Day and Night director's latest drama makes a splash

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A scene in the espionage series Fearless Whispers. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Long-awaited espionage drama Fearless Whispers -- starring actor Li Yifeng-- has quickly made a splash after it ran on China Central Television and two streaming sites, Tencent Video and Mango TV, from Nov 6.

As of Monday, the series spanning 51 episodes has garnered 360 million views online and earned 8.3 points out of 10 on the review site Douban, making it one of the most popular dramas domestically.

The drama is directed by Wang Wei, who shot to fame after the smash hit Day and Night, the first Chinese mainland produced drama to be acquired by Netflix for its overseas distribution in around 190 countries and regions.

Actor Li Yifeng (center) alongside director Wang Wei (second from right) and TV show researchers at an advanced screening in Beijing on Nov 5. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Set in Shanghai, the tale centers on Li-a fresh law school graduate, who transforms from an ambitious grassroots police officer to a devoted Communist Party member during the turbulence in late 1940s.

Li, who believes that he would rather define his character as an average person than a hero, said during an advanced screening held in Beijing on Nov 5 that the role was relatable to those who are dedicated to pursue their faith and dreams.

Marking as his second espionage work after the 2016 hit Sparrow, Li explained the differences. Unlike his character in Sparrow, a veteran and sophisticated spy, the new series' protagonist is a sincere, simple and stubborn youngster whose growing-up consists one of the drama's highlights.

Director Wang said that his team had spent a lot of time investigating the streets and architectures of Shanghai in late 1940s, as he believes realistic settings make the story more convincing to help audience captivated by the development of characters.

Yin Hong, a professor of movie and television research at Tsinghua University, said the settings and props, ranging from the police station to alleys and street billboards, all provide a sense of realistic history.

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