While watching The Fatal Mission, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was watching two different shows: The captivating secret mission into the Savage Mountain; And, the regular old WWII drama. I decided to read the book to find out why.
Turned out, everything that was great about the drama came from the book. Everything that bored me to tears were actually new materials added to stretch out the episodes. Not to be all negative, I did find some of the changes improved the story flow. The team members were given a backstory that explained why they didn’t get along. I especially appreciated that the captain was changed to a woman. I had problem understanding how political factions affect team cohesion as described in the book. Sexism and resentment toward a female leader was much easier to comprehend. The Japanese was also given a face so there was a real enemy the team could fight against (and sometimes, run away from.)
The Fatal Mission (怒江之战) is about a specialized team of WWII Chinese Expeditionary Force on a top secret mission into Savage Mountain, Burma. The mission is so secretive not even the team members know what it is about. But after getting shot at by the Japanese forces, discovering American dead bodies in the middle of the forsaken jungle, getting captured by the Burmese natives, and realizing there is a mole on their team, they begin to piece together the true purpose of their mission.
This is the promotional poster. Totally a lie.
These are what the show actually looks like.
In either case, I watch this show like a fantasy/scifi drama. It requires a complete suspension of disbelief. Yes, their super thin armor plates are bullet proof. Yes, their hair and faces are sweat and dirt proof as well. Yes, the captain can traverse through a jungle on high heel boots.
Once I got over those minor technical issues, I grew quite attached to my team members and their plight. I am currently half way through the drama and feeling a bit freaked out. Cuz’ I know this is the point when my favorites start dying. The captain did say she can’t guarantee they will all come out alive. Noooo!!!!
Chang Mao: How do you know?
Medic: I heard it with my own ear.
Chang Mao: Well, you heard wrong! We have to cut off those useless ears.