Novoland: Eagle Flag teases its stunning scenery

Novoland: Eagle Flag 九州缥缈录 shows off its stunning sets and on-set location in Xinjiang. This is the second Novoland drama to be filmed in Xinjiang, the previous one being Storm of Prophecy. After three drama and one film disappointments, hopefully this series will finally do Novoland justice.


12 thoughts on “Novoland: Eagle Flag teases its stunning scenery

  1. Anyway, has anyone read the novel of Novoland Eagle Flag? Has it finished? I heard that Tribes’ novel wasnt finished, and the drama version was even worse.

    • The book isn’t finished yet (and probably will never be). According to fans, the first couple of volumes were excellent, but it gradually lost momentum towards the end.

      • Thanks!

        I was THAT curious and ended up reading the novel online using Google translate. From approx. 60% that I could understand, I also felt that it hadnt finished, so I wanted to confirm. But, it got a major arc done (it was done well, I think?), while other things, like the romance, was left hanging. Please cmiiw.

        Still, the story was quite interesting and had some touching moments for me (that, if I understood it correctly). I’m so curious to watch the drama version, esp becoz LHR and CRX have very different personalities than the characters that they were playing. It’s a challenge for them, actually.

  2. Storm of Prophecy was a visual feast. The visual aesthetic was stunning, at times overwhelming. Costumes, sets, use of real locations, minimal CGI, people looked like real people. Everything was gorgeous. Cinematography was on another level entirely for Chinese dramas. Acting by cast members was solid. Unfortunately, the story was weak and could not hold together, but rather fell apart. This was then exacerbated by bad editing, poor sound, and bloated episode count. The tragedy is that the drama could have been amazing, perhaps even surpassing Nirvana In Fire, if only the script had been of good quality and they had been able to hire a producer/director who understood how to manage a budget and remember that post production is just as important as current filming. I read that the drama was originally planned for 40 episodes but was doubled due to financial issues. I wish they had been able to keep the drama at 40 eps-cutting out all of the filler/flashbacks would have made a huge difference. Perhaps Eagle Flag can learn from Storm of Prophecy’s mistakes, keep the good points and jettison the rest.

  3. Storm of Prophecy had some of the most beautiful cinematography and costumes that I’d ever seen in a drama, comparable even to Game of Thrones (I actually think SOP had better costumes, but I have a preference for ancient Chinese clothing). Unfortunately, the editing was absolute crap. Ten minutes of each episode was composed of unnecessary flashbacks. The sophomoric dialogue was only exacerbated by how amazing the sets and costumes were. Also, the emperor refused to die and allow the climax to take place. After I heard about how they ran out of money to conclude the plot, I dropped it like a hot potato.

    I do have to say that SOP was still miles better than most dramas being churned out nowadays. Even though the script was trash, it’s recyclable trash whereas the other idol dramas are dumpster fires. This confuses me because the old HK shows and the mainland shows from the 2000s are all good, even upon re watching. What happened to the Chinese entertainment industry? I’m devastated that the rot has infiltrated my historical and wuxia dramas. In terms of historical shows, I’ve only liked Nirvana in Fire these past few years. Eagle Flag looks promising, but Storm of Prophecy also looked promising :'(

    • Actually Advisors’ Alliance script is good whenever they do male scenes. The female scenes aren’t good as they veer towards family issues. Cinematography and music are good too.

      The majority of current viewers like Mary Sue love-themed dramas with beautiful clothes and scenery. So there are lots of these dramas now.

      Personally I like dramas with logical plots and characters, so I do better with dramas like Advisors’ Alliance or Shanying, Daylight Entertainment, iQiyi or Youku dramas that focus on less Mary Sue themes like thrillers like Burning Ice etc; medical dramas; or school dramas like Huckleberry Friends. “Surgeons” got preachy at times, but the drama had nice supporting characters, like Lan Yingying’s nurse character, ER doc characters.

      Nowadays period dramas can focus on having beautiful embroidered or brocade costumes, beautiful props and sets, or having beautiful lead actors and actresses. Instead of having a logical plot. So the risk of ending up watching a crappy story can be higher with costume dramas. Although producers and directors can make a huge difference.

      If you favor costume dramas, you will likely be better off if you’re able to focus on the aesthetic aspects and minimize your thinking about the story. :)

      Early shows from the 2000s probably didn’t have Zhao Liying and Yang Mi’s N billion clicks? Just my guess. The celebs from 2000s may not make as much in salary as ZLY and YM too.
      Now that drama revenue is king, these are the costume dramas we get to watch.

      Pics of beautiful sets and artful props like drama palace lanterns weren’t as rampant 10 years ago, right?

      Correction on my earlier post on Luoyang. It’s April, not February.

      • I agree with everything you said about the Mary Sue dramas. However, I actually find some of the costumes in those dramas actually kind of uglier, probably because all the money was spent on actors and actresses. For older productions like Han Wu Da Di and Yong Zheng Wang Chao, the costumes were less ornate than SOP, but they were still great because I got the impression that they were made from substantial material. They also shot in existing historical palaces so the sets were very grand. I also loved how older wuxia and historical dramas were kind of dirty lol. When everything is clean and the costumes are neon, I can’t immerse myself and they fail to create the mood of the era/culture they are trying to portray. Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, for example, looked great on wide shots, but close ups revealed that the props were kind of shoddily put together. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some fluff once in a while, but it seems like 99% of the shows are fluff now. I know that companies want to generate revenue above all else, but the regression is a bit disappointing.

        • I agree with u all about costume dramas. I usually watched them for the pretty and the chemistry. The stories were mostly predictable and forgettable.

          • We’re all on the same boat. Fluff is sometimes a nice diversion, but watching fluff every day isn’t doing our brains any favor.

            Some of the costumes and props are really over the top these days. Fan Bingbing’s empress dramas can make us think that there’s a competition for the biggest wig award. Also, it’s really out of whack when the team size and budget for FBB’s makeup/costume production are much more substantial than those devoted to the script. Plus the people who work on the special lighting and camera on Fan Bingbing.

            Sometimes the drama focus can be obvious. Surely no production firms hire Li Yifeng and Angelababy as leads to showcase their superb acting skills, right? (Almost accordingly,) Chusen has craptastic editing. I don’t know why General and I had so many views either. It’s probably not a good sign either when the director has to say repeatedly in BTS how Sun Yizhou’s and AB’s acting in G&I are not bad. So had the director lower his expectation so much that he was pleasantly surprised at the end of how it wasn’t as bad as his initial expectation? It’s not necessarily a plus either when a drama production has unusually much to say about the embroidery on the period robes and props.

            YM’s biggest drama credit is in drawing a huge fan base for her productions. To me, her business skills are more worthy of a drama than the plots of her dramas. Though at least Miles of Peach Blossoms has some cultural charms. I fast forwarded through MPB and didn’t finish watching. Croton and a few studios are increasingly doing more shots in indoor studios. Presumably so they can film for longer hours and save on budget. To finish filmiing faster. Some cave, prison, “nature” shots looked quite fake in MPB, Princess Agents.

            Some YM dramas like MPB, The King’s Woman are drawing a large number of new international viewers. There are always drama fans raving about the acting in these dramas. Eventually, as C dramas draw a wider audience, they may … in some distant years….. get better? It’ll be interesting to see how the dramas that get picked up by Netflix will fare.

            I wonder if the producers or directors feel embarrassed about how the final cut in Chusen etc doesn’t make sense. Characters keep appearing and disappearing mysteriously from one location to the next with out any explanation. Or they’re just plain proud about their billion clicks and try to do the same next time.

            The main problem is when there are too many of these dramas. With so many of them with billions of clicks, the drama quality is not getting better too soon.
            Like the long list of Tang Yan dramas. Fortunately TY is not as active in dramas the last 2 years. But Dilireba is picking up TY’s slack? The interesting twists and dramas in the C-ent world.

            I’m very happy to read comments and posts on good dramas here. And I’m happy that we’re sharing our drama experience here. I’m just insinuating that sometimes there are telling signs of a lemon in the making. So we don’t have to get frustrated after finish watching a drama.

  4. I’m actually so excited for this, but I dont want to put my hopes high coz I’ve been disappointed before by my anticipated dramas. I tried watching Novoland’s Zhang Ruo Yun, but it wasnt interesting enough for me. Then I heard bad comments about Tribes. I havent checked Novoland movies. Is (at least) one of them good ?

  5. Fantastic scenery, cinematography and sound. Liu Haoran was charismatic in Nirvana 2’s action sequences.

    I haven’t dared watching the previous Novoland dramas and film, despite some Novo fans’ enthusiastic comments for Castle in the Sky and Storm of Prophecy. I hope this one will have a good plot and sensible editing given the promising cast. I read unhappy comments on messy editing for SoP.

    I forgot. Is the first scene from the set they used for Chen Kaige’s Demon Cat?

    I saw a couple of Hengdian comments previously. It takes time to get to Hengdian via public buses or private cars. If you just want to get a feel for a Chinese park with some classical-style structures and not a die hard Hengdian fan. Then some quicker alternatives are the Millennium Park 清明上河园 in Kaifeng, which is constructed per a famous classical painting of comparable title name. Bring insect repellent for Kaifeng. Kaifeng’s classical attraction is this one. Wiki: “The Iron Pagoda (Chinese: 鐵塔) of Youguo Temple (佑國寺), Kaifeng City … built in 1049.. ” Some of the Xi’an parks like Xingqing Gong are easy to visit without having to take long-distance buses. Kaifeng is on a fast train line to Luoyang. The latter has the famous Long Men Grottoes, plus peonies in mid to late February. You’re not going to spot any celeb this way, and structures are not top-notch, but it doesn’t take as much time to visit as Hengdian. I wonder if Qingdao’s newer, huge movie studios are pleasant to visit. I have yet to visit the C Northeastern area.

    Kaifeng lacks must-see attractions.

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