A still image features actor Wang Ziqi as the prince Xiao Jinyu. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Propelled by word of mouth praises,

The Imperial Coroner

— a 36-episode online series fictionalizing a legendary forensic science technician — has soared as a dark horse to see its audience tripled in May, according to a symposium organized by the youth committee of China Television Drama Production Industry Association.

Adapted from the popular online novel with the same title, the drama fictionalizes a young womanfrom a coroners’ family in southwestern China during Tang Dynasty (618-907).

With an ambition to dream of becoming a royal coroner, the protagonist treks to the capital city to attend an exam which recruits forensic talent for the government. Her rich knowledge in forensic medicine quickly seizes the attention of a prince, earning her an opportunity to join hands with several talent to unravel a mystery that hasn’t been solved for 18 years.

Actor Wang Ziqi stars the prince Xiao Jinyu in the hit online series

The Imperial Coroner.

[Photo provided to China Daily]

The online series is jointly presented by Tencent Penguin Pictures and Linghe Media.Currently obtaining 8.4 points out of ten on the popular review site Douban, the production has received plaudits about the well-crafted script and appealing character arcs.

Han Bing, deputy head of Linghe, revealed that the scriptwriter team has also invited the original novel’s writer to be on board, as they wish the script could stay true to the novel’s spirit.

Also a veteran producer, Han said director Lou Jian’s extensive experience in helming suspense tales, exemplified by the 2018 critically acclaimed espionage Mask, has laid the foundation for the success of The Imperial Coroner.

Interestingly, director Lou, who was born in 1960s, had consulted to some of his colleagues in their 20s about the keys of romantic scenes that could resonate with the young audience, thus adding the appropriate chemistryof the two protagonists, revealed Wang Hanxian, a producer with Tencent.

The show was shot in late 2019, with most of the post-production jobs finished during the quarantine days due to COVID-19 outbreak earlier last year.