With barely any promotion, Novoland: Eagle Flag’s 九州縹緲錄 sudden premiere puts it in competition with the current lineup of summer dramas. The fantasy series based on Jiang Nan’s novel is also written by the author himself. Now that it has aired, it’s clear that Eagle Flag has taken great lengths to retain the book’s setting as much as possible.
To recreate the scenes of the novel accurately, the production reportedly took 10 months to travel to different locations to get their desired shots, and the result is breathtaking and comparable to a movie. With such detailed costumes and settings, it’s not hard to see the characters led by Liu Haoran, Lareina Song and Chen Ruoxuan as their book counterparts.
The story seems to focus on the two male leads and coming from the success of Nirvana in Fire 2, Liu Haoran proves his acting skills once more as he manages to bring out his character’s grief without having to say anything, and there’s much grief to go around in the first episodes alone.
The story is fast paced as it opens with the massacre of an entire tribe. However, the downside is that it can feel a bit rushed. For instance, the experiences of Asule before he became Lv Guichen are explained in detail in the novel, but even with Jiang Nan writing the screenplay for the drama, the events crammed into one episode can be too fast. When Asule’s loved ones were killed, he barely had any time to grieve before he had to adjust to
his new life as a crown prince. Furthermore, the drama initially had 68 episodes that were reduced to 56 before it aired, so it seems that a natural consequence of condensing so many episodes is that parts of the story will be dropped.
In Eagle Flag’s defence, director Zhang Xiaobo said that it was impossible to include everything from the novel. He said that the drama adaptation is more realistic compared to the fantasy-laden book and that it was what he and Jiang Nan wanted. They spent 3 years working on the script and hoped that people will be able to understand it better.
Novoland in and of itself is a concept that is filled with fantasy elements, and there are often limitations in recreating such a mythical world. While some fans of the original novel might be put off by how much Novoland: Eagle Flag didn’t include, there are those who liked what they’ve seen. As long as the plot is good, I’m pretty sure viewers will still go for Eagle Flag. Have you guys started watching yet? If not, then I suggest you do.