It’s a normal school day. Until the unexpected occurs, that is.
Unidentified spheres appear and chaos ensues. Students studying for their university admission exams are roped into the military as reserve forces.
South Korean drama Duty After School documents their journey in the army to fight against extraterrestrial monsters.
Its first part, totaling six episodes, aired in late March. And the remaining four episodes commenced its broadcast last Friday (21 Apr).
Here are five things to know about the series.
1. Actor Kim Ki-hae is actually a fan of the series
Actor Kim Ki-hae, who played high school student Kim Chi-yeol, is actually a fan of the series. The series was a spin-off from a webtoon released in 2012.
“As a fan who read the original webtoon ten years ago, I was really hoping for it to be made into a live-action drama,” Kim said.
Fast forward ten years, Kim thoroughly prepared for the audition for the series. And when he received the role, he “found it hard to believe”.
“I’m really grateful and happy to be a part of a drama that I wanted to be in and was a fan of,” the 23 year-old actor told HallyuSG.
2. What school life looks like for the main cast
In the series, high school students received military training after school. But life after school was a lot more normal for the main cast.
Shin Hyun-soo, who played platoon leader Lee Choon-ho, was like any other high school kid. “I was a student who only thought of soccer and theatre plays,” he said. So it’ll be easy to find him at the theatre club.
Meanwhile, actress Lim Se-mi is more of a daredevil. “I would occasionally go running or marathon competitions to run the full course. I walked a lot and also went mountain climbing,” the 35 years’ old actress said.
3. Mob scenes, crowd scenes were difficult to shoot
Due to the nature of the drama, there were a number of mob scenes and others with a huge crowd.
Adding on visual effects to bring the story alive, it’s no wonder why filming these scenes took long.
“The actors acting as students and soldiers really had to practice as if they were receiving actual military training,” Lim said.
“I remember the longest time we spent on rehearsals was four to five hours,” Kim recalled.
But it got better with time. “We gradually got the hang of it, and we knew what to do just by looking at each other,” he added.
4. Top notch computer graphics and visual effects
Duty After School saw its fair share of extraterrestrial beings and monsters. And what enhanced the watching experience was top notch computer graphics that show producers tapped on.
They employed high quality graphics for those monsters that students need to battle against – so the entire series does not look haphazard. It also added to the credibility of the plot.
5. Rookie actors and experience veterans learn from one another
In this series, there were quite a handful of rookie actors who played students in the fictitious high school.
On working with more experienced actors, Kim said: “Initially It was a little awkward initially but [as time went by,] we grew really tight and close with each other”.
His co-star Shin also said: “Thankfully, the children accepted me well [too]”.
Because of that, he was able to stand in front of them as the platoon leader in the series, and it made playing his character a lot more natural.
The repeat for “Duty After School” Part 2 will be aired at 9.15pm on 29 April (Saturday) and 30 April (Sunday) via tvN Asia (Singtel TV CH 518, StarHub TV CH 824) .