Faith (2012 TV series)

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Promotional poster for Faith
Also known as The Great Doctor
Genre Fantasy
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
Location(s) Korea
Cinematography Seok Deuk-won
Lee Young-cheol
Running time Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55 (KST)
Original channel Seoul Broadcasting System
First shown in South Korea
Original release 13 August 2012 (2012-08-13) – 30 October 2012 (2012-10-30)
Preceded by The Chaser
Followed by The King of Dramas
External links
Korean name
Revised Romanization Sin-ui
McCune–Reischauer Sin-ŭi

Faith (Hangul: 신의; hanja: 信義; RR: Sin-ui; also known as The Great Doctor) is a 2012 South Korean fusion fantasy-historical-medical television series broadcast by SBS from August 13 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 gets kidnapped and travels back in time to the Goryeo period, 700 years in the past. There, she meets and falls in love with 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 soothsayers, the king orders royal bodyguard Choi Young to pass through a mystical portal ("heaven's gate") and find "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 kind-hearted yet powerless King Gongmin forces 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 strangeness and apparent ability to predict the future, and Eun-soo becomes a pawn in the political power plays between Gongmin, the Yuan overlords, and the sociopathic nobleman Ki Chul. Constantly risking his life, Choi Young thwarts numerous attempts by Ki Chul to kidnap and possess Eun-soo, the worst of which almost results in the death of the king and queen.

Choi Young selflessly brings Eun-soo to the portal before it closes, but before Eun-soo can tell him that she's decided to stay, Ki Chul's soldiers attack them and Choi Young suffers a life-threatening wound. Eun-soo enters the portal, hoping to save him by gathering medical supplies from the future. But when she passes through, she finds herself in the era a hundred years before Choi Young's time. There, she spends a lonely time 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. But she finds life empty without Choi Young, and she re-enters the portal. Eun-soo reaches the time period five years after she left him, a time during which Choi Young had brilliantly won a number of military campaigns. Finally she and Choi Young find each other again.

Cast and characters[edit]

In the mid-1300s, approximately 1351, 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 whose hobby is sleeping. Because he lives a life of no regret and gave up on love to be a determined warrior, he's not afraid of death. He is the brave captain of the Woodalchi warriors and loyal to the king. Choi Young believes that people who do not fear death need not spin their wheels scheming, so he takes that to the extreme — he's a warrior with a brain who has the ability to strategize and attack head-on.
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 she thinks is dressed as 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

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[20] 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.[21]

The series began airing in Japan on December 15, 2012 on smartphone channel NOTTV.[22][23] It also aired on cable channel KNTV from March 9 to May 28, 2013.[24]

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

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

In the Philippines, it is currently available on ABS-CBNmobile's iWanTV! app since October 20, 2014 during the Lee Min-ho Festival.[25] 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 began airing in Iran on January 17, 2015 on IRIB Namayesh TV network.[26]

Legal troubles[edit]

During its run, Faith received viewership ratings around the 10% range, but even though other Korean dramas recorded lower single-digit ratings, taking into account its high budget, in terms of profit Faith was considered the biggest television flop of 2012.[27]

Several months after the drama had ended, members of the Faith cast and crew filed a lawsuit in February 2013 against director and producer Kim Jong-hak over unpaid wages amounting to ₩640 million (US$572,800), under the charge that he had misappropriated ₩7 billion for personal use. Furthermore, Kim was accused of double-contracting Faith's soundtrack rights (to two separate companies), in addition to a separate ongoing litigation filed by a construction company that had built the sets for Kim's previous series The Legend for unpaid building costs of ₩265 million.[28] In May 2013, Kim was placed under investigation for fraud and embezzlement, and he was issued an overseas travel ban;[29] he denied the allegations. On July 23, 2013, the 61-year-old director was found dead in a small rented room in Bundang, Gyeonggi Province. In an apparent suicide by asphyxiation, police officials said Kim had duct taped the doorways and windows, and half-burned charcoal briquettes were found near his body. There were no signs of forced entry, Kim's body didn't have any external injuries, and he left behind a four-page suicide note apologizing to his family.[30]

Writer Song Ji-na, and actors Kim Hee-sun, Lee Min-ho, Ryu Deok-hwan, and Park Se-young came to grieve at Kim's wake.[31][32]


  1. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (13 July 2012). "Kim Hee-sun, Lee Min-ho start filming". Korea JoongAng Daily. 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. 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. 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). 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). Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  20. ^ Kim, Min-jin (13 November 2014). "Lee Min-ho's Faith tops among K-dramas in Japan". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  21. ^ "The power of Lee Min-ho!". Hancinema. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  22. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (15 November 2012). "Faith to air in Japan from December". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  23. ^ "Lee Min Ho Goes to Japan to Promote Drama Faith". Soompi. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Lee Min Ho series exclusive to ABS-CBNmobile". ABS-CBN News. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-24. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ Kim, Tong-hyung (23 July 2013). "Director of Hourglass commits suicide". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-07-23. 
  28. ^ Park, Eun-jee (24 July 2013). "Director of Sandglass asphyxiates himself". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-07-23. 
  29. ^ "Top TV Producer Kills Himself". The Chosun Ilbo. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-24. 
  30. ^ Cho, Chung-un (23 July 2013). "TV producer found dead in apparent suicide". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-07-23. 
  31. ^ Lee, In-kyung (24 July 2013). "Screenwriter Song Ji Na Comforts Cast of Faith Over Producer Kim Jong Hak's Death". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-07-24. 
  32. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (24 July 2013). "Lee Min Ho, Kim Hee Sun, and Cast of Faith Pay Respect to Fallen Producer". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-07-24. 

External links[edit]