3 Body Problem

3 Body Problem

Chinese novels aren't exactly hot commodities in the West, and they seldom get turned into films or TV adaptations. However, 3 Body Problem is an exception that proves the rule. This work is so popular in the Western hemisphere that Netflix found it worthwhile to adapt it for television.

The adaptation was entrusted to the famous creative duo David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who were behind the TV series Game of Thrones.

Will these gentlemen enjoy success again this time?

Hardcore Sci-Fi from Comrades in China

Right from the start, it’s worth noting that "3 Body Problem" is not a standalone novel but part of a science fiction trilogy. This is no pulp fiction but rather a very precise and complex work that heavily emphasizes physics and philosophy.

For this reason, the trilogy is not for everyone. However, those who enjoy books by authors like Erich von Däniken will likely appreciate "3 Body Problem" and its two sequels.

Like many other literary works, "3 Body Problem" was long considered unfilmable. Today, we know that to be false.

Before the aforementioned producers, the Chinese decided to create a thirty-part series, filming the entire trilogy. This version remains very true to the original, which cannot be said for the Western version. However, this is not necessarily a disadvantage.

The Change of Setting has Benefited the Series

One of the main changes is the setting in which the series takes place. While the plot of the book understandably focuses primarily on contemporary China, the series’ creators have set the story in modern-day Great Britain. However, we also take a brief look at China during the Cultural Revolution.

Most of the action, however, takes place on the British Isles, where the scientific elite begins to die under mysterious circumstances. What starts as a rather intriguing detective story gradually unfolds into a heavy philosophical sci-fi narrative, playing with the very existence of humanity.

Although some themes from the book were downplayed or omitted entirely in the series, this is not necessarily a drawback. As a result, the series is much more accessible to a broader audience that may not usually enjoy heavyweight science fiction.

The acting performances are quite successful, and the same can be said for the special effects. No expense was spared on the series. However, it hasn’t turned out to be the blockbuster some might have expected.

Viewer reactions have been mixed. This is partly due to the theme itself, but the less-than-enthusiastic promotion has undoubtedly played a significant role in the lukewarm success of "3 Body Problem."

Can We Expect a Sequel?

We can only hope that the series will see two more installments, as it certainly deserves them. The question is whether Netflix will eventually decide to shelve the entire project.

Lately, this has become quite common, not just for works that are controversially received. Hopefully, the series will ultimately be given the green light.