First Impressions: Candle In The Tomb

Up to Ep9 and it’s great! Just the right balance of archaeological adventure, mystery and bromance! Not much romance here yet (Joe Chen only appears in Ep 5 ) but that element is not missed when everyone is totally rocking it! It also helps that the drama is beautifully shot (those snow and desert scenes!), thoughtfully produced (no strange editing or fanciful posturing) and the CGI effects are actually passable! Never read the book on which the series is based on but I love the details which straddle between fact and fiction – they all exist but the fact that not much is known about these ancient kingdoms totally allows the imagination to grow wild within the confines of plausibility. Jingjue Kingdom, Xiye Ruins,  Ancient Peacock Trail, the Karakoram – the drama brings it to life!

Wu Ba Yi is your typical world-weary, war hero turned treasure hunter with his heart in the right place but Jin Dong brings an understated gracefulness and elegance to the character – he can be a knuckle duster who has his wits about him but retains his nobility and integrity throughout. Fatty Wang (who is really not that fat!) is the more avaricious of the two – but still really just a big softie (don’t want to give spoilers so can’t say more!) and a true friend. Their bromance is well done – earthy, genuine and steadfast. Haven’t seen Zhao Da before but he meshes well with Jin Dong (but then again who wouldn’t!)

Joe Chen is Shirley, an American born Chinese pursuing her father’s dreams to unearth the lost Jingjue Kingdom and unravel the mystery of his dissapearance – oh how I like her here! She is smart, able to handle herself and can hold her own against the men (of which there are many in the archaeological team). Please move on to shows like these instead of idol dramas with over wrought emotion and melodrama! (cough cough Stay With Me) . Special shout out to Zhang Yi Shang who plays Ying Zi, a young country lass who was a guide to Wu Ba Yi and Fatty Wang in Niuxin Shan – she is tough and vulnerable at the same time but totally not a damsel in distress; hope to see more of her !

Definitely continuing and am really grateful for the subbers on this show – all the details make it double the fun (I so do love adventure shows!) and can’t wait for more!


10 thoughts on “First Impressions: Candle In The Tomb

  1. Candle In the Tomb has lived up to my expectations so far hehe. I really like this genre and am so glad there’s finally a good tomb-raiding drama!

    Hope there’ll be more seasons (with the same cast!)


  2. I’m on ep 6 and I can say it’s much better than the previous 2 tomb raiding series. Everything is well-organized. It really has movie quality. I love the casting, mature actor as the main lead is perfect.

    First, I’m a bit worried that Jin Dong is too old to play Hu Bayi, compare to Mark Zhao and Chen Kun who play this role in the movie version. But he makes Hu Bayi is so likable. That’s that the young fresh meat can’t do.


    1. Yeah, totally agree. I think Jin Dong brings a different type of graceful maturity to Hu Bayi. I watched a bit of the Chen Kun version and his interpretation is the grungy, emotionally incapacitated hero type which wasn’t really my cup of tea!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I am also liking Jin Dong’s version of Hu Bayi, although for the record Chen Kun is actually almost a year older than Jin Dong. But yeah, Jin Dong’s Hu Bayi definitely gives a more mature vibe. The bromance is also lovely, I’m digging the series so far

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Omg. I was just about to recommend this drama to you. I’m up to episode 12 and am totally loving it! Love the historical details that come with the drama and love that the whole love factor is at a minimum. Seeing that both shirley and Hu Bayi are such a strong willed and independent characters, I thought you would enjoy this drama. hahaha
    Chen Qiao En is one of my fav actresses so I do hope that she takes on more of these kind of dramas instead of idol style too.


      1. hahaha! That would be my main motive in recommending you the drama if you haven’t watched. hehe
        But it’s so painful to only have 3 eps released /week tho…


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