TV / Movies

K-Drama Premiere: A Futuristic Sci-Fi Thriller Awaits Your Attention In TVN’s “Circle”

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Circle ambitiously taunts a revolutionary science fiction plot that is risky and exciting at the same time.


We present you three evidences to convince you why Circle is a guaranteed novelty K-Drama treat.

Evidence 1: The use of interchanging timelines + perfect versus imperfect world

Circle uses alternating timelines of the present and the future in chronicling the story of Kim Woo Jin (Yeo Jin Goo).  Year 2017 is titled “Beta Project” while the future background of 2037 is named “Brave New World”. The latter presents a divided Seoul with contaminated “normal earth” and pristine “smart earth” as the main backgrounds.

When young Kim Woo Jin gets himself lost in a mountain, his twin Kim Beom Gyun finds him to bring him home. Little Beom Gyun castigates his younger brother on his alien hunting when a flood light shines at their direction, rushing them to escape the scene. Luckily, their father comes to their aid but an alien approaches them, turning itself into a beautiful woman before losing consciousness.


Evidence 2: Yeo Jin Goo aces his portrayal while Kim Sang Woo struts his kickass cop role in a ‘wow’ imagined future

Rewind back to 2017 – Kim Woo Jin (Yeo Jin Goo) is trying to make the ends meet with his college studies and any source of money.  His brother Beom Gyun (Ahn Woo Yeon), who got obsessed by aliens, serves a prison time after being admitted in a mental facility.

An unfortunate murder happens at Woo Jin’s school. He suspects that Beom Gyun has something to do with it but he denied. Woo Jin catches him on the act when he trails his brother to a motel, where he is partly staying.

From there, Woo Jin confirms his brother’s alien delusion is still on full swing. Beom Gyun brings him to a place where he can prove his sanity, only to find an empty space.


Woo Jin argues to get him treated but Beom Gyun runs to find the alien girl, who took their father away from them. In the pouring rain, the twins stop on their track as they see the face of the alien woman they saw when they were young, who has not aged since then. Beom Gyun ends up getting treatment at a hospital, and insists on his stalking of the alien girl. He argues how he discovered she has been around the students involved in a serial killing.

The twins engage in a heated argument, making Woo Jin to rant how confronting the alien will not do them any good. Beom Gyun contends that their father is taken by her, but his twin has had enough of the cross he bears from his dysfunctional family. Woo Jin vows that his brother will not see him anymore if he walks away and not heed his request to stop his illusions.

The next day, the alien girl Han Jung Yeon (Gong Seung Hyun) appears in front of Woo Jin as a new classmate. He dismisses his brother’s claim as everything she does looks mortal to him.

When Woo Jin looks for his brother, he sees a recording of him inside his apartment and another recording of her new classmate, who Beom Gyun believed to be the alien girl they met before.


Then we go further fast forward 20 years later when Seoul is divided between the utopian “smart earth” where no crimes and clean city exists, and the dystopian “normal earth” struggling with pollution and a trouble-infested society.

Detective Kim Joon Hyuk (Kim Kang Woo) tracks down an infamous hacker that will help him and his police unit to hack smart earth. They surprisingly receive a help call from a resident of smart earth reporting a murder case.

Together with his chief, they head to smart earth portal to work on the case. The lead peacekeeper of smart earth refuses their presence, citing the impossibility of the claim. But another video evidence backs up the police intention. So he is escorted to the smart earth, where he so wants to be – owing to a secret goal of finding his long-lost brother.

Detective Kim proceeds with his investigation of the runaway murderer. He obtains the chip card of the first victim, and sends it to normal earth so his resident hacker can work on cracking something useful for his inquisition.


Evidence 3: The plot, the pace, the writing and the small details pump up an exciting opening week

Circle effortlessly drops an auspicious chronicle that is unafraid of possible limitations along the way. As an avid K-Drama follower, I am scared and happy at the same time on how tvN pushes to present this cutting edge plot, owing to how deft writing and intelligent scene-execution would make or break the story.

The future setting framing is so far impressive. The limbo conversation video call is imaginative, and the technological chip-monitored human race is something that is suggestively feasible to happen in the years to come.

The stable care system that controls the harmful human emotions of the smart earth residents by disabling their wicked tendencies, creates a fundamental plot to spin the variance between the two worlds and the two space-time continuum.  Everything is so far leaning to an amazing science fiction story that is perceptive to viewers who may or may not be a fan of the genre.


Circle energetically runs on establishing the seamless connection of the characters, the timelines, and the past, present and future events.

If you are in search of an interesting K-Drama to stimulate your brain and thrill your heart, Circle is definitely up to your challenge.

Circle airs at TVN, every Mondays and Tuesdays at 11PM.

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