Kingdom (South Korean TV series)
|Based on||The Land of the Gods|
by Kim Eun-hee and Yang Kyung-il
|Written by||Kim Eun-hee|
|Directed by||Kim Seong-hun|
|Country of origin||South Korea|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||6 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Lee Sang-baek|
|Running time||43–56 minutes|
|Picture format||4K (16:9 UHDTV)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital|
|Original release||January 25, 2019 –|
Kingdom (Korean: 킹덤; RR: Kingdeom) is a 2019 South Korean television series written by Kim Eun-hee and directed by Kim Seong-hun. It is Netflix's first original Korean series,[a] which premiered on January 25, 2019. The series is adapted from the webcomic series The Kingdom of the Gods, which was authored by Kim Eun-hee and drawn by Yang Kyung-il.
Set in Korea’s medieval Joseon period, it tells the story of Crown Prince Yi Chang (Ju Ji-hoon), who becomes embroiled in a coup/political conspiracy and is forced to embark upon a mission to investigate the spread of a mysterious undead plague that has beset the current emperor and the country's southern provinces. The story starts with a notice written in Korean on a billboard, claiming the king of Joseon is dead and the crown prince should be crowned immediately as the new king. However, inside the palace, the king is known to be severely sick and has been secretly treated for the past 10 days. No one was allowed to visit the king, not even the crown prince himself. Late at night, the crown prince sneaks out to visit his father, wanting to know the truth. But instead of his own father, he encountered the silhouette of a beastly monster. Accompanied by the physician Seo-Bi (Bae Doo-na), the enigmatic Yeong-Shin (Kim Sung-kyu), and his personal guard Moo-Young (Kim Sang-ho), Prince Yi-Chang must prevent the advance of the plague towards his home capital of Hanyang (present-day Seoul) while addressing the sinister coup masterminded by Minister Cho Hak-ju (Ryu Seung-ryong) and his family aimed towards his deposition from the throne.
- Ju Ji-hoon as Crown Prince Yi Chang
- Ryu Seung-ryong as Cho Hak-ju
- Bae Doona as Seo-bi
- Kim Sung-kyu as Yeong-shin
- Kim Sang-ho as Moo-young
- Heo Joon-ho as An Hyun
- Jeon Seok-ho as Beom-pal
- Kim Hye-jun as Queen Consort Cho
- Jung Suk-won as Cho Beom-il
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||"Episode 1"||Kim Seong-hun||Kim Eun-hee||January 25, 2019|
|Officials find notices in Hanyang alleging the king is dead. Crown Prince Yi Chang tries to check on his father, but the young queen stands in his way.|
|2||"Episode 2"||Kim Seong-hun||Kim Eun-hee||January 25, 2019|
|The Crown Prince and Mu-yeong arrive at Jiyulheon, where they make a horrific discovery. Seo-bi’s story of what she saw eerily resonates with the Crown Prince.|
|3||"Episode 3"||Kim Seong-hun||Kim Eun-hee||January 25, 2019|
|Night leads to chaos in Dongnae. Cho Hak-ju and the Queen oversee the king’s care. The Crown Prince reaches a disquieting conclusion and vows to fight back.|
|4||"Episode 4"||Kim Seong-hun||Kim Eun-hee||January 25, 2019|
|On his way to seek Lord Ahn Hyeon’s help, the Crown Prince encounters a group of stranded survivors and leads them to Jiyulheon, following Seo-bi’s advice.|
|5||"Episode 5"||Kim Seong-hun||Kim Eun-hee||January 25, 2019|
|The Crown Prince’s group comes across a village that oddly seems to be well-fed. While taking refuge at Lord Ahn Hyeon’s, Seo-bi notes something peculiar.|
|6||"Episode 6"||Kim Seong-hun||Kim Eun-hee||January 25, 2019|
|Cho Hak-ju has chilling words for the Queen, who’s hiding a sinister secret. The Crown Prince orders Sangju’s defenses, but Seo-bi senses something awry.|
On March 5, 2017, Netflix announced that it had given the production a series order for a first season. Alongside the series announcement, it was confirmed that Kim Seong-hun would direct the series and that Kim Eun-hee would be credited as the writer. Production companies involved with the series were slated to consist of AStory. Director Park In-je joined the production and directed the second episode and onward from season two.
On January 16, 2018, a crew member of the art team died due to overwork. On March 14, 2019, it was confirmed that in the midst of filming the second season, a staff member in the production team died after a car accident. The series overspent the budget, with each episode costing more than $1.78 million. Even before the release of the first season, Netflix announced that they will be making second season. Filming for the second season started in February 2019, with Director Park In-je joining the production to direct the second episode and onward from season two.
The first season received critical acclaim from critics and the audience. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 89% approval rating with an average rating of 8/10 based on 9 reviews.
Aloysius Low of CNET praised the cinematography of the first season, stating that "shots cleverly linger on certain scenes to draw out the impressive sets, while adeptly tracking the action during sword fights or zombie attacks." Renaldo Matadeen from CBR mentioned in a positive review of the first season, that "Kingdom makes even bolder sociopolitical statements than The Walking Dead does. Sure, the AMC series waxes on about class and elitism, but Kingdom wades deep into governance and the divide between the rulers and the suffering populace." Jonathan Christian from The Playlist complimented the series by adding that "this series is risky programming for people who appreciate the unusual, gory, but imaginative, things in life. Considering the over-saturated state of the market, it is refreshing to see Netflix taking chances." Joel Keller from News AU recommended the first season in their review of the series by stating that "Kingdom dares to show that zombies aren’t just a 20th and 21st-century phenomenon, and we applaud that kind of creative storytelling."
While reviewing the first season, Kate Sanchez from But Why Tho? declared in a positive review that "Kingdom offers a period drama, a zombie show, and a tense atmosphere that will keep you watching until you’re done with this season. In an over-saturate sub-genre, this show takes common horror tropes and rewrites zombie rules for Joseon Korea in a way that reinvigorates my love of the sub-genre." Michael Pementel from Bloody Disgusting praised the series, stating that "Kingdom is by far one of the most compelling works to come out of the zombie genre" and further adding that "thanks to strong acting, gripping action and drama, gruesome visuals, and an overall powerful narrative, Kingdom is a must watch for horror fans."
- Love Alarm was the first Korean series confirmed for pick-up by Netflix, but Kingdom was streamed first on the service since Love Alarm is scheduled for August 2019.
- Kim, Soo-jung (March 9, 2017). "김은희 작가 신작 '킹덤', 원작만화 '신의 나라'에도 관심". No Cut News (in Korean). Retrieved December 2, 2018.
- Kim, Su-bin (October 20, 2017). "BAE Doo-na Confirmed for 6-episode Netflix Drama Series Kingdom". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- "Two of Korea's Top Storytellers Unite for Kingdom - A New Netflix Original Series". Netflix. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- Kil, Sonia (March 5, 2016). "Netflix Hires 'Tunnel' Director for Korean Zombie Series 'Kingdom'". Variety. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- "(LEAD) Netflix's first original Korean drama 'Kingdom' unveiled to media". Yonhap News Agency. January 21, 2019.
- "Netflix's new Korean original 'Kingdom' brings zombie to Joseon Dynasty". Kpop Herald. January 21, 2019.
- "With Netflix, 'Kingdom' looks to be a global hit: Local creators hope the zombie thriller creates more opportunities". Korea JoongAng Daily. January 24, 2019.
- "Netflix Unveils Korean Zombie Series". Chosun Ilbo. January 22, 2019.
- "Netflix Korean Zombie series 'Kingdom' grabs attention". The Korea Times. February 1, 2019.
- "Season 2 of Netflix's KINGDOM Begins Shooting in February". Korean Film Biz Zone. January 7, 2019.
- Lee, Hyo-won (June 3, 2017). "Netflix Sets Zombie Period Drama 'Kingdom' as Second South Korean Original". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- Hong, Se-young (October 18, 2017). "주지훈, 김은희 신작 '킹덤' 출연확정…배두나와 호흡 [공식입장]". Sports Donga (in Korean). Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- Kim, Mi-hwa (September 14, 2017). "류승룡, 넷플릭스 '킹덤' 출연할까.."제안받고 검토중"". Star News (in Korean). Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- Han, Hyun-jung (October 12, 2017). "[단독] 김상호, 김은희 작가 '킹덤' 합류...주지훈 호위무사役". Star Today (in Korean). Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- Kim, Yoon-ji (September 29, 2017). "[단독]허준호, 김은희 작가 '킹덤' 합류…긴장감 유발자". Edaily (in Korean). Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- Hwang, So-young (September 26, 2017). "[단독] 전석호, '킹덤' 합류…주지훈X류승룡과 호흡". Ilgan Sports (in Korean). Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- "Two of Korea's Top Storytellers Unite for Kingdom - A New Netflix Original Series". Netflix Media Center. March 5, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- Lodderhose, Diana (June 3, 2017). "Netflix Boards Korean Zombie Series 'Kingdom'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- Kim, Mi-Hwa (February 13, 2019). "'킹덤2' 크랭크인, 김성훈 감독→박인제 감독 투입". Sportal Korea (in Korean). Retrieved June 24, 2019.
- Lee, Ah-young (January 17, 2018). "영화노조 "'킹덤' 스태프 사망, 장시간 노동으로 인한 과로사" 성명 발표". Xsports News (in Korean). Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- Samson, Carl (March 14, 2019). "Netflix's 'Kingdom' Production Cancelled for a Week After Second Staff Member Passes Away". Next Shark. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- White, Peter (September 5, 2019). "Netflix Orders Slew Of Korean Originals Including Supernatural Action Drama 'The School Nurse Files' & 'Kingdom' S2". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
- Kil, Sonia (July 16, 2018). "Netflix Extends Unreleased Korean Series 'Kingdom' for Second Season (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- MacDonald, Joan (February 13, 2019). "Netflix Zombie Hit 'Kingdom' Begins Filming Second Season". Forbes. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- Kim, Mi-Hwa (February 13, 2019). "'킹덤2' 크랭크인, 김성훈 감독→박인제 감독 투입". Sportal Korea (in Korean). Retrieved June 24, 2019.
- Doo, Rummy (July 5, 2017). "Song Joong-ki considering role in Netflix's 'Kingdom'". The Korea Herald. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
- Han, Hyeon-jeong (September 13, 2017). "Song Joong-ki turns down "Kingdom", Joo Ji-hoon up for main role". Hancinema. Nate. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
- "Joo Ji-hoon, Ryu Seung-ryong, Bae Doo-na consider Netflix show Kingdom". Drama Beans. September 14, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- "Kingdom: Season 1 (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- Low, Aloysius (January 24, 2019). "Netflix series Kingdom a must-see even if you're not into zombie shows". CNET. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- Matadeen, Renaldo (February 3, 2019). "Kingdom Is a More Effective Zombie Drama Than The Walking Dead". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- Christian, Jonathan (January 25, 2019). "'Kingdom': Netflix's South Korean Medieval Zombie Series Is Refreshing And Haunting [Review]". The Playlist. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- Joel, Keller (January 25, 2019). "Stream It Or Skip It: 'Kingdom' On Netflix, Where A Korean Kingdom Suffers From A Zombie Virus". news.com.au. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- Sanchez, Kate (January 27, 2019). "REVIEW: 'Kingdom' is the Show the Zombie Genre Needed". But Why Tho?. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- Pementel, Michael (February 12, 2019). "[Review] Netflix's "Kingdom" Makes for a Must-Watch Contribution to the Zombie Genre". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- Miller, Matt (December 18, 2019). "Netflix's Next Horror Series Brings a Stylish Zombie Plague to Korea's Joseon Dynasty". Esquire. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- Goslin, Austen (January 9, 2019). "Kingdom, Netflix's show about a zombie apocalypse in medieval Korea, premieres Jan. 25". Polygon. Retrieved April 13, 2019.