Descendants of the Sun (태양의 후예, also known as Descended from the Sun) is a 2016 Korean Drama which aired from February 24 to April 22 on KBS 2. It stars Song Joong-ki as Captain Yoo Shi-jin, Song Hye-kyo as Kang Mo-yeon, Kim Ji-won as Yoon Myung-joo and Jin Goo as Seo Dae-young. The series was an international hit, attracting intense interest across Asia and even receiving a BBC news article.
The drama tells the story of special forces Captain Yoo Shi-jin who falls for Doctor Kang Mo-yeon while visiting the hospital. Their relationship is over before it really began due to the conflict between their jobs - a soldier who kills to protect people, and a doctor who saves lives no matter who they are. Six months later, they fatefully reunite in the fictional war torn country of Uruk, where they are forced to work together.
As of August 2019, a Chinese adaptation is in pre-production while the Vietnamese version aired in 2018 with 48 episodes, which was also released via Netflix. In February 2020, the Filipino version aired, but further principal photography was halted due to COVID-19 concerns. But as of November 2020, it has resumed airing.
In addition, a sequel series is being developed.
Descendants of the Sun contains examples of:
- And the Adventure Continues: The series' final scene is of the cast at Daniel and Ye Hwa's wedding reception in Canada, gearing up to deal with the aftermath of a volcanic eruption.
- Arms Dealer: What Argus became after leaving the military; the Uruk arc's climax is after a crucial deal between him and Uruk coup leaders.
- Beta Couple: To alpha couples Si-jin/Mo-yeon and Dae-young/Myeung-ju.
- Lee Chi-hoon and his heavily pregnant fiancee. Although they're apart, they clearly love each other and are more stable than the other couples in the series.
- Song Sang-hyun and Ha Ja-ae. Their lighthearted bickering contrasts with the two main couples' more serious issues.
- Daniel and Ye Hwa, the Peacemaker doctor/nurse-slash-general store owners the cast meets in Uruk.
- Big Bad: Argus, whose illegal arms dealings spark a lot of the interpersonal conflict in Uruk.
- Big Damn Heroes: Alpha Team storming Argus' mansion to save Si-jin and Mo-yeon.
- Break the Cutie: Lee Chi-hoon started out as an optimistic and sweet, albeit spoiled son of a rich family and the only thing that mattered to him was the upcoming birth of his child. However, as the drama progresses, his own inexperience as a doctor crushes him. From episode six on wards, its difficult to see Chihoon happy until the very end. Even so, it's suggested he still has scars from Urk.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Chi-hoon does this at the end, talking to the cast about the happy ending...just before a volcano goes off.
- Combat Medic: Myeung-joo, who's an army surgeon.
- Deadpan Snarker: All four main characters show signs of this. Often found in the second lead couple - Daeyoung and Myungjoo
- Eating the Eye Candy: Mo-yeon, Mi-jin, and Ja-ae shamelessly watch the Mowuru squadron on their shirtless jog every morning. The latter two are also prone to swooning over Daniel.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Si-jin and Dae-young are from the 707 Special Mission Battalion, aka the Korean counterpart to Delta Force.
- The General's Daughter: Dae-young and Myeung-joo's romance is set back by the fact that her father is a three-star general and commander of South Korea's Special Forces, who doesn't want his lieutenant daughter dating an enlisted man. Played with in that Myeung-joo is competent enough by herself, and stands up to her father when he's being unreasonable about their relationship.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Discussed. No matter how competent a surgeon Mo-yeon is (and she's noted to be very competent), she won't advance to a professor position without connections.
- Her Heart Will Go On: Subverted. The latter half of episode 15 is about Myeung-ju and Mo-yeon picking up the pieces and moving on after their respective boyfriends are presumed dead, but Dae-young and Si-jin are revealed to be alive by the next episode and both couples get back together.
- Hospital Hottie: Mo-yeon herself is noted to be pretty by several characters, something that's only helped by the fact that she's a well-paid doctor.
- The Hero: Yoo Shijin
- Never Found the Body: When Si-jin and Dae-young go missing during an operation in Albania they are presumed dead but the bodies are never found. Sure enough, they're alive.
- One-Man Army: Si-jin attempts this to rescue Mo-yeon at the climax of the Urk arc; while it initially goes well for him, in the end he would have been killed if not for Alpha Team's timely arrival.
- Super Doc: The Haesung Hospital volunteer teams seem ready and well-equipped to deal with any and all medical emergencies or illnesses.
- Time Bomb: When Moyeon's bomb vest has 30 seconds left