Descendants of the Sun

For anyone who is watching: was it filmed in Greece? Greece is in the eurozone, so either have a huge budget or they are starving the crew while filming there. Does anyone know any details? All the info is in Korean, can’t find anything in English.

Why did they call it Urk? First of all, Urk is an actual place in Holland. Plus, all the houses, landscapes, even Navagio beach in Zakynthos are easily recognizable. I mean, it is hard for me to believe the whole thing since I have been there.

Also, the leading actor sustained two injuries while filming action scenes. This is his first drama after his military service time. He didn’t get injured while in the military but he got hurt while filming the drama. I think it is not fair and I think the director was taking advantage of him. Did they save money on stunt performers?

The drama itself is great, though.


Now you mention it, I totally forgot about that place in The Netherlands, they should have filmed there…LOL… But I don’t think the Dutch scenery does match well with the plot. And then I also would have the problem you have now because I’m Dutch :stuck_out_tongue: Some scenes remind me of the jeep safari I did in Crete.

I know they filmed in Greece last summer and it was at the time they started to have problems with the refugees and such there. I don’t think going to Greece was way over the top expensive due the financial problems Greece has or had. I don’t keep up with that but hey they had a whole cast & crew of I don’t know how many people and they all had to eat, a place to stay for 2 months… Not to mention that due this Kdrama some people might want to visit it while they never thought of it before. All in all I think they got some discount and maybe things for free and next to that they worked with sponsors etc.


Thanks for answering. It looks like they had quite a few people on the set. What totally confuses me is that they have a shot of Greek Orthodox church in every single scene with crosses at the very top while claiming that this is an Arab land. Couldn’t they photoshop a mosque? How do I suppose to believe it all? All the “local” kids are obviously European except for some African boys. Where did they get African boys in Greece? What kind of Urk is it?

Also, I got very confused when they had that altercation with the bad guy right next to the building with huge letters: ταβέρνα which means a small Greek restaurant. How do I suppose to believe this is some Arab country with all those Greek restaurants?

You might be right about the economic crisis, but the crew had to eat, three times a day. There are no Korean restaurants in Zakynthos that I know of.

I think they should have gone to Afghanistan. It’s cheap, authentic and there are Arabic people everywhere with real U.N. peacekeepers. Or Pakistan if they were too scared.

Going to Afghanistan for real would have been a bad idea, to dangerous and Pakistan is not safe either. No to me it’s totally understandable they picked an other country, safety of cast and crew comes first and then you simply don’t go to a country that is advised not to travel to at all or has high risks for terrorist attacks. And yes injuries can always happen during filming.


They could have gone to Morocco or Turkey instead of Greece, it’s safe and more Arabic looking. Maybe the director wanted a vacation.I think they didn’t do enough to protect the main actor from traumatic injury. Korea is not very big on safety as a country, I feel. But this is my opinion.

Budget is 13 million. I think not.

Chinese media group bankrolled 53 million in this. NEW Productions led production. It’s streaming in China via Ichi??? In return it’s streaming everywhere in China. Bae Kyung Su Chief Producer said it was nice to not be financially and time restrained. That way we could really work on the script multiple edits, and the actors could really focus on their acting.He thinks that the overall execution of the drama is why it’s doing well.
(source: same korea times article I linked)

Thanks for the link. It’s great that all the episodes were pre-taped, it puts less pressure on actors and directors. Yes, the budget was huge compared to other dramas. That’s amazing, I guess Kdrama is extremely popular in China. Good for them.
But I still think they should have gone to another place, not Greece. Who knows, maybe Chinese and Korean people never visit Greece, so they don’t know the difference.

rustravelinfo17_506 this will help with your confusion

  1. Afghan’s aren’t Arabs…
  2. Morroco is “Arab looking” because it’s an Arab country lol

I skipped a few episodes of DOTS because I had to study, but I don’t recall Urk being an Arabic country. The only mention of Arabs was when they hurt an Arab president who was visiting from overseas. The actor playing was neither an Arab not fluent in Arabic because the way he emphasized his words was really awkward. Song Jong Ki sounds more natural in Arabic and he only had to say 2 words xD


What’s your problem in a country which is facing dire financial problems, with people committing suicide every day and rummaging through garbage in order to eat a bite, getting a little extra money from the shooting of a drama, when this would mean more tourists coming? Yes, they would indeed have given them good discounts, we’re that desperate.
I agree that if they named the place as something other, they should have been more careful with signs in Greek. I suppose they thought no Korean nor other South Asian can read the language, so it was OK for its intended public. If I were on the production team I would have taken care to cover it, though.
As for the orthodox churches, maybe they implied that this fantasy country was orthodox, so no big deal there. It wasn’t supposed to be an Arab country anyway.


The struggles of the Middle East and the Mediteranean :frowning: Hopefully all our countries go back to the way they were (all though that seems quite impossible for some of them).

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I am always so happy when production team is on point!!! But no I have found at least one inconsistency every show I worked on thus far as editor.

The Urk mission is not described in the drama… The mission was in some obscure war-ridden land we viewers suppose it’s arab because of the contemporary wars. So, they mix everything and make it a sort of fantasy land. They are not getting anything correct, even the other cultures’ references are wrong, therefore it’s ok as it is.

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BTW , they already said at the beginning that they are going to urk which is a country/town in Holland , so I don’t know if in real urk is a place where UN peace keepers unit settles in or what …but they showed us lot of arabs there and they looked like refugees (and btw lots of syrians look like europians)…but as I’m Egyptian so I’m from arabs ,all the arabic pronounciation in the show was totally wrong even the arab president they brought surley wasn’t an arab man because his accent was nothing like any arab country accent ,and they called him mubarat looool ,no one in any arab country is named like that because simpley mubarat in arabic language means sports match and sure no one would call himself that , also they made his doctor wear a cap on his suit which is rediculous and not how arab dresses , another thing for the record here , neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan are arab countries.


It is so annoying when drama writers and directors don’t take the trouble to learn some minimum things about another culture they are showing. It would have been so easy to just ask someone!


Sometimes it is better to give a fuzzy image of the culture, close enough to make sense in the plot but also wrong enough to avoid hurting the feelings of audience members or cause diplomatic issues.

In Descendants of the Sun, the audience was given enough clues to guess a location but not enough details to actually pinpoint it.


I haven’t seen the series, I wrote based on what the previous poster said : that they were portraying Arabs as Arabs, and their Arabic was laughable, the dress was wrong and the name was not Arabic etc.
But if they didn’t actually say they were Arabs anywhere, then it’s OK to be fuzzy and wrong, as much as they like.

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They were giving many hints that pointed to Arabs, but the result was too blurred. In some scenes, I’d bet they were somewhere in the central Balkans.

Other times, they were doing a sloppy job of portraying Arabs (that looked more like Roma) but they never cared to remove the crosses from the background or any other irrelevant details, like shop inscriptions.

So, the end result was a ridiculous salad of everything that didn’t look korean and could serve as exotic.

I think they just wanted to let the audience guess based on what the audience is familiar with.


Add to this that they filmed a Greek island to portray what… Holland?