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What to Know About ‘3 Body Problem’ on Netflix What to Know About ‘3 Body Problem’ on Netflix
Netflix’s new sci-fi series, 3 Body Problem, debuted on Thursday and, yes, dedicated binge-watchers, the entire season is available. The eight-episode series is based... What to Know About ‘3 Body Problem’ on Netflix


Netflix’s new sci-fi series, 3 Body Problem, debuted on Thursday and, yes, dedicated binge-watchers, the entire season is available. The eight-episode series is based on a trilogy by Chinese novelist Liu Cixin. We won’t give too much away, but the mind-bending Netflix show in part sets the story in 1960s China, where a young woman’s fateful decision “reverberates across space and time into the present day.” Netflix’s plot synopsis teases danger to mankind: “When the laws of nature inexplicably unravel before their eyes, a close-knit group of brilliant scientists join forces with an unorthodox detective to confront the greatest threat in humanity’s history.” 

The series comes from Game of Thrones co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and True Blood producer Alexander Woo. It not only spans multiple genres but transports viewers to various periods and locations, from China during the Cultural Revolution to the present-day UK and into a strange virtual reality game. With big stakes, recognizable cast members from Thrones and plenty of intrigue, here are some more details on the thought-provoking sci-fi show that may soon hold your attention.

 3 Body Problem is in part a mystery, its ominous official trailer stating that “someone or something” is targeting top scientists. 

When will the series come out? 

You can stream the full first season of 3 Body Problem now. All eight episodes dropped at 3 a.m. ET (midnight PT).

Sarah Tew/CNET

Netflix

Carries 3 Body Problem

Netflix’s plans currently range from $7 to $23 a month. If you opt for the $7 a month plan, note that it’ll include ads and some titles on the platform will be locked due to licensing restrictions. No Hard Feelings, starring Jennifer Lawrence, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse are examples of movies you can’t currently access with ad-based Netflix. Read more about the streaming service in our review.

Meanwhile, another Three-Body Problem adaptation — the Tencent-produced, 30-episode offering Three-Body — is available now on Peacock.

What’s the series about?

Netflix’s adaptation will explore how humanity responds to an existential threat. Though you don’t have to be up to date with Liu Cixin’s book trilogy, season 1 of the show adapts the first novel — The Three-Body Problem — bringing in elements from the second and third books in The Remembrance of Earth’s Past series. Slight spoiler (seriously, skip this next line if you don’t want to know more about what threat humanity is in for): In the books, an alien civilization wants to invade Earth, and some humans decide to fight and others decide to welcome the extraterrestrial beings. 

3 Body Problem shares cast members with Thrones, including John Bradley, Liam Cunningham and Jonathan Pryce. In an interview with ABC News, Bradley, who plays a member of a tight-knit circle known as the “Oxford Five” in 3 Body Problem, said with the show’s virtual reality device, “You can plant your characters in any point in history or the future and any place in the world.” So expect to be kept on your (hopefully cozy and blanket-covered) toes. 

Fans of the book will note various differences between the show and the source material. While the original novels are written in Chinese and contain mostly Chinese characters, this TV version has been broadened to appeal to a wider international audience. Additionally, viewers should know the creative team received Cixin’s approval to move forward with — and alter — the new Netflix story.

In an interview with SXSW, Benioff said, “The first scene of the show is very similar to the first scene of the novel and the last scene is very similar to the last scene. In between, there’s all sorts of deviations … we brought in some stuff from book two, we brought in stuff from book three, there’s some stuff we invented.” Benioff said they aimed to be true to what the books made them feel: “Wow, the universe is a lot bigger than we thought about before, we’re almost certainly not alone in the universe and that might not be a good thing,” Benioff said.

Who’s in the cast

Here’s the rest of the large cast: Jovan Adepo, Rosalind Chao, Eiza González, Jess Hong, Marlo Kelly, Alex Sharp, Sea Shimooka, Zine Tseng, Saamer Usmani and Marvel actor Benedict Wong.





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