Stepping Out (Singaporean TV series)

Stepping Out (Chinese: 出路) is a 1999 Singaporean Mandarin drama series adapted from a historical book, which reran in 2006. It stars Yvonne Lim , Terence Cao , Cynthia Koh , Xie Shaoguang , Ivy Lee , Tay Ping Hui & Chunyu Shanshan as the casts of the series.

Stepping Out
Title card
GenrePeriod drama
Written byNg Kah Huay 黄佳华
Ang Eng Tee 洪荣狄
Directed byLoo Yin Kam 卢燕金
StarringYvonne Lim
Terence Cao
Cynthia Koh
Xie Shaoguang
Ivy Lee
Tay Ping Hui
Chunyu Shanshan
Opening theme我吃的起苦 by Power Station
Country of originSingapore
Original language(s)Mandarin
No. of episodes30
Producer(s)Kwek Leng Soong 郭令送
Running time45 Minutes not including commercial breaks
Original networkTCS 8th Frequency (Now MediaCorp Channel 8)
Picture format576i PAL
First shown in6 August 1999
Original release1999
External links
[Stepping Out Website]

The series focuses on the Chinese immigrant experience in Singapore, and their rough, hard ascent (along with the rest of Singapore) to the present state of wealth and riches that is unprecedented in Singaporean history. The drama begins in China and spans roughly three decades. It was produced following the success of the 1997 period drama The Price of Peace.

The story begins at the start of the Chinese Civil War during the 1920s. The chaos and upheaval which entailed caused many Chinese to migrate to Southeast Asia, mainly Malaysia and Singapore, and sets the background for the series. The Hock Lee bus riots and Chinese middle schools riots of the 1950s were referenced and clips of the actual incidents were shown.


It is the 1920s, a time of great chaos in China. Poverty was rampant in many regions, forcing many people to seek their fortune in the fabled Southern region known collectively as Nanyang. The story begins with three young men from the Fujian province.

A poor oyster collecter named Chen Xia (Terence Cao) wishes to marry his childhood sweetheart, Hong Dou (Cynthia Koh), but struggles to make ends meet.

The son of a wealthy tea plantation owner, Jia Fu (Xie Shaoguang) is a wastrel. Lazy and childish, the only saving grace to his character is his thoughtless generosity. In his naivete he loses his inheritance and is left with nothing but the support of his industrious wife, Ju (Ivy Lee).

After Tian's (Chunyu Shanshan) father dies on the trip to Nanyang, his widowed mother and his two siblings are forced to live a life of scavenging for food in the wilderness. After his sister is killed and his brother goes missing, he is hired by a rich merchant. His new employer is cruel and his meekness makes him an easy target for bullying, but he finds himself attracted to the man's second wife, Hai Yan (Yvonne Lim).

Despite the disparity between their situations and personalities, they each find themselves making the trip to the port of Singapore in Nanyang all with the same purpose: To seek a way out of their circumstances and a better future.


1999 Accolades

Best Actor 最佳男主角Terence Cao 曹国辉Nominated
Xie Shaoguang 谢韶光Won
Best Actress 最佳女主角Cynthia Koh 许美珍Won
Ivy Lee 李锦梅Nominated
Best Supporting Actor 最佳男配角Tay Ping Hui 郑斌辉Won
Best Supporting Actress 最佳女配角Yvonne Lim 林湘萍Nominated
Best Drama Serial 最佳电视剧Stepping OutWon
Best Theme Song 最佳主题曲我吃得起苦 by Power StationWon

Star Awards 2007

Top 5 Favourite Dramas
N/AWon Top 5
Preceded by
Stand by Me
Star Awards for Best Drama Serial
Stepping Out
Succeeded by
Hainan Kopi Tales
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