The Inspiration Behind “The Forgotten Valley”

By on February 12, 2018 in NEWS, TV Dramas

The Inspiration Behind “The Forgotten Valley”

The Forgotten Valley <平安谷之詭谷傳說> has concluded its broadcast to positive reviews. Because the first episode showed Jeannie Chan (陳瀅) being buried alive, many thought this would be a supernatural and horror themed drama. It turns out that the drama actually focuses on female equality. The genre and interesting plot drew in many female viewers.

During an interview, the drama’s script editor, Tong Kin Ping (湯健萍) shared her inspiration on the storyline. “A lot of people say that Hong Kong women are keen towards feminism. They are in charge of everything and have a lot of power. This resulted in the term ‘Hong Kong Girl’ being coined. This social impact is what gave me the idea to write a series focusing on women.”

Since TVB has very few dramas that focus on female power, Tong Kin Ping decided to write a story about the topic. “The freedom and rights that women have today are thanks to the women of the past. This is especially true during the early Republican era, because that is when the traditional mindset encountered the new age literacy. It was during this time that women began to feel they should have rights too, and that men are not the only ones who should have freedom and privileges.”

There are short stories and glimpses into past tradition, such as the live burial of a widow with her deceased husband and the “Women’s Commandment”. These unethical practices did actually exist in the past. To ensure accuracy in writing the script, Tong Kin Pin expressed that she and the scriptwriter had to do a lot of research on cultural practices. “Because the story is set during the early Republican era, we had to spend a bit more time researching the information. Actually, in Lu Xun’s (魯迅) book, The New Year’s Sacrifice (祝福), it talks about the feudal city’s treatment of women and how lowly their status were.”


This article is written by Huynh for

16 comments to The Inspiration Behind “The Forgotten Valley”

  1. funnlim says:

    Before TVB thinks they’re getting better or smarter, may I add, and these are my personal opinion, the series is rubbish. So TVB can stop with the feminism women story girl power nonsense and just say no more because this is one series that showed women as helpless even when they can save themselves. Whatever meaning it had was lost in poor writing, some mediocre acting and the anything goes storyline but just as long as it is psycho like such as finding it cute and funny to have a murderer for a father, husband beater as long as he loves her because he was born in the village so he had no choice but grow to be one, simply accusing someone in their own metoo movement and yet story went absolutely nowhere. There is no inspiration. Maybe the rubbish chute. A poor excuse of a series about women.

    So let’s call it what it is. Empty entertainment. Show nothing, receives nothing. Now THAT I can accept and I will say it was somewhat enjoyable. Maybe it is so dumb it just does’t know what smart is.

    Login or Register before you can reply to funnlim
  2. coralie says:

    ^Agreed. Also, was there ever a women’s movement in Asia? I don’t recall seeing any.

    Login or Register before you can reply to coralie
  3. jjwong says:

    This is one rubbish and falsely advertised as woman power, feminists, gender equality series. This has NOTHING to so with anything above. At the end of the day, women did nothing to earn respect, saved no one nor the village, and showed no unity, smarts or changes. The women should’ve physically against the evading thieves or strategize a plan to fight them off. All were done by men, Raymond and what’s his name. The ending should be the women leaving the village, having their own career and coming back to a ruined and abandoned village because, let’s be real, no one (men) is gonna instantly change and respect and love somone (someone) overnight. SMDH. I’ve been fooled! >_<

    Login or Register before you can reply to jjwong
    • llwy12 replied:

      @jjwong Unfortunately, looks like TVB is going to continue to celebrate this series because I just saw the ratings report and it averaged 26 points, which is pretty high for today’s standards. And there was already talk earlier about a sequel….well, I guess this means a sequel will definitely be in the works now with the “high” ratings and “good” word-of-mouth…(ARGH!).

      And please TVB, stop using the history angle to justify your script. Everyone knows that your scripts are rarely ever true to history so let’s stop with trying to use historical context to justify / cover up / excuse poor storyline.

      I don’t know if you guys saw the promo trailer for FV back when it aired, but the one that they kept showing here in the U.S. was of Louisa So in a modern outfit (black and white pantsuit) with hair cut short walking around the village which had been destroyed. I think Katy Kung was in the promo too with the same modern clothes. The commentary in the background was something along the lines of women fighting for their rights and abandoning tradition and triumphing in the end. I don’t know about you but to me, that promo is implying that the women uprising succeeds in the end and they fast forward to the modern era where the women are the ones calling all the shots and such. But obviously, that is not what occurred with this series. So does this count as false advertising then? As I’ve said before, I really wish there were false advertising laws in HK like there are here in the U.S. – that way, TVB can’t continually get away with this kind of crap where they do some bogus promo trailer that “advertises” one thing but the plot is something else entirely. I remember they did the same thing many years back with Witness Insecurity where the promo trailer (here in the U.S. at least) was this dramatic blood and gore thing of people jumping off rooftops left and right….and turns out the series wasn’t about that at all…no doubt TVB was trying to use some hyper-dramatic trailer just to attract viewers and then deliver something else entirely.

      Login or Register before you can reply to llwy12
      • jimmyszeto replied:

        I find that it is quite an embarrassment when TVB tries to justify that they have spent a lot of effort to discover this new ‘genre’ when it is just rehashed material. Desperation is setting in…

        Login or Register before you can reply to jimmyszeto
      • llwy12 replied:

        @jimmyszeto That’s because they know for a fact that most of the “see-lais” (housewives) who watch the series definitely aren’t going to think too deeply into things and most of the younger ones who watch TVB nowadays have no clue about what series TVB produced in the past because most weren’t even born yet (i.e. the “after 2000s” audiences), so they can pull the wool over majority of audience’s eyes and get away with it like they usually do, since the only ones questioning are people like us who honestly make up the minority of TVB’s audience pool. Yes, it’s shameful and embarrassing on the part of TVB, but that’s how they are….

        Login or Register before you can reply to llwy12
      • jimmyszeto replied:

        Let’s go back 1995 in Plain Love, where women were seen to be married to farmers and had no power(Gallen had to rape Kathy Chow on wedding night) up until ‘The Silver Chambers of Sorrows’ in 2008 where Paul Chun Pui treated the women in his family like dirt including drowning Nancy Wu in a well for cheating. Eventually in the family turned against him in a bloody battle in the finale. So yeh…. ‘the Forgotten Valley’ new genre or old?. They must think we are silly people…..

        Login or Register before you can reply to jimmyszeto
  4. elizabeth says:

    Th series had potential but got spoilt by a messy storyline. Wish they focused on the serious issues and stop wasting time on funny moments.

    Wish the storyline ended with more people dying because it was too happy. Only one guy got shot, a few people got whipped. And then everyone acts like it is a big party and that overnight, Lau Kong because a different person because he said sorry.

    Should have been Lau Kong getting maimed or killed trying to protect Louisa’s daughter as he really mistreated her poorly in the story and he really owed her a big apology.

    In the end, he was still, rich, respected and had his sons with him. If he was truly apologetic to Katy, then he should have given her their son and allowed her to leave. I think there should have been a scene which him allowing his concubines to divorce him and him showing true regret and remorse for his belittlement and abuse of the women around him. The jumping to 2 years later ending is very rushed and crappy.

    All the widows who got forced to be buried alive should have been acknowledged. The ending totally forgot about Jeannie and her sacrifice.

    I still prefer the tragic ending of “Dance of Passion” and “The Silver Chamber of Sorrows” where the oppresive men get punished.

    Login or Register before you can reply to elizabeth
    • jimmyszeto replied:

      Dance of Passion is about 50 times better than ‘The Forgotten Valley’ and ‘The Silver Chamber of Sorrows was about 10 times better but we get all sorts of celebrations for this series with the script writer coming out explaining ‘his inspiration’ behind it. Firstly the theme is old and passed its sell by date, the cast is weak especially the lead characters and it was cheap and illogical for the most part. The general/bandits plot that came at the end to cause havoc has been used in many previous series but this one has to be the most comical. I guess that’s the TVB standard these days. Let the celebrations begin!

      Login or Register before you can reply to jimmyszeto
  5. funnlim says:

    @elizabeth Not shown but got!!

    If he was truly apologetic to Katy, then he should have given her their son and allowed her to leave.

    He did. In the end she thanked the 1st wife for babysitting the kid I think? All happy exes.

    I think there should have been a scene which him allowing his concubines to divorce him

    He did. But implied. I also see he looked sorry to let his fave 3rd wife go. For a moment I thought she would go back to him. Quite scared.

    Oh you mean showing him doing these? This series skipped on the regret part. more on women accepting their fate and men as they were and men simply moving forward.

    Login or Register before you can reply to funnlim
  6. Worst TVB drama in recent memories.

    In retrospect I should’ve seen this coming, the first episode warned me this much. When Grace’s character tripped during one of her first scenes ever, her husband dashes in heroically and saved her. That one scene already set the tone for the kind of drama this will be and I was too blind to see it. In the end I only have myself to blame.

    But still, I did not deserve this. No one did. This show is garbage, the ending a slap in my face and everything is pain. I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE this show.

    Did I mention I hate this show yet?

    But why, you ask, the anger and frustration? Isn’t ‘bad’ just standard for TVB nowadays? Because it wasted my time. I wanted to, at bare minimum, like it. It promised something but not only did it not deliver it downright BETRAYED me.
    Because of the lack of nuance, narrative inconsistency and amount of eyerolling it managed to extract from me during my viewing sessions, two-third into this show I already gave up on the hope that it would be fulfil its promises and turn into something amazing but I hoped that it would at least be adequate or thematically faithful.

    I should’ve known I was asking too much.

    Instead the ending just downright poisoned any glimpses of acceptability the show had offered in past episodes.
    When everyone was being all ‘oh you’ and teasingly coercing him to apologise sitcom-style and he managed to utter ‘sorry’ with a self-congratulatory grin as if he just overcooked a chicken instead of committing rape and murder, that’s where I flipped the table.

    I wanted to laugh.
    And scream.
    And throw my TV out the window.

    No no no no NO . You do NOT get to be ‘a good guy who’s just stuck in his old ways’ and act cute at the end and get away with an apology just because you’re related to the male protagonist NO JUST NO. Anyone remember 2 episodes ago he wanted to burn four women alive? ANYONE?

    I want retribution and revenge. Not ‘Woopsie daisy, I guess women are capable of something guess we were wrong haha sorry our bad.’ I was promised cunning resistance and female empowerment, not an entire female cast getting sidelined at the climax of the story.

    Login or Register before you can reply to peanutbutterjelly
  7. @jayne why did my comment not show?

    Login or Register before you can reply to peanutbutterjelly
    • jimmyszeto replied:

      Oh cmon…Everyone loved that cheeky, shy grin and apology by the ‘head villager/rapist/murderer/extortionist’ or whatever you would like to call him. All the villagers including his son and the women loved that cheeky grin. It was beautiful :p

      Login or Register before you can reply to jimmyszeto
    • jimmyszeto replied:

      Also maybe you should avoid using swear words in your posts before asking why your posts aren’t showing? I can understand your anger and frustration though. I’m a male so won’t dwell on it as much but a series is poor unless everything is logical and each scene makes sense.

      Login or Register before you can reply to jimmyszeto
  8. wm2017 says:

    It was just ok to me. I found it to be interesting in the beginning but I lost interest when the woman came back alive and it was just weird on how she could have survived and then died again. Phewww…. I skipped here and there to the end, too happy of an ending. haha lol… but typical TVB?

    Login or Register before you can reply to wm2017
  9. jimmyszeto says:

    The script writer was simply inspired to write the up the ‘good old chuckle and apology’ by the Raymond’s father(head villager) at the end, not to forget the unforgettable cheeky, mischievious grin. Simply inspirational…

    Login or Register before you can reply to jimmyszeto