Time Before Time

Time Before Time (Chinese title: 大鬧廣昌隆) is a successful 1997 Hong Kong TVB series which stars Lam Ka-Tung and Kathy Chow. The storyline deals greatly with the themes of fate, love and traditional Chinese supernatural beliefs.

Details

* Title: 大鬧廣昌隆 / Dai Lau Kwong Cheung Lung
* English title: Time Before Time
* Genre: Romance / Suspense
* Episodes: 20
* Broadcast network: TVB
* Broadcast period: 1997-Aug-04 to 1997-Aug-29
* Air time: 21:20 - 22:20
* Opening theme song: Po Gun Ngan Chin Yan 'Holding Your Beloved' (抱緊眼前人) by Anita Mui
* Insert song: Ngo Ngoi Fung Kwong Ho (我愛風光好) by Anita Mui and Anthony Lun. Dang Zhe Ni Hui Lai 'Waiting For You to Return' (等著你回來) by Bai Guang is featured throughout the series as an important part of the story.

Plot

, 1922. We are then introduced to 1947 Hong Kong where we meet Hui Dai Kwong, a lazy 25 year old who finds work as a coolie at ‘Kwong Cheong Lung’. ‘Kwong Cheong Lung’’, a successful business store, was passed onto and owned by three brothers, Cheong, Lung and the late Luk Wan Kwong (also known as ‘Third Master/Brother’). Ever since Wan Kwong died in 1922, the store has been managed by the two remaining brothers. Rumour has it that the store has also long been inhabited by a female ghost. One night in the allegedly haunted store, Hui Dai Kwong accidentally releases the ghost of Siu Fu Yung from an old oil-paper umbrella. She mistakes him for her lover for Dai Kwong looks exactly the same as Wan Kwong. After being frightened half to death, Dai Kwong explains that he isn’t the one she’s looking and reluctantly promises to help her find her lost lover.Through a radio station, Siu Fu Yung retells her tragic life.

We learn that back in the 1920s, Siu Fu Yung was a young maid for a rich and spoilt song-girl, Dan Fung. Both had fallen in love with Luk Wan Kwong – the youngest of three brothers whose father founded ‘Kwong Cheong Lung’. Luk Wan Kwong was 25, clever, talented, handsome, kind-hearted and an extremely successful businessman. Siu Fu Yung recounts how her seemingly impossible relationship with Wan Kwong developed. When Wan Kwong finds out that the shy Fu Yung was also a talented singer, he makes an offer to personally take aboard and “renew” Fu Yung, much to the jealousy of Dan Fung. He teaches Fu Yung to use the abacus, how to read and to write, and helps her get a start in a singing career whilst falling more in love with each other along the way.

In her jealous rage, Dan Fung spread lies to Wan Kwong's father that Fu Yung had once been a prostitute. Hence, the young pair’s relationship was disallowed, causing Kwong to renounce himself from the Luk household in anger. For Wan Kwong and Fu Yung, nothing but poverty and hardship followed, and we finally return to the scene where they were poisoned (as shown in the series’ opening).

Back in ‘real time’ in 1940's Hong Kong, Hui Dai Kwong and his family continue the search for Wan Kwong. As time goes on, Dai Kwong begins to develop feelings for Siu Fu Yung, to the dismay of Ying, Dai Kwong's long-time fiancee.

One stormy night, memories of his previous life flash in Dai Kwong’s mind and we find out that after all the searching, he is the reincarnation of Luk Wan Kwong to everybody's shock. Due to her jealousy and possessiveness Ah Ying warns Fu Yung not to go near Dai Kwong again and though heart-broken, the understanding Fu Yung hence tries her best to avoid him.

The mystery of who killed Luk Wan Kwong and Siu Fu Yung begins to unravel as we find out that the eldest of the Luk brothers, Cheong, was responsible for causing the deaths of his own brother and Fu Yung. The reason behind was that Kwong knew too much about Cheong’s bad dealings within the business. Along with this, Ah Ying finally accepts that Dai Kwong and Fu Yung’s relationship is inevitable, destined, and cannot be stopped by her or anyone. But being the kind-hearted person (or ghost) that she is, Fu Yung retreated to the ghost world, allowing Ah Ying to have Dai Kwong for the rest of this lifetime.

The final scene of the series warps us to the 1990s, the next lifetime of Fu Yung and Kwong where, again due to fate, they meet again. Fortunately, unlike the previous two lifetimes, (it is hinted that) this time the two lovers live happily ever after.

Cast

* Lam Ka-Tung as Luk Wan Kwong / Hui Dai Kwong (陸運廣/許大廣)
* Kathy Chow as Siu Fu Yung (小芙蓉)
* Florence Kwok as Ku Mei Ying (古美英)
* Kenneth Chan as Che Tat Fu (車達夫)
* Yeung Ling as Hui Suk Jing (許淑貞)
* Sum Wai (沈 威) as Ku Yan Gui (古仁貴)
* Tang Siu Jun (鄧兆尊) as Luk Gai Wah (陸繼華)
* Gan Pui Kuan (簡佩筠) as Luk Hiu Tung (陸曉彤)
* Ho Yuen Hang (何遠恆) as Che Tat Kuan (車達君)
* Cho Chun (曹 眾) as Dan Fung (丹鳳)
* Law Lok Lam as Che Yu Ting

Cultural Background

* Throughout the series, we see paper models of things such as clothes, bicycles and letters burnt. As a traditional belief, the Chinese see this as the only way to send things to persons who exist in the afterlife. See hell money.

* The Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang is frequently referred to throughout the series. It is used to describe the human and ghost world. Yin energy is associated with passiveness, femininity and yielding therefore, the spirit world whilst on the other hand, Yang is associated with strength, masculinity and brightness – the human world.

* According to Chinese superstition, it is inauspicious to carry an open umbrella inside the home from the outside. The Chinese believe that ghosts find shelter under umbrellas, and may enter one's home if 'carried' inside.

External links

* [http://www.tvb.com/xinghe/b5/drama/time/index.html Official TVB page]
* [http://youtube.com/watch?v=9i7IpKtxMo8 Youtube video of the series' opening]
*
* [http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Time_Before_Time Drama Wiki]


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