“Binh Tay Dai nguyen soai” (The Binh Tay marshal), one of Vietnam’s few historical TV dramas on national hero Truong Dinh, has officially aired on HTV9 from May 29.

The 40-episode drama, which airs on HTV9 at 5:30pm every day, has gone through a two-year bumpy journey, according to Tuoitrenews.

Over 5,000 actors, including 4,800 extras, with 100 of them being foreigners, and 50 battle horses, took part in the drama to depict Truong Dinh (1820-1864), who is credited for reclaiming some major areas to expand the country southward and walking away from the Nguyen reign to lead the resistance against the French troops in the 1860s before killing himself to avoid being captured by the enemy.

One of the difficulties the crew faced was scouting for settings. They spent up to eight months traveling to 10 provinces across the country to search for and re-create old-time sets.

The awaited drama boasts many eye-catching scenes, from explosions, men being devoured by crocodiles and stalked by tigers and French battleships’ forays on Vietnamese seas.

Ho Chi Minh City Television spent over 16 billion VND (769,231 USD) on the drama, slightly twice as much as the investment for a modern psychological one.

“Historical filmmakers are at a serious disadvantage, as three or four modern psychological dramas can be produced within a year, while this drama takes almost two years to finish. Besides, the revenue earned by historical dramas cannot be compared to modern films, while they are usually targets of negative criticisms,” Phan Hoang, the drama director, noted.

However, he insisted he will continue to make historical dramas as the genre gives him an outlet for his artistic creativity.

Most Vietnamese films now focus on modern psychological, social aspects while evading this more challenging genre, said the director.-VNA