Back in October of 2015, the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) started airing a K-drama which could be considered ambitious for the company. It was a historical drama, also known as a period drama, consisting of 50 episodes and spanning a total of six months from October 2015 to March 2016. This K-drama was known as Six Flying Dragons.
To be frank, ambitious truly explains Six Flying Dragons as it followed the successful Mrs. Cop. However, SBS showed they were willing to invest more than the average budget amount into the period drama with fantastic set pieces along with casting popular and well-rounded actors. Kim Myung Min (Detective K: Secret of the Virtuous Widow), Yoo Ah In (Punch), Shin Se Kyung (Tazza: The Hidden Card), Byun Yo Han (Misaeng), Yoon Gyun Sang (Pinocchio), and Cheon Ho Jin (Doctor Stranger) fill out the main cast as the “Six Flying Dragons.”
Topping off the investment was having the writing team of Kim Young Hyun and Park Sang Yeon pen Six Flying Dragons. The duo are well-known for their work in the 2011 hit period drama, which also aired on SBS, Tree With Deep Roots (or Deep Rooted Tree).
Apparently, SBS’ investment in Six Flying Dragons has paid off. By the airing of the period drama’s finale, it has earned double-digit averages across the ratings board. Also, the finale is actually a set up for Tree With Deep Roots, because Six Flying Dragons is actually a loose prequel to the series. It makes sense why SBS brought on the writing duo of Kim Young Hyun and Park Sang Yeon for the project.
For those reading this finale article as a means to see if Six Flying Dragons is worth watching, it actually is. Set during the Joseon Dynasty, the historical drama depicts the ambitions and successes of six important people in which Lee Bang Won (Yoo Ah In) is the central figure. They include his father, General Lee Seong Gye (Cheon Ho Jin), mentor Jeong Do Jeon (Kim Myung Min), the woman who becomes his love interest Boon Yi (Shin Se Kyung), Boon Yi’s brother Ddang Sae (Byun Yo Han), and Bang Won’s “giant” bodyguard Moo Hyul (Yoon Gyun Sang).
It should also be noted Six Flying Dragons is based off of actual history and not just a fictitious story that happens to be set during a historical time period. Lee Bang Won, Lee Seong Gye, and Jeong Do Jeon were actual important figures during the Joseon Dynasty. Seong Gye was the Dynasty’s second king, King Taejo, while Bang Won would eventually become the third king, King Taejong, after him.
Actual historical references may have assisted in raking in the ratings, as shown by AsianWiki. According to the Six Flying Dragon‘s page of the Asian info site, TNS Media Korea (TNmS) and AGB Nielson (AGB) viewership ratings for both Seoul and the nation were averaging in the double-digits. Its 50th and final episode ended with a 13.9 percent nationwide and 16.4 percent viewership rating for TNmS, and a 17.3 percent nationwide and 18.8 percent viewership rating for AGB.
As mentioned earlier, Six Flying Dragons is a loose prequel to Tree With Deep Roots and the 50th episode did a fine job tying both K-dramas together. [Spoiler warning] According to Soompi, Lee Bang Won is now King Taejong. Boon Yi and Moo Hyul have parted ways with Bang Won as they move on with their lives. Some years later, Boon Yi hears Bang Won’s son Yi Do, better known as King Sejong, has created Hangul (Korean alphabet) much to her satisfaction.
Ultimately, Six Flying Dragons delivered on providing an entertaining K-drama fans could watch on Mondays and Tuesdays for six months, but also on earning a lot for SBS. Fans of Tree With Deep Roots were also satisfied as they wanted to see how a prequel to the popular period drama of 2011 would work. On the other hand, fans who started with the prequel may now want to watch Tree With Deep Roots as some sort of continuation now that Six Flying Dragons has concluded.
The entire series, all 50 episodes of Six Flying Dragons, are available to view for free (with ads) at both Viki and DramaFever. The same goes for Tree With Deep Roots which consists of 24 episodes (Viki and DramaFever).
[Image via Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)/Six Flying Dragons Promotions]