"Derailment is a good choice mystery drama for a laid-back weekend."

Derailment Drama Review

  • Title: Derailment
  • Also Known As: 脱轨, Tuo Gui , Li Xin Li , 离心力 , 脫軌
  • Director: Shen Yang
  • Cast: Liu Hao Cun, Lin Yi
  • Genres: Mystery, Fantasy, Romance
  • Episodes: 30
  • Date of release: December 14, 2023
  • Original Network: Youku
  • Where to Watch: Youku, Viki
  • Adapted from the novel: “Derailment” by Priest.

Hello readers! By the end of this January 2024, have you already made some achievements? I am proud to say that I have started living a healthier lifestyle. I no longer stay up all night binge-watching dramas. My alarm reminds me to be in bed by 11 PM, I usually stayed up late when I watched drama or wrote review, by the way. I exercise regularly and have stopped snacking for a while.

Now I feel more energized and less sleepy during the day. Being sick for a while made me realize that I have neglected my health for a long time. Let’s hope that 2024 brings us more health, which leads to wealth. For now, let’s focus on Derailment drama review. Derailment was a Chinese mystery drama, it is one of the Chinese dramas premiered in December 2023, with total of 30 episodes. Happy reading!

Derailment Synopsis

Jiang Xiao Yuan was a wealthy heiress from a prominent family. She lived a life like a princess that everyone envied. However, everything changed when she was involved in a car accident. Jian Xiao Yuan woke up in a parallel universe, where she was no longer a wealthy heiress. Even though her face and her name had remained the same, she was now aware of how difficult life could be for those who were struggling financially.

Qi Lian searched for his missing friend, Xu Jing Yang, for over six years. Xu Jing Yang disappeared after being hospitalized following a fall from a building in a gang fight. Despite reporting him missing, Xu Jing Yang seemed to have vanished from everyone’s memory except for Qi Lian.

Derailment drama review - poster

Qi Lian and Jiang Xiao Yuan used to be good friends until they had a falling out. They didn’t see each other for about six years until they met again at Luoshan Hospital. Qi Lian was puzzled because Jiang Xiao Yuan seemed to have forgotten everything from her past life and did not even recognize him.

In this unfamiliar world, Jiang Xiao Yuan must start from scratch. The former princess is left with nothing to survive on and must adjust to her new identity. Although she had a rough start with Qi Lian, he helped her during dire situations and even found her a job to support her life.

Would this situation continue if Qi Lian realized that the Jiang Xiao Yuan he knew was different from the one who stood in front of him? What would happen to Jiang Xiao Yuan when she learned that her situation was more complicated than just traveling to a parallel universe?

Derailment Drama Review

I have been eyeing this drama for a long time, but I always hesitate to watch it. The poster was unappealing, and I was unsure about the plot and unfamiliar with the main characters. However, I am a fan of the original creator of this drama. As an avid reader of Chinese web novels, I am familiar with Priest’s work. Many of Priest’s novels have been fully translated into English, and I have read several of them.

Derailment is not the only drama adapted from Priest’s novels. Several dramas were based on her novels, such as Word of Honor, Legend of Fei, and Justice in the Dark. In addition, there are also dramas based on her book that are waiting to be aired. Priest’s story was always light in the beginning, but as the story progressed, everything was darker than it seemed, and so was this drama.

Initially, I was unenthusiastic about the plot, as it seemed ordinary. A person who travels to an unknown world and era often struggles to accept reality while also working hard to survive. Most time-travel stories were like that. However, I was intrigued by the parallel world aspect, which has a sci-fi feel to it.

Somewhat Unique Drama

Derailment was not like any other romance-mystery drama. I noticed that in many dramas I’ve watched before, the male leads often work in prominent industries such as technology, finance, or healthcare.

Derailment drama review - poster 2

Derailment introduced us to Qi Lian, a talented businessman who owned the Fashion Hairdressing Salon. He appeared wealthy, (just look at his clothes and his Dior backpack, ah, don’t forget his vehicles), but didn’t seem to have an office or work behind a desk. I watched all 30 episodes, but still couldn’t grasp the most basic information about him. What does Qi Lian do for a living?

After careful consideration, I have concluded. Qi Lian probably has enough funds to be an investor in many companies, he could have an investment company arrange everything for him. Therefore, all he had to do was dress lavishly and conduct his private investigation about Xu Jing Yang’s whereabouts all day long. It was actually not a bad life.

When everything was over and all the mysteries were solved, Qi Lian could open his private investigation company. He was quite capable of being a detective and his looks would attract rich ladies who wanted to expose their husband’s infidelities. LOL.

However, if you are patient enough, you will find out why he chose to own a hairdressing salon. Qi Lian can do more than just invest. I was surprised to see that Qi Lian is also capable of washing hair and giving a proper head massage. The scene where he gave Jiang Xiao Yuan a head massage made me want one too.

The story started pretty fast. However, it later slowed down in the middle before taking a full sprint at the end. I had the urge to fast-forward or skip the middle part, but I just couldn’t do it. So, I persevered and kept on watching the mystery unfold.

A Bit Less

I have mixed feelings about this drama. The theme was promising, and I liked the visuals as well. The acting was great, and the chemistry was good too. However, I did not fully enjoy the storyline. First of all, Jiang Xiao Yuan’s stubbornness was really annoying. Secondly, Qi Lian’s character seemed two-dimensional. While we could see how Jiang Xiao Yuan and Jiang Bo’s characters grew, Qi Lian was like stagnant water in a pool.

It rippled, but there was no wave at all. When he was young, he was a rebellious youth. As he grew up, Qi Lian became an elegant ruffian. He only began to change at the end of the story. I found him and his flat expression quite boring. In my opinion, Derailment is not Lin Yi’s best drama.

Additionally, I did not like the way the story insisted on Jiang Xiao Yuan’s makeup career at the end. It seemed like the mystery was only solved by Qi Lian. He fully dedicated himself to the truth while Jiang Xiao Yuan focused on her passion. Although I know that Jiang Xiao Yuan is a victim in this story, I cannot shake off this feeling.

Another thing is that the revelation of the truth was not detailed enough. I was hoping there would be more flashbacks regarding the Lighthouse System project in the laboratory.

Lastly, I was unsatisfied with the lack of romance between Qi Lian and Jiang Xiao Yuan. However, this is only my wishful thinking. Lin Yi and Liu Hao Cun made a great pair, and as a romance junkie like me, I was hoping for an enthralling romance.

Perhaps I should read the novel to gain a different perspective on this drama. However, I am currently occupied with many other good dramas that have suddenly appeared on all my streaming apps. I hope to be able to watch two dramas simultaneously, but my brain is already overwhelmed with the idea.

Now, let’s talk about the people who created Derailment. Apart from Priest, I want to give a shout-out to the director who provided me with many beautiful visuals in this drama. You will not find beautiful visuals like those in Love Between Fairy and Devil or The Blue Whisper drama. I also wrote the review these dramas, you can read it on Love Between Fairy and Devil drama review and The Blue Whisper drama review, and also the ending explained Love Between Fairy and Devil ending explained and The Blue Whisper ending explained.

I am referring to the Wes Anderson aesthetic with symmetries and colors. I am not an expert, but sometimes I link the visuals I see with something I used to see many years ago, even if I cannot remember the movie titles. The beautiful scenes in Derailment must be credited to the director, Sheng Yang. He worked on Renascence, Forever and Ever, and Dilireba’s Love Designer.

I seldom watched Chinese movies. However, I remember some of the big names in the industry, like Zhang Yimou. Liu Hao Cun was an actress who was personally selected by him. This made her one of Yimou’s girls along with Zhang Zhi Yi and Gong Li. Liu Hao Cun rarely acted on the small screen.

Derailment is her first drama, but she already had a few new dramas on the shelf, waiting to be aired. Her acting is top-notch. Liu Hao Cun’s crying scene stunned me. When she needed to cry, the tears would flow down her cheeks.

The first thing I googled about Lin Yi was his height. He looked tall and his legs were long. I was curious whether he was that tall or if it was Liu Hao Cun who was petite. It turned out that Lin Yi IS very tall. His height is 188 cm or 6ft 2in. He was as tall as Hu Yi Tian and Zhang Ling He. It’s no surprise because he also works as a model and dancer. Anyway, I loved seeing him wearing a long coat, he looked dapper and striking.

This drama also features some familiar faces, such as Wanyan Luo Rong, who played the blue-haired Zhuge Qing in I Am Nobody drama, and Fan Shi Ran, who appeared in You Are Desire drama with Shabrina Zhuang and Zhou Yi Ran.

The Cinematography

At first, I found the visuals to be rather ordinary. The lighting, sets, and costumes didn’t seem particularly special. Later, I realized that many scenes had an aesthetic quality and were captured from good angles.

Derailment drama review - poster 3

Throughout the beginning of the story, the salon is the main place where most of the scenes take place. I loved how the salon was decorated in a retro style with curved windows and archways. The combination of the bold line and yellow lightning creates an elegant and luxurious effect.

Although I am not particularly fond of yellow tones, this was still pleasing to my eyes. My eyes were glued to the 6th episode when Jiang Xiao Yuan sat on the green bench with a gray background. The symmetry of her position and the way the director shot her in the perfect angle that captured her beauty and the surrounding environment stunned me.

The scene had something in it, the desolation and helplessness that Jiang Xiao Yuan felt at that moment was elegantly conveyed to me, but this is not the only scene. These aesthetically pleasing scenes were scattered throughout the drama. By simply opening your eyes, you can spot the beauty hidden in every episode.

Costumes and Wardrobes

The costumes, particularly Qi Lian’s, are quite simple. He always wears a suit, long coat and sometimes leather jacket. He opted for dark colors that reflecting his somber mood. Occasionally, he wears lighter colors when in a good mood, but he mostly sticks to black and dark gray. Unlike other male leads who wear only one type of glasses, Qi Lian wears both gold-rimmed and black-rimmed glasses, though he looks better in the latter.

Jiang Xiao Yuan’s clothing is simple and practical. She frequently wears shorts or pants, rarely opting for dresses or skirts. Yet, in episode 29, she looked stunning in a black and white cheongsam-style dress. Her hair was styled in a high bun held by a tasseled hairpin. I may have seen too many historical dramas, but I got excited when I saw the tasseled hairpin. Is this a hint that Liu Hao Cun is considering a historical drama for her next project?

The Story

In 2025, Jiang Xiao Yuan lived a life that many envied. She was born into a wealthy family and respected by others. Her parents were always busy, but her father’s assistant, Mr. Xu, was at her beck and call to take care of her every need. However, Jiang Xiao Yuan’s perfect life was shattered when she discovered that her boyfriend was cheating on her best friend. Jiang Xiao Yuan was furious and decided to withdraw her investment in Feng Rui Xue’s business.

Feng Rui Xue panicked and to stop Jiang Xiao Yuan, she said that she would jump into the river. Despite not taking the threat seriously, Jiang’s attitude changed when her boyfriend, Huo Bo Yu, informed her that Feng Rui Xue was missing. Jiang Xiao Yuan frantically searched for Feng Rui Xue and asked her father directly for help.

However, it was Mr. Xu who responded to her request. Unfortunately, on the way to meet Mr. Xu, Jiang Xiao Yuan’s pink sedan fell into the river after being hit by a truck. Before the car fell into the cold water, she heard a cold voice announce that The Lighthouse System had been activated.

Derailment drama review - poster 4

Jiang Xiao Yuan awakened in a desolate area and met a kind truck driver who helped her. Jiang Xiao Yuan was panicked when she discovered that she had somehow traveled back in time to 2018. But the world seemed different from her world. In this place, Jiang Xiao Yuan was not from a wealthy family, she came from a small village, in Beiyang County, and she did not have enough money to buy food for herself.

Qi Lian only had Xu Jing Yang’s unusual phone as a clue since his disappearance in 2012. Qi Lian never gave up searching for his friend. However, the phone did not provide any useful information. In 2018, the silent phone received a coordinate. It was the same place where Jiang Xiao Yuan had woken up. Qi Lian rushed to the place, but they missed each other.

Qi Lian saw Jian Xiao Yuan at the hospital, but she did not recognize him. He believed that due to their bitter separation, Jiang Xiao Yuan was angry with him and deliberately pretended to forget him. However, Jiang Xiao Yuan had no memories of him. To her, Qi Lian was just a stranger.

After Qi Lian helped Jiang Xiao Yuan find a job in a salon (which turned out to be his), she began to feel guilty for taking advantage of his kindness. However, when Jiang Xiao Yuan confessed everything, Qi Lian did not believe it. Not until he saw the same phone as Xu Jing Yang carried by Jiang Xiao Yuan. He began to believe that Jiang Xiao Yuan was a time and space traveler.

Xu Jing Yang got angry because this new Jiang Xiao Yuan had occupied the body of his friend. He demanded Jiang Xiao Yuan return the body to its true owner. This was something that Jiang Xiao Yuan wanted to do, but she was helpless.

I dislike this scene. Qi Lian was rude to Jiang Xiao Yuan. If I were Jiang Xiao Yuan, I would leave him immediately.

As I predicted, Qi Lian fell in love with Jiang Xiao Yuan. This caused him a dilemma, because since they were in high school, Qi Lian had been in love with Jiang Xiao Yuan, and he still kept his feelings for her over the years. This new Jiang Xiao Yuan also caught his attention. She was livelier, bolder, and braver than the old Jiang Xiao Yuan.

Qi Lian and Jiang Xiao Yuan’s investigation is starting to come to fruition. They have discovered that Xu Jing Yang and Jiang Xiao Yuan’s phones are equipped with location trackers. Jiang Xiao Yuan’s phone chip sent the coordinates to Xu Jing Yang’s phone, which led Qi Lian to Xu Jing Yang.

Jiang Xiao Yuan’s situation became more complicated. People from her world in 2025 also exist in the present world. She met Feng Rui Xue by accident. However, in this world, Feng Rui Xue is a wealthy girl who has a bad relationship with Jiang Xiao Yuan. Different from 2025, this time it was Jiang Xiao Yuan who stole Huo Bo Yu from Feng Rui Xue.

Qi Lian had been searching for a masked man who was interfering with their investigation. The man is Huo Bo Yu. It was later discovered that Huo Bo Yu was once Jiang Xiao Yuan’s college boyfriend. However, when Jiang Xiao Yuan met him, Huo Bo Yu recognized her as the wealthy Jiang Xiao Yuan of 2025. It sparked a question, Is Huo Bo Yu also a space traveler like her?

All the investigations lead to one clue: the Lighthouse System. And to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of Xu Jing Yang and Jiang Xiao Yuan’s situation, they have to find the person behind the project.

Apart from the sci-fi aspects, the story of Derailment also mentions Jiang Xiao Yuan’s survival in the present world. Jiang Xiao Yuan began to realize her passion for the makeup world. She wanted to become a makeup artist, and this led her to Jiang Bo. He was a talented makeup artist with a fiery temperament. Jiang Bo had a good chance to be a sad (but proud) second male lead.

Honestly, I liked to see how Jiang Xiao Yuan began to reshape her life in the present world. The hardship led to her character growth. When Jiang Xiao Yuan worked at the salon, she couldn’t even mop the floor. However, she worked hard to become a junior stylist. Jiang Xiao Yuan also came up with a strategy to attract customers.

However, as the mystery began to unravel, this part annoyed me. The mystery surrounding her, Xu Jing Yang, and the Lighthouse System is already complicated. Jiang Xiao Yuan’s passion for makeup became insignificant in my eyes. Moreover, I had to divert my attention from the mystery to Jiang Xiao Yuan and Qi Lian’s relationship and the obstacles they face.

The drama had a happy ending. However, it becomes complicated towards the end, starting from the 17th episode when the real villain appears. Brace yourself.

The Characters

Jiang Xiao Yuan (played by Liu Hao Cun)

I have never seen a female lead as annoying as this one. Jiang Xiao Yuan was the most stubborn, bad tempered, and impulsive person. She is also a fearless individual who is full of pride. I wouldn’t say she was brave; rather, “no fear” would be a better way to put it.

Derailment Drama Review - Jiang Xiao Yuan (played by Liu Hao Cun)
Derailment Drama Review – Jiang Xiao Yuan (played by Liu Hao Cun)

Jiang Xiao Yuan from 2025 was a pampered princess with talent and a knack for business. She is living a lavish but lonely life. Her only friends are Feng Rui Xue and Datou. Jiang Xiao Yuan’s parent were busy and she could only contacted her father’s secretary, Mr. Xu.

In 2018, Jiang Xiao Yuan was a shy and unconfident individual. However, she also has a sharp mind, a strong will, and a short fuse. She was raised in a low-income household. Her grandma was unwell and her parents perished in an automobile accident. They had to borrow money from lots of people in the the village to be able to cover the hospital bills. Her grandmother was able to collecting money for her college tuition. However, she eventually dropped school and had to work to pay for Granny Jiang’s surgery.

Jiang Xiao Yuan had some feelings for Qi Lian when they were both in high school. simply because when she faced difficulties, he was the only one who defended her. However, things came to an end when she was forced to leave the county and spent years apart from Qi Lian. She was introduced to the Lighthouse System by Huo Bo Yu who was her college boyfriend.

Qi Lian (played by Lin Yi)

Qi Lian was born into a well-off yet problematic family. His father, Qi Mao Qing, and he did not get along well, and his mother passed away many years ago. Ever since he graduated from high school, Qi Lian has lived alone.

Qi Lian is an introverted person generally. He doesn’t talk to many people and has a small circle of friends. A De and Chen Fang Zhou were the people who remained close to him over the years. In the hopes of running into Jiang Xiao Yuan once more, Qi Lian invested his money into Chen Fang Zhou’s salon business.

Derailment Drama Review- Qi Lian (played by Lin Yi)
Derailment Drama Review- Qi Lian (played by Lin Yi)

Qi Lian gave off an air of a cold and aloof person. However, in reality, he was a soft-hearted individual, particularly toward Jiang Xiao Yuan. He lived alone and was engulfed in his guilt for Xu Jing Yang. He was injured from shielding Qi Lian from a blow during a gang fight. And when he disappeared, Qi Lian worked hard to find him again. In his heart, Xu Jing Yang will always be his good friend.

Jiang Bo (played by Huang Sheng Chi)

Jiang Bo is a genius makeup artist with an explosive temper. He always keeps a stern and cold face, but it does not hide his handsomeness. Jiang Bo looked down on people but it was a way to hide the bitterness in his heart. His temperament stemmed from his childhood and his adoptive mother Fan Xiao Xiao.

Derailment Drama Review - Jiang Bo (played by Huang Sheng Chi)
Derailment Drama Review – Jiang Bo (played by Huang Sheng Chi)

When Jiang Bo was ten years old, the police found him after he stabbed his adoptive father. However, Jiang Bo was mentally unstable and often became a victim of domestic violence, so the Police concluded that he did it as a self-defense action. Jiang Bo later was sent to a mental rehabilitation facility for four years. Meanwhile, Fan Xiao Xiao remarried and concealed Jiang Bo’s existence from her husbands and the world.

Although Jiang Bo seemed to hate Jiang Xiao Yuan for going against him, he still recognized her talent. He is just too proud to admit that, and so is Jiang Xiao Yuan, who also has the same pride in her blood.

Feng Rui Xue (played by Fan Shi Ran)

Feng Rui Xue from 2025 came from a poor family. She worked under Jiang Xiao Yuan but they became best friends. Feng Rui Xue was a hypocrite and greedy person, all due to her financial situation. As she pretends to be a kind and gentle friend, she is not satisfied with her situation and somehow is getting close to Jiang Xiao Yuan’s boyfriend, Huo Bo Yu and they are having an affair.

Derailment Drama Review - Feng Rui Xue (played by Fan Shi Ran)
Derailment Drama Review – Feng Rui Xue (played by Fan Shi Ran)

The same Feng Rui Xui from 2018 is the opposite. she came from a prominent family and was a wealthy and spoiled princess. She used to be friends with Jiang Xiao Yuan, but this time, it was Jiang Xiao Yuan who snatched her boyfriend, Huo Bo Yu. Their relationship worsened before Jiang Xiao Yuan disappeared for years.

Huo Bo Yu (played by Wanyan Luo Rong)

Either in 2025 or 2018, Huo Bo Yu is a playboy. He took advantage of Jiang Xiao Yuan and Feng Rui Xue. Hua Bo Yu is the source of calamity for Jiang Xiao Yuan and Feng Rui Xue’s friendship.

Derailment Drama Review - Huo Bo Yu (played by Wanyan Luo Rong)
Derailment Drama Review – Huo Bo Yu (played by Wanyan Luo Rong)

In 2025, he pretends to be a sweet, gentle, and timid boyfriend. But in 2018, Huo Bo Yu has mental instability and was controlled by the real villain.

Chen Fang Zhou (Wang Cha Cha)

Chen Fang Zhou is the only person who was sincerely kind to Jiang Xiao Yuan from the beginning. He was oblivious to the identity of Jiang Xiao Yuan or the time-traveling matter. All he wanted to do was to help his friends.

Derailment Drama Review - Chen Fang Zhou (Wang Cha Cha)
Derailment Drama Review – Chen Fang Zhou (Wang Cha Cha)

When Jiang Xiao Yuan was working at the salon, he often shielded her. Even though his employees did not fully respect him because of Chen Fang Zhou’s gentle and lenient nature. But as a friend, nobody could compare his loyalty to Qi Lian and Jiang Xiao Yuan. Chen Fang Zhou is a dandy man who loves to pamper himself in his spare time. he loves to soak in a bathtub full of bubble baths.

Every time I saw this scene, I thought Chen Fang Zhou just lacked a yellow rubber duck on his head.

The Conclusion

Derailment is a good choice mystery drama for a laid-back weekend. It was a full-package drama, a mystery with a hint of personal growth and romantic story. I love writing review about this drama. It’s did not have much of swoon-worthy scenes, you just got a hint of kisses in the latter episode. Therefore, if you came to ship Lian Yi and Liu Hao Cun, you should prepared to be disappointed by the lack of romantic scenes.

And if you came for the mystery, be patient with Jiang Xiao Yuan’s personal story It was a tad too long and annoying (for me). The story of Jiang Xiao Yuan’s time traveling was predictable, but the story behind it was mind-blowing. You must keep your eyes open, especially in the last 10 episodes.

Well dear readers, if you decide to watch this Derailment drama, don’t forget to write to us about your opinion in the comment box below. I hope this review post helped you. I’ll see you in another post of drama review. Ciao!

Iya Moyya
Iya Moyya
"A Chinese drama and movie lover for the past 5 years. I contemplate everything, everyday" - Do you like my writing? You can support me by clicking this donation link: Buy Me A Coffee ☕️, thank you!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

"Derailment is a good choice mystery drama for a laid-back weekend."Derailment Drama Review
error: Content is protected !!