In its first week of broadcast, TVB series, Men With No Shadows <不速之約>, averaged ratings of 29 points and the series had the highest online click-through rate [on TVB.com]. Since its broadcast, netizens criticized Men With No Shadows in plagiarizing American film, Meet Joe Black, and TVB series You Only Live Twice <飛越十八層>. Raymond Lam’s (林峯) “chok” gestures in playing a devil and eating apples were pointed out as resembling Japanese production, Death Note.
*SPOILERS ahead for Men With No Shadows*
The producer of Men With No Shadows, Poon Ka Tak (潘嘉德), did not take further steps to deny allegations of plagiarism due to surprises in the plot’s later development. It turned out that the plot of Men With No Shadows did not center around a devil chasing a human soul. Instead, Raymond was a hypnotist seeking revenge. It was not easy to differentiate who was human and who was a devil in Men With No Shadows.
It was understood that the script was confidential during the initial filming stage of Men With No Shadows; even the cast did not know the real story. Raymond had always been identified as portraying a devil in the series. However, it was exposed that in order to avenge his father’s death, Tai Fung (Raymond Lam) used hypnosis to endlessly agonize Dr.O (Bobby Au Yeung 歐陽震華) and other characters. Raymond’s devilish red eyes, eating apples, and finger pointing were related to hynosis. Using Hypnosis to Avenge His Father’s Death
There were numerous online discussions about Men With No Shadows. Some netizens discovered the twist in the drama’s plot, speculating that the story was a dream sequence after Dr.O fell into a coma after his car accident. Netizens speculated that Dr. O’s psychological guilt resulted in his “encounters” with the devil.
It turned out that early speculations were all wrong. In fact, early in the second episode, the plot’s mystery was already revealed when Dr.O recalled memories of the human testing for cancer treatment drugs. Since Tong Tin King (David Chiang 姜大衛) decided to cut the funding for the cancer drug testing, a cancer patient was eliminated from the critical treatment. The patient’s wife and children begged Dr. O to help them. Chan On Ying (陳安瑩) portrayed Mrs. Tai [the wife of the cancer patient] and the teenage version of Tai Fung (Raymond Lam’s character), along with his sister (Mandy Wong 黃智雯) scolded Dr. O.
Since his father died from the sudden halt of the cancer treatment, Tai Fung was filled with hatred. He carefully plotted for revenge and used hypnosis against the people involved in implementing the cancer drug testing program years ago for his deceased father.
Producer Poon Ka Tak insisted against plagiarism allegations in Men With No Shadows. Mr. Poon said, “When you watch the drama, if you think that Raymond Lam is human, then he is human. If you feel that he is a devil, then he is a devil. Anyhow, this is an abstract and creative story.”
Jayne: Sounds like the hypnosis plot is very possible in Men With No Shadows. Unfortunately, the twist is released too early and may spoil all the fun and audience’s viewing pleasure.There appears to be a lack of confidentiality in TVB’s production staff as many series’ plot spoilers have been released to the press.