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|Stairway to Heaven|
|Also known as||천국의 계단|
|Written by||Park Hye Kyung|
|Directed by||Lee Jang Soo|
Shin Hyun Joon
|Country of origin||South Korea|
|No. of episodes||20|
|Executive producer(s)||Lee Jang Soo|
|Running time||Wednesday & Thursday nights at 9:55 pm|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
|Original run||December 3, 2003 – February 5, 2004|
|Stairway to Heaven|
|Revised Romanization||Cheon-guk eui Gyedan|
|McCune–Reischauer||Ch'ŏn-guk ŭi Kyedan|
PlotHan Jung-suh (Park Shin-hye) and Cha Song-joo (Baek Sung-hyun) are childhood friends and have a special bond that blossoms into love. They both share the pain of losing a loved one: Song-joo's father died in a traffic accident and Jung-suh's mother died of eye cancer. Jung-suh's father (Ha Jae Young) marries an actress named Tae-Mira (Lee Hui Hyang), who brings her real daughter, Han Yoori (Park Ji Mi), and son, Han Tae-hwa (Lee Wan). Yoori is jealous of Jung-Suh and would make her look terrible in front of her mother who begins to turn on Jung-suh. When Jung-suh's father left for work, her stepmother assaulted her. She thwarted Jung-suh's attempts to study abroad with Song Joo, who then left to America to study abroad alone. Her stepmother plotted for Yoori to win the affections of Song Joo. All the while, Jung-suh tried to be nice to Tae-Hwa, but he mistook this friendship for affection and falls in love with her.
Three years later, Song-joo (Kwon Sang-woo) comes back from America, and Jung-suh (Choi Ji-woo) rushes to greet him. A jealous Yoori (Kim Tae-hee) tries to stop them from reuniting. As they race to the airport, Yoori intentionally hits Jung-suh with her car. Jung-suh is taken to the hospital where a group of people had just died in fire. Yoori swaps Jung-suh's ID with one of the people to fake her death. She takes the real Jung-suh to her biological father's home. Tae-Hwa (Shin Hyun Joon), still in love with Jung-suh, finds out what Yoori has done, but seizes the opportunity to run away with Jung-suh. Jung-suh loses her memory, and Tae-Hwa moves them away and changes their names.
Five years later, Yoori is soon to be engaged to Song Joo. Song Joo decides that he needs to let go of Jung-suh and goes to the carousel they used to ride as children. He wishes to see Jung-suh just once more, looks up, and sees her on the carousel. Jung-suh, now named Kim Ji-soo, works at a small clothing shop while living with Tae-Hwa (now Chul-soo). Song Joo rushes to Ji-soo and tells her that she is Jung-suh, but she doesn't believe him. Song Joo is determined to make her remember her past, and through a series of events, he and Jung-suh become close.
Jung-suh regains her memory when Yoori nearly hits her with her car again and rushes to tell Song Joo. She forgives Tae-Hwa as she knew he did it out of love. Jung-suh and Song Joo are happy together, until she discovers she has eye cancer. She asks Tae-Hwa to take her away from Song Joo, since she can't bear to see him in pain. Gradually, Jung-suh's vision deteriorates into blindness. Tae-Hwa tells Song Joo and his family the truth starting from the accident. Yoori is arrested, and her mother becomes crazy, going to a mental hospital.
Song Joo marries Jung-suh, who is now blind, with the blessing of his mother and her father. Jung-suh tells Tae-Hwa that her one wish is to see Song Joo's face one last time. Both Song Joo and Tae-Hwa ask a doctor to let them give Jung-suh one of their corneas, but the doctor tells them that they can't take corneas from live donors. Tae-Hwa wants to grant her wish at all costs and commits suicide by creating a car accident in order to donate his cornea to her. After his death, Jung-suh had the operation and is able to see again. However, Song Joo finds out about Tae-Hwa's death and later on tells Jung-suh. She starts to feel sick again, and the doctor states that the tumor has spread to her brain and she has no chance of living. Jung-suh, realizing this, forgives Tae-Miri and Yoori because of Tae-Hwa. Both Yoori and Tae-Miri feel remorse and are apologetic. Jung-suh dies a few days later from the same incurable illness as her mother at the seaside near her childhood house in the arms of Song-Joo. The ending scene reverts back to the beginning scene where Song-Joo plays his piano by the ocean of the memorable beach house. He says, "Perhaps, that person (Tae-Hwa) might have loved that girl (Jung-suh) more than me. But even though I say this, that doesn't mean that I loved her any less."
|Cha Song Joo||Kwon Sang-woo|
|Han Jung-Suh/ Kim Ji-soo||Choi Ji-woo|
|Han Yoo-Ri||Kim Tae Hee|
|Han Tae-Hwa / Han Chul-soo||Shin Hyun Joon|
- Jung-Suh's father
|Ha Jae Young|
- Tae-Hwa & Yoo-Ri's mother
|Lee Hui Hyang|
- Tae-Hwa & Yoo-Ri's father
|Jung Han Yong|
|Director Jang||Lee Cham|
|Young Song Joo||Baek Sung-hyun|
|Young Jung-Suh||Park Shin-hye|
|Young Tae-Hwa||Lee Wan|
|Young Yoo-Ri||Park Ji Mi|
PopularityDirected by Lee Jung-soo, "Stairway to Heaven" quickly increased the fame of the four lead characters, and won the hearts of millions of Korean drama fans worldwide, as evidenced by the thousands of viewers, who flocked to chat rooms and discussion forums to share their views and commentary on the drama.
In Korea, "Stairway to Heaven" was the second most popular drama in 2004, and one of the most popular Korean dramas in Asian countries. This drama also became quite popular in some Latin-American countries, including Ecuador, Chile and Peru, where it was also broadcast.
- Chopin, Piano Concerto No. 1 Op.11 E Minor 2nd Mvt : Romanza
- Cheongugui Gi-eok (KO: 천국의 기억, EN: Memory of the Heaven) - Jang Jung Woo
- Lette - Kang Woo Jin
- Ave Maria - Rebecca Luker
- Geugeotmaneun (KO: 그것만은, EN: Nothing But That) - Jang Jung Woo
- Eonjekkajina (KO: 언제까지나, EN: Forever)
- Na Man Eh Nuh (KO: 나만의 너)- Kim Hyun Ah
- Seulpeun Sarang (KO: 슬픈 사랑, EN: Sad Love)
- Areumda-un Neo-ege (KO: 아름다운 너에게, EN: To You the Beautiful) - Moon Ji Hwan
- Neoreul Jikilkke (KO: 너를 지킬께, EN: I Will Protect You)
- Bogoshipda (KO: 보고싶다, EN: I Miss You) - Kim Bum Soo
- Kkeuchi Animeul (KO: 끝이 아님을, EN: That It Is Not the End)
- Cheongugui Gi-eok (KO: 천국의 기억, EN: Memory of the Heaven) - Park Mook Hwan
- Sesang Kkeute Seo Isseodo (KO: 세상 끝에 서 있어도, EN: Though I Am At the End of the World)
- Yaksok (KO: 약속, EN: Promise)
- Geugeotmaneun (KO: 그것만은, EN: Nothing But That) - Park Mook Hwan
- Stairway to Heaven (taken from Led Zeppelin)