Faith (2012 TV series)

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Promotional poster for Faith
Also known as The Great Doctor
Genre Fantasy
Historical fusion
Medical drama
Written by Song Ji-na
Directed by Kim Jong-hak
Shin Yong-hwi
Starring Lee Min-ho
Kim Hee-sun
Country of origin South Korea
Original language(s) Korean
No. of episodes 24
Production location(s) Korea
Cinematography Seok Deuk-won
Lee Young-cheol
Running time Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55 (KST)
Production company(s) Faith SPC
Distributor Seoul Broadcasting System
Original network Seoul Broadcasting System
First shown in South Korea
Original release 13 August (2012-08-13) – 30 October 2012 (2012-10-30)
Preceded by The Chasert
Followed by The King of Dramas
External links
Korean name
Revised Romanization Sin-ui
McCune–Reischauer Sin-ŭi

Faith (Hangul신의; Hanja信義; RRSin-ui; also known as The Great Doctor) is a 2012 South Korean television drama broadcast by SBS from August 13, 2012, to October 30, 2012, on Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55 for 24 episodes. It is about a modern-day plastic surgeon (Kim Hee-sun), who is kidnapped and travels back in time to the Goryeo period, 700 years in the past. There, she falls in love with her kidnapper, a warrior who is the leader of the royal guard (Lee Min-ho).[1][2][3]


The title Sin-ui, can mean faith, as in belief in justice. The Hanja means Divine Doctor, but in Hangul it also means divine healer or great doctor.[4][5][6]


After King Gongmin of Goryeo marries the Yuan princess Noguk, they return to Goryeo. On the way they are attacked and the queen is fatally injured. According to the advice of his royal advisor, the king orders royal bodyguard Choi Young to pass through a mystical portal ("heaven's gate") and find the "heaven's doctor". Choi Young travels to the future and brings back Yoo Eun-soo, a modern-day doctor from Seoul, who saves the queen's life. He makes a promise that he will return her to her world, but the scheming royal advisor persuades King Gongmin to force Eun-soo to stay as she can be useful to him.

As Eun-soo accustoms herself to her new surroundings, gradually she and Choi Young fall in love with each other. But problems arise as others become fascinated with her as the "Heaven's doctor", and Eun-soo becomes a pawn in the political power plays between King Gongmin, the Yuan overlords, the sociopathic nobleman Ki-chul and Prince Deok-seung, King Gongmin's uncle. Constantly risking his life, Choi Young thwarts numerous attempts by Ki-chul and Deok-seung to kidnap and possess Eun-soo, which almost resulted in the death of the king and queen.

Choi Young brings Eun-soo to the portal before it closes so that she can travel back and bid farewell to her loved ones and join Choi Young permanently. Ki-chul attacked them and Choi Young suffers a life-threatening wound. Ki-chul then drags Eun-soo to the portal, and Eun-Soo enters it hoping to save him by gathering medical supplies from the future. When she passes through the portal again, she finds herself in an era a hundred years before Choi Young's time. There, she spends a few years waiting for the portal to open again, while leaving hints for her future self. One day, "heaven's gate" opens again and Eun-soo enters, only to find herself again back in modern-day Seoul. She re-enters the portal and travels to the time period five years after she left Choi Young, a time during which he has brilliantly won a number of military battles and reclaimed lands of Goryeo. Finally, she and Choi Young reunite.



In the mid-1300s, approximately 1352, Choi Young is a bodyguard to King Gongmin of the Goryeo Dynasty. He is 29 years old and has no regrets in life, no ambition for women or money, and his hobby is sleeping. As a brave captain and strategist of the Woodalchi warriors, he is not afraid of death.
A 33-year-old plastic surgeon in the year 2012. Eun-soo was originally a general surgeon but quickly found that it was an overworked, under-paid profession and jumped ship to plastic surgery. Her dream is to someday open her own practice. But one day a strange man whom she thinks is a drama extra kidnaps her and takes her back to the Goryeo era. In Goryeo, she is believed to be the apprentice of the famous Chinese surgeon, Hwata, sent from heaven.



The drama's theme song, "Carry On", was sung by K-pop singer, Ali and was released on August 21, 2012. The song entered the iTunes Top 100 charts between 2014 and 2015 in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Sri Lanka; the latter being the country where it reached its highest position, number 8.[17]


Episode # Original broadcast date Average audience share
TNmS Ratings[18] AGB Nielsen[19]
Nationwide Seoul National Capital Area Nationwide Seoul National Capital Area
1 2012 August 13 12.2% 13.8% 9.4% 10.8%
2 2012 August 14 11.8% 13.1% 10.3% 11.4%
3 2012 August 20 13.4% 15.8% 10.3% 11.6%
4 2012 August 21 13.2% 15.5% 11.5% 12.8%
5 2012 August 27 12.9% 14.5% 10.6% 10.6%
6 2012 August 28 13.1% 14.8% 12.2% 13.5%
7 2012 September 3 12.3% 13.9% 9.8% 10.9%
8 2012 September 4 12.6% 13.9% 11.0% 12.4%
9 2012 September 10 11.6% 12.8% 11.8% 13.2%
10 2012 September 11 11.7% 13.0% 11.2% 11.4%
11 2012 September 17 11.8% 13.5% 10.4% 11.3%
12 2012 September 18 11.2% 12.2% 10.1% 11.0%
13 2012 September 24 10.7% 12.2% 9.7% 10.9%
14 2012 September 25 10.2% 11.6% 9.0% 9.7%
15 2012 October 1 11.1% 12.7% 9.3% 9.9%
16 2012 October 2 9.6% 10.2% 9.5% 9.7%
17 2012 October 8 13.2% 14.1% 10.5% 11.4%
18 2012 October 9 11.5% 13.0% 9.9% 10.6%
19 2012 October 15 9.2% 10.6% 8.8% 9.5%
20 2012 October 16 10.7% 11.9% 9.9% 10.9%
21 2012 October 22 10.2% 11.7% 9.3% 10.5%
22 2012 October 23 9.7% 11.6% 8.9% 10.0%
23 2012 October 29 9.1% 10.3% 8.7% 9.7%
24 2012 October 30 10.5% 11.4% 10.1% 10.9%
Average 11.4% 12.8% 10.1% 11.0%

Sources: TNmS Media Korea, AGB Nielsen Korea

Production and trivia[edit]

"Faith" was ’90s drama queen Kim Hee-sun comeback project, her first TV appearance in five years after her marriage and childbirth.

The production of "Faith" was riddled with problems. The initial budget was 10 billion won (about 10 million USD). But the series got its budget slashed, and was pushed back multiple times because of the leading actor. The drama was announced in 2009 with Lee Joon-Gi as a main lead. However the actor had to be replaced because he was drafted in the army. Born in 1982, Lee would normally have time to enlist until the end of 2010. But he received his papers early, shortly after beginning his new film project. This forced him to drop "Faith", as well as his horse-racing movie Grand Prix, which had already begun shooting. Lee had tried to postpone enlistment to finish these two projects by the end of the year, but was unable to do so.[20]

He was replaced by Kang Ji-hwan (Coffee House) who, however, had to withdraw after a request by the Entertainment Management Association because of his ongoing contract dispute and legal fight with his former and current management companies.[21] The antagonist, Kim Seung-Soo, also left, with the majority of the original cast at that time. This was a severe blow to the budget, as 10 million won had reportedly been spent on promotion with Kang as the lead.[22] Actors like Oh Ji-ho and Lee Sang-yoon were considered for the main role, before finally deciding for Lee Min-ho.[23] It seems that at that time the story itself was rewritten to some extent. A released trailer with Kang Ji-hwan showed a different atmosphere, much darker, more epic and dramatic than what was finally filmed.[24]

Filming for "Faith" began May 24, 2012 and it aired from August 13, 2012 to October 30, 2012/ The ratings were mediocre but rarely dropped below 10%.

On October 19, a little before the end, the news was published that Philip Lee (who played dr.Jang Bin), sustained an eye injury and had to pull out of the drama. The injury did not arise during drama filming, but because he was scheduled for surgery next week he wouldn’t be able to continue shooting. Many viewers agreed that "It’s too bad that he leaves so close to the drama’s finale without getting to be a part of it. On the other hand, it’s both fortunate for the drama and a damn shame for him that he’s barely a presence in the show to begin with, despite the setup hinting at a much meatier role." [25]

The writer Song Ji-Na uploaded the original script on her website and it was obvious that there were considerable changes in the final product, some of them because of lack of money. However, Faith had financial problems almost from its start and they didn't finish after the drama wrapped. Six months after the end of its airing, many of the cast and crew of that drama had not been paid, The acting, editing, and producing salaries which hadn't been paid amounted to 1.7 billion won. Drama producer and direction Kim Jong-hak, whose credits include Eyes of Dawn, Sandglass, Daemang (2002) and Legend (2007), was accused of double-contracting the Faith OST rights (to two separate companies) in the fall of 2012 became the subject of a police investigation for embezzlement and breach of trust. Kim was sued in February 2013 under the charge that he had embezzled 2 billion for personal use and summoned by police for ongoing investigation. He took his own life in July 23, 2013, by carbon dioxide, in a gositel room.[26][27][28] This tragic death and many of the "ills" of Korean dramas have been attributed to the outsourcing of production to independent companies which struggle to cover the exhorbitant cost of writers and stars.[29]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2012 20th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Kim Hee-sun Won
SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Lee Min-ho Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Kim Hee-sun Nominated
Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Yu Oh-seong Nominated
Special Award, Actor in a Miniseries Ryu Deok-hwan Nominated
Special Award, Actress in a Miniseries Shin Eun-jung Nominated
New Star Award Park Se-young Won
Top 10 Stars Lee Min-ho Won
Popularity Award Lee Min-ho Nominated
Kim Hee-sun Nominated
2013 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (TV) Park Se-young Nominated
Most Popular Actor (TV) Lee Min-ho Nominated
Most Popular Actress (TV) Park Se-young Nominated
8th Seoul International Drama Awards Popularity Award Lee Min-ho Nominated
2014 GyaO! Entertainment Awards[30] Best Korean Drama Faith Won

International broadcast[edit]

Due to the pan-Asian popularity of lead actor Lee Min-ho, Faith was sold to 6 Asian countries including Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia, with 90% of the total pre-sales amount of ₩4 billion coming from Japan.[31]

The series began airing in Japan on December 15, 2012, on smartphone channel NOTTV.[32][33] It also aired on cable channel KNTV from March 9 to May 28, 2013.[34]

It aired in Malaysia on ONE TV ASIA, followed by 8TV in Mandarin and later NTV7 under the title: The Great Doctor.

It began airing in Vietnam on October 15, 2014, on VTV3

In the Philippines, it is currently available on ABS-CBNmobile's iWanTV! app since October 20, 2014 during the Lee Min-ho Festival.[35] The series was originally supposed to air on TV in 2013, but was later cancelled. However, due to the request of the fans, it eventually premiered on December 8, 2014, on ABS-CBN. The series ended on the said network last January 30, 2015.

It begain airing in Thailand on Workpoint TV beginning September 29, 2014.[36]

It began airing in Iran on January 17, 2015, on IRIB Namayesh TV network.[37]

It is currently available in the United States on the Hulu and DramaFever services.


  1. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (13 July 2012). "Kim Hee-sun, Lee Min-ho start filming". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  2. ^ Oh, Jean (9 August 2012). "Boys Over Flowers actor back in time-travel romance". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  3. ^ Kim, Ji-yeon (10 August 2012). "Kim Hee Sun and Lee Min Ho of Faith Call Each Other Babies". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  4. ^ 신의. Naver (in Korean). Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  5. ^ . Naver (in Korean). Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  6. ^ . Naver (in Korean). Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  7. ^ Ho, Stewart (25 July 2012). "Lee Min Ho Makes a Complete Transformation Into Action Star". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  8. ^ Choi, Bo-ran (13 August 2012). 글자 글자확대 글자축소 이메일 보내기 프린트하기 [Lee Min Ho makes a fresh resolution before his new drama series, Faith, starts airing]. Star News (in Korean). Retrieved 2012-11-03.
  9. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (4 December 2012). "Lee Min-ho promotes Faith in Japan". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 13 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  10. ^ "Kim Hee-sun to Return to TV After 6-Year Hiatus". The Chosun Ilbo. 14 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  11. ^ Lee, Hye-ji (10 August 2012). "Kim Hee-seon says "I cursed almost during half of new drama's shooting"". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  12. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (4 September 2012). "Lee Min Ho Made Kim Hee Sun's Daughter Cry". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  13. ^ Ho, Stewart (29 August 2012). "Kim Hee Sun Says Secret Garden, Sun And The Moon Inspired Her to Return to Acting". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  14. ^ Yu, Ah-jeong (29 November 2012). "After 5 years, TV beauty has Faith in comeback". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 3 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  15. ^ Ho, Stewart (18 July 2012). "Lee Philip as a Goryeo Dynasty Physician for Lee Min Ho and Kim Hee Sun's Faith". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  16. ^ Ho, Stewart (30 July 2012). "Actor Sung Hoon Sheds 5kg for Faith Role". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "TNMS Daily Ratings: this links to current day-select the date from drop down menu". TNMS Ratings (in Korean). Archived from the original on 2013-11-28. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  19. ^ "AGB Daily Ratings: this links to current day-select the date from drop down menu". AGB Nielsen Media Research (in Korean). Archived from the original on 2013-12-26. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  20. ^ "Lee Jun Ki forced to drop out of "Faith"and "Grand Prix"". Dramafever. April 30, 2010. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  21. ^ "Faith loses its second leading man in Kang Ji Hwan". Dramabeans. 26 December 2010. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  22. ^ "Kang Ji Hwan doesn't want to lose faith". Dramabeans. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  23. ^ "Lee Min-ho confirms a role in "Faith" with Kim Hee-sun". Han Cinema. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  24. ^ "Original trailer for "Faith" released as "The Great Doctor" with Kang Ji Hwan". Koala's Playground. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  25. ^ "Philip Lee injured drops out of "Faith"". Dramabeans. October 19, 2012. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  26. ^ "Kim Jong Hak suicide,"Faith" director". kpopstarz. July 24, 2013. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  27. ^ ""Sandglass", "Legend", "Faith" producer ends life". dramabeans. July 23, 2013. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  28. ^ "Director Kim Jong Hak Was Deeply In Debt, Some Blame The System". Kdramastars. Jul 26, 2013. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  29. ^ "The Business of Korean Dramas". Lore in Stone Cities. 2 October 2013. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  30. ^ Kim, Min-jin (13 November 2014). "Lee Min-ho's Faith tops among K-dramas in Japan". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
  31. ^ "The power of Lee Min-ho!". Hancinema. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  32. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (15 November 2012). "Faith to air in Japan from December". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 21 November 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
  33. ^ "Lee Min Ho Goes to Japan to Promote Drama Faith". Soompi. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
  34. ^
  35. ^ "Lee Min Ho series exclusive to ABS-CBNmobile". ABS-CBN News. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-24.
  36. ^ "สุภาพบุรุษยอดองครักษ์ Teaser". youtube (in Thai). 23 October 2015. Retrieved 2014-10-06.
  37. ^

External links[edit]