Regarding of all ROCH’s media forms of adaptation introduced & should there be any future adaptations of the novel, my all-time favorite version is the acclaimed classic TVB 1983 starring Andy Lau 劉德華 & Idy Chan 陳玉蓮, both of whom were fresh faces & casted by their looks. But their exceptional performance in ROCH1983, Lau & Chan had proven that they weren’t just any pretty faces. As the world prepared to march into the New Milleninum of Y2K in late 1999, there’s a hype of countless internet-based polls. ROCH1983’s voted as “The 20th Century Most Memorable TV Drama”, & then awarded for the same title in TVB 32nd Anniversary Show. ROCH story is the masterpiece itself, but ROCH1983 adaptation is a timeless classic in combination of irreplaceable casts, excellent themesongs, & well-designed costumes. Therefore, the rest of this website will only focus on TVB-ROCH1983 & following is the synopsis of ROCH story:
Even though 神鵰俠侶 “Return of Condor Heroes” is written as a mo-hup or wuxia (martial arts heroes) novel, but it is more likely as a love story. This story is centered the student/teacher love relationship of 楊過 “Yeung Gor” (Andy Lau) & his teacher,
小龍女 “Siu Lung Lui” or “Little Dragon Girl”* (Idy Chan), who is 4 years his senior. Since the teacher/student love relationship was forbidden & unacceptable in the old ancient Chinese society that they lived in, both Yeung Gor & Siu Lung Lui had to face many difficulties when being together. For nearly 20 years of struggling many obstacles between lives & deaths, they finally got together but separated themselves away the whole society to live with each other. The most remarkable & tormented one was the 16-year waiting of Yeung Gor for the return of Siu Lung Lui. After knowledging that his wife Dragon Girl could have been dead for 16 years Yeung Gor was so heart-broken that he decided to jump into the bottomless cliff as he speculated that his wife did so 16 years ago… This story is best described with the Chinese poem/song below…
O mortals, what is love? that binds beyond life on earth?
to all corners, in pair we fly, braving summer and winter, by and by,
union is bliss, parting is woe, agony is boundless, for a lovelorn soul, sweetheart!
give me word, trail of clouds drifting forward,
and mountains capped with snow, whither shall my lonesome shadow go?
* called by Yeung Gor as 姑姑 “Gugu”, addressed by others as “Miss Lung (Dragon)”