Drama Review: Time Slip Dr. Jin (Episode 1)

Drama Plot

Dr. Jin (Song Seung Hun), a well known neurosurgeon, has the ability to analyse any situation while doing surgery with steady hands. However, he has a cold personality and lack of compassion. He plans to propose to his beloved girlfriend, Mi Na (Park Min Young). After an argument with Mi Na, she gets into a car accident and ends up in a coma.

A fetus-shaped tumor, which was successfully removed, from a patient’s brain, has a mysterious power that causes Jin to travel 150 years back in time to the year 1860 during the Joseon Dynasty. He begins treating people of that era. Due to but the lack of medical technology and necessities from that period, he forces himself to develop medical devices and medicine by himself. He seeks many solutions to aid the sick. Through this challenging process and with the help of young noblewoman Young-rae (who looks exactly like Mi Na), Jin Hyuk becomes a true doctor with compassion.

Episode Recap

It starts off with a body lying on the forest floor while the moon is shining. That body is Jin, the hero of this drama. He wakes up and looks around the area. He checks his mobile phone but its screen is shattered and the battery itself is dead. Lying next to him is a bag and a glass jar. He has the monologue conversation where he questions himself where he is and he thought that he was at the hospital roof top.

He sees some torchlight at the distance and thinks that somebody is going to save him. However, he finds it strange as he sees a blood fight between the bandits and soldiers. He thinks that it is a movie set and he approaches more because of his curiosity. Suddenly, a rider on a horseback charges at Jin but luckily Jin ducks while the horse jumps over him. That rider is Kim Kyung Tak (Kim Jae-Joong) who causes the bandits to stop. The bandits are surrounded by the soldiers. They continue to fight. One of the bandits goes and attacks Jin. Kyung Tak shots his pistol at the bandit’s head. The bandit falls before Jin after being shot. Jin shakes the bandit and finds that there is blood on his hand. The soldiers point their swords toward Jin and Kyung Tak approaches. They assume that Jin is one of the bandits.

Kyung Tak aims his pistol at Jin and demands to know who he is. Jin could not answer the question so Kyung Tak orders his soldiers to tie Jin up. Jin backs away nervously while holding up his flashlight, which scares a horse and throws Kyung Tak to the ground. Jin grabs the opportunity to escape and run through the dark forest. The officers chase after Jin. He makes his way up a rocky ledge but loses his footing, tumbling over the edge of the cliff. The officers could not find him so they go to another direction. Luckily, the strap of doctor’s bag catches on the rock and Jin dangles there on the side of the mountain. He tries to climb but he keeps losing his grip on the rocks. Just as his hand slips, another hand swoops in from above to grab him, pulling him to safety. His savior (Lee Beom-soo) wears a topknot and a hanbok, and both men collapse while being exhausted. Jin fails into unconscious while thinking that he should go back where he belongs.

The scene moves into the modern period Seoul. An ambulance brings a patient to the hospital. Jin is a neurosurgeon who is doing surgery to that patient by removing the tumor. There is a part I find it really weird. A tumor that looks like a fetus. He removes the tumor but a flashback and a voice comes into his mind. He clutches his head while being in mental pain because of that. He overcomes this pain and continues to finish the surgery. Finally, he takes out the tumor. The surgery ends and tells his colleague to put the tumor in the jar (the similar one at the very first scene of this episode).

After surgery, he gets a call from his girlfriend Mi Na. She tells him that he forgot about the date. He apologizes to her and rushes to meet her. He goes over to meet her because he has something to tell her. In Jin’s car, he eyes on the ring. This means he is planning to propose to Mi Na. He hurries to her place, where she surprises him with a birthday cake. Jin hides the ring box on her shelf. Surprisingly, he catches sight of Mi Na approaching with the cake and a devilish grin. She charges, and he runs away, not wanting cake-face. Both fall on the couch, Mi Na lands on top of him. This starts to get romantic as Jin comes closer to her and whisper. But it turns out he says that Mi Na is heavy. They start to have a lovey dovey conversation. Mi Na asks Jin why he didn’t propose to her and she might plan to run away. Jin teases her that he will be grateful for that. They smile and kiss each other’s forehead.

At the office, a glass jar, which contains the creepy looking fetus, is placed by Jin’s colleague. I have a bad feeling about this. Later in the evening, Jin tells Mi Na about the weird surgery. On the other hand, Mi Na tells him about the strange dream. She was in an unfamiliar street and saw Jin. She calls out for him but he could not recognize her and walked away. This causes her to be scared if she is alone without Jin.
The next day, Jin calls Mi Na to go on another date. Mi Na is actually a doctor too. She is still busy with the volunteer work. However, Jin tells her to quit her job even though she is helping the needy. After the phone conversation, she continues to aid the patients. While doing that, an unconscious man is brought to Mi Na, she rushes him to the hospital. She calls for Jin for doing a surgery for that man. Unfortunately, after Jin examines that man, he says that there is nothing that he can do. She still asks him to save that man’s life. She questions him that if she was a patient, will he save her.

But, yet again, Jin still sticks to his decision. They continue to argue until they heard that the man passed away. Upon hearing that, Mi Na becomes upset and walks away. Jin runs after her. She tells him that his personality is like the dream that she had the last time. She drives away crying and runs into an accident. Jin is shocked and rushes her to the hospital. Before she is brought to the emergency room, she raises her hand to Jin. Jin tells her that they will meet again. Her body goes limp. Jin hurryingly get himself ready to do surgery on Mi Na.

During the surgery, Jin gets the ‘pain’ including the tumor-fetus image and the voice, “I must go back.” This time he can’t hide his reaction and he clutches his head dramatically, blinking and breathing hard. He still continues the surgery even though he is mentally in pain. Hyuk scrambles to save her and pleads with her to hang in there.

Elsewhere in the hospital, the patient sneaks into a medical supply room and starts grabbing materials. He takes the stuff that he needs including the glass jar which has the tumor-fetus. Mina is wheeled out of surgery and Jin watches her with devastation. She has gone through the critical situation but not so sure when will she wake up. Jin’s senior colleague assures Jin that it is not his fault that Mi Na got into a car accident. Jin goes to the hospital roof. Jin sees a patient who is carrying some medical items. He grows into suspicion as the patient goes nearer to the edge of the building and says that he must go back.
After listening to those familiar words, he asks the patient what he has done to him. The patient plans to jump of the building but is avoided by Jin while wrestling with the bag. The glass jar falls off from the building and Jin jumps off from the roof. This is so complicated. Then, the scene suddenly transits back to the historical period.

This time it is morning. Jin wakes up from his unconscious sleep while the saviour is snoring. The saviour’s name is Lee Ha Eung. Ha Eung wakes up and drinks the wine from the bottle which is hanged around his neck. But, there is no wine in his bottle. He requests Jin for payment since he save his life. Jin does not have any money. Ha Eung gets angry, spits on the floor and walks off. Jin follows Ha Eung along the road while asking him what year is this. It turns out that Jin is in the 1860 period, 10th year of Kyeong dynasty. Jin looks in confusion after seeing the land of Joseon area.

Police chief Kyung Tak may have lost track of Jin in the forest, but he remembers his face clearly and orders his officers to post “Wanted” posters of him. Whoever catches him will get some big money. Ha Eung sees the posted sign and recognizes the man he saved. He hurries back to take Jin for the reward. He suggests bringing Jin to a tavern while Jin does not know that he will be taken to the police station. Ha Eung steals a traditional hanbok for Jin so that the villagers and soldiers do not recognize him.

On their way to the tavern, a group of thugs block their way. Ha Eung is told that the boss wants to see him. The boss tells Ha Eung that he owes him some debt. Ha Eung tells the boss that Jin is the meal ticket to get the prize. So, the boss decides to let Ha Eung go and take Jin away so that the boss can get the prize. The boss tells his men to inform the officers that Jin is caught with his bare hands. Jin tries to escape but is hold up by a group of thugs.

Both Jin and Ha Eung have an argument because of Jin who is soon going to be sent to jail. In the middle of the argument, the boss gets himself choked. Ha Eung tells Jin to escape. One of the boss’s men calls for the doctor and Jin comes to the rescue since he is the doctor after all. The scene suddenly starts with surgery scenarios on saving patients. Jin places the medical and surgical items and start doing surgery on the boss. As soon as he put his blade on the boss’s neck, the men stopped him from doing it. Jin insists that if they want the boss’s life to be saved, they have to stand back. In the end, with all Jin’s superior skills in surgery, the boss is saved and everyone clapped for Jin’s bravery. Ha Eung spots the officers and creates a fake scenario so that he and Jin can escape. They run around the streets and manage to escape from the officers by hiding behind some big clay jars. Jin questions about Ha Eung’s actions and Ha Eung replies that he realizes that Jin is not a bad guy.

At a shocking sight, Jin sees a woman, Hong Young Rae (Park Min Young), who looks like Mi Na. Jin follows Young Rae while ignoring Ha Eung’s presence. Young Rae is accompanied by her maid. Till then, he loses his sight on Young Rae along the way. Young Rae stops by at a shop to settle her payment on the needlework sales. As she leaves, the shop owner mumbles about Young Rae’s attitude and nobility. Young Rae uses the money to buy rice and barley which will be brought to a place called To Mak.

The women bump into Kyung Tak who is scolding his officers for letting Jin and Ha Eung slipping away. Due to Kyung Tak’s hot headed personality, he sends them on along to continue the search. When he sees Young Rae, he smiles and greets her. They know each other but Young Rae keeps a small distance away from Kyung Tak. He complains about Young Rae’s regular activities as these did not fit her status. However, Young Rae says that there are some unfortunate people who need help. That is something that Kyung Tak cannot understand. When Kyung Tak says about being her fiancée, Young Rae feels uneasy.
Kyung Tak is visited by his father, Minister Kim. Dad warns Kyung Tak about the bandits they encountered the night before. They’ve been responsible for a number of crimes. In addition to that, some of these bandits turn out to be noble men. Kyung Tak apologizes to his father and will work out the situation as soon as possible.

Minister Kim reminds Kung Tak the importance of maintaining the family’s honour. Minister Kim picks up Kyung Tak’s pistol and says some fatherly advice. He shoots the horse in the head. Even though Kyung Tak is stunned but he tells his father he understands. Chun Hong (Lee So Yeon), a gisaeng tosses a set of dice and reads a fortune in the roll. It says that an important person has arrived.

That night, Jin finds shelter in a stable. He thinks about the things that he done including his actions toward Mi Na. He opens the box which has the ring and thinks about Mi Na. Jin goes somewhere else as he hears the noises which come closer to him. One man is shot by Kyung Tak before the bandits start their attack in the village. Kyung Tak and his officers stop the bandits from causing havoc.

Jin runs out into the streets, and bumps with a man who slumps to the ground. He has a head wound and gasps in pain. Jin asks if he’s all right but the man passes out in his arms. A man steps out of a nearby house and recognizes the injured man as Scholar Hong. Jin asks the man to direct him to the appropriate house. When they arrive, the mother gasps to see her son, Young Hwi, injured. Yong Hwa comes out and Jin is surprised to see her as she sees what had happened to her brother, Yong Hwi.

Point of View

The scenes of this episode are everywhere. There is no flow between some of the scenes. I was really confused with the shifting scenes between Joseon period and the modern Seoul period. I felt a bit weird on certain scenarios like the tumor-fetus in the brain and the blood that flows out from Mi Na’s eyes. The tumor-fetus which looks like a gummy candy is weird. I find it funny about the scene where Jin jumps off from the building right after the glass jar fell off from there. Isn’t it strange that Jin does that sort of action and then brings him to the Joseon period.

Even though Jae Joong did a good job in portraying the hot headed Kyung Tak, this character does remind me of the police officer from ‘Princess Man’. Both of them have the same personality, being soft hearted with the main woman character, and respect their father’s wishes. Yes, another round of love triangle in Time Slip Dr Jin. Also, the group of bandits which consists of noble man who are going to save the kingdom from being despair by the evil powers of the authorities. Yes, another one which does remind me of ‘Princess Man’.

On a side note though, unlike ‘Princess Man’, the director did input some medical terms and scenarios like surgeries in ‘Time Slip Dr Jin’. I think the reason is because they want ‘medical’ Korean dramas to be the next popular genre of Korean drama production. Although I felt a bit uncomfortable on some surgical scenes but at least I understand how these surgeries are done. Towards the end of this episode, I like the ending OST which is sung by Jae Joong. That is the only OST song from this episode which I really love.

At the moment, this episode is focusing more on Jin as he is having a hard time of what he has one towards Mi Na. I believe that in the upcoming episodes, I will be able to see his development of compassion in helping the people of the Joseon era. However, I hope that it does not have too much similar concepts and scenarios like ‘Princess Man’. In addition to that, I am looking forward to no confusion of various scenarios of both medical and historical concepts. So long, that there is no confusion of storyline in the upcoming episodes then it will be fine.

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