Roger Kwok, Tavia Yeung, and More on Filming “The Last Healer in Forbidden City”

By on March 24, 2016 in NEWS, TV Dramas

Roger Kwok, Tavia Yeung, and More on Filming “The Last Healer in Forbidden City”

Note: The following article contains spoilers.

TVB medical drama The Last Healer in Forbidden City <末代御醫>, which takes place during the final years of the Qing Dynasty, is slated for a network release on March 28. The drama stars Roger Kwok (郭晉安) as To Chung, a traditional Chinese medical specialist, who later becomes a ranked imperial physician. While employed at the Forbidden City, To Chung experiences political turmoil and strife, witnessing the tragic ends of a once-powerful dynasty.

After China’s humiliating defeat against the Japanese in the War of Jiawu, the Guangxu Emperor (Ngo Ka-nin 敖嘉年) calls for cultural and educational reform for his empire. He initiates the Hundred Days’ Reform, but his attempts at reforming China gets thoroughly crushed by Empress Dowager Cixi (Law Lan 羅蘭). Cixi then places him under house arrest while she continues as regent of the Qing Empire. Meanwhile, revolutionist Fuk Ling (Tavia Yeung 楊怡), also a trained bonesetter, enters the palace with a mission to assassinate Guangxu. In the end, Guangxu dies under mysterious circumstances. Cixi passes away two days later.

Tavia Yeung Wanted to Work with Roger Kwok

Although Tavia and Roger were once under the same manager, they did not come across an opportunity to collaborate until The Last Healer in Forbidden City. “Actually, I was the one who told producer [Nelson Cheung 張乾文] that I wanted to collaborate with Roger,” said Tavia. “We’ve always been close and I consider him my older brother. I’m so happy that we finally got the chance to do it.”

the last healer in forbidden city 2TVB producer and senior manager Steven Tsui (徐正康) praised Roger and Tavia’s chemistry in the series. He added that although Roger’s character is meant to be very mellow, he managed to grasp the emotional complexities of his character very well, adding more interesting depth to the role. Tavia’s character Fuk Ling, on the other hand, is quite talkative, much like the actress herself.

“I do have many similarities with her,” acknowledge Tavia. “But I did have some struggles with the role. As I have many massaging scenes, I had to get a specialist to teach me how to massage the pressure points.”

On working with Roger, Tavia said, “I don’t even know why we laugh, but whenever we’re together, we can’t stop laughing. We laugh at the smallest, most trivial things. There was this one dream sequence where I helped Roger massage his shoulders, but it took a while to complete the scene because we couldn’t stop laughing!”

the last healer in forbidden city 3Roger said, “We used to have the same manager so we attended many events together. We interact like brother and sister. Somehow, just seeing her makes me laugh.” As for JJ Jia (賈曉晨), who plays Roger’s wife in the series, the actor said, “She’s crippled, so I’m always coming up with ways to heal her leg. My relationship with her is different than with Tavia. In my eyes, JJ Jia is a beauty. I have to make her smile. Tavia’s only happy if I make fun her.”

Ngo Ka-nin and Rebecca Zhu’s Tragic Ending

Rebecca Zhu (朱晨麗) portrays Consort Tsan, Guangxu’s first and only love. However, unable to win the favor of Cixi, Consort Tsan eventually gets banished to the cold palace. When Cixi arranges Guangxu to marry her niece, the heartbroken Consort Tsan commits suicide by jumping to her death in a well.

the last healer in forbidden city 6Rebecca, whose mother tongue is Mandarin, shot the entire series in Cantonese. Steven Tsui praised Rebecca’s immense improvement, which showed through her intense dedication to her role. To prepare for the show, Rebecca binged watched many historical television dramas and films, and read many articles concerning Qing court etiquette. The series, which is her first historical period drama, actually proved to be quite a challenge for the 2011 Miss Hong Kong winner—Rebecca said she’s never had to cry so much for a role before. She reveals that the show starts with Consort Tsan’s painful miscarriage, to her falling out of favor with Cixi, to committing suicide.

Jazz Lam and Rainky Wai’s Unfortunate Reality

Jazz Lam (林子善), who portrays the imperial guard Kot Gan, lightens the show’s heavy mood with his awkward gait and inchoate martial background throughout the series. Yet, Kot Gan’s kind heart and comedic nature does not spare him from an unfortunate reality.

Raised in the Forbidden City his entire life, Kot Gan gets assigned to be the bodyguard of Der Ling (Rainky Wai 蔚雨芯), one of Cixi’s most trusted advisers. Though Kot Gan is in love with the princess, they are marred with cultural and communication differences, and their relationship never takes a step further.

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Source: Oriental Daily

This article is written by Addy for

16 comments to Roger Kwok, Tavia Yeung, and More on Filming “The Last Healer in Forbidden City”

  1. hetieshou says:

    I love ancient series but an ancient series from tvb does not excite me. They are so cheap in the overall production, have bad scripts, a plot line that makes no sense, mediocre acting, etc… Will Tvb ever get better? Tvb series are really failing in comparison to China,Taiwan,Korean,etc..series. Are the glory days from TVB truly over?

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    • funnlim replied:

      @hetieshou Taiwan’s acting is worse than TVB. China depends on which production. Korea knows how to create iconic series but won’t last more than 2 years because they churn out idols so fast. Like the current hit Descendants Of The Sun. I know everyone loves it to death but sit down and think abt it, the leads have no chemistry, Song Hye Gyo is the Cecilia Liu of Korean TV but worse and the lead actor is too skinny and little boy looking to look commanding as a captain although that may be intentional. And Uruk (fictional place, if I got the name right) is so ideal looking war zone. It is in the end a love story and no more, wherever it may be. But if there is a great actor, usually the performance is phenomenal.

      Glory days aren’t over, TVB just needs to recapture it but with current crop of stories and actors and inability to create iconic characters or with phenomenal actors, it will be very difficult.

      For this series, In Roger I believe.

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      • replied:

        Wished Tavia didn’t do her plastic nose surgery, I think it makes her looks older. Also the ancient hair style looks boring on her, and I’m not liking the costumes either, too plain.

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      • asian2015 replied:

        @peachyogurt I know right? She definitely look much better without her nose being done. To be honest I like her old look more than I like her new look.

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      • happybi replied:

        @funnlim tvb actor is def better then taiwan one but disagree with you on kdrama. I find SHK to be an excellent actress. Way better than Cece. I also think there is chemistry between shk and sjk. Storyline is currently pretty funny but know its suppose to get heavy by episode 9. Kdrama def uses the same formula but it works. As their romantic comedy can be lol funny while their melo can make your heart ache. Acting wise. Some are excellent and some are well….idol…. But at least there are plenty of eye candies. Some can be plastic but as long as storyline works. I’m fine with that. Overall i find Jdrama to be the best as they can take a simple story and make it good. But problem with jdrama. Hard to find english sub.

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      • hetieshou replied:

        Back in the days, I would agree that Tvb is better than Taiwan in terms of acting but not anymore. The current younger generation of tvb actors and actresses just do not act that well compared to Taiwan in my opinion. China generally is better than Tvb but yes,it does vary based on which production is better.

        It truly feels that the glory days for Tvb are over because they refuse to learn from their mistakes. They keep on repeating the same mistakes over and over again and refuse any change. At that rate, how can they recapture their glory days?

        I love Roger as an actor but it takes much more than a good actor/actress or just the cast to make a series good. Once again,you guys are all focusing on he cast too much when other factors are more important than just the cast. Of course having a good cast is a big plus in addition to a good plot/storyline, script,etc..

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      • aiya replied:

        @funnlim “Taiwan’s acting is worse than TVB”


        Chen xiao En vs Linda Chung?

        Ariel Lin vs Grace Chan?

        I think I know where you came from with that one. No, not all Taiwanese dramas are of the idol genre.

        The proof is in the pudding. Taiwanese actors are in higher demand in China than TVB’s and generally commands higher compensation along with Korean actors. According to Sheren Teng, HK actors generally are relegated to support and villainous roles.

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    • kk12345 replied:

      @hetieshou Maybe. If TVB can’t do the romance genre better than the Koreans, they should ditch it altogether and focus on other genre.
      Korea – Most popular for romance dramas. But their actors are getting older too. They may end up like TVB one day. Its just a matter of time.
      China – Too much CGI for ancient series.
      Although I kind of question whether people still buy DVDs nowadays… so yes Korea dramas are popular in overseas forums, but do all those support translate to actual sales is another question altogether. And I kind of doubt it. They most likely watch them online.
      And are those dramas worth watching multiple times? Or are they those that are only worth watching one time? So yes, Korean dramas are ”popular”, but most people will only watch the dramas once no matter how good they are.

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      • happybi replied:

        @kk12345 actually kdrama does makes a lot of money oversea. From selling their right to be broadcast oversea and from sponsor for having them promote the drama there. Lots of korean celebrity also make money from doing cf in china once they get famous there. Yes they also having older actor/actress but they also have a group of younger talents that we do not see with tvb. I actually buy the redubbed cantonese version of kdrama when i go to hk for my parents. I watch it online and have rewatched a few kdrama a few time. Some online site have membership fee that people can watch the drama with no advertisement so somehow they are making money.

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      • kk12345 replied:

        @happybi Yes, they do earn a lot of money from China & Hong Kong – the broadcasting & celebrity fees etc.
        Although I still feel China and HK should churn out their own dramas, instead of endlessly buying them from Korea. It will reach a point whereby their own country audience stops watching and supporting their own dramas.

        Some other news (if anyone interested):
        ”” -> ”The end of an era for the K-drama wave has arrived in one country that has been a huge consumer of Hallyu products for well over a decade- Japanese broadcaster NHK has announced that it won’t be airing anymore Korean dramas.”

        ”NHK explained that the viewership for Korean dramas have been decreasing steadily in the last few years and reached a point where it no longer is a financially sound investment to broadcast current and future K-dramas.”

        ”Perhaps Korean drama producers won’t be alarmed at the nail in the coffin with Hallyu drama exports to Japan and instead double down on China as the growing consumption audience.”
        -> ”popular” in some countries, not others.

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      • happybi replied:

        @kk12345 I’m not really sure if they stop airing KDrama in Japan because of viewership or because they were getting backlash from a lot of people because of the Korean influence? Honestly not surprised because Japan is a pretty close culture. Korean celebrity are still earning a lot of money there though.

        As for TVB, they really need to get better script. But with their current new line of actor/actress, don’t have much hope for them.

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  2. funnlim says:

    “Consort Tsan commits suicide by jumping to her death in a well.”

    Is she the consort who Cixi in real life had her threw down the well by I believe her own uncle, Lee Lin Ying?

    And why shld she commit suicide? An emperor always have more than 1 wife. If this series won’t villify Cixi just because Law Lan is in it, I am already disliking it. I had enough of the “Cixi is misunderstood” cr*p in the other series.

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  3. panda says:

    i cant wait for this series. so exciteddddddd

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  4. yummiki24 says:

    i have high hopes for this series! Even from these pictures, the locations and design don’t all look completely recycled.

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  5. smurf says:

    TVB won’t be able to compete on budget very well – they should put more money into good writers or adaptations from books. Not much plot/story risk taking.

    For instance allowing their “hot” siu sung do bad guy roles like Ekin Cheng (Let It Be Me) be evil bully or blood demon (Zhu Moutain Saga); Deric Wan (Looking Back in Anger); even Dicky Cheung’s Sunwukong was darker than the other Monkey kings.

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  6. funnlim says:

    Am watching this and am disappointed thus far. Maybe it was filmed too long ago but the costume and colour all look dated, as if at least 5 years ago. Have seen other 5 year old series with better colour and nicer costume. But then it is Qing and they are not noble characters but even for noble characters, look recycled. Law Lan is a wonderful woman but is a miscast as Cixi or maybe the version here is befuddled old grandmotherly Cixi. The storyline is jumpy, makes little sense. The only surprise is JJ Jia and took a moment to recognise it is her. Rather pretty. But overall, am very disappointed.

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