THE quest for truth is far from over. Expect more intrigue, more drama and more chilling cases to solve as Hong Kong TVB’s Forensic Heroes franchise takes viewers beyond the yellow crime scene tape once again.
After two successful series, the TV station decided to inject new life into the hugely popular franchise and recruit some new blood for the third installment.
Wayne Lai, a two-time best actor winner at the TVB Anniversary Awards, takes over from series regular Bobby Auyeung Tsan-wah to play the head of a new team of forensic scientists comprising Maggie Cheung Ho-yee, Edwin Siu and Aimee Chan. Two new characters, portrayed by hot rising stars Ron Ng Cheuk-hei and Kate Tsui Tszshan, are also set to leave their marks on the franchise.
With the first two series – starring Au-Yeung, Frankie Lam, Yoyo ron ng and Kate tsui join the cast of the third installment of hit series Mung and Linda Chung in the first and joined by Kevin Cheng and Charmaine Sheh in the second – known to be hits, we wonder whether Ng and Tsui, who were recently in Kuala Lumpur to promote the show, felt pressure living up to the stellar record.
Ng, 32, said: “We were asked this before we even started shooting. To be honest, Kate and I are not facing much pressure as the focus is on the forensic team, rather than on us. We are just taking care of other aspects. So we are leaving it to Wayne and Maggie ( laughs).”
Tsui, also 32, expressed her confidence that Forensic Heroes III would be a hit like its predecessors, what with a brilliant script and a subject matter that has proven to have viewers hooked over the years.
The vivacious Tsui plays a police sergeant who is Ng’s superior. As the story unfolds, love eventually blossoms between the pair but her mother objects to their relationship. However, Ron’s character is not what he appears to be and more drama unfolds.
It seems that Ng and Tsui are fast becoming the new TV couple. Back in 2007, she played his cousin who harbours a crush on him in cop drama The Academy II: On The First Beat. Last year, they collaborated again in Wax And Wane and mini-series Dropping By Cloud Nine.
“In our previous collaborations, we usually start as lovers at the beginning of the series. In this one, you get to see the courtship as well as the obstacles faced by the couple, such as how I am humiliated by her mother due to the differences of status between us,” offered Ng.
As familiar as they are with each other, it was a brand new experience for the pair to film a scene in which they exchanged a long and passionate kiss on a crowded street.
“We were surrounded by passers-by and media. They were all watching us. It was indeed unforgettable,” recalled Ng with a laugh.
However, the kiss might seem a bit tame compared to Tsui’s much talked-about smooches with another TVB heartthrob Bosco Wong in her last drama series Lives Of Omission. It was reported that Tsui and Wong shared over 300 kissing scenes! So who is the better kisser according to the actress?
“This is a tough question,” replied an apparently abashed Tsui. “Ron is right beside me now, so of course I would say it’s him!”
Steamy moments aside, the two benefited from starring alongside Lai and Cheung, both noted for their acting prowess.
Prior to this, Ng collaborated with Lai, 47, in the multipleaward-winning costume drama Rosy Business.
“He’s always been very nice and both Kate and I learnt a lot through his performances. He never brings scripts to the set because he remembers all his lines. Even a script laden with technical terms was a breeze to him,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tsui’s friendship with Cheung – who is her best friend and housemate in the series – continued off screen.
“Maggie might seem very cool, but she’s actually kind of cute. We still hang out together after the shooting was completed. Similar to Lai, she looks really cool and professional in the series and their lines are the hardest to memorise because of the jargons. You can’t even miss a word,” she said.
Ron concurred: “In fact, we tended to remember their last two lines so that we were able to pick up where they left off.”
Of course, what’s a forensic drama without the blood and gore? The cast and crew got more than what they bargained for. Tsui remembered muttering a prayer before filming a scene featuring a real skeleton, while Ng said that it helped that a real-life forensic expert was part of the cast during that scene.
After Forensic Heroes III, Ng is now shooting a new crime drama series called ATF: Anti-Terrorist Force, while Tsui is gearing up for a film adaptation of Lives Of Omission, which will be the second film based on Michael Tse’s hugely popular role of Laughing Gor.
Along with Linda Chung, Fala Chen, Myolie Wu and Tavia Yeung, the beauty queen is tipped to be the next TVB star to look out for following the departure of TVB queen Sheh.
With their popularity on the rise, it’s no wonder that both have not considered following in the footsteps of Sheh, Bowie Lam and Bernice Liu in leaving TVB and joining the booming filming hub in China, where the money lies.
The two replied in unison that they still have many years of contract with the TV station.
“Under TVB’s arrangement, I have starred in a couple of China-produced drama series. Hopefully, I can star in one every year,” said Ng, who is the leading man in several China productions such as Chocolate Lovers, Life And Death and Pretty Maids.
Does that mean the actor, whose romance with Chinese model-turned-actress Viann Zhang that was recently made public by the paparazzi, will get to spend time more with his new squeeze?
He played coy, asking: “You mean my girlfriend in Forensic Heroes III?” before concluding that he will focus on his career first. n ForensicHeroesIII premieres on Astro On Demand (Channel 921) today and is aired weekdays at 9.30pm. For more info, visit www.astro.com.my/aodcontest.