Period drama This Land Is Mine, based on Walter Woon novel, delves into post-war Singapore

Pierre Png in This Land Is Mine. (Still: Mediacorp)
Pierre Png in This Land Is Mine. (Still: Mediacorp)

SINGAPORE — Channel 5's upcoming period drama This Land Is Mine, set in 1940s post-war Singapore, will premiere on 9 August to coincide with National Day celebrations.

The 15-episode series by creator and director Lee Thean-jeen (The Pupil, Code Of Law) is based on the book The Devil's Circle, the third in a series of historical novels by Singapore's former Attorney General, Walter Woon.

The cast includes Rebecca Lim, Pierre Png, Shabir, Sora Ma, Noorlinah Mohamed, Sugie Phua, Shrey Bhargava, Charlie Goh, Joe Jasmi, and Elly Gaskell.

Historical drama, This Land Is Mine, stars Pierre Png and Rebecca Lim. (Image: Mediacorp)
This Land Is Mine stars (from left to right) Elly Gaskell, Joe Jasmi, Charlie Goh, Pierre Png, Rebecca Lim, Sugie Phua, Sora Ma, and Shabir. (Image: Mediacorp)

The show is set in Singapore during the British Military Administration, the interim military government established in Singapore and Malaya during the period from the Japanese surrender to restoration of civilian rule on 1 April 1946. The stories unfold in the tumultuous "new normal" that is post-war Singapore, against a backdrop of family turmoil, betrayal, courtroom intrigue and struggle for power.

Yahoo Lifestyle SEA spoke with This Land Is Mine's two lead actors, Rebecca Lim and Pierre Png to find out more about the show.

Rebecca tells us that her character, June, fights her demons and nightmares that she faced during the war – and she will also be something of a feminist role model. "June is a legal clerk, but she did not become a legal clerk by choice. Her dream was always to become a lawyer, but because of circumstances and stereotypes that society had about women at the time, she could only work as a clerk," Rebecca said. "She's a very strong character which I really am very honoured to play because I believe that we need more of such characters on screen, to remind people to not just fit into the moulds that society places on us, and not to judge other people for their gender or their race."

Pierre plays Dennis, the cousin of June, a lawyer who is called to serve as the defence attorney for a war criminal – an officer of the Kempeitai, the Japanese military police. He faces intense criticism from his family and the public because of the atrocities carried out by the occupying Japanese forces in wartime Singapore.

Pierre encourages viewers to watch This Land Is Mine in order to appreciate what our forefathers and people during that time went through. "We celebrate National Day which began in 1965, but our road to independence did not begin some 50 years ago. It happened even earlier, right after the Japanese surrendered," said Pierre. "People were rebuilding their lives, people were trying to understand what just happened, and to make sense of everything. Our road to nation-building began even before we gained independence."

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