Apple TV+'s first K-drama, Dr. Brain, is a dark sci-fi thriller starring Parasite's Lee Sun-kyun

·Contributor
·3-min read

Apple TV+'s first ever K-drama, the thrilling, dark sci-fi series Dr. Brain, involves an Inception-like plot where people are able to download memories of other people, including the dead, into their own. Actor Lee Sun-kyun (Parasite), who plays genius scientist Sewon, does a 'brain sync' with a cat and acquires the animal's traits and characteristics.

Yahoo Life SEA joined a virtual press conference on Thursday (11 Nov) where the cast and director of Dr. Brain discussed the show. 

"There are a lot of spectacular scenes, even a scene where Sewon [brain] syncs with a cat and takes on the abilities of a cat and climbs up a tree. We first filmed that scene with a stuntman, but Sun-kyun did it even better than the stuntman," says co-star Seo Ji-hye, who plays a police officer in the series who suspects Sewon of murder.

Lee Sun-kyun in Dr. Brain. (Still: Apple TV+)
Lee Sun-kyun in Dr. Brain. (Still: Apple TV+)

"Sewon’s brain syncs are something that viewers can enjoy. There are also emotional developments in character that he did not possess before, and his evolution is very interesting to observe in the series," says veteran actor Park Hee-soon, who plays the charismatic and enigmatic supporter of Sewon, Lee Kang-mu.

"Also, a brain sync with a cat helps him acquire visual acuity, and Sewon was very interestingly portrayed in that process."

Lee Sun-kyun (right) downloading memories in Dr. Brain. (Still: Apple TV+)
Lee Sun-kyun (right) downloading memories in Dr. Brain. (Still: Apple TV+)

Dr. Brain is adapted from a webtoon. We've watched advance screener episodes of Dr. Brain, and the TV series is noticeably different in terms of layer and depth compared to the faster pace of the original webtoon.

"I wanted the story to be wider in terms of breadth and depth, so I gave Sewon a wife and son. I made sure that this person had a very large hippocampus but an underdeveloped amygdala, so he had difficulty with fear and expressing emotions," explains director Kim Jee-woon.

Kim also talked about the reasoning behind why he chose to adapt Dr. Brain and what he felt viewers should pay particular attention to in the series.

Lee Sun-kyun (left) and Seo Ji-hye in Dr. Brain. (Still: Apple TV+)
Lee Sun-kyun (left) and Seo Ji-hye in Dr. Brain. (Still: Apple TV+)

"Regardless of cultural differences, there has always been that primitive urge to read other people‘s thoughts and memories, which is something people have always been curious about," he says.

"I wanted to tell a story about how someone is remembered by other people, and then lead him to discover it in himself."

Lee Sun-kyun (left) and Park Hee-soon in Dr. Brain. (Still: Apple TV+)
Lee Sun-kyun (left) and Park Hee-soon in Dr. Brain. (Still: Apple TV+)

Regarding his character Sewon's difficulty with expressing emotions, actor Lee Sun Kyun had expressed his doubts when first joining the cast.

"When I first got the script, I was really worried about portraying a character who was emotionless, gloomy and too serious if he could not portray emotions. The director and I talked a lot in order to come to an agreement to depict a character who is emotionless but who eventually learns about emotions and how to express them," says Lee.

Watch Lee Sun Kyun's gripping performance in Dr. Brain, which is currently streaming on Apple TV+.

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