Apple TV + ‘s Dr Brain cast shares filming of the show
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When I heard about Dr Brain, Apple TV + ‘s first original Korean series, I was intrigued to find out more about the series because it reminded me of an old American sci-fi drama series called Stitchers.
The six-part series masterfully combines two genres that I love: the scifi genre and a crime thriller and crime thriller.
Based on a webtoon of the same name, the story follows a neuroscientist Koh Se-won who suffers a personal tragedy when his family suffers a mysterious accident.
In a desperate attempt to find out what happened, Se-won embarks on a risky experiment using “brain synchronizations” with the dead to uncover clues in their memories.
Add realism to fictitious technology
Although the ‘brain synchronization’ technology is fictitious, director Kim Jee-woon took the time to consult with brain specialist Dr Jaeseung Jeong, who is also a professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST ).
Based on Dr. Jeong’s research, we are trying to adapt this [fictional] idea into something more realistic. The concept of looking into the consciousness and brain of other people [is] very new and innovative. I have used a lot of scientific assumptions to try to add authenticity to our work.
Director Kim Jee-won at a virtual press conference
Adding realism to the series was also important for actor Lee Sun-kyun who plays the brilliant neuroscientist Se-won.
In order to convey a sense of realism to the audience, he decided to focus on presenting the experience of being under “brain synchronization”.
“The phrase ‘brain synchronization’ itself sounds unfamiliar and strange. I focused on how I should express the character’s state and reaction after performing the brain sync, ”Lee said.
He also explained that “brain synchronization” isn’t just about getting memories. “Even the emotions and characteristics or habits of the other person are transferred [to my character]”, Explained Lee.
For those who are still unsure of what “brain synchronization” is, Lee said “The closest metaphor that [the director and I] can find was the AirDrop function in Apple devices.
Despite the brilliance of his character, Se-won actually has a hard time engaging with people around him due to his autism.
What makes his character compelling is that he begins to gain empathy when he goes through multiple brain syncs while trying to solve the mystery.
“He realizes that he has not been a good father or a good for his family. He starts off as a seemingly heartless person and ends on a passionate note. I really like that about Se-won, ”Lee said.
Create a compelling story
As with the adaptations, some elements of the series differ slightly from the original webtoon.
Director Kim said the webtoon is moving at a faster pace and focusing more on the murder mystery. For the show, he tried to bring more layers to the story and the characters to give it a heartwarming edge as well.
One of the differences from the webtoon is a slight change in how the character of Kangmu, who is a private investigator, is portrayed in the series.
Park Hee-soon, who plays the charismatic investigator, shared that he has to find a balance between his character who is portrayed in the webtoon and the series.
“In the original webtoon, my character is a mysterious and charismatic man. But in the series, you can see a bit of humanity in him. [While helping Se-won], he bickers with him and sometimes gives him advice and clues.
Park also added that Kangmu has a more humanistic side than his character Mu-jin in another Korean series called My Name. He had fun describing Kangmu as a more witty and laid back character.
The cast expressed their enthusiasm for the original series to air on Apple TV +, and hope fans enjoy watching Dr Brain as much as they filmed the series.
Directed and co-written by Kim Jee-woon, Dr Brain stars Lee Sun-kyun, Lee You-young, Park Hee-soon, Seo Ji-hye and Lee Jae-won.
Dr Brain can be streamed on Apple TV + every Friday with new episodes released weekly.
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