, pushing it into abandonment. Introduced at the Sales Presentation 2003 event, the teaser trailer of The Demon Sisters featured Bernice Liu (廖碧兒), Michelle Ye (葉璇), Belinda Hamnett (韓君婷), Mandy Cho (曹敏莉), and Casper Chan (陳思齊) as a group of childhood friends who return to their boarding school and spend the night at their old dormitory. Little did they expect that their friend Maggie – whom they failed to save from drowning in the school swimming pool ten years ago – returns to the school to exact revenge. Maggie’s “spirit” murders the girls one by one – Michelle is the first to go, and is found dead in a bathtub. Bernice and Mandy are next, and their corpses are left floating in the pool. Casper and Belinda attempt to escape but they are pushed into the pool and drowned. In the end, it turns out that murderer was not Maggie’s spirit, but Michelle herself.

Mandate of Heaven <天命所歸>

TVB has produced several television dramas about Tang Dynasty’s great Li Shimin in the past, but none of them ever covered the Xuanwu Gate Incident in detail. The Xuanwu incident was a palace coup set up by Li Shimin to assassinate his elder brother, Crown Prince Li Jiancheng, and younger brother, Prince Li Yuanji.

When Mandate of Heaven was first unveiled at the Sales Presentation 2004 event ten years ago, it was considered to be a unique idea at the time. However, a decade has passed, and Li Shimin’s origin legacy has already been covered several times by mainland Chinese historical dramas. To prevent redundancy, it is unlikely that TVB will ever bring back the Heaven project in its original format. Nevertheless, the intensely attractive cast of Mandate of Heaven, namely Gallen Lo (羅嘉良), Marco Ngai (魏駿傑), Kevin Cheng (鄭嘉穎), Lau Dan (劉丹), and Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼), makes fans wishful that this drama was produced.

The Beauty of Versatility <玉面玲瓏>

Without a doubt, The Beauty of Versatility – a spin-off of the Chinese literal masterpiece Dream of the Red Chamber <紅樓夢>, was the most highly anticipated production at the 2007 Sales Presentation. Planned for 30 episodes, the series would have been a retelling of the classic novel in the perspective of Wang Xifeng, the clever and capable de factor ruler of the wealthy and prosperous Rongguo household. Ada Choi (蔡少芬) starred as Wang Xifeng in the teaser trailer.

Granted, there were some awkward castings in the teaser. Joyce Koi (蓋鳴暉), as brilliant as she is, is unsuitable to portray the frisky and youthful Jia Baoyu, although Joyce herself is known for portraying male roles. Bernice Liu is versatile, but she does not have the authority that Xue Baochai commands. Although Shirley Yeung physically resembles the weak and sentimental Lin Daiyu, it is difficult to portray Lin Daiyu in a way that makes her likable.

Other stars included Joe Ma (馬德鐘) as the womanizing Jia Lian, Anne Heung (向海嵐) as the proper Li Wan, and Natalie Tong (唐詩詠) as the outspoken Jia Tanchun.

Despite the anticipation behind this epic production, The Beauty of Versatility was eventually axed, and for reasons that were never announced to the public. This is a shame because a Wang Xifeng adaptation may have become one of the most interesting and critically-successful Hong Kong period dramas in recent years.


This original feature article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  1. I remember watching the video clip of “Possessed” with Louis Koo and Jessica Hsuan. Although the trailer was nicely done, would fans have wanted to see their favorite TVB couple in such a destructive pairing?

    I wish that “The Beauty of Versatility” would have been filmed. But the premise would have required elaborate production values and cast that TVB would not have been ready for. Ada Choi and Joe Ma were good choices for their respective roles, but the rest were not. Shirley Yeung would have been too chirpy for her role as Lin Daiyu.

  2. I’m interested in Time for Feung Shui with Deric Wan, Eddie Kwan, Aida Chan, and Jessica Hsuan.

  3. The demon sister wouldn’t turn out well, the storyline would be too scary for the viewers to watch. Though it would be a cool movie but at the same time storyline is not that original.

    Beauty of Versailles would’ve been an amazing drama of course with a few casting changes would’ve been perfect!

    1. viewers are asshles. they restrict all the creative liberty of the writers and now every drama churned out by the craptastic tv station has been turd. if they would stop complaining there would be more interesting stories and more to choose from. they could simply watch those that they prefer instead of complaining about how something is too scary or too explicit. why does everything have to be PG just cause they cant keep their freakin kid from watching it.

  4. OH WOW! I wished the one with Adia Chan and Deric Wan was made because they have always sang together and did mv’s together, but they never filmed a tvb drama 🙁

  5. Read both parts. This is good. Well written and researched. Good job Addy! One of the better writers for Jayne.com

  6. I would have loved to see Mandate of Heaven and Light-year Knights. The casting for these were dreamy…

    1. eric name is still popular everyone knows who he is but we never hear about him no more

      1. Deric you mean? If so, yes – he’s an all time fave along with Gallen Lo and Adam Cheng.

  7. I love this list, particularly the horror stories. The storylines are great but how do they span to 20 hours worth of show.

    I do find the plots of many of these better than the current ones.

  8. Interesting concepts even if seen before in other form or language but most horror theme series can’t be done. I mean 20 episodes will kill the suspense. So probably maybe as mini series or tv movie it will work.

    1. Yeah! like HKTV’s Marvel Century series with 10 episodes | can’t believe we to have til 2015 for it to air

  9. These series sound really interesting, especially The Beauty of Versatality. I wonder if TVB is capable of making a decent spin off adaption of the Hong Lou Meng??? TVB should consider doing these series since they are honestly out of ideas.

    1. HeTieshou,

      After TVB’s heavily criticized “Three Kingdoms RPG”, the company may hesitate to adapt another classic novel such as Dream of the Red Mansions into a series. The novel’s grand setting and rich characters would not be served justly. TVB even hesitates to remake wuxia novels for good reason.

      Modern dramas have been their forte for the last ten years.

      1. Jayne,
        Oh yea, that is true and it is no wonder that I have not seen a decent ancient series from TVB for so long. They have had sooo many modern series that I have not seen an ancient one for a long time. It is no wonder many are turning to mainland CHina series for those grand adaptions of the classics. It seems like TVB is cheap and has a set budget for each series and cannot go over it. Modern dramas are cheaper and easier to make. What has happened to the glory days of TVB???? I wonder where all of their money goes? We all know it does not go to the artists so I wished that they can at least spend more on the production value. What cheapskates!!

      2. I still remember old tvb ancient dramas like Lethal Weapons of Love and Passion, Face to Fate, Eternal Happiness, and Twin of Brothers. Even some newer ones like Master of Tai Chi or The Four were pretty good dramas. I especially love LWOLP and FTF and even rewatched them a couple of times. Back then the animation wasn’t as good as now, but tvb still did a good job in those 2 fantasy themed dramas. I wish tvb would produce those types of dramas again and hopefully cast 2R in it.

    2. TVB is always worried about budget overrun. Not very likely they will want to produce dramas in very grand setting. Even if they do, it is very rare. It is cheaper to produce modern dramas.

      1. 3 kingdom rpg seems like a low budget tv show as compared to a step into the past.

      2. But they have no problem spending 3 mill on Eric Tsang’s bday party. Ugh
        It sickens me to think they could have pumped that into a series instead.

  10. Mandate of Heaven and Beauty of Versatility should have made it to the screens… Would have welcomed Club Foot too

  11. Some of those sound great, but only if the original actors were part of the show.

    Club Foot would be really cool if it were Xiong Xin Xin and not a comedy, Possessed would be cool if it were Louis and Jessica, and not another couple, etc..

    They really had a bunch of stuff lined up for Deric Wan, why did he leave and where did he go? I thought he was a decent actor. Haven’t seen him since Vigilante.

  12. I wish they would do possessed – sounds interesting – should use Bosco and Kate Tsui.

  13. I saw the ‘The Beauty of Versatility’ sales presentation and hope it has been made too. But, it might to too great a task for TVB scriptwriter.

    This series need a very good script to do the classic justice. I was also afraid TVB might turn Wang Xi Feng into a too good character where everything she did is justified ala Empress Dowager Cixi in ‘The Confidante’.

  14. yes! I was so anticipating the Beauty of Versatility. It was supposed to be release in 2008 but that happened: ( that would have been Anne Heung’s final drama before she exited the entertainment industry.

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