MANILA — “You haven’t seen it all, yet.”
This was the promise of “The Broken Marriage Vow,” ABS-CBN’s adaptation of the BBC hit drama “Doctor Foster,” in its final trailer leading up to its January 24 television premiere.
The preview included the recreation of memorable scenes from the British original and its South Korean adaptation “The World of the Married,” including the party where the lead character discovers her husband’s infidelity, and the dinner where she reveals to him and his mistress the extent of her awareness of the affair.
Screen superstar Jodi Sta. Maria, who portrays the Philippines’ lead counterpart Jill Ilustre, attested to the tease of surprises beyond what’s already familiar from the source material and its other international remakes.
“‘Yung mga pinakita sa trailer, ito ‘yung mga iconic scene na tumatak mula doon sa Korean adaptation and also the original ‘Doctor Foster.’ Ito ‘yung mga nakita na. Pero marami pang iba. Marami pang pasabog. Marami pang pabaon si ‘The Broken Marriage Vow’ na talaga namang kaabang-abang,” Sta. Maria said during the program’s recent media launch.
Dreamscape Entertainment, the ABS-CBN entertainment unit behind “The Broken Marriage Vow,” closely coordinated with BBC in adapting the story, in order to be faithful to the original while also expanding it and giving it local flavor, according to creative head Rondel Lindayag.
The executive detailed the back-and-forth with the London office, saying the meetings covered details as specific as the type of camera used for filming.
“Every script, pinapasa namin sa BBC, tapos nag-ko-comment sila, tapos iri-revise namin. Diniscuss namin ‘yung character, in-explain sa amin kung paano sila tumatakbo, bawat isa. Team ang tingin nila doon sa mga character, meron talaga silang role na ginagampanan,” he explained.
“Lahat ng aspect prinesent namin sa kanila, even ‘yung camera na gagamitin. Ganoong level ‘yung usapan, hanggang sa kung ano ang design ni Direk Connie [Macatuno], paano gagawin ‘tong script, ano’ng babaguhin natin sa character. Siyempre, kailangan magpakita ng bago, e. Lahat iyon prinesent namin at in-approve nila. Hindi kami puwede gumalaw nang wala nilang approval, so lahat ng mapapanood ninyo ay in-approve ng London.”
Lindayag stopped short of revealing scenes unique to “The Broken Marriage Vow.” He did confirm, however, that the ABS-CBN version will have a longer total run time than “Doctor Foster.”
“Marami kaming natutunan sa kanila,” he said of BBC. “Ang sarap nilang katrabaho, ang dali nilang kausap, ang bilis nilang makita ‘yung mga intention natin bilang Pilipino, na ganito ang gagawin natin doon.”
During the press launch, writer Ayi Tamayo similarly spoke of striking a balance between “preserving” the British source material and presenting something relatable to Filipino viewers.
“Pinapasok natin what is Pinoy — ‘yung values natin, ‘yung sensibilities natin. Nandoon ‘yung balance, kasama din iyon sa process,” she said.
For director Connie Macatuno, the Filipino “soul” of the series is seen not only through its fashion, cuisine, and Baguio City’s idyllic locations — all given meticulous importance — but the characterizations of the cast.
“Iba ‘yung soul ng serye na ito. ‘Yung kuwento ng ‘Doctor Foster,’ napanood mo siya, pero iba naman ang hatid ng mga actors natin. Iba ‘yung kaluluwa na binigay nila sa mga character nila. Iba rin ‘yung hitsura. Iba rin ‘yung location. Iba rin ‘yung mounting. Definitely, kahit alam mo na ‘yung storyline niyan, meron pa ring excitement.
“I think matutuwa sila na makita ang Pilipinas, ang kultura natin, ang bansa natin, ang storya natin bilang Pilipino in a different way, kahit na nanggagaling ito sa isang franchise,” she said.