The New Adventures of Chor Lau-heung is a Hong Kong television series adapted from Chu Liuxiang Xinzhuan of Gu Long's Chu Liuxiang novel series. Michael Miu starred as the titular protagonist, Chor Lau-heung (Cantonese for "Chu Liuxiang"). The series was first broadcast on TVB from 12 November 1984 to 4 January 1985. It was rerun in Hong Kong on TVB Jade from 1 February to 30 March in 2006.
Chor Lau-heung brings his three girlfriends (Lei Hung-sau, So Yung-yung and Sung Tim-yee) with him to attend Tso Hing-hau's birthday party. On the way, they meet Song Siu-ching, a spoilt and arrogant girl. After arriving at Tso's house, strange things start happening. Tso's daughter, Ming-lai, is in love with Sit Ban, a youth from a rival family. In the Sit family, Sit Yan is in love with Yip Sing-nam and wants to be with him, but her father forbids her. Tso Ming-lai and Sit Yan attempt to fake their deaths in order to resolve the feuds between their families. However, Chor Lau-heung discovers the truth and decides to secretly help the lovers be together.
Note: Some of the characters' names are in Cantonese romanisation.
Michael Miu as Chor Lau-heung
Barbara Yung as Song Siu-ching
Simon Yam as Yuen Chui-wan
Austin Wai as Chung-yuen Yat-dim-hung
Chan Wing-chun as Wu Tit-fa
Chow Sau-lan as Kam Ling-tsi
Sharon Yeung as Ko Ah-nam
Mimi Kung as Wah Chan-chan
Wong Wan-choi as Yip Sing-nam
Amy Wu as Sit Yan
Bobby Au-yeung as Sit Ban
Wong Man-yee as Tso Ming-lai
Cheung Ying-choi as Yan Hin-tai
Kwan Hoi-san as Sit Yi-yan
Leung San as Master Fu-mui
Lee Heung-kam as Kam Tai-kwan
Ko Miu-see as Tung Sam-neung
Benz Hui as Tso Hing-hau
Kwok Fung as Ying Man-lei
Chun Wong as Sit Siu-yan
Lui Ching-hung as So Yung-yung
Chi Pui-fan as Lei Hung-sau
Lau Miu-ling as Sung Tim-yee
Hui Kin-bong as Ting Fung
Lau Dan as Mo-fa
Tsui Man-wah as Sui-mo Yam-kei
Written by Gu Long (original story)
Directed by Johnnie To
Opening theme Siu Tap Ho San (笑踏河山) performed by Roman Tam
Country of origin Hong Kong
Original language(s) Cantonese
No. of episodes 40
Producer(s) Siu Sang
Running time 45 minutes per episode
Original channel TVB
Original release 12 November 1984 – 4 January 1985
The New Adventures of Chor Lau-heung
Traditional Chinese 楚留香之蝙蝠傳奇
Simplified Chinese 楚留香之蝙蝠传奇
Literal meaning Chu Liuxiang - Legend of the Bat
Detailed plot information
Story/Introduction on characters
The males :
1. Chor Lau Heung – Miu Kiu Wai
Heung Sui (the nickname given to him as he gives off fragrance after stealing something) goes to Marquis Zou's home to celebrate his birthday but a series of happenings end out of his expectations. Two tragic deaths from two families occur and he is framed for stealing the snake sword from the Suet Mansion to use it to kill some members from the honourable sects.
Not only has he to clear his name for this, he is also involved in a political struggle. Others will frown but he still takes it in his stride. Some people kill themselves. He thinks out of the box – suspecting that they are forced to do so – which later proves him correct. The only thing that bothers him is Siu Jing's identity as a princess and he feels that there is a gap between them. Who isn't amused – as much as he gives love advice to Tiet Far, he doesn't even know that Zhen Zhen likes him until she gives him a cloth pendant!
Chor gets worried when his sisters and Zhen Zhen go missing with Physician Cheung as he gets to the physician's home. Knowing that something is amiss, he calms himself although he can't find them nearby.
The Kams have forced Siu Jing to stay with them for a while so Chor suspects their motive in writing a letter to Man Lee to meet him. Man Lee is ambushed on the way so Chor goes to the Kams. He ends up injuring all the three elders. Ling Chi holds him responsible and forces Tiet Far to kill him for her. Tiet Far almost goes into blows with him.
He later realizes that he has wronged the Kams when Man Lee discovers the evil official's letters to the fourth senior prince. He pays a visit to the Kams, wanting to pay an apology. He never expects them to be harmed the same night. He only manages to save the younger siblings and Tai Kuan. Chor gets into a foul mood and keeps drinking. He has thought of himself to be smart but never predicts to make such a big blunder this time. What pains him is a person's betrayal. Siu Jing guesses wrongly that he is Tiet Far but the culprit is actually Marquis Zou.
Ah Miu is brilliant as Chor. He fits as a glove with his charisma. In fact, I feel that he acts better than Cheng as his personality is closer to the novel. Chor isn't someone who is deterred by setbacks. Nor is he is blood sucking man in killing someone for revenge. He has made him to become the same humane Chor as in the novel. The younger actors should refer to him as the model reference on how to be a swordsman.
2. Yuen Tsui Wan – Yam Tat Wah
He is the young master of ‘Mou Jing' mansion. Literally, it means not fighting with others and dwells on fairness. This mansion wins respect from the pugilistic world. There is a spate of murders happening so Tsui Wan invites all to his mansion to discuss the case together. Tiet Far claims Tsui Wan to be at the upper hand as he is superior than Chor in everything.
Tsui Wan comes across as a warm, accommodating, sociable and helpful person. Upon knowing that poison cases happen at the mansion to frame him, he pretends to be seriously injured to lure the culprit out. Despite being young, he shows wisdom and is rational in settling conflicts. He gives an authority air when he sits down, making all listen to him.
No one will know that he has another dark life as the bat young master. He sells secrets to others and also frames Chor for the killings by stealing the snake sword. He also kills Yat Dim Hung's wife to force him out of retreat. Why does he keep wanting Yat Dim Hung to bring Siu Jing to the bat mansion?
After knowing that he is the emperor's illegitimate son, he gets close to him. He even tricks the martial arts experts to demolish his bat palace so that he will have a clean start. He also attempts to rape Siu Jing. After knowing that he is actually the illegitimate son of Abssess Ching Fung and the lust thief Yim Sam Long, he hates her and suppresses his anger. He becomes more evil to dispose one enemy after another. He later leads a fugitive life but never repents from his mistake.
Who has such good foresight to choose Tat Wah as the bat young master? He fascinates me and shares equal footage with Ah Miu. Yes! He has the exact elegance and appearance. Although he is humble to admit that he seldom acts in period dramas, we can see that he gives such a solid credible performance. Even his gestures fit into the era perfectly. This shows that he has done enough preparation for the role.
3. Ng Tiet Far – Chan Wing Chun
He is Chor's best friend and has a weakness for wine. Unlike Chor, he hates baths but loves making new friends like Chor. Many will smile upon listening to his funny remarks. Through wine, he gets to know two beauties. One is the boyish Ya Nam. He dislikes women, finding them a big nuisance but doesn't find so when with her. When she chooses to take over Wah San sect to obey Abbess Ku Mui, he is heartbroken. Even though he gets her jade piece as assurance, that only makes him feel slightly better.
He later befriends Ling Chi and likes her because both love drinking wine. That is why he sulks whenever he sees her with Tsui Wan. He is drunk one night after drinking with her but isn't sure if she sleeps with him. She drives him away due to her family's opposition. This man is really down in luck to get chased away by two women!
Chor suspects that Ling Chi has a motive for getting close to Tiet Far. Tiet Far can detect that she is uneasy when he asks her this question. After going through thick and thin with Ya Nam to save her from the elder fourth prince's men, he decides to make her his wife. They exchange their vows in prison. However, her master's tragic death forces them to part.
4. Yat Dim Hung – Wai Tin Chi
He becomes an inn-keeper after his marriage to a village woman, Yan Yee. He yearns for a simple life and that is why he pretends not to know Chor and Tiet Fat when they meet. However, his past catches up with him and the young bat master kills Yan Yee to force him out of retreat. Sure indeed, he is past caring who Siu Jing is. He just wants to bring her to the bat palace in exchange for the killer's identity. To the extent to come to blows with his good friends.
Both are hostile to each other on the way. When Siu Jing learns the real reason, she is willing to help him and even nurses him back to health when he is injured. But now, he doesn't want her to risk her life and returns her to Chor. Knowing him to be a lone ranger, Chor and his friends still wish to help him out. To avenge Yan Yee's death, he endures the bat's poison – wanting to lure the killer out at all costs.
When he finally seek him out, he is faster than the others to strike the sword right at his forehead. Knowing that he is reaching his end, he chooses to be ordained at a temple to spend his remaining days there. Little does he know that he has only killed an imposter and he has worked hard for nothing.
5. Marquis Zou – Hui Siu Hung
He is a Marquis but he is past caring over his status to make friends from the pugilistic world. Ming Lee is his joy but it saddens him to kill her by mistake by opposing her to be with Bun. He feels remorseful when Chor and his friends are kidnapped from his mansion so he nearly kills himself. But luckily Chor stops him in time using his finger skill.
Those taken away are his sisters so Zou offers to help them out. Man Lee suspects that something is amiss when Zou goes out early in the morning in another direction but not to meet his henchmen who are returning with the latest news. Chor feels that he can still trust his friend as all set out in the search. He is upset when Zou shields him but gets killed in the end.
A masked man kills the Kam brothers, chops off Ling Chi's brother's arm and blinds Tai Kuan's eyes. Chor spars with him and discovers that he is Marquis Zou. He feels betrayed by a friend whom he trusts but yet fakes his own death. Marquis Zou works for the fourth senior prince when he gives the only palace antidote which Physician Cheung claims to cure Ming Lee's sickness. He owes him a favour and has to keep to it – although Chor doesn't see the need to. (The main reason is not only Ming Lee is dead now but also the senior fourth prince is a despicable man.)
Marquis Zou knows that he can't get his forgiveness so he thrusts a sword at Chor. Although Chor doesn't use another weapon, he believes that Chor will lose without using one. Sure enough, he loses till he uses the deadly stroke. Zou doesn't avoid the blow and chooses to die in his hands.
6. Suet Yee Yan – Kwan Hoi San
He is a master of swords to keep his enemies' swords in the dungeon after defeating them. He pins all hopes on his son but he dies. This straightens his thoughts to allow his daughter to get away with Sheng Lan. Chor admires the swords but is later framed when the snake sword is missing.
Yee Yan goes into hiding but still kills for a living. Be surprised when Tai Kuan actually enlists his help to kill an evil official for 10,000 taels of gold. He kills the man successfully but comes to fight with Chor. Chor sees through his disguise as he recognizes his skills. Look forward to another joke – Kuan offers a higher reward for Yee Yan to kill Chor, he actually declines as he has a narrow escape earlier! However, he repents and combines forces with the others to expose Tsui Wan's real motive.
7. Suet Siu Yan – Chun Wong
He is Yee Yan's younger brother. He goes berserk after mastering the whole way of his family's skills. Since than, he behaves like a child. He is very protective towards his brother to help him to escape upon knowing that he hires killers to keep the family fortune going. Chor and others still maintain good ties with him as they respect him.
8. The emperor – Cheung Ying Choy
He rules the country but is soft with women. He can't forget Ku Mui and comes all the way out of the palace to tell her that he misses her. Although he is also out to search for Siu Jing, this reason is only secondary. He is overjoyed to know that he has a son. He finds affinity with Tsui Wan and plans to make him his god-son. He is elated later to know that he is his son indeed.
Little does he know that he is an imposter. When it is time to set things right, he finally gets the real son, Sheng Lan back to become his successor.
9. Cheung Gan Zai – Sun Gei Hing
He is a famous physician. Being soft-hearted, he helps Ming Lee to deceive her father that she is ill to help her to marry Bun. He is alarmed when an injured Chor is sent to him after being injured by Yat Dim Hung. He examines his pulse and is puzzled – by right he should recover soon by using his own inner strength to heal slowly. What has gone wrong?
Siu Jing shows him the palace drug that she has given Chor. It is a real drug and not poison as Chor's sisters as suspected. It is just that by letting Chor consuming it is like adding oil to water to worsen his injury. (I really laugh at his statement. That shows that Chor can't take any nourishment.)
Tsui Wan invites him to examine the corpses of different sect members who die mysteriously. His diagnosis is proven right to claim that all are not killed but they commit suicide. He also comes up with the antidote that combats with the bat poison. He is also capable of curing the emperor's asthma problem which the imperial physicians can't cure.
10. Ou Yeung Fei – Yip Tin Hang
After retiring from the pugilistic world, he becomes the emperor's loyal bodyguard. He is dejected when the emperor goes missing and nearly kills himself. Luckily Man Lei stops him on time to work together to uncover the crime. He can be reckless at times to make the wrong decisions. He still loses his life later while protecting the emperor.
11. Yip Sheng Lan – Wong Wan Choy
He is an opera singer but is looked down by Yee Yan. His martial arts skills are only average. He keeps eating the humble pie and becomes so dejected for being rejected so many times. He finally gets to marry Yan and both have a quiet life after marriage. After saving the emperor and Ku Mui, he is only reunited with them for a while. After knowing his own identity, he is reluctant to stay in the palace but has no choice but to become the next emperor.
12. Suet Bun – Ou Yeung Chun Wah
He is the only son of Yee Yan but he falls for his enemy's daughter. He can't match his father's standard in martial arts. But he helps his sister, hoping that she will gain true love. He loves Man Lee deeply to die with her. He kills himself and both lock their hands together before their deaths.
13. Ding Fong – Hui Kin Bong
He is the bat young master's capable assistant. He is able to detect most intruders' identities to dispose them quickly. He is so efficient to lead Yat Dim Hung on the way to show him clues to find the bat palace. Yat Dim Hung has to do a task he demands in exchange for a clue. He nearly rapes Zhen Zhen if not for the bat young master's letter that comes at this time.
He isn't deterred when the righteous sects attack the bat palace because he has a good escape plan. He even takes the rap for Tsui Wan to be the bat master. After Chor is poisoned by Kam Chi, he wants to assassinate him but luckily Chor is saved by the physician. Chor gives him a chance to hand over evidence of Tsui Wan's crime so that his prison sentence will be lighter.
14. The Fourth Senior Prince – Chan Chung Kin
This man is Siu Jing's uncle but is eyeing the throne all along. Knowing that his elder brother has skilled pugilists, he also engages Dai Pang, not to lose out to him. He is mad with the emperor when he refuses to give in to his demands after being captured. He jumps when he escapes. When he is finally captured, the emperor has to put him to exile.
15. Gu Dai Pang – Lau Kok Sing
He always gets defeated but he manages to capture the emperor. No one will be as unlucky as him to mistaken Chor wrongly. But well, he is still successful to kidnap his sisters.
16. Ying Man Lei – Kok Fung
He is a palace constable but he suffers a lot while protecting Siu Jing all the way. If not for her impulsivity, he will not lose his ears. Luckily Physician Cheung makes him a pair of silver ears that help to improve his hearing. His constable sense makes him forever doubtful of others but we can't fault him as he is only trying to be careful. However, he is no match for Tsui Wan and is killed by him.
The females :
17. Song Siu Jing/Princess Wing Jing – Yung Mei Ling
She is a nosey and temperamental troublemaker. Although armed with the black jade sword, her skills are far less than satisfactory. Being playful and loving to fawn over her wealth, she doesn't wish to return to the palace and often runs away from Man Lei.
Ming Lee and Bun could have survived if not for her. Man Lee could not have seriously injured because of her. She gets into various troubles and luckily Chor often saves her on time. The period when she is missing with Yat Dim Hung to meet later, Chor is amused by her first statement ‘ how are you' and not ‘Chor Dai Gor, come and save me!'
As the evil plot develops, she starts to become mature and thoughtful. But her overbearing ways make Chor frown frequently. He also dislikes being trapped in the palace and prefers to return to his ship. He misses Siu Jing and is overjoyed when Siu Jing gives up everything to be with him.
18. Wah Zhen Zhen – Kung Chi Yan
She is the younger disciple of Wah Shan sect after Ya Nam. Being gentle and kind, she trusts others too easily. Zhen Zhen saves Yat Dim Hung after he is injured by Chor and doesn't even ask his identity. Yat Dim Hung comes all the way to Wah Shan to return her a jade piece that her late mother leaves for her. She is once drugged and placed on Chor's bed. The daring culprit even removes her outer clothing to frame Chor as the culprit. It is cleared the air later. Being timid, she doesn't dare to go against her master but she can't resist falling for Chor since then.
Although Siu Jing is aware of her affections for Chor, she still urges her to bare her feelings to Chor as she sees her making the cloth pendant. She can be very pessimistic when being trapped in the bat palace and Chor's sisters have to cheer her up. After losing Ku Mui, she becomes stronger and helps Ya Nam to manage Wah Shan sect.
19. Kam Ling Chi – Chow Sau Lan
She is spoilt by her family since young and has a fiery temper. She is like Siu Jing no.2 to get into trouble frequently too. Her jade piece is stolen and she can run all the way to the men's bath to demand for it back. Her first encounter with Tsui Wan is unpleasant but slowly she loves him to do his bidding. She sleeps with him for the night. She even poisons Chor and all, causing them to nearly get caught by the soldiers. If not for Zhen Zhen who comes on time, Chor could have been killed.
She also loves drinking wine. She is used as a bait to trick Tiet Far that they have slept together for a night. He is drunk but she is sober. After the tragedy, she has nothing left and pins all her hopes on Tsui Wan. He proves to be a jerk and although she follows him through his darkest period, he never treasures her. She gives up al hopes and kills him with her own hands.
20. Ko Ya Nam – Yeung Pan Pan
She is the first disciple of Wah Shan sect and is considered to be Ku Mui's first successor. Being boyish and headstrong, she dresses like a man. She falls for Tiet Far along the way as he doesn't know that she is a woman. Be entertained when they share the same room and Tiet Far is puzzled why she refuses to take a bath with him in the river. She is brought up by her master since young so she doesn't dare to defy her.
But she endures so much that she nearly suffocates. Upon meeting Tiet Far at Mou Jing mansion the second time, she is touched when Tiet Far shields her from assassins. She sets her mind to want to elope with him but is dismayed to get rejected this time. She is devastated to know that Lin Chi is the cause. But being forgiving, both finally become a couple together. But her master's past of having a son catches up with her so she has to become the leader of Wah Shan sect.
21. Su Yung Yung – Lui Jing Hung
She is intelligent and is always the one to come with ideas to help Chor. She is very sweet and Chor often gives in to her. The three women are inseparable.
22. Sung Tiem Yee – Lau Miu Ling
Being the youngest among the sisters, Chor dotes her most. She is the most temperamental one to show her dislike against Siu Jing for getting Chor's attention. It takes me some time to adapt to this change as this actress acts as Lee Sai Mun's cousin, Chiu Yee who falls for him in ‘The Foundation'. Ah Miu acts as Lee Sai Mun there.
23. Lee Hung Jau – Chi Pui Fun
She is most sensible among the three. Her disguise skills are inborn and she loves disguising as Chor. But knowing that her martial arts are limited, she will flee quickly if getting into trouble. Being a talented physician, she also nurses Chor and his friends when they are hurt. She is also alert to lead the martial arts experts to rescue the rest out from the bat palace. She resembles veteran actress, Kwan Kuk Ying at certain angles. I wonder if they are related.
24. Zou Ming Lee – Wong Mun Yee
She has all along opposed to the rivalry between the two families but is unable to stop the duel from happening. So she resorts to pretend to be sick to lure her father home. Although rich and filial, she has an ill-fated life as she can't be with her loved one in life.
25. Suet Yan – Ng Mei Yee
She also incurs her father's wrath in liking Sheng Lan. She is willing to help her brother and Ming Lee to be together. Bun buys over a dead family's daughter's corpse to fake her death. When she pretends to be dead, she can be together with Sheng Lan when they flee together. She likes a quiet life but fate destines them not to be.
26. Dong Sam Niong – Ko Miu See
She is nearly sold to the brothel but Yat Dim Hung saves her. She is grateful to him and offers to impersonate Siu Jing to go to the bat palace with him. But the bat young master sees through her disguise and injures Yat Dim Hung to kick him off the cliff. Although she is forced to serve different men who come to the bat palace, she believes that he is still alive and waits patiently for him.
One ‘client' happens to be the emperor but she doesn't know his identity to take good care of him. She is well versed in playing chess and reciting poems. I find this impossible as she is a village woman. When Chor falls into quick sand, she saves him out but is killed but the bat palace men. Chor kills them but is still too late to save her. She is contented to repay Yat Dim Hung his debt and also making Chor break his rule of not killing anyone by doing this. (She doesn't know that Chor has killed Zou before this so this is his second and not the first time.)
27. Abbess Ku Mui – Leung San
She forbids all her disciples to fall in love because she has been cheated by the emperor. She sends her son to the Yuen family and secretly teaches Tsui Wan martial arts. That is why he is so highly skilled besides getting all training from his foster father. However, she keeps Tsui Wan's parentage from him and is enraged when he prefers to be a simple man. She wants to fight for what he deserves so he must seek out the missing emperor's whereabouts before others can do so.
Fearing that she might disclose her past if she is bitten by the poisonous bats, she wants Zhen Zhen and Ya Nam to kill her if that happens. She is equally ruthless to Zhen Zhen when she becomes the victim. If not for Chor or Hung Jau, she might have killed her. She doesn't wish to wash dirty linen in public so she forbids Tsui Wan from acknowledging his father. But she is forced to reveal the truth later.
After Tsui Wan knows that she is just making use of him to seek revenge on the emperor, he turns more vicious. He learns that Ku Mui has deserted Sheng Lan near a river when young and has acknowledged him. Filled with jealousy, he attacks Sheng Lan but Ku Mui dies on his behalf. She manages to leave a note on her handkerchief when Chor discovers her body at the bottom of the cliff.
28. Mrs Kam – Lee Heung Kam
She is loyal to the court and wants to restore her family glory. That is why she wants to force Siu Jing to stay with them. When that fails, she thinks of other ways. She spoils Ling Chi rotten. Although she is upset losing her two sons, she is contented when the emperor bestowed the gold medal which can save them from death. Her whole family is later wiped out by Marquis Zou and Kam Chi is in anguish.
Most favourite character
Chor, he is warm, intellectual and amiable.
Most hated character
Abbess Ku Mui – her hatred is so great that she ruins the lives of her female disciples and Tsui Wan. She often lies to her disciples that she is in retreat but in reality, she sneaks out to meet Tsui Wan. If not for her, Tsui Wan might not have such a sad fate.
Most convincing character
Tsui Wan – he seems to be kind but is devilish to the core. Who can expect that?
Most unconvincing character
Siu Yan, although he is supposedly to be of slow intelligence, he will not go to the extent of creating so much nonsense as in here. Only the dressing fits the bill.
The themesong ‘wandering among the plains with smiles' is by Roman Tam. The subtheme song ‘the sword's guts fits the gentleness.' is by him and Lisa Wang. Needless to say, both veteran make the songs memorable and well suited. I love both songs very much!
Chor knows that Siu Jing is a troublemaker so he only helps her when she yells to him for help. On one occasion, he lets a serial rapist abduct her. He appears only when she is nearly taken advantage.
Chor and Yat Dim Hung fighting over Siu Jing – not because they want to fight for her affections but Yat Dim Hung wants to kidnap her. Both men suffer great injuries. Yat Dim Hung is healed by Zhen Zhen. He shakes his head at how innocent she is. What if he is an evil man to attack her? (I have thought that the producer wants to develop a love relationship but he proves me wrong.)
On the other hand, Chor feels no better. He vomits blood and faints after clearing the acupoints of his three sisters and Man Lei. Seeing him seriously injured, Siu Jing gives him the palace healing drug. He ends up feeling worse to vomit more blood. His sisters quickly bring him to Physician Cheung and Siu Jing cries for implicating matters instead.
Chor and Tsui Wan trying to tie Siu Yan up to find out Siu Jing's whereabouts when she goes missing after playing with Siu Yan. Both are so swift and graceful in their actions.
The two and Tiet Far fight against the bat palace villains to protect Siu Jing and the rest. One is skillful without any weapon while another is attractive with his fan. Tiet Far is also powerful with his punches.
Yat Dim Hung killing his attackers with his sword. He leaves a dot on their forehead. That is really eye-opening. But Chor can tell if he is injured if he is required to pierce 2 strokes into his enemy's body.
Yat Dim Hung asks Chor to compare Shek Gun Yam with Yam Gei's skills. Chor replies that Yam's skills are slightly above Shek in a calm manner. (Both women are his arch enemies.) Yat Dim Hung compares the bat young master with Mou Far – Mou Far is also inferior to him. Although Yat Dim Hung has not let off his guard after marriage, he will be defeated by the bat young master within 30 strokes. Heung Sui's face changes for once – he is startled by this fact!
The emperor and Siu Jing are trapped in a net. Chor tells Siu Jing to cling on the net while he rescues the emperor first. He then holds her close to him before trying to get out. He uses all his might to pull the gates to let the gals leave. Also assists Tiet Far and Man Lee to hold on to the falling wall to let others go out first. All these are done in a matter of seconds but yet Tiet Far still grumbles that he is too slow!
Tsui Wan's encounter with Ling Chi at the men's bath. She demands a thief to hand out her jade pendant. Tsui Wan protects the man and even pretends to walk out of the bath to chase her out. He later returns it to her but she mistakens him to be the thief's accomplice. He ends up sparing with her to defeat her within a few strokes. Ling Chi is annoyed to find him as a guest at her home later and they have met during childhood days. Tsui Wan puts up with her although she is unbearable.
Ling Chi sneaks out at night to the fourth prince's residence. She is injured by his men. Fortunately, Tsui Wan tails her and rescues her out. All will be fascinated at this scene to see how fast he can be to carry her out in a blink of the eye. She is grateful to him as he hesitates initially but later puts his hands around her shoulders to escort her back home. He even applies his family medicine on her injured arm. (That is a very eet and memorable scene. Sigh – I doubt younger TVB artistes can do it as well as them.)
Chor's friends suspect that the Kams kidnap the emperor. Chor lies that he is going there to steal Mrs Kam's dragon pole. Mrs Kam replaces the real one in the secret chamber with a replica in the hall. Chor manages to steal BOTH and informs her that he has not taken it but has hidden it in the woods room instead.
Tsui Wan hints to Siu Jing that she knows chrysanthemums well and is his confidante. Chor overhears them talking and comes along. When Siu Jing pretends to be close to Tsui Wan, Chor laughs and will not join them to admire the flowers at night as he doesn't wish to provoke Siu Jing. I really laugh aloud to see Siu Jing fuming when her plan backfires.
The bats appear to attack Mou Jing mansion at night. Ya Nam is filled with jealousy upon seeing Ling Chi clinging close to Tiet Far. Tsui Wan uses fire to drive the bats away and is alert when some servants are bitten by the bats. (This scene is breathtaking.)
Zhen Zhen is also bitten by a bat and poisoned. She clings to Chor, wanting to follow him wherever he goes. Siu Jing is burned with jealousy. That must be his most embarrassing moment!
Chor learns that the senior fourth prince has the emperor's seal. He goes through all traps to get it back. It is as fast as he tricks the Kams too!
Chor's sisters are captured by the bat young master. Tsui Wan tails Chor as he can't resist the temptation of meeting the bat young master. However, he is stopped by the bat followers. The bat young master wants him to work for him in exchange but he refuses. I can't believe my eyes upon seeing how Chor is tricked twice to save Tiem Yee unsuccessfully. Has his skills dipped?! When given the third try, he suddenly goes to tear the bat young master's mask instead.
The bat young master disappears and Chor returns, puzzled that Tsui Wan isn't back. When Tsui Wan returns, he starts to stare at him to make him uncomfortable. Both men have a drink and Chor feels that the bat young master can be anyone from the righteous sects since he is so highly skilled. Tsui Wan jokes uneasily that it seems that he can become a suspect too.
All manage to find out the bat palace hideout to rescue Chor's sisters and physician Cheung. Hong Jau has remembered the route to escape but she doesn't know that she is being let off deliberately. It is a tedious task and they are nearly caught in different traps. Chor is the last to get out but his sisters, Zhen Zhen and Physician Cheung wait firmly for his return as the others leave.
The emperor confers titles to all. Chor chooses to hide as he prefers to lead a carefree life. Abbess Ku Mui also rejects it as she wants to rebuild her sect. Chor is surprised that Tsui Wan also rejects the marquis title although he cites the family rule as the reason.
The emperor keeps on getting kidnapped by the bat prince and the fourth prince. We turn giddy to see how he is changed hands with different people.
The emperor is attacked and Tsui Wan shields him, calling him father as he is too anxious over his safety. The emperor is happy to acknowledge him as his son after knowing the truth from Abbess Ku Mui. When Siu Jing tells Chor that Tsui Wan is her half-brother, Chor isn't surprised. But his expression changes when knowing that he is Abbess Ku Mui's son. He later tells Siu Jing that he suspects Tsui Wan to be the bat young master. He has broken his tobacco bottle and he smells the unique tobacco on Tsui Wan.
But it could be that Tsui Wan spars with the bat young master too to get it. He tells Siu Jing to keep his assumption to herself as he is puzzled why he wants the emperor dead if he is his son. Chor later learns how power hungry Tsui Wan is. Although Tsui Wan fakes the bat master's death, he doesn't believe it.
Tsui Wan knocks Siu Jing out and is about to rape her. Kam Chi comes and ruins his chance.
Tsui Wan shows no mercy in hitting Ku Mui down the cliff. Although she brings him up, she also causes him to force his own biological mother, Abbess Ching Fung to kill herself so he can never forgive her. He later frames Sam Yan, Yan and Sheng Yan for doing it. The emperor imprison them but Chor knows that they are innocent so he goes to the bottom of the cliff with Zhen Zhen to seek out the truth.
The fourth prince pushes out an imposter to take over the emperor. Chor and his gang are so silly to oppose to this openly and nearly get killed instead. The producer is really stupid to come up with this plan. The fake emperor doesn't even wear a mask. Don't tell me that the whole court has never seen him before to address him as the emperor?!
Tsui Wan's scheme is exposed when Chor turns up with the bloodied handkerchief that Ku Mui leaves. Tsui Wan can't be the successor anymore. He has no choice but to abort his plan and leaves in haste after holding Siu Jing hostage. He shows a lot of affections to her, making Kam Chi jealous. Although Kam Chi never forsakes him, he is still bitter over her setting Siu Jing free.
The final duel between Chor and Tsui Wan. Eye-catching and thrilling.
Real facts About the novel
The two couples are happily married as their pugilistic families resolve their differences. Sam Yan is a righteous man all along. Siu Yan is the mastermind that recruits Yat Dim Hung as the killer. He only pretends to be mad. His elder brother is too powerful so he doesn't want to live under his shadow to set up his own evil empire.
Chor is seldom hurt but he is poisoned by a masked Siu Yan at the back while injured by his sword from the front. Chor deceives his attacker that he also poisons him – actually, he only splashes him with the normal fragrance that he often uses. This is Chor's first time escaping from someone desperately. He falls from the tree as he is relieved when Siu Yan leaves!
There is no Siu Jing. But Yung's fans will definitely not mind to see more of her. Neither are there Nam Sam Niong or Yan Yee too. Tsui Wan is the real young master of the Tsui family. The royalty struggle is just a false story.
Yat Dim Hung isn't as sentimental as in here to go into retreat just for a woman. Tiet Far is interested in Ling Zhi. It is said that he keeps running away from Ya Nam but all are unsure if he really loves her.
Tsui Wan is blind. All feel that his life is incomplete – he is rich and high skilled to be born with this flaw. Chor announces this is why he wants the bat palace in total darkness – he doesn't need candles at all.
Ya Nam comes from a reputable family and isn't that shabbily dressed in the drama. Abbess Ku Mui is said to have a face of a dried leaf. No one can tell her age and no one can see when she talks as she hardly has expressions. She dies with Tsui Wan later when both fall off a cliff. It remains a mystery if they are mother and son or lovers. Ling Chi also dies with them.
Although the story is only half truthful to the novel, I can forgive the producer as he comes up with a terrific plot and not a half-baked story as others. Not only the story is well-developed, the cast is also of top choice. All of them have the periodic looks.
It keeps me drawn to the television screen to keep changing the discs one after another! The fighting scenes are splendid – so are the costumes. All are elegantly dressed. The soft and colourful material is no longer seen in recent TVB period dramas.
Ah Miu is undoubtedly the best person to act as Chor Lau Heung. I root for him the moment he appears. His looks, airs and stances are perfect. His facial expressions go so fast – he can express agony, mischief, disbelief and happiness – even a mixture of it on his face.
The only person who can challenge his presence is Tat Wah. When both stand together, their towering heights, well-chiselled looks, fighting agility and grace are like the real swordsmen walking out from the novel to put us in the fantasy pugilistic world. Never have I been so engrossed before! This is a must-keep collection for all fans as a top masterpiece.
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