TVB’s The Defected <鐵探> is a different kind of crime show for television. Starring three-time HKFA winner Kara Hui (惠英紅) with TVB star Benjamin Yuen (袁偉豪), The Defected focuses on the political battles between the higher-ups of the Hong Kong Police Force. In their strive for power, many other members of the police force are resorted to being mere chess pieces for their political games.
The Defected is created by the team behind 2017’s My Unfair Lady <不懂撒嬌的女人>, which includes producer So Man-chung (蘇萬聰) and husband and wife screenwriting duo Chu Kang-ki (朱鏡祺) and Lau Siu-kwan (劉小群), best known for their work on the 2016 film Operation Mekong <湄公河行動>. According to Chu and Lau, story of The Defected was conceived over three years ago. Despite appearing as an action-packed political thriller, the central theme of the show is humanity—that despite all the betrayals and the political battles, all the characters are striving to be the best “iron detective,” the show’s literal Chinese title.
The Defective was given the blockbuster movie treatment—streets, bridges, and tunnels were closed down to allow filming.
Kara Hui stars as Chief Superintendent Man Hei-wah, an ambitious leader who vies for the position of Commission of Police, the force’s “number one brother.” The Defected is Kara’s first TVB drama in 10 years, her last being 2010’s No Regrets <巾幗梟雄之義海豪情>.
“It’s hard to come by such a good script,” said the film queen. “The production value is high, and I get to work with my favorite actors.” Kara has also expressed interest for the TV queen throne, saying, “I’m confident that I’m qualified.”
Fighting against Kara for the position of Commissioner of Police are Ben Wong (黃智賢), who plays CAPO Chief Superintendent Sam Ching and Benz Hui (許紹雄) as Senior Superintendent Kan Kwok-chu. Ben used to be a member of the SDU, but an accident rendered him paralyzed waist down. Kara and Ben’s scenes together will be pivotal to the plot, with the screenwriter recalling one particular scene involving the two of them exchanging dialogue that lasted six pages.
Sharon Chan (陳敏之) will make a guest appearance as a police official, as Hui Shiu-hung’s ex-wife and Ben’s current wife. Mat Yeung (楊明) plays Kara’s son, Inspector Yau Lai-kit.
Co-starring is Benjamin Yuen as Inspector Sheung San, who suffers from PTSD after surviving a nearly-fatal shot to the head. Benjamin lost over 20 lbs for the role. He and Grace Wong (王君馨), who plays his girlfriend, have a daughter together. The Defected is also regarded as Benjamin and Grace’s reunion of sorts, as the two had previously played a couple in 2016’s award-winning A Fist Within Four Walls <城寨英雄>.
Also co-starring is Philip Keung (姜皓文), who plays the undercover cop Bingo, who has a complicated relationship with his handler, Chief Superintendent Man. Bingo’s loyalties start to waver after realizing his handler’s ulterior motives.
The Defected is co-produced by China’s Penguin Pictures. It will premiere April 1 in Hong Kong.