An emotional journey that follows a brain scientist who is obsessive about figuring out new technologies to access the consciousness and memories of the brain. His life goes sideways when his family falls victim to a mysterious accident, and he uses his skills to access memories from his wife’s brain to piece together the mystery of what actually happened to his family and why. (Source: MyDramaList) ~~ Adapted from the webtoon "Dr. Brain" (Dr. 브레인) by Hong Jac Ga (홍작가). Edit Translation
- Native Title: Dr.브레인
- Also Known As: Dakteo Beurein , Doctor Brain , Dr. 브레인 , 닥터 브레인 , Miseuteo Robin , Mister Robin , Mr. 로빈 , Mr. Robin , 미스터 로빈 , Alfa Romeo , Alpha Romeo , 알파로메오 , Dr. Brain Season 1 , Alpa Romeo
- Screenwriter & Director: Kim Jee Woon
- Screenwriter: Ko Yeong Jae, Kim Jin A
- Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Medical
Where to Watch Dr. Brain
Cast & Credits
Apple+ hit the trend with best intentions.The reasons I had anticipations for this mini drama were:
1. It's Apple+
2. The amazing cast
3. The storyline
The fears I had:
1. It's a debut for Apple+
2. The drama is only 6 episodes
3. The director's debut in drama
And overcoming all my expectations as well as doubts, Dr. Brain has been able to present itself as a series of quality and it's an absolute treat, I want to aasure y'all that.
Dr. Brain (브레인) is adapted from the webtoon with the same title writhen by Artist Hong Jac Ga (홍자가).
Dr. Brain is basically a sci-fi plus investigative mystery thriller keeping Koh Se Won (Lee Sun Kyun) at the center of the story. He's a brain scientist who has been working on syncing two brains for a long to establish communication through memories. Born with peculiar brain characteristics he has had a horrible past yet manages to make family and do excellently well in his career. One day his world breaks apart as his family falls victim to terrific accidents in a short span of time, but being an emotional man, he rather invests even more time in his research. And oweing to his inventions he now start accessing memories of his wife as well as the people around her to get to the root of everything. He puts the best of his efforts to combine the fragmented memories together in order to draw a complete figure. And while doing all these, he gets to unveil the conspiracies and the biggest culprits who have made him miserable.
I must say, the plot development is absolutely wow in here. For a 6 episode mini-drama, it is very important that each and every part should impress the audience, which was successfully achieved by the drama. I personally wasn't much intrigued by the 1st episode (except the neuroscience research stuffs, since I am a post-grad guy in zoology) but the 2nd one got me awestruck, ngl. The suspense buildup throughout the series is indeed marvelous and the progression is well executed. The way everything unfolds bit by bit using the pieces memories from various different persons is really very intriguing as the story progresses. The revelations have been made at appropriate timings and the pacing of the entire show couldn't be more perfect.
I can't help but praise so much about the acting area of the drama. Not just that the drama has several master actors, also we saw their acting graphs rising to some other level than before. Ahhhhhhhh! The feelings of witnessing their plays is something unexplainable. Apart from Lee Sun Kyun at the top, we also have here: Park Hee Soon (Lee Kang Mu) as a private investigator, Lee Yoo Young (Jung Jae Yi) as Sewon's wife, Lee Jae Won (Hong Nam Il) as Sewon's colleague and Seo Ji Hye as Lieutenant Cho.
We also have amazing actors like Uhm Tae Goo and Kim Joo Hun as guest actors. Among other seemingly minor yet important characters are: Moon Seung Keun as Dr. Myung and Jo Bok Rae as Sergeant Park. I am particularly held back by Seung Keun ahjussi's acting in last 2 episodes. His pronunciations and dialogue delivery made my eyes to bawl out.
Kim Jee Woon PDnim is a very familiar face when it comes to Korean movies and he's proved his worth long back. However, Dr. Brain is his directorial debut in Kdramas and this is the fact that made me doubt about the results. But to my surprise and utter satisfaction, he has done so so so well that I can't help but applaud for him. If you see the storyline is almost like a movie's but still 6 hours is too long for making a movie. And he's successfully proved his experience despite that.
Cinematography is an aspect that's been taken care of very well. The camera movements as well as capture angles perfectly showcase the scenarios involving the puzzles put forth by the entanglement of various sets of memories inside Koh Se Won's brain, his interaction with multiple consciousnesses and his visions. The CGI is also very nice for the hallucinations, imaginations and dreams that Sewon was having as side effects. The sound production too is perfectly done to suit the moods and vibes of the drama.
Scripts involving brain and neuroscience is nothing new for Kdramas and moreover this is fiction. The theories of brain sync, put forth here doesn't make sense at all, at least for the year 2021 but the execution is so very good that it almost feels real, even to biologists like me, haha. I guess that's the magic of science fictions. Who knows these theories might become possible after a century or two.
Despite the mixed feelings, I honestly wanted the drama to do well. And for a matter of fact, my biggest fear was how the entire world is now immensely interested in investing in Kdramas. It's some sort of insecurity that I have developed recently which make me afraid about the originality of Kdramas, which is slowly becoming diluted by mediocre Netflix series. But Dr. Brain has come to my rescue as a beam of hope and I wish it continues to prosper and burn even brighter in the future.
Overally, Dr. Brain is thrilling, enraging, captivating and intriguing at the same time and in my opinion, it is a must watch. Please please please don't pass it down thinking it's apple+ debut in Korea. It's an amazing show as it is.
Distorted RealityDr. Brain is a character-driven story about one man’s quest to unravel a profound mystery through highly experimental science that delves deep into the far reaches of the human subconscious and beyond the boundaries of reality. Simply put, the main character boldly goes where no one has ever gone before, in a metaphysical sense. Watching this drama feels akin to consuming magic mushrooms because I find my entire cerebral cortex utterly immersed into the warped and psychedelic nature of the storytelling.
Co-produced by Kakao Entertainment, the company that owns popular streaming platform Kakao TV, Dr. Brain is promoted as an Apple original series. It is the first Korean-language series to debut on the American platform, where the global premiere on 4 November 2021 coincides with the launch of Apple TV+ in South Korea. Principal photography took place at Daejeon while Daejeon University was used as the setting for the Brain Science Research Centre.
The drama is an adaptation of the Kakao-Daum webtoon Dr. Brain by Hong Seong-hyeok, which was serialized in 2016 (Season 1) and this year (Season 2). The source material is a sci-fi thriller based on the premise that the brain is able to live on for 37 hours after death.The titular character harnesses this knowledge by tapping into the brains of the dead to seek clues or answers for solving mysteries. I haven’t read the webtoon but I can attest that the narrative stays true to the basis of this pseudoscience. I get similar vibes of Flatliners (both versions of the US film) where things quickly escalate out of hand when folks volunteer as test subjects for their own experiments. I find the plot immensely intriguing, complex and suspenseful. The first episode is extremely slow burn where the backstory of the ML is painstakingly established but once the overarching mystery begins to take shape and the mind-blowing action sequences kick off, particularly from the second episode onwards, there’s no turning back after that.
The quality of this drama is top tier, in terms of the production values, technical execution and the reputable production team as well as the critically acclaimed main cast. Kim Jee Woon, the multiple award winning filmmaker and celebrated auteur, serves as director and screenwriter. The influence of his unique stylistic approach extends over the masterfully executed cinematography, which presents some of the most gorgeous visuals seen this year in K-dramaland. I love the cinematic grading, neo noir outlook of the night scenes, and beautiful application of colours, especially in the “mind warped” segments. In terms of the direction and tempo, the director deftly balances the transitions between the quieter introspective and emotional moments with the intensely frenetic parts. Despite the short format of 6 episodes, the storytelling does not feel constrained while the tension as well as plot points are allowed to breathe without giving the impression of being rushed.
The original score is composed by Lee Sung Hyun aka Mowg, another stellar name attached to the production who comes with a long list of achievements and prestigious awards. The music is a blend of suspenseful, evocative and deeply emotional instrumentals that encapsulates the essence of the drama and connects very well to the varied scenes. Elements of contemporary electronic music and orchestral renditions are incorporated into the soundtrack as part of the eclectic BGM.
The cast is headlined by Lee Sun Kyun, fresh from his appearance in Parasite, for which he garnered major acting honours and critical acclaim. He plays the titular character in a performance which he delivers with consummate conviction where he showcases such impressive range that matches the depth of characterization. He not only has to portray an extremely intelligent scientist but also an emotionally dysfunctional man who literally goes through hell and back in both the real world and the surreal state of the human psyche. Add to that his affinity with a particular feline, a truly surprisingly absurd yet incredibly entertaining aspect of the drama.
Park Hee Soon is an actor who won the hearts of many through his compelling performance in the recent Netflix drama, My Name. Here in a supporting role as the side character, Lee Kang Moo, he is much more understated and has limited screen time. Seo Ji Hye, recently seen in Crash Landing on You and Dinner Mate, portrays police detective Lieutenant Cho. She has slightly more screen time than the rest of the supporting cast and gets involved in a number of high octane action sequences. She certainly looks the part and provides a decent account of the rather limited characterization. I would have liked to know more about her character but the focus is very much on the ML, hence the lack of significant character development for the people around him. The same applies to the character of Jung Jae Yi, his wife, played by Lee Yoo Young who almost spends the entire time being comatose, were it not for the numerous “flashback” scenes.
All things considered, along with the well written and executed ending, I would consider Dr. Brain a hugely satisfying entry to the K-drama psychological thriller genre. Kept on the edge of my seat once I was hooked, I simply could not stop watching and anticipating the conclusion to the ML’s search for the truth. My only qualm - I wished it was longer. This is truly one of those productions where I’m hoping for a second season.