“Pandora: Beneath the Paradise” begins with a major announcement which is much like real news about Elon Musk and Neuralink. In real life, it’s a brain chip and in this fictional K-drama series, it’s a brain patch. Pyo Jae-Hyun, CEO of Hatch, announced that their research team had created a VR small patch that allows the direct input of unlearned data into the human brain.
As a demonstration to the audience, the business representatives begin a survival shooter game: Human versus Chimpanzee. The animal has received neuro-training for several years and now has an extremely high IQ (intelligence quotient). The chimp is going to compete against humans in a survival shooter game.
First, they attach the patch to the chimpanzee which is loaded with all of the game-play strategies. To be clear, the chimp has never played this game. Also, to be clear, the chimp is playing against 99 players. So it’s 100 players in the game: 99 humans who are top-ranking players PLUS the chimpanzee. The chimp won!!!
Hong Tae-Ra is driving her car on the highway, listening on the radio to the news about Clover and the 100-player survival shooter game. She’s on Team Chimp. In other words, she’s hoping the animal wins. She is kind of distracted while driving, so when another animal, a dog, suddenly appears on the road, she instinctively swerves to avoid it and almost gets into an accident.
Fortunately, there were no injuries, and the driver in the other car accepted her explanation about the dog and her apology. She gets back in her car and continues to her destination which is her job. When she arrives at work, she has to manage a crisis. That’s when a real accident occurs and she suffers a traumatic brain injury.
The accident seems “suspicious”. As if it was intentional and meant to get rid of her, or if she does not die, at least she can be controlled. But why not view the incident as a workplace injury? Why suspect someone of foul play? At the hospital, a co-worker pays the doctor, off the record, to look after the patient, i.e. take special care of Hong Tae-Ra. Isn’t it suspicious that the doctor is accepting payment, off the books, for handling her medical treatment?
Meanwhile, everyone in the media is raving about the success of the survival shooter game demonstration. The stock prices for Hatch soar! The CEO indicates he is thinking about entering the world of politics. He may even run for President. Hey! Always reach for heaven, the playground of the gods.
If the Blue House is his aim, there is one thing he must learn immediately: When you enter the world of politics, political enemies are a “given”. You don’t have to do anything to make them. They are already there and waiting for you. So if the CEO has not learned how the political machinery operates, perhaps he could get a Clover patch loaded with data about “dirty politics”. That way he can play those games and WIN!
Since Hong Tae-Ra is the CEO’s wife, she could become The First Lady of Korea. Unless … well? … uummm?? … there’s something strange going on in Hong Tae-Ra’s head. She’s not sure if it’s memories or dreams or … what. For some reason, Hanwool Mental Hospital and other confusing events popped into her mind. WHY?
In “Pandora: Beneath the Paradise”, to those on the outside, Hong Tae-Ra looks like she’s living in paradise. But on the inside, in her private life, something is not right in paradise. According to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman created by a god. Zeus gave her a gift which when opened released evil into the world.
My personal rating is 8 out of 10 stars. Many are not willing to give “Pandora: Beneath the Paradise” high marks. My generous rating is mainly because its storyline is current and relevant to today’s world of science which I find fascinating. One can’t miss the comparisons between the fictional Clover brain patch, and the real Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain chip. If both existed they would be cutting-edge technology for sure.
In addition, this Korean drama series is loaded with all kinds of moral and ethical questions, just like in real-world science.
For example, Hatch had the opportunity to show the world what can be done with a neural patch attached to the brain. Clover, the neural patch, can loaded with data that has not been LEARNED. So what is the first demonstration of its capabilities? A patch that shows how well an animal who has never learned how to kill … CAN KILL!!
Another example? Suppose someone has evil intentions, causes you to suffer a brain injury, uses Clover on you so you can learn what they want you to learn, and controls you. You are betrayed by someone you think is a trustworthy friend. There is always the question of whether memories are true or false, real or fake.
Anytime there is a breakthrough in medical science and it has something to do with the brain, which is the seat of the soul and intelligence (per Hippocrates of Kos and Alcmaeon of Croton), there is probably somebody who thinks that the “green light” for them to play evil mind games with your brain.
Please don’t say it will never happen.
KDramaforyou. “PANDORA: BENEATH the PARADISE Trailer (March 2023 KDrama) | Lee Ji Ah, Lee Sang Yoon Korean Drama.” YouTube Video. YouTube, February 20, 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt5qfYd4whU.