A new TV se­ries tells the story of PLA Navy sub­ma­rine

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE - By XU FAN PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY Con­tact the writer at xu­fan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

In 2014, crew mem­bers of Sub­ma­rine 372 of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army dis­cov­ered that the ves­sel was sink­ing fast.

Then on a pa­trol mis­sion at sea, they were caught between life and death at mid­night, af­ter a sud­den change in wa­ter con­di­tions.

Thanks to the fast re­ac­tion and skills of the PLA Navy, the crew was able to stop the sub­ma­rine from sink­ing in a few min­utes.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping honored the naval fleet’s Se­nior Cap­tain Wang Hongli in 2014. Wang’s crew was also given first-class merit ci­ta­tions by the PLA Navy — a rare honor in peace­time.

The in­ci­dent in­spired the TV se­ries Deep­wa­ter Forces, which has been air­ing on Bei­jing Satel­lite TV, Zhe­jiang

(left) says his lat­est TV se­ries, ver­sary of the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army Navy.

Satel­lite TV and stream­ing site iQiyi since July 27, with two episodes each night.

Di­rected by well-known TV fig­ure Zhao Bao­gang, the se­ries has added fic­tional con­tent to de­velop it into a story of young of­fi­cers on a sub­ma­rine. Deep­wa­terForces,

Zhao’s 2007 hit TV se­ries, Strug­gle, de­picted bit­ter­sweet love in an ur­ban set­ting. But his old fas­ci­na­tion for the ocean led him to make this navy-themed se­ries, a first in his 30-year ca­reer.

“The core of the story is about China’s ef­fort to es­tab­lish a new, mod­ern navy,” Zhao tells China Daily.

To make the sets look as real as pos­si­ble, Zhao got his team to build a life-size sub­ma­rine prop in Fang­shan dis­trict, around 40 kilo­me­ters from down­town Bei­jing.

But many scenes were shot in­side a real sub­ma­rine that the PLA Navy al­lowed the TV crew to use for the se­ries when the ves­sel was not needed for mis­sions.

“The sub­ma­rine soon be­came the top star. We had to fol­low its sched­ule. Af­ter all, its real job is not TV per­for­mance but to safe­guard the coun­try,” Zhao jokes.

Zhao says he spent more than five months shoot­ing in such coastal cities as Dalian and Qing­dao.

As the story cen­ters on a group of young ser­vice per­son­nel, the cast mem­bers are ac­tors and ac­tresses born in the 1990s. But cameos are played by sol­diers and of­fi­cers of the PLA Navy.

Zhao says he hopes the se­ries will also ap­peal to au­di­ences that like mil­i­tary-themed TV dra­mas.

“The largest scene shows around 1,500 naval crew mem­bers,” Zhao says.

Xia Ping, a rear ad­mi­ral of the PLA Navy, said in an ear­lier pro­mo­tional event in Bei­jing that he­li­copters and other ve­hi­cles were also pro­vided for the shoot­ing.

The TV se­ries ex­am­ines a lesser-known as­pect of the navy and is a trib­ute to the PLA Navy in its 68th year, as well as to the PLA, which cel­e­brates the 90th an­niver­sary of its found­ing this year.

“We hope there will be more such qual­ity pro­duc­tions to tell about the navy’s glo­ri­ous his­tory and achieve­ments,” says Xia.

is about China’s ef­fort to es­tab­lish a new, mod­ern navy. The new se­ries is a trib­ute to the 68th anni-

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Trans­form­ers:TheLastKnight is one of the box-of­fice win­ners in the United States this sum­mer.

Direc­tor Zhao Bao­gang

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