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Before there were Dukes or even Princesses, Caldecott Hill had the Dragons – The Dragons Five, that is. (This story first appeared in Issue 248 on Jul 8, 1995.)

Like their mythological namesakes, the 'dragons' — comprising (main pic, clockwise from top left) Jason Oh, Thomas Ong, Raymond Yong, Andrew Seow and Henry Tee — caused a stir when they were unleashed on our TV in the eponymous Ch 8 drama.

On his own, each of the five hot new faces here can evoke quite an ear-splitting reception. Better buy major ear-plugs then, as the Dream(boat) Team have been cast in a new serial titled The Dragons Five. The 20-parter, chronicles the adventures of five members of an elite police squad.

These hotshots — all twentysomething former models — have been tagged as TCS’ ‘five dragons’. In Chinese mythology, the dragon is a highly-respected creature that signifies the positive and noble qualities of a man. With the station all set to chart their star turns from hereon, this promotional tagline seems most appropriate. Certainly, a local serial with five male leads — and roles specially tailored for each of them — has no local predecessor.

THOMAS ONG

As close to a Prince Charming as any TCS star can hope to get, this 27-year-old’s fan club swells by the day, his devotees showering him with gifts, flowers and cards at each public appearance he makes. In The Dragons Five, he plays Zhao Tianbao who’s falsely accused of murdering his rival in love.

Among the five of us, I’m the most… Garfield-like. I’m the one who snoozes the most. Except when I’m in front of the camera, of course, or when there are tidbits and food to eat.

If I could be anyone at all I’d be… Emil Chau so I can sing to myself any time and not have to spend a single cent buying CDs.

When I’m 50, I… would probably be dead. Besides, living till 50 seems like a mighty long time. If I were still around, I’d probably be sickly as I don’t eat healthily at all. I don’t eat vegetables, for instance. It’s a bad habit, but I’m too old to kick it.

My most heroic moment… in the show comes in episode 10 which no one should miss. But I won’t say anything about it except there are guns and bombs. In real life, I’ve never been a hero although I once helped a handicapped old man down the stairs while everyone else around me stayed clear because he was rather filthy. Unfortunately, I’ve never saved a beauty…

The buzz: Thomas’ acting skills are the strongest of the lot and he appears to handle action roles and emotional scenes with equal ease. He also has wide appeal and is the most popular among the newcomers.

RAYMOND YONG

Aged 26 going on 25, this guy with the traditional smarts is an idealist who wants the world to be ride of war and racial discrimination. Rumoured to be romancing Phyllis Quek (Star Search ’95 second runner-up), this NUS grad started off with a brief stint as a TCS compere. In The Dragons Five, he plays Li Wenbiao, a righteous cop who won’t let personal feelings obstruct the carriage of justice. Totally self-sacrificing, he is captured by villains while trying to save a kidnapped colleague.

Among the five of us, I’m the most… crazy. I clown around and entertain friends by pretending I’m Jim Carrey or the deadpan guy from Naked Gun. Sometimes, I even imitate Stephen Chow’s silly slapstick stunts.

If I could be anyone at all I’d be… schizophrenic. I’d have the acting skills of Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson, the body of Arnie, the musical talent of the Eagles and the voice of Jacky Cheung.

When I’m 50, I… would like to scuba dive in the North Pole, climb the Himalayas and parachute. I’m a believer of mind over matter.

My most heroic moment… in the show is when I decide to marry my girlfriend even though she had a child with another man. Off-screen, I’m no hero compared to freedom fighters like Lim Bo Seng. I once helped a friend fight off a bully, but the situation wasn’t that dangerous. I was slightly bruised, that’s all.

The buzz: Raymond’s physique and agility make him a natural choice for action serials. He may go the way of Chen Tianwen, but needs to polish his acting skills.

ANDREW SEOW

The 25-year-old holder of a diploma in fashion design says he’s been “addicted to acting” since he first caught the bug in primary school. It matters not, he says, that it isn’t a particularly lucrative profession. In the new serial, he plays Chen Yaoquan, brother of the materialistic girl who jilts Raymond’s character. He romances the daughter of a country’s head-of-state but the affair is thwarted…

Among the five of us, I’m the most… health-conscious. I don’t eat pork fat or chicken skin. Given a choice, I won’t eat hawker food except maybe fish porridge. I don’t go to nightspots, exercise four times a week and can easily walk from TCS to Junction 8. I like perspiring as  I think and walk. After suffering a hangover, I’ve also decided that one beer is my limit.

If I could be anyone at all I’d be… myself when I was Primary One but knowing the things I know now.

When I’m 50, I… hope to be enjoying my retirement in Hawaii, with enough savings in the bank to live comfortably, but not too rich to have to worry about where to put my money. Most of all I’d like to be healthy.

My most heroic moment… on screen was when I saved my character’s girlfriend from a shipload full of villains with the help of Thomas and Raymond. It may sound silly, but off-screen, I once risked my life to save a kitten from being run down by a car. I dashed across the road instinctively, thinking that I’d be able to catch the attention of the driver better than the tiny kitten could. I was cursed at, but all creatures, big and small, are equally important to us.

The buzz: Andrew radiates the air of a contemporary leading man. Unfortunately, he has a high-pitched voice that’s incongruous with his macho image.

HENRY TEE

At 24, Henry is everybody’s favourite kid brother. The guy says he’s “childish and blur” like his character in his debut show, The Young Ones. Disarmingly honest about his weaknesses (he’s a slow learner, he says), Henry makes up for it working doubly hard. Here, he plays Wei Mingde, an orphan and foster brother to Jason’s and Ivy Lee’s characters.

Among the five of us… I speak the fastest, like a machine gun.

If I could be anyone at all I’d be… Li Nanxing. I admire his acting skills and personality. He has no airs at all despite his status.

When I’m 50, I… would like to have my own business and travel around the world with my loved one.

My most heroic moment… in the show is when I sacrifice my life to save my four buddies. Off-screen, I’ve yet to play hero.

The buzz: Henry has a charming innocence suited to boyish roles which is fine as there’re few actors in that niche.

JASON OH

The 28-year-old describes himself as stubborn and not very driven. He plays Liu Chaoping, the leader of the five cops who’s motivated to nab the baddies as both his parents fell victim to villains.

Among the five of us, I’m the most… easy-going. Life’s short, there’s no point in pressurising yourself.

If I could be anyone at all I’d be… a baby. I’d spend life sleeping, crying and eating and have no worries at all.

When I’m 50, I… well, actually, I’ve never thought of that before, but I hope to own a house within the next 10 years.

I changed my name from Jae to Jason because… my friends always tease that Jae sounds like ‘gay’.

The buzz: Jason’s looks and acting skills are pretty good and he’s versatile enough to play good and bad guys. He’s best-suited to the roles played by former artistes John Hong and Desmond Shen.

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