Perish In the Name of Love

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Perish In The Name of Love
Perish in the Name of Love promo poster
GenrePeriod Drama, Romance
Created byKwong Yip-san 鄺業生
Written byCheung Wai-biu 張華標
StarringSteven Ma
Charmaine Sheh
Sonija Kwok
Michael Tong
Moses Chan
Maggie Shiu
Annie Man
Jay Lau
Marco Ngai
Anne Heung
Opening theme"帝女芳魂" by
Steven Ma & Charmaine Sheh
Country of originHong Kong
Original language(s)Cantonese
No. of episodes32
Running timeapprox. 45 minutes
Original networkTVB Jade
Original releaseMarch 24 –
May 3, 2003
External links

Perish In The Name Of Love was a TV drama series made by TVB. It is based on an old Chinese opera play titled Tai Nui Fa, and takes place during the final years of the Ming Dynasty; the story follows the romantic relationship of the Chinese Emperor's daughter, Princess Cheung-Ping (Charmaine Sheh) (which means "Enlasting Peace"), and the son of a Royal Courtier, Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma).

The entire series takes place in a continuing flashback.

Although based on the classic Chinese Opera, this TVB drama uses the original characters to rewrite a new version of the story.


The beginning shows Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma) and Princess Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) growing up together, they were best friends, and it shows how deeply their friendship grew as each day passed by. Unfortunately, Yuk Fung (Maggie Shiu), the Empress, was punished for killing Tin Fei's (Jay Lau) son, she was framed for this because Tin Fei (Jay Lau) wanted to become Empress by getting rid of Yuk Fung (Maggie Shiu). Therefore, Yuk Fung (Maggie Shiu) and her two daughters were banned out into Po Ting palace where all guilty and unfavored concubines lived.

Tin Fei (Jay Lau) tried to kill them once and for all by setting the palace on fire, but they escaped. After that, they lived in the countryside, suffering year by year of over-working themselves just to put a little food on the table, they lived in a small shack. Chiu Yan's (Sonija Kwok) dream was to become a dancer whilst Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh), the most beloved and respectful daughter, worked extremely hard to help her mother get money. Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) moves to local artillery workshop to work after Manchurian forces infiltrated and attacked local military outpost (where Cheung Ping worked as a cook), because she needs to make money for her family, she promised her mother she'd bring home a pack of rice each time she was able to go home while her sister, Princess Chiu Yan (Sonija Kwok), attended a dancing school. There, Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) meet Cho Sing Hing (Michael Tong), who was son of the owner of the artillery workshop, she also found her long-lost friend, Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma) there (whom now an excellent cannon designer). She didn't reveal herself, for her mother's concern of Tin Fei would come after them. Therefore, she went under the name Chu Fai Lei and Chiu Yan (Sonija Kwok) went under the name Chu Fai Lan. Sing Hing (Michael Tong) liked Fai Lei (Charmaine Sheh), not knowing she was once Princess Cheung Ping. Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma) suspected that Fai Lei was Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) because he knew Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) wasn't dead, he found a wish paper stuck in the tree that had her name on it.

Sai Hin (Steven Ma) continued to investigate until he finally got it out of her mouth that she was Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh); when Chongzhen Emperor found out that his Empress and the princesses were still alive, he let them back into the palace, but hardly paid attention to them. This is where Chiu Yan (Sonija Kwok) causes trouble, she collaborated with Tin Fei (Jay Lau) to annoy her mother and family, especially her sister, Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh). She is jealous of her sister because she gets all the attention. Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma) is arranged to marry Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) after then, cause even more tensions. Then Lee Yuk Han (Annie Man), Sai Hin's fiancée, got angry when she found out Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) and Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma) were together, but soon after, she couldn't be angry at Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) anymore; the four of them, Lee Yuk Han (Annie Man), Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh), Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma), and Sing Hing (Michael Tong) were the best of friends. Unfortunately, when Lee Yuk Han (Annie Man) was trying to help Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) prove that the Empress did not poison Tin Fei's (Jay Lau) son that day, she was killed accidentally by Tin Fei (Jay Lau). After that, Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma) was arranged to marry Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh), while Chiu Yan (Sonija Kwok) is forced to marry Tong Bo Lun, a somewhat perverted and fierce commander. News then came back that Qing's troops invaded Liaodong region. Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma) then goes to war with Sing Hing (Michael Tong) to fight for their country. Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) made Sing Hing (Michael Tong) and Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma) both promise that they would come back without a hair missing from their heads. Chiu Yan (Sonija Kwok) harmed her mother so much that she became a servant in the palace; the Emperor still had strong feelings for Chow Yuk Fung (Maggie Shiu), but his mother (Empress Dowager) and Tin Fei (Jay Lau) kept on trying to tear them apart. Then comes the war of Li Zicheng's rebel; the country filled with terror. Tin Fei (Jay Lau) became ill. Ng Sam Kwai (Marco Ngai), who is one of the best general did not support the Emperor because he himself and the Emperor had long tensioned over the matter of his lover, Chan Yuen Yuen (Anne Heung), it was then that Tin Fei's (Jay Lau) father kidnapped her and made it look like she died in order for the fall of the kingdom because he hated the Emperor. After that, Chongzhen Emperor (Moses Chan) lost the war without the aid of Ng Sam Kwai. Ng Sam Kwai (Marco Ngai) joined up with the Manchurians. Unlike the old version, the Emperor did not chop off Cheung Ping's (Charmaine Sheh) arm or make the Chow Yuk Fung (Maggie Shiu) hang herself, instead he spread rumors so that Li Zicheng wouldn't come after them, he told them to run and rendezvous at Jinlin (now-Nanjing). Unfortunately, on the escape route, Chongzhen Emperor (Moses Chan) was captured and was executed by hung on a tree atop a mountain so people can laugh as they walk by at the bottom; the Empress was left in charge of the army and the country, along with her son who was pretty much useless as an Emperor. Many opposed because they thought the Chow Yuk Fung (Maggie Shiu) was trying to become a Female Emperor, of one especially was Prince of Fu. Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) strongly supported her mother. Chiu Yan (Sonija Kwok) was supposed to be taken to Tong Bo Lun's camp because she attempted to kill Cheung Ping (because she somehow fell in love with Sai Hin). Cho Sing Hing (Michael Tong) was ordered to escort her there. In an attempt to escape and frame Sing Hing (Michael Tong), she ripped her own clothes and poured water in the barrel-like "tub". Then she made it look like Sing Hing (Michael Tong) tried to rape her while she was taking a bath. Tong Bo Lun busted into the room, he made his men beat up Sing Hing (Michael Tong), then break all the bones in his leg. Then Tong Bo Lun left with Chiu Yan (Sonija Kwok). Sing Hing (Michael Tong) was left on the streets with nobody to help him. After this, Chiu Yan (Sonija Kwok) returned to Jinlin and even furthermore determine to deteriorate her mother, she sided with Qing forces and gave them all the strategic maps. One day,Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) followed her out of the castle and caught her betraying her country. Chiu Yan was put into jail. On the day of Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) and Chow Sai Hin's (Steven Ma) marriage, Chiu Yan (Sonja Kwok) hanged herself in the jail; the Empress (Maggie Shiu) stopped the wedding and ran down to see what happened. Chiu Yan (Sonja Kwok) pretended she was half-dead and then surprisingly shot her mother with a pistol. Then she pretended she was still knocked-out so the Empress's bodyguard, who was waiting outside, wouldn't suspect she killed the Yuk Fung. After that, the Empress died in bed, making sure that the people of her country would be safe in Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) and Chow Sai Hin's (Steven Ma) hands; the opposing lords, Tong Bo Lun and Prince of Fu, tried to de-throne the young Emperor. Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) was forced out of the kingdom in order to have a fair fight, because they didn't want him to get any help. Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma) was forced not to help him, too. Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) lived outside the palace, and met up with Sing Hing (Michael Tong). After many years, he lost the war to Prince of Fu; the Prince of Fu then became the new ruler. While Sai Hin (Steven Ma) was in a temple, he found Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) there, and also, the long-time-no-see Sing Hing (Michael Tong). Sai Hin (Steven Ma)found out what Chiu Yan (Sonija Kwok) had done to Sing Hing (Michael Tong), and was more than just a little angry with her. Chiu Yan (Sonja Kwok) became Chiu Yan Ge Ge of Qing. Ng Sam Kwai (Marco Ngai) found out that Chongzhen Emperor never killed Chan Yuen Yuen (Anne Heung) and regretted not helping him, he felt how guilty had he betrayed Chongzhen (Moses Chan) and framed himself. He surrendered Qing commanders and out-throne Li Zicheng, he and Chan Yuen Yuen (Anne Heung) went back together, and Ng Sam Kwai (Marco Ngai) sent people to kill the man who kidnapped her, and who also caused the fall of Ming's Dynasty.

Chiu Yan (Sonija Kwok) decided to join the war with the Manchurians, she kidnapped Sai Hin (Steven Ma) and blackmailed Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) to come. That is when Chiu Yan (Sonija Kwok) accidentally blurted out that she killed the Empress. Now she was going to kill Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma) and Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh), they were about to die together, but then the Qing's ruler stopped them. He wanted peace and to take over their country without hurting anyone. Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) agreed to let him, as long as nobody got hurt and Chiu Yan (Sonija Kwok) was sent to jail for killing the Empress, he agreed to this, and even with Chiu Yan's (Sonija Kwok) pleading, he sent her to jail for life. After that, Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) and Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma) were to marry to calm down the Han population. Sing Hing (Michael Tong) didn't want them to get married because he knew they would commit suicide under these circumstances. Instead of committing suicide, they made it look like they killed themselves on the wedding night, then ran off to the South and became villagers; the 'death' was to make it look like they died so they could leave and live a peaceful life. The Manchurians took over after Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) and Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma) supposedly 'died'. Sing Hing (Michael Tong), Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh), and Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma) lived together and passed each day happily. Cheung Ping (Charmaine Sheh) was pregnant, and Sing Hing (Michael Tong) was to become the godfather. Although Sing Hing's (Michael Tong)leg never recovered, he still lived each day happily with his best friends.


Imperial family

Cast Role Description
Lai Suen
Empress Dowager
Moses Chan Chu Yau-kim
Maggie Shiu Chow Yuk-fung
Lau Kam-Ling
Tin Choi-deep
Consort Tin
Charmaine Sheh Chu Fai-nei
Princess Cheung Ping
Emperor's daughter
Steven Ma Chow Sai-hin
Princess Cheung Ping's husband
Sonija Kwok Chu Fai-lan
Princess Chiu-yan
Emperor's daughter
Ellesmere Choi Chu Chi-siu
Emperor's son
Kenny Wong Chu Yau-song
Emperor's cousin

Other cast

Cast Role Description
Annie Man Lee Yuk-han
Marco Ngai Ng Sam-kwai
Anne Heung Chan Yuen-yuen
Lo Mang Li Chi-sing
Michael Tong Cho Sing-hing
Lau Kong 周奎 Empress's father
Wong Wai-leung
Si Ho-fat


The drama is not faithful to the original opera script and is not considered to be canon because of several discrepancies. Firstly, the sister of Princess Cheung-Ping (Charmaine Sheh) in the series is portrayed as a conniving, evil Princess who betrayed the Ming Royal Family, submitted herself to the Manchu forces and aimed to destroy her sister in every way possible. In the original opera, the Princess is very friendly with Princess Cheung-Ping (Charmaine Sheh) and is not portrayed as evil. In the series, the Empress supposedly escaped Beijing with the crown prince. However, this is not true in the opera script as she hanged herself back in the palace.

Also, the ending of the series differed wildly from the original script. In the original script, the Princess and her lover agreed to get married in the Forbidden City after the Manchus gained power in China. However, during the lavish ceremonies, the couple committed suicide in an obscure place inside the palace grounds. In the first episode, it appears that the main characters were to die, similar to the original. However, in the final minutes of the last episode, the couple appeared as normal citizens in a remote town, and viewers discovered that the couple pretended to die in exchange for several concessions for the defeated Ming Forces.

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