One of the first TVB dramas to really take off on the mainland was Triumph in the Skies, a 40-episode drama that explored the lives of pilots working for the fictional Solar Airways. The show spawned a sequel in 2013 and a film adaptation released last week.
As one of TVB’s most successful series to date, the 2015 film Triumph in the Skies had big shoes to fill – shoes that would require more than mere handsome pilots, hot stewardesses and a cast of stars.
The cast includes such Hong Kong actors as Louis Koo, Sammi Cheng, Julian Cheung and Charmaine Sheh. Francis Ng reprises his role as pilot Samuel Tong.
While it may not be the season’s finest film, directors Wilson Yip and Matt Chow offer an alternative to Hong Kong’s favorite go-to characters: lawyers, cooks and teachers.
For most viewers, even fans of the original series, the lives of pilots and stewardesses still offer something fresh and unfamiliar. The plane-related lingo and shots of the cockpit were also quite popular.
A cast of handsome and mature actors didn’t hurt either. Unlike teen dramas, Triumph in the Skies features a more mature cast with the acting talent needed to make their characters seem natural and vivid.
The film also benefitted from cooperation between the production team and the Airport Authority of Hong Kong, who assisted in making sure the movie’s airport reflects the daily reality of life near the runway.
For netizens, the show offers a new chance to roll out some favorite catch phrases from the last decade. Quotes like, “Hey, the most important thing of life is to be happy!” “Are you kidding me?” “I didn’t mean to do it! He forced me!” and “Have you ever cared about my feelings?” are finding new life as contemporary memes.