The Imperial Doctress (Chinese: 女医·明妃传) is a 2016 Chinese television series based on the story of Tan Yunxian, a female physician during the Ming dynasty in China. It stars Cecilia Liu as the titular character. The series aired everyday at 7.30pm on Jiangsu TV and Dragon TV, from February 13, 2016 to March 9, 2016
Set in the Ming Dynasty during the rule of Emperor Yingzong, Tan Yunxian (Cecilia Liu) came from a long line of medicine practitioners, her family having served as court physicians for several generations. However, the practice for female physicians came to a halt when many were framed for abusing the form. Yet, Yunxian was determined to learn medicine and she did so in secrecy. Through her enthusiasm and persistence, Yunxian overcame many difficulties and rose through the ranks to become the most famous female doctor of the Ming Dynasty. Along the way, she meets and falls in love with Zhu Qizhen (Wallace Huo) and Zhu Qiyu (Huang Xuan), two royal siblings with opposite personalities who enter into a rivalry for the throne.
I finished watching this series some time ago and I was pretty much hooked from the first episode and it lasted until it was over. Now, while this series is based on a real person, there are of course some things which are weird. Though it has medical elements, I had a pretty hard time taking the medical recipes seriously. But that’s all moot. My eyes opened for Cecilia Liu. If it weren’t for her, I probably would’ve dropped it after a few episodes. The two other main leads did a great job too and they portrayed very different characters. Almost archetypes. The plot moved along quite well until around EP.30 where it started to stagnate and become a bit boring, but not enough to actually drop the series. If I had one wish for this series, it would’ve been if they included more footage of Tan Yungxian where she actually used her skills to heal more people. I felt it was slightly lacking in that department.