A Fist Within Four Walls

A Fist Within Four Walls

Official poster
Also known as 'Heroes of the Walled City'
Genre Period drama
Martial arts
Created by Jazz Boon
Written by
Theme music composer Alan Cheung
Opening theme "Siege" (圍城)
by Ruco Chan
Country of origin Hong Kong
Original language(s) Cantonese
No. of episodes 28
Producer(s) Jazz Boon
Running time 45 minutes
Production company(s) TVB
Distributor TVBI
Original network TVB Jade
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original release 1 – 28 August 2016
External links
A Fist Within Four Walls
Chinese 城寨英雄
Literal meaning "walled city heroes"

A Fist Within Four Walls (Chinese: 城寨英雄; Jyutping: sing4 zaai6 jing1 hung4) is a 2016 Hong Kong martial arts action television drama produced by Jazz Boon and TVB. It premiered on TVB Jade in Hong Kong, Astro On Demand in Malaysia and TVB First in Singapore on 1 August 2016. The final episode aired on 28 August 2016, totalling 28 episodes.

A Fist Within Four Walls takes place in the triad-ridden Kowloon Walled City in the early 1960s.[1] The plot revolves around Chor Au-kuen, a gifted martial arts novice who takes on the duty of protecting the walled city against evildoers. A Fist Within Four Walls is the second highest-rated drama of 2016, and received many positive reviews during its broadcast.

A Fist Within Four Walls won multiple awards during the 2016 Starhub Awards. After winning multiple awards during the Starhub Awards, they continued their victories in the 2016 Malaysia Star Awards winning a total of 11 trophies (Favourite Drama Series, Favourite Actress/Actor etc.)


A Fist Within Four Walls is characterised as a kung fu drama with frequent comic relief. It takes inspiration from Hong Kong manhua and martial arts films. The story mainly takes place in the Kowloon Walled City during the early 1960s, when a majority of the city was virtually ruled by Hong Kong triads. The walled city was a largely ungoverned settlement at the time, with high rates of gambling, prostitution, and drug use, earning the name "Three Lawless Zone" (三不管; saam1 bat1 gun2).


In 1945, Bajiquan masters Duen Tung-tin and Chiu Mang-san form a brief alliance to protect the once-peaceful Kowloon Walled City from falling into the hands of ruthless gangs. The alliance breaks when Duen is poisoned and beaten to death by a mysterious assailant, and Chiu is suspected to be the killer. Chiu allegedly commits suicide, his children separates, and the walled city falls under the control of triads.

Fifteen years later, Chiu's now adult son Chor Au-kuen returns to the walled city to find his long-lost sister. Concealing his true identity, he gets acquainted with Tiu Lan, the lady boss of a local hair salon, and finds a job as a water labourer so he can pay his rent. By chance, Kuen meets the dentist Duen Ying-fung, the only son of Duen, and finds that the Duen family has now closed down their Bajiquan kwoon to start a dental clinic. Fung is skilled in Bajiquan but only trains it in secret, as he does not want to be seen as a threat against the city's leading triad organisation, The Fellow Association.

To protect the city's people against the growing power of The Fellow Association, Kuen and Fung recruit other kung fu practitioners to form the Kowloon Walled City Welfare Association. Though naturally gifted in martial arts, Kuen refuses to learn Bajiquan from Fung, as he believes that his father's Tiger Climbing Mountain fist to be the strike that had killed Fung's father fifteen years ago. Instead, Kuen takes up the mentorship of store owner Yuk Bo-fung, a retired kung fu master, and learns mixed styles of Muay Thai and Wing Chun. Her son Lung Shing-fu, the right-hand man of Fellow Association leader Or Man-cheung, finds his loyalties divided.

A leader of The Fellow Association mysteriously dies under the hands of a Bajiquan master, and Fung becomes the number one suspect. Kuen and Fung investigate, and the case leads them straight to Fa Man, the leader of a stripping dance troupe. As the drama progresses, more mysteries behind the deaths of Chiu and Duen begin to unravel. Kuen finds that The Fellow Association is not the only society that is plaguing the walled city with evil.

Cast and characters

The protagonists

Known as Kuen Lo (拳佬; "Fist Guy"), the main protagonist. Kuen is a water labourer who possesses impressive physical strength and is naturally gifted in martial arts. He was born Chiu Yeung (朝陽; ziu1 joeng4) and was the son of Chiu Mang-san, a Bajiquan master from the walled city. When his father was accused of a crime and later killed, 10-year-old Kuen escaped the walled city to Macau to live with his great aunt. Fifteen years later, he returns to the walled city in hopes to find his long-lost sister.[1] He gets acquainted with several martial artists within the city and takes up the mentorship of Yuk Bo-fung, a master in Muay Thai and Wing Chun. Bearing the guilt of his father's crime, Kuen refuses to re-learn Bajiquan, but soon discovers that his father's death was not as everyone believed it to be. As the drama progresses, Kuen gains the skills necessary to take on The Fellow Association, the city's leading triad organisation, and forms the Walled City Welfare Association to protect the people against them. Kuen is cheerful and kind-hearted, but can be at times too naïve, stupid and impulsive. Yeung Hoi-pok portrayed 10-year-old Chor Au-kuen.

Known as Ngah Lo (牙佬; "Tooth Guy"), Kuen's occasional rival and the successor of the Duen Family Bajiquan. Fung was the only son of Duen Tung-tin, an influential Bajiquan master and protector of the walled city. When Fung was 10, his father was beaten to death by a mysterious assailant, and his family was forced to close down their Bajiquan kwoon due to the growing intimidation of triads. Fung's uncle warns him to keep his Bajiquan abilities low-profile so he would not fall into the same fate as his father. Fung is introduced at the start of the drama as a local dentist who trains in secret. After meeting Kuen, Fung realises the importance of his skill and co-forms the Walled City Welfare Association to protect the walled city against The Fellow Association.[1] Fung is logical, levelheaded, and has a very calm and collected style of fighting. He is the stark contrast to Kuen's brute strength. Alvin Lau portrayed 10-year-old Duen Ying-fung.

Kuen's feisty and bossy landlady who owns a hair salon in the walled city and has a crush on Fung.[2] Though stingy and at times overbearing, she is innately honourable with a strong sense of justice. Tiu Lan has a mysterious past, and has demonstrated on several occasions that she is an extremely skilled mixed martial artist, with a fondness for knives. Viann Ngai portrayed 10-year-old Tiu Lan.

Kuen and Fung's rival. He is a highly skilled Muay Thai fighter and has never lost a fight in the ring. Fu is the only son of Yuk Bo-fung, a retired kung fu master from Thailand. To keep his mother safe, Fu joins The Fellow Association and becomes Or Man-cheung's right-hand man. His mother is highly against this decision, and they enter an estranged relationship. Fu is extremely filial, protective, and would go to extreme lengths to protect his mother, even if he has to betray The Fellow Association.

The mysterious leader of a striptease dance troupe. Fa Man is a powerful Bajiquan fighter, and was hired by Fung Chun-mei to cause unrest between Or Man-cheung and Fuk Sau-kam. She shares a mysterious past with Kuen. Hedia Yeung portrayed 9-year-old Fa Man.

Also known as Audrey, the daughter of Or Man-cheung. She has just returned to Hong Kong after graduating university from abroad. Rebellious and fascinated with the culture of the walled city, she takes up a teaching post at the city's local public elementary school and becomes acquainted with Kuen, who she starts to fancy. She is generous and sympathetic, but is also quite mischievous.

Known as Thai Por (泰婆; "Thai Lady"), Kuen's mentor. She is a retired Wing Chun and Muay Thai master from Mainland China, but moved to Thailand to start her family. After her husband's death, she brings her only son, Lung Shing-fu, to Hong Kong and settles in the walled city. She disapproves of her son's involvement with The Fellow Association, but would do anything to protect him. Thai Por owns a mini store across the street from Tiu Lan's hair salon, and the two often compete for customers.[2]

Kuen's roommate and one of Tiu Lan's tenants. He works as a general contractor and was the first person to bring Kuen into the walled city.

The antagonists

A Hong Kong business tycoon. He is one of the three most powerful triad leaders of The Fellow Association, and controls most of the gambling operations within the walled city, including the city's biggest underground fighting ring. He is a hidden master in Tai Chi, and fights with a weaponised umbrella.

One of the most highly skilled martial artists within the walled city. He is a master of the Eagle Claw, and one of the three most powerful triad leaders of The Fellow Association. Fung Chun-mei controls most of the city's prostitute houses and performance clubs. A rough childhood turned him into a heartless, cruel, and a little twisted in the mind, but he remains extremely protective of his younger brother, Fung Ha-moon. His feminine appearance and demeanor hides his true persona of a ruthless, cruel and sadistic triad boss.

One of the three most powerful triad leaders of The Fellow Association. He controls most of the city's drug rings, and is also a drug addict himself. He is a master in the Piguaquan, and takes medication to neutralise his sensitivity to pain. Fuk Sau-kam has a sadistic mind, and takes joy in torturing others for his entertainment.

Fung Chun-mei's younger brother who co-rules his prostitution empire. He is a notorious pervert that rapes all the new girls sold into prostitution and of age walled city virgin female citizens he fancies. Fung Ha-moon is a skilled wrestler, a stark contrast to his brother's stylistic Eagle Claw.


Development and filming

On 15 April 2015, TVB and producer Jazz Boon announced the development of A Fist Within Four Walls after casting martial arts star and action choreographer, Philip Ng.[3] Ng negotiated with TVB for three months before agreeing to star.[3] The series would revolve around a group of martial artists living in the Kowloon Walled City, an ungoverned former enclave in Hong Kong. Him Law and Sammy Sum were subsequently announced to star, with Law attached to a villain role.[3] Benjamin Yuen and Moon Lau joined the cast a week later, but Law and Sum dropped out. The cast was finalised in July 2015 with the addition of Ruco Chan, Nancy Wu, Yuen Qiu, and Grace Wong. Philip Kwok was hired as the series action director and choreographer.[4]

On 14 August, the cast of A Fist Within Four Walls attended an open wushu training course and were interviewed by the press.[5] A blessing ceremony for the drama was held on 28 August, a week after shooting began.[6] Principal photography lasted until the third week of November.


Track listing
No. TitleLyricsMusicSinger(s) Length
1. "Seige" (圍城)Yeung HeiAlan CheungRuco Chan 3:05
2. "Never Know You Are the Best" (從未知道你最好)Sandy ChanAlan CheungRuco Chan, Nancy Wu 4:14


TVB's 2016 calendar, month of November.

On 6 November 2015, TVB released its 2016 calendar, which has a promotional image of A Fist Within Four Walls attached to the month of November 2016.[7] The first trailer for the drama was presented at the 2016 TVB Sales Presentation on 10 November 2015. A Fist Within Four Walls was the last TVB drama presented at the Hong Kong FILMART in March 2016.

On 26 July, a week before the drama's premiere, Hong Kong manhua author Yu Yee accused A Fist Within Four Walls of plagiarism, claiming that parts of the character design in Fung Chun-mei (portrayed by Carlo Ng) came from a character in his manhua City of Darkness, a story that also takes place in the Kowloon Walled City.[8] He also claimed that "Typhoon", the assumed nickname of KK Cheung's role Or Man-cheung, is an exact copy of another character in his manhua. TVB has denied all accusations. Producer Jazz Boon responded by saying that the characterisation of Fung Chun-mei is actually inspired by Dongfang Bubai, the famous villain in the popular wuxia novel The Smiling, Proud Wanderer by Jin Yong. He also clarified that "Typhoon" is not the nickname of KK Cheung's character, but added that the name "Typhoon" is a "very typical and popular" name in fiction.[9]


A Fist Within Four Walls premiered on 1 August 2016, as part of TVB's Amazing Summer program line-up.[10] It is also broadcast by Astro On Demand in Malaysia, StarHub's TVB First in Singapore, and premiered it on the same time as Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, the first episode received an average rating of 30 points and peaked at 31 points, reaching over 2 million viewers.[11] It was the most-watched Hong Kong drama debut since Ruse of Engagement in 2014.[11] It finished the week with an average viewership rating of 26.7 points, the second highest-rated premiere week for 2016.[12][13] One complaint was submitted to TVB and Hong Kong's Broadcast Authority, deploring the drama's violence.[12]

The series finale, aired on 28 August 2016, was the most-watched finale of the year, averaging 32.9 points. It peaked to 35.2 points, drawing in 2.28 million viewers.[14] TVB and Hong Kong's Broadcast Authority received six complaints after the finale's broadcast. Four letters criticised the ending for having character deaths, while two complained about the drama being too gory and violent. The authorities did, however, receive two letters praising cast's performance except the main role Yuen Lao is criticized for being overacted.[14]

A Fist Within Four Walls is the second highest-rated Hong Kong television drama of 2016, averaging 28 points per episode.

Critical response

The critical reception for A Fist Within Four Walls has been generally positive.[15] On Douban, a Chinese media database, the drama received a rating of 8.2 out of 10 based on 3,000 votes, which was considered as a very small number of viewership. The douban followers said that the rating is not accurate due to fact that there was too little of votes.[16]

Most of the critical praises were directed towards the drama's writing, cast, and fight choreography. Hong Kong filmmaker Patrick Kong gave the first five episodes a positive review, calling it one of TVB's "most chase-worthy drama in recent years." He applauded the drama's compelling story-telling and its well-directed fight choreography.[17] Online critics praised the drama's humor, action-packed story and well-written characters[18][19] but criticised the predictable plot[20] and the overuse of slow motion shots during the fight scenes.[15] Several critics noted the cultural elements of the drama, and interpreted them to be a social commentary on Hong Kong's current political situation.[19]

The last episode received mixed reviews. Lam Tung-yin of HK01 said the last episode was ridden with clichés, corny twists, and that the final villain was given an anticlimactic and lazy ending.[21]

Viewership ratings

The following is a table that includes a list of the total ratings points based on television viewership. "Viewers in millions" refers to the number of people, derived from TVB Jade ratings, in Hong Kong who watched the episode live.

# Timeslot (HKT) Air date(s) Episode(s) Avg. Peak HK Viewers
(in millions)
1 Mon – Fri, 9:30 pm 1 – 5 August 2016 1 — 5 26.7 31 1.73 [11][12]
Sat, 9:30 pm 6 August 2016 6
Sun, 10:00 pm 7 August 2016 7
2 Mon – Fri, 9:30 pm 8 – 12 August 2016 8 — 12 27.5 31.3 1.78 [22]
Sat, 9:30 pm 13 August 2016 13
Sun, 10:00pm 14 August 2016 14 25 1.62
3 Mon – Fri, 9:30 pm 15 – 19 August 2016 15 — 19 27.5 1.78 [23]
Sat, 9:30 pm 20 August 2016 20 19.8 1.28
Sun, 9:30 pm 21 August 2016 21 28.1 1.82
4 Mon – Fri, 9:30 pm 22 – 26 August 2016 22 — 26 30.5 35.2 1.97 [14]
Sat, 9:30 pm 27 August 2016 27 28.4 1.84
Sun, 9:30 pm 28 August 2016 28 32.9 2.13
Total average 27.2 35.2 1.76


The cast has expressed interest in returning for a film sequel, should there be one.[24][25][26] Boon said doing a sequel "is possible", but it would happen only after he completes his priority projects.[27]

Awards and nominations

Year Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2016 StarHub TVB Awards[28] My Favourite TVB Drama A Fist Within Four Walls Won
My Favourite TVB Actress Nancy Wu Won
My Favourite TVB Actor Ruco Chan Won
Benjamin Yuen Nominated
My Favourite TVB Supporting Actress Grace Wong Nominated
Yuen Qiu Nominated
My Favourite TVB Supporting Actor Philip Ng Nominated
My Favourite TVB Female TV Character Nancy Wu Nominated
Grace Wong Won
My Favourite TVB Male TV Character Ruco Chan Nominated
Benjamin Yuen Won
My Favourite Onscreen Couple Ruco Chan & Nancy Wu Won
Benjamin Yuen & Grace Wong Won
My Favourite TVB Theme Song "Siege" (圍城) by Ruco Chan Nominated
"Never Know You Are the Best" (從未知道你最好) by Ruco Chan & Nancy Wu Won
TVB Star Awards Malaysia My Favourite TVB Drama Series A Fist Within Four Walls Won
My Favourite TVB Actress in a Leading Role Nancy Wu Won
My Favourite TVB Actor in a Leading Role Ruco Chan Won
Benjamin Yuen Nominated
My Favourite TVB Actress in a Supporting Role Grace Wong Nominated
Moon Lau Nominated
My Favourite TVB Actor in a Supporting Role Philip Ng Nominated
Carlo Ng Nominated
My Favourite Top 15 TVB Drama Characters Nancy Wu Won
Ruco Chan Won
Grace Wong Won
Benjamin Yuen Won
Moon Lau Nominated
Philip Ng Won
Yuen Qiu Nominated
My Favourite TVB On Screen Couple Ruco Chan & Nancy Wu Won
Benjamin Yuen & Grace Wong Nominated
Philip Ng & Moon Lau Nominated
My Favourite TVB Drama Theme Song "Never Know You Are the Best" (從未知道你最好) by Ruco Chan & Nancy Wu Won


  1. 1 2 3 "TVB 周刊 #950 新劇解構" [TVB Weekly, #950; New drama explained]. TVB Weekly (in Chinese). TVB. 7 September 2015.
  2. 1 2 "包租婆 遇上 泰國婆 胡定欣 元秋 鬥巴辣" [When a landlady meets a Thai lady; Nancy Wu and Yuen Qiu's spicy showdown]. Singpao (in Chinese). 29 August 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 "伍允龙打入TVB做《城寨英雄》 与钟嘉欣成功"复合"" [Philip Ng to become a 'walled city hero' and 'make up with Linda Chung]. IHKTV (in Chinese). 15 April 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  4. "《城寨英雄》幕後武指郭追 由台灣打到荷李活" ['A Fist Within Four Walls' action director: From Taiwan to Hollywood]. HK01. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  5. "胡定欣「吊」到飛起顯功架" [Nancy Wu flies into the air]. On.cc (in Chinese). 14 August 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  6. "首拍TVB劇 伍允龍祝福鍾嘉欣有新歡" [Philip Ng films first TVB drama]. On.cc (in Chinese). 28 August 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  7. "TVB Releases 2016 Calendar and Teases Upcoming Dramas". JayneStars. 9 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  8. "新劇《城寨英雄》被指抄襲 無綫稱自家創作 《九龍城寨》作者:人物背景設定一樣" ['City of Darkness' writer claims TVB's 'A Fist Within Four Walls' of plagiarism]. Stand News (in Chinese). 27 July 2016. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  9. "TVB《城寨英雄》角色名造型涉抄漫畫 監製:龍捲風好多人咁叫" [TVB's 'A Fist Within Four Walls' accused of plagiarism, Producer: Many people are called Typhoon]. HK01 (in Chinese). 26 July 2016. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  10. "TVB Announces Upcoming TV Dramas and Variety Shows for 'Amazing Summer' Lineup". JayneStars. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  11. 1 2 3 "《城寨英雄》創年內首播收視紀錄" ['A Fist Within Four Walls' breaks premiere rating record of the year]. Singtao Daily (in Chinese). 2 August 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  12. 1 2 3 "《城寨英雄》收一投訴指較暴力" ['A Fist Within Four Walls' receives one complaint about violent content]. Bastille Post (in Chinese). 8 August 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  13. "《城寨》收視衝破31點 摸袁偉豪胸定欣:好奇妙" ['Four Walls' breaks through 31 points]. Sky Post (in Chinese). 11 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  14. 1 2 3 "TVB ratings report". IHKTV @ Sina Weibo (in Chinese). 29 August 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  15. 1 2 "《城寨英雄》電影感強贏口碑 視迷心心眼 陳展鵬袁偉豪爆肌打餐飽" ['A Fist Within Four Walls' wins reviews]. Sky Post (in Chinese). 8 August 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  16. "A Fist Within Four Walls at Douban". Douban (in Chinese). Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  17. Kong, Patrick (5 August 2016). "影迷情琛——《城寨英雄》" [Movie-goer's review: 'A Fist Within Four Walls']. Headline Daily (in Chinese). Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  18. "視·評:自己城寨自己救" [TV review: Save Your Own Walled City]. Mingpao (in Chinese). 15 August 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  19. 1 2 Yau, Tai-tung (27 August 2016). "【劇評.城寨英雄】起步差 冇卡士 無綫劇逆轉勝?" ['A Fist Within Four Walls' review: Weak start, weak cast, TVB dramas getting second chances?]. HK01 (in Chinese). Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  20. "視評:從城寨回看尋橋" [TV Review: Returning to 'A Fistful of Stances' with 'A Fist Within Four Walls']. Wenweipo (in Chinese). 12 August 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  21. "【城寨英雄】大結局三大笑位 刁蘭錫一啖 拳佬「開眼」破罩門" [The three funniest scenes in the 'A Fist Within Four Walls' finale]. HK01 (in Chinese). 29 August 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  22. "《城寨英雄》未受里約奧運影響最高收視31.3" ['Four Walls' Not Affected by the Olympics, ratings peak to 31.3]. Headline Daily (in Chinese). 15 August 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  23. "J5黃金時間播奧運羽毛球賽搶走《城寨英雄》收視" ['A Fist Within Four Walls' ratings affected by Olympic badminton competition]. Mingpao (in Chinese). 22 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  24. "劉佩玥望拍《城寨》電影版" [Moon Lau wants a film sequel for 'Four Walls']. HK01 (in Chinese). 28 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  25. "《一屋》《城寨》皆報捷 定欣強勢再問鼎視後 田蕊妮不敢爭" ['House', 'Four Walls' achieve good ratings, Nancy Wu hot favorite for TV Queen]. Singtao (in Chinese). 28 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  26. "花曼補鑊"口氹"番劇迷" [Fa Man teases fans with deleted scene]. Singtao (in Chinese). 29 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  27. "電影版兼續集?《城》劇監製:唔排除" [Film version and sequel? 'Four Walls' producer: It's possible]. Oriental Daily (in Chinese). 29 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  28. StarHub TVB Awards 2016 Nominations. Retrieved September 10, 2016

External links

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