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Legendary Song Dynasty queen focus of new online drama

2021-03-31 09:43:25   Source:China daily  

A scene in the opening song of the 61-episode series Palace of Devotion. [Photo provided ot China Daily]


Palace of Devotion, a 61-episode costume drama recounting the legendary life of Liu E, a low-born orphan-turned queen and wife of the third emperor in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), has recently run on three of the country's most popular streaming platforms, respectively iQiyi, Tencent and Youku, since March 20.

Starring A-list actress Liu Tao as the queen and actor Vic Chou as the emperor, the show -- which adds some fictional elements -- chronicles the royal couple's decadeslong effort to establish a peaceful and prosperous country.

A still image features Liu Tao as Liu E, who was crowned as the queen of Emperor Zhenzong in Song Dynasty. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A celebrated woman who has been the subject of many novels and cultural works, Liu E (969-1033) earned the admiration of Zhao Heng -- the prince who was later crowned as Emperor Zhenzong -- at a young age. With her wit and insights into handling court affairs, Liu E became the regent after Emperor Zhenzong died in 1022 and then launched her 11-year-long regime, laying the foundation for her adopted son, Emperor Renzong, to establish the heyday of the Song Dynasty.

Director Li Shaohong reveals the drama was shot in Zhejiang province's Hengdian World Studios, the largest film and television production base in China.

A still image in Palace of Devotion stars actress Liu Tao as the legendary woman Liu E in Song Dynasty. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A replica of Daqing Palace, where the emperors and his government officials discussed the state affairs during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), was built in Hengdian as one of the major shooting sets, according to Li.

In addition to recreating the dynasty's architecture, the crew has also sought guidelines from historians specializing in the Song Dynasty as well as cultural relic experts in Henan province's Kaifeng, previously the capital of the Northern Song Dynasty.

However, the drama has received mixed reviews online, with a lot of netizens commenting that the plotline has been moving a bit fast, losing logical coherence and making the personality development of the characters less convincing.

Actor Vic Zhou stars Emperor Zhenzong of Song Dynasty [Photo provided to China Daily]

Poster of Palace of Devotion [Photo provided to China Daily]

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