Circle: Two Worlds Connected is a sci-fi drama that focuses on two timelines, one in 2017 and one in 2037. The story begins in 2017 where a college student (Yeo Jin Goo) tries to find the connection between an alien visitor and mysterious suicides on his campus.
In 2037, the world is divided in two with one that is disease and crime ridden called Normal Earth and one that is a Utopian society called Smart Earth. Here, a violent crimes detective (Kim Kang Woo) also works to solve the same case from the past.
Wow! Just wow! Circle was one intense ride! It gets the honor of being the first true science fiction kdrama. I have long been a fan of sci-fi and always longed to see a kdramas take on the genre. So when this drama was announced, my excitement levels skyrocketed. Let’s meet our key players in this fascinating drama.
Woo Jin is the hero of our 2017 timeline, and he faces one difficulty after another on his quest for the truth. He’s always been skeptical of his twin brother, Kim Bum Gyu (Ahn Woo Yeon), who is obsessed with tracking down an alien. But when the mysterious suicides start happening, he finds himself right in the middle of some dangerous stuff.
Yeo Jin Goo was absolutely phenomenal as Kim Woo Jin. I’m a huge fan of his, and he never disappoints. Circle was perfect at allowing him to showcase his intensity as Woo Jin goes through so many struggles and so much heartache. Yeo Jin Goo just pulled me right into his character and made me feel for him so deeply. I’m always left in awe of him.
We then have Han Jung Yeon (Gong Seung Yeon) as a mysterious girl in the 2017 timeline. While Bum Gyu is sure she is an alien, Woo Jin is left quite confused by her since she appears to be very human.
I really enjoyed Gong Seung Yeon as Jung Yeon. She really fit the role, and I enjoyed her interactions with Yeo Jin Goo immensely. Because of the nature of the drama, her character is usually quite serious, but I really enjoyed those moments when she got to loosen up and let some of her lively personality come out.
In the 2037 timeline, Kim Joon Hyuk is a detective on Normal Earth. When a rare crime happens on Smart Earth, he finds himself investigating a decades old mystery and a conspiracy of huge proportions.
Kim Kang Woo was wonderful as Joon Hyuk. This is easily my favorite role of his to date. He deals with a lot of heartache, but he also has a fun and outgoing personality. It was a bit of a change from the type of roles I’m used to seeing Kim Kang Woo in. But he also delivers so much intensity, and he really gave a gripping performance. While I’ve always enjoyed him, this role just hit the spot for me.
Kang Woo ends up having to work with Lee Ho Soo (Lee Gi Kwang) of Smart Earth. Everyone in Smart Earth is required to have a chip that keeps their emotions under control. And Ho Soo soon finds himself at odds with Kang Woo.
Lee Gi Kwang was a perfect fit for the character of Ho Soo with this sort of calm detachment. While he’s a sort of nemesis at the beginning, Ho Soo is in for a difficult ride as he learns that the Smart Earth he is completely invested in is not so perfect. He has his own journey to go on as he learns the truth.
So how did Circle do as a whole? Did it live up to my expectations? My answer is a resounding YES! First, it completely nails the science fiction genre. With a plot that focuses on aliens, futuristic technology with small chips that control your emotions, altering memories, and a dystopian future divided into a disease and crime ridden Normal Earth and a Utopian Smart Earth, you really couldn’t get more into the genre. It’s like they threw as many sci-fi tropes as they could into the story, and it somehow worked beautifully.
The writing for this drama was brilliant with layered characters that are so well developed. There is such an intriguing mystery that is put in place right from the get go, and it is perfectly woven between the two timelines. The pace is fast and full of suspense from start to finish as there is a constant sense of urgency.
And there are always new plot developments with plenty of twists to keep things interesting. It’s hard these days to deliver true plot twists that the audience doesn’t see coming, but Circle delivered them repeatedly, and I was always wondering what was going to happen. It was truly amazing.
Circle also used a unique format by dividing each episode in half with the first half focusing on the 2017 timeline (Beta Project) and the second half focusing on the 2037 one (Grand New World). I wondered how this would play out and if it could be executed well, and it definitely was.
Both timelines were equally important to the story. In 2017, the mystery is just getting go with a lot of developments happening. You’re then left wondering how things ended up the way they are in 2037, but at the same time there are still plenty of mysteries that need to be solved in that timeline. The world building was really excellent. Plus, you get double the cliffhangers since each part ends like a traditional episode. And there are some amazingly good cliffhangers!
I seriously enjoyed this drama on many levels. Circle: Two Worlds Connected immersed me in a thrilling science fiction story full of mystery and suspense. The actors were all amazing, and they completely drew me into their characters. It was a gripping tale that completely moved me. This was a science fiction story with that heart that Korean dramas are frequently known for. It exceeded my hopes for this genre and left me in awe and more than satisfied. I consider it a must watch.
My Rating: 9/10
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