FNC Entertainment chose the most unique possible way to introduce K-pop boy group P1Harmony for debut back in 2020 during COVID: It had them all star in a sci-fi action movie, P1H: The Beginning of a New World, and it was about a deadly virus. It’s even set across three timelines and features AOA member Seolhyun! The P1Harmony members had not expected to be actors, but FNC sent Theo, Keeho, Jiung, Intak, Soul, and Jongseob for about two-to-three months of action and acting lessons — and then they were off to the races, filming a movie. If you don’t have time to watch the roughly 100-minute film yourself but are curious to know what it’s about, we have prepared this full summary and plot synopsis of the P1Harmony movie, P1H: The Beginning of a New World.
(Quotations from the movie are taken from an English translation provided by “Your Superheroes Team” for the platform Viki, where P1H is free to watch with advertisements in multiple languages.)
P1H: The Beginning of a New World — Full P1Harmony Movie Plot Summary and Synopsis
P1H: The Beginning of a New World opens with the following narration, set in the “future” timeline: “Alcor virus research record, no. 200. After extensive research, it was discovered the Alcor virus attacks the amygdala, which controls one’s emotions. It then has a deadly effect on the hippocampus, which stores memories, and even affects the cerebellum, which controls voluntary movements. The Alcor virus mutates these functions of the brain, leaving behind only anger and murderous impulses. The vectors of the virus are drones. And these flying objects spread throughout the world.”
Afterward, a mannequin with a speaker playing music in a field is used to attract the attention of a swarm of drones. A group of four armed people, including Theo, Jongseob, an older man named Han, and a woman who is genuinely named Son Noona (played by Seolhyun), use the trap to catch one drone in a net and destroy the rest. They take the drone back to a theater that they use as a home because it is soundproofed, and they determine drones operate on lithium batteries with energy transferred from the sun, requiring just two hours of solar energy to fully charge. They also learn the drone’s hard drive is loaded with an AI algorithm trained to sense a person’s voice and shoot when it hears something. By connecting to GPS, they determine there are thousands of active drones around the world.
Later, when Jongseob and Noona are coming home from collecting food from a store, Noona is caught in a trap that suspends her in the air. She frees herself, and a new character, Soul, appears nearby, who had set that trap to catch animals. Simultaneously, Theo and Han accidentally discover a small room completely filled with inactive drones, and they begin shooting them in a panic before fleeing. Ultimately, the four regroup, adopt Soul into their group as a fifth member, and eat together. It is determined that Soul was hit by a drone’s virus-inducing pin at some point, but Soul was not actually infected due to some inherent immunity.
In the evening, Han plans to track a meteor that falls from the sky and find its impact location, believing it could be the key to ending their situation somehow. At dawn the next day, the group begins a trek on foot to the location. During the second day of travel, a dust storm requires them to flee into a rundown building that is still open to the outside, and they get separated from each other. Drones patrol the area during the storm, and after some fighting, Noona is hit by a drone’s virus pin. She expresses her gratitude to Han for giving her hope and requests he kill her as the virus takes control, and he reluctantly does so. The group expresses their grief at the loss.
P1H: The Beginning of a New World then segues to the “past” timeline in Seoul, where Keeho and Jiung wake up in the woods after someone wearing a mask has been filming them with a camcorder without their knowledge. Keeho and Jiung have no memory of who they are, including their names, but they find a locker key for “Sun Bathhouse” as a clue. When they realize someone is filming them, they give chase, but that person retreats into a car. Then two men with guns step out of the car to go after them, causing Keeho and Jiung to flee; they are almost struck by bullets several times and even have a brief physical confrontation.
In the evening, Keeho and Jiung finally successfully escape into town, where a woman, Hwisu, recognizes them and tells them their names. They ask her about Sun Bathhouse, which Hwisu reveals belongs to Jiung’s uncle. They go directly to the bathhouse, break in, and locate the locker pertaining to the key. They find a bag with Keeho’s watch, Jiung’s ring, a photo of themselves together, and passports with tickets for New Zealand, suggesting they were close friends who traveled together. Then Jiung’s uncle enters and is confused that they aren’t on their trip to New Zealand right at that moment. Jiung explains their situation to his uncle, but he doesn’t believe them and dismisses them.
In a public restroom, Keeho and Jiung wonder comically if they are secret agents, at which time a man (famous comedian Yoo Jae-suk) meets with them. He punches Keeho, which instead of striking him causes Keeho to teleport inside a bathroom stall. Then the man instructs Jiung in how to wear his ring to use telekinesis, and Jiung accidentally breaks a bathroom urinal with this power. Afterward, the man transforms into a different, younger man and cryptically tells them, “You must find the source by today,” and “If you follow the masked ghost, you will find them.”
Keeho and Jiung then coincidentally find the masked person (the “ghost”) filming them again, so they give chase again. When the person tries to escape in a car with the two men like last time, Jiung uses the power of the ring to stop the car and lock the two men inside. The masked ghost somehow vanishes, but Keeho uses his watch to teleport inside the car and antagonize the two men. Ultimately, the men reveal that they are only factory workers, they don’t know who told them to kill Keeho and Jiung, and they have never seen the masked ghost’s face. Someone named Sajoseong made them do this, but Hwisu shoots and murders them both before they can talk any further. Keeho teleports himself and Jiung to avoid being shot, and then Hwisu commits suicide as a strange showing of faith to the masked ghost.
Afterward, Keeho and Jiung yet again give chase to the masked ghost, leading them to an Alcor warehouse and lab where they find a woman strapped to a chair wearing a breathing mask and being made to watch a disturbing video. Removing her mask causes her to scream, so they put it back on her. Then gas sprays into the room, rendering them unconscious. They awaken in another section of the warehouse, where it is revealed that Jiung’s uncle is not his uncle at all but someone who was observing them in order to learn how their special powers work. Now he and his henchmen know the watch and ring are responsible. Additionally, Keeho and Jiung lost their memories because they had already been knocked out by this gas once in this location and seemingly had the memories wiped by Hwisu for the sake of this manipulative study.
Of the group’s goals, the man explains, “The world is rotten to the core. We need to start afresh.” He reveals that their leader, Sajoseong, has already left for the year 2020 (the “present”). Keeho and Jiung find an opening to fight back, and following a long altercation, Jiung regains his ring and defeats their enemies. Then Keeho uses his watch to teleport them to the year 2020.
P1H: The Beginning of a New World shifts to follow Intak in the present timeline, who is a jokester in school. He and a friend go to a PC bang to play video games. While there, a man in black downloads a tracking app to Intak’s phone without his knowing and then gently cuts Intak across the back of a neck with a razor as he leaves, which Intak mistakes for a mosquito biting him. Afterward, Intak hurries belatedly to his dance lesson with his instructor, as dance is his true passion over education, and the man in black follows him.
Meanwhile, a ninth-grade girl, Chaeyoon, had earlier delivered snacks to girls at school in her work group, and one of them invited her to a barbecue at the Han River for the following day. Now at home in the evening, she explains this to a dog doll, Haja, that somehow talks back to her and acts autonomously. Her father is concerned about her attachment to the doll at her age, and her mother (who gave her the doll) does not live with them, being a selfish woman. The father does not know the doll is sentient.
The next day, Intak sees his friend is watching an apocalyptic message from a masked man on his phone, about the need to spread the Alcor virus, but Intak laughs it off. Chaeyoon goes to the Han River, but the other girls reveal the invitation was a prank and they are eating together elsewhere. The man in black appears, offering to buy the meat off of her, and in her sadness she allows him to have it for free. Elsewhere, Intak completes another dance lesson, and then his instructor buys them a meal, where she asks why Intak lives with his grandmother. He explains that his parents died in a car accident when he was five years old, but he somehow survived being in the car. Meanwhile, Chaeyoon returns home despondent and goes to her room, and then her dad receives a phone call from her mother canceling plans to see them.
The next day, Intak and his dance coach see a fleet of drones in the sky above. The drones begin to shoot people, infecting them with the virus and driving them mad, resulting in murders. His coach is then infected, and she attacks him. Meanwhile, Chaeyoon and her father are driving, but they stop when the car in front of them stops in a panic and people start to attack their vehicle. More people violently attack each other and the car, and someone shoots Chaeyoon’s father, killing him. The man in black then rescues Chaeyoon from the car, and Haja, the doll, follows them.
Simultaneously, Intak flees into a shopping center while his coach continues chasing him amid the chaos. He ends up on a rooftop, and as he tries to get down a flight of steps, his coach chokes him and throws him off the side, causing him to fall the entire way down and hit his head. Despite all the blood that he loses, he gets up alive and well, revealing a power of invulnerability. Then he finds a young girl named Noona, whom he takes in. After that, the man in black picks them up, and they with Chaeyoon retreat to a tall structure; they appear to all be capable of seeing that Haja operates autonomously.
The man in black explains there is a star named Sajoseong. Its Arabian name is “Alcor.” There was long ago a legend that whoever looked at Sajoseong would die. Meanwhile, as more people with the virus attack, Intak repels them, and Chaeyoon somehow causes grass and life to grow from the dirt inside the structure, to Haja’s amazement. Eventually, the man in black says, “When the star appears tonight, we must send the signal,” and then he transforms to reveal himself to be some version of Han, at which time he adds, “We must bring together our past and future selves.”
Simultaneously, in the future timeline, the original Han and his group see a glowing cosmic light in the sky at night, and Han says in vague response that they can save Noona. He says, “At last, the powers we have lost will return to us.” The same light is visible in the present timeline. Keeho and Jiung then appear to help Intak dispatch more infected people, and the present version of Han transforms one more time to reveal he was also the man who taught Keeho and Jiung how to use their powers. He says, “Welcome,” and the movie ends with an introduction to P1Harmony as a music group.
The Story in the P1Harmony Movie Certainly Has Some Holes
If you read the entire P1H: The Beginning of a New World movie summary and plot synopsis above and are still extremely confused about large segments of the story — that is normal. The movie genuinely does not make much sense by itself, feeling like a prologue to a larger story that may or may not ever be continued in film; you might just have to squint really hard while watching P1Harmony music videos if you’re hoping to make concrete sense of the larger cinematic narrative at play. That is a bit unfortunate.
However, P1Harmony has expressed interest in filming a P1H sequel movie if FNC Entertainment would like to do that, and Keeho believes it would be a better film because they would be less “awkward” about the filming this time. Incidentally, as an extra piece of trivia, Keeho said during a Zach Sang Show interview published to YouTube on June 2, 2022 that he in particular felt awkward during filming because the script was in Korean, and at that time, he felt he “wasn’t good at Korean.” For more about Keeho’s journey in K-pop in general, you can read our separate explanation of Keeho as the leader of P1Harmony. We also have an in-depth explanation of who speaks English or other languages in P1Harmony.
At any rate, that concludes our summary and plot synopsis for the very strange yet extremely ambitious P1Harmony movie, P1H: The Beginning of a New World. Let us know what you think of it, especially if you’ve actually watched the movie! As a reminder, it is freely available to view online in Viki (and seemingly some other platforms) at the current time, but do please note that K-Pop Answers is not in any way affiliated with Viki or any other streaming platform.