|Time Before Time|
|Genre||Romance / Suspense|
|Created by||Yeung Kam Tsuen|
|Starring|| Kathy Chow |
|Opening theme||Holding Your Beloved (抱緊眼前人) by Anita Mui|
|No. of episodes||20|
|Producer||Yeung Kam Tsuen|
|Production location||Hong Kong|
|Running time||45 mins|
|Original release||4 August –|
29 August 1997
|Time Before Time|
Time Before Time (Chinese title:大鬧廣昌隆) was the most successful TVB series released in Hong Kong in 1997,the year that Hong Kong was transferred back to China.The series stars Gordon Lam and Kathy Chow with the storyline dealing greatly with the themes of fate,love and traditional Chinese supernatural beliefs.
In 1922 a young couple,Luk Wan-kwong (Gordon Lam) and Siu Fu-yung (Kathy Chow) were murdered in Guangzhou,China. From the time of their death,the warehouse store "Guang chang lung" passes to Luk's surviving brothers. The mystery of their deaths is never solved,though rumours begin that the store has become inhabited by a female ghost.
In 1947 Hong Kong a lazy 25-year-old coolie named Dai-kwong finds work in the same warehouse store. One night in the allegedly haunted store,he accidentally releases the ghost of Siu Fu-yung from an old oil-paper umbrella. She mistakes Dai-kwong for her lover since he looks exactly the same as her husband Wan-kwong who died 20 years ago. Frightened half to death,Dai-kwong explains that he is not the one she’s looking for and reluctantly promises to help her find her lost lover.
Through a radio station,the ghost of Siu Fu-yung retells her tragic life by possessing the body of the radio host. As time goes on Dai-kwong falls in love with the female ghost and jeopardizes his relationship with his real wife. Later during a stormy night,memories of Dai-kwong’s previous life return and he realises that he is the reincarnation of Luk Wan-kwong. Both in his present and past life he has coincidentally been given the same name,"Kwong". The mystery of who killed Luk Wan-kwong and Siu Fu-yung begins to unravel.
In the 1990s,Fu-yung and Kwong are again reincarnated and it is again their fate to meet again. Fortunately,unlike their previous two lifetimes,it is hinted that this time the two lovers will live happily ever after.
|Kathy Chow||Siu Fu-yung (小芙蓉)||1920s wife of Luk Wan-kwong|
|Siu Fu-yung ghost||1940s ghost|
|Gordon Lam||Luk Wan-kwong (陸運廣)||1920s warehouse store owner|
|Hui Dai-kwong (許大廣)||1940s coolie|
|Florence Kwok||Ku Mei-ying (古美英)||1940s wife of Dai-kwong|
|Kenneth Chan||Che Tat Fu (車達夫)|
|Carol Yeung (楊羚)||Hui Suk Jing (許淑貞)|
|Sum Wai (沈威)||Ku Yan Gui (古仁貴)|
|Johnny Tang (鄧兆尊)||Luk Gai Wah (陸繼華)|
|Kan Pui Kuan (簡佩筠)||Luk Hiu Tung (陸曉彤)|
|Ho Yuen Hang (何遠恆)||Che Tat Kuan (車達君)|
|Jojo Cho (曹眾)||Dan Fung (丹鳳)|
|Law Lok Lam (羅樂林)||Che Yu Ting|
The opening theme song "Holding Your Beloved" (抱緊眼前人) was written by Anthony Lun,Terry Chan and composed by George Lam with lyricist Pun Yun-loeng (潘源良).The song was performed by Anita Mui.
The insert song (我愛風光好) was composed by Joseph Koo with lyrics by Albert Leung. It was also performed by Anita Mui and Anthony Lun. The song "Waiting For You to Return" (等著你回來) was originally by performed by Bai Guang,a 1930-1940s singer from the shidaiqu era.Throughout the series the song played a role in the story.
In 1997,the year when Hong Kong's sovereignty returned to China,the average prime time rating was only about 32.Time before Time was the surprise success of the year as a second-line TVB series. The show began with a rating of 34 points and finished with an average rating for 40 points by the end. This was quite high when compared to other averages of the period.
Kathy Chow's wearing of qipao also left a good impression with the audience and continued to play future roles in other series in similar attire. [ citation needed ] The main theme song "Holding Your Beloved" (抱緊眼前人) was one of the few TV series songs performed by Anita Mui in her "Anita Classic Moment Live" final concert. just weeks before her death in 2003.Her partnership with Gordon Lam also won the series the "most touching romantic award for the year".
The television series has led to a wider knowledge of the Guang Chang Lung story,especially amongst younger generations,with some searching out the real store and ghost,some have even posted pictures possibly of the real store in the Hong Kong Discuss Forum.
The warehouse store Guang chang lung (廣昌隆) and the ghost story is based on the Guangzhou folk legend of the same name,a staple of the naamyam style of sung narrative story telling,the original story has also been adapted into Cantonese opera form both in the past and present.
The story has appeared in film multiple times,in a black and white 1949 Hong Kong film with the English title "Ruckus at Kwong Cheong lung",Other versions include the "Musical ghost that causes an uproar in Kwong Cheong Lung" a 1952 film. Part of the story is similarly used for the 1993 movie "Finale in Blood" by Fruit Chan,which uses the same Chinese name for the film title.
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