Master of Play

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Master of Play (心戰)
Promotional poster
Genre Crime, Drama, Psychological thriller
Written by Chow Yuk Ming
Starring Adam Cheng
Moses Chan
Kenny Wong
Maggie Shiu
Aimee Chan
Theme music composer Tiger Hui
Opening theme Boundary (界限) by Adam Cheng
Country of origin Hong Kong
Original language(s) Cantonese
No. of episodes 30
Producer(s) Jonathan Chik
Location(s) Hong Kong
Camera setup Multi camera
Production company(s) Television Broadcasts Limited
Original network TVB Jade
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release May 21 – June 29, 2012
External links

Master of Play (心戰) is a 2012 Hong Kong psychological crime thriller produced by TVB. It stars veteran actor Adam Cheng and internationally acclaimed 2007 TVB Anniversary Awards Best Actor Moses Chan in the lead role, portraying characters playing a cat-and-mouse game of deceit, suspense and intrigue.


Kan Siu-Nam (Adam Cheng), due to the loss of his daughter Tansy, divorces his wife, Angela (Rebecca Chan). He whole-heartedly focuses on his acting career since then, still clinging on to the belief that his daughter was still alive. Due to a role in which he plays a murderer, he becomes embroiled into a serial killer case. Through his acquaintance Esther (Maggie Shiu), he meets renowned magician Ivan (Moses Chan) and his sister Natalie (Aimee Chan). As a spate of serial killings hits Hong Kong, Kan suspects that Ivan is related to the incidents. Pitting his wits against Ivan's schemes, Kan seeks to reveal the truth behind the killings, and discover the truth behind his daughter's disappearance.

Plot summary[edit]

Kan Siu-Nam (Adam Cheng) is a stage actor whose daughter, Tansy, was wrongly kidnapped more than 20 years ago. Refusing to accept it as a fact, he clings on to the belief that she is still alive. When called upon to play the role of a convicted murderer who insists he is wronged, Kan discovers that he can use his skills to replicate the subject's psyche in his own mind and take on other people's persona within himself.

Ivan Cheung Sai-yin (Moses Chan) is a stage magician who has a dark past of his own, being involved in the kidnapping of Siu-Nam's daughter Tansy. Ever since his father disappeared when he was a child, he has been living a new life with his sister Natalie (Aimee Chan). When an old acquaintance from his past reappears, threatening to unravel his present life, he has no choice but to kill him. However, killing him triggers Ivan's dissociative identity disorder, unlocking his other personalities: Eric, the personification of his evilness; Michelle, the personification of his lust and envy; Edwin, the personification of his pride and cunningness; and Martin, the personification of his wrath and temper. These 4 personalities influence him to kill more and more people, in order to keep his past a secret.

As fate would have it, Siu-Nam and Ivan eventually cross paths despite the latter's attempt to avoid him. When a streak of serial killings hit Hong Kong, the police seek Siu-Nam's assistance in the investigations. As Siu-Nam digs deeper, he realizes that Ivan is more complicated than he appears to be, and that Ivan was related to his daughter's kidnap. In order to find out the truth, Siu-Nam replicates Ivan's psyche in his own mind, unwittingly taking on Ivan's 4 other personas as well.

Getting too deep into Ivan's psyche, with the other personalities dominating him, Siu-Nam starts to lose his grip on reality, becoming every bit as dangerous as Ivan. Can he unravel the truth before he is consumed by madness? Who will win in this battle of wits and emerge as the Master of Play?


Kan family[edit]

Actor Character Description
Adam Cheng Kan Siu Nam
A stage actor
Angela's ex-husband
Father of Kan Chi-ying
Suffered from mental illness in Episode 29
Believes Cheung Sai-yin (章世言) is in his mind
Body was taken over by Cheung Sai-yin's personas in Episode 30
Almost died in Episode 30 attempting a magic act under Sai-yin's influence. Was saved when his true persona resurfaced, dispelling Sai-yin's persona from himself.
Rebecca Chan Mok Lai-Hing
Kan Siu Nam's ex-wife, manager
Mother of Kan Chi-ying
see Chan family
Lily Ho Kan Chi-ying
Older version of Mok Lai-Hing and Kan Siu Nam's missing daughter who was kidnapped 25 years ago that now only exists in Kan Siu Nam's mind
Mok Lai-Hing and Kan Siu Nam's missing daughter who was kidnapped mistakenly by Cheng Sai-yin (章世言) and his father
Killed by Cheng Sai-yin's father shortly after being kidnapped

Chiang family[edit]

Actor Character Description
Moses Chan Cheung Sai-yin
Birth name Cheung Siu-kwun (張小軍)
Stage magician, serial killer
Boyfriend of Lee Chor-kui
Cheung Sai-ting's older half brother (Later revealed to be blood-related in Episode 29)
Adversary and friend of Kan Siu Nam
Eric, Michelle, Martin, Edwin and Henry are aspects of his dissociative identity disorder
Killed by Kan Siu Nam in Episode 29
His personalities overtook Kan Siu Nam's body in Episode 30, causing him to almost die while performing a feat of magic (Although Siu Nam had Sai-yin's personalities, he lacked the skills required to perform the act)
Aimee Chan Cheung Sai-ting
Cheung Sai-yin's younger half sister (Later revealed to be blood-related in Episode 29)
Lied to Kan Siu Nam and Mok Lai Hing that she was their daughter, Tansy
Passed off as Kan Chi-ying (靳芷縈) in an attempt to prevent Kan Siu Nam from pursuing the matters of Tansy's disappearance and Steve's death.

Chan family[edit]

Actor Role Description
Yu Yang Chan Yat-kei
Husband of Mok Lai-Hing
Father of Chan Cheuk-kwan
Good friend of Kan Siu Nam
Mistakenly killed by Cheung Sai-yin, who assumed he was Kan Siu Nam.
Rebecca Chan Mok Lai-Hing Angela
Wife of Chan Yat-kei
Manager and ex-wife of Kan Siu Nam
Mother of Chan Cheuk-kwan and Kan Chi-ying
Dickson Wong Chan Cheuk-kwan Will
Son of Chan Yat-kei and Mok Lai-Hing
Godson of Kan Siu Nam. Harboured romantic feelings for Natalie for a period of time.

Jekyll bar (Ivan's Personality)[edit]

Actor Character Description
Kenny Wong Eric Bar owner
Michelle's boy friend
Personification of Cheung Sai-yin's evil
Died along with Cheng Sai-yin (章世言) in Episode 29
Rachel Kan Michelle Bar customer
Eric's girl friend
Personification of Cheung Sai-yin's lust and envy
Died along with Cheng Sai-yin (章世言) in Episode 29
Steven Ho Martin Bar customer
Personification of Cheung Sai-yin's wrath and violence
Died along with Cheng Sai-yin (章世言) in Episode 29
Glen Lee Lam Yan Edwin Bar tender
Personification of Cheung Sai-yin's pride and cunningness
Died along with Cheng Sai-yin (章世言) in Episode 29
Dia Yiu Ming Henry Waiter
Personification of Cheung Sai-yin's conscience
Killed by Eric in Episode 5, later returned again to plead with Sai-yin to take the right path

Viewership ratings[edit]

The following is a table that includes a list of the total ratings points based on television viewership.

Week Originally aired Episodes Average points Peaking points Reference
May 21, 2012
22–25 May 2012
2 — 5
28 May – 1 June 2012
6 — 10
4–8 June 2012
11 — 15
11–15 June 2012
16 — 20
18–22 June 2012
21 — 25
25–29 June 2012
26 — 30