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Netflix's next big TV show revealed - and it looks as impressive as you'd hope

Multi-million selling sci-fi story gets an epic trailer...

Netflix's next big TV show revealed - and it looks as impressive as you'd hope
Andrew Williams
10 January 2024

If you like your sci-fi packed with epic visuals, you’ll find a lot to get excited about in Netflix’s 3 Body Problem trailer.

The show is due on March 21, and is an adaptation of a novel by Chinese author Liu Cixin. It’s the first of a trilogy widely considered to be one of the greats of modern sci-fi, and has sold millions of copies worldwide.

Scientist makes contact with an alien civilisation. But that alien race is itself on edge of disaster, and makes a plan to invade Earth. Here's the trailer.

It’s dramatic stuff. And underneath that there’s a conspiracy about murdered scientists, a culture of hyper-immersive video games and a story split across three time periods.

It’s hard sci-fi for the ages, and the original novel won the Hugo award, for sci-fi and fantasy fiction, back in 2015.

There are big names behind this adaptation too. Netflix’s taken on Three Body Problem has been developed by David Benioff, one of the key figures behind HBO’s Game of Thrones adaptation.

As you can tell from the trailer, Netflix has splashed the cash on this one. It has a reported budget of $200 million, covering eight episodes. It stars Eiza Gonzalez, Benedict Wong and John Bradley.

However, Netflix has said the TV series will make significant departures from the source text.

“The three creators (Benioff, Weiss, and Woo) spoke to author Cixin Liu on Zoom early in their creative process and received the novelist’s blessing to adapt his work,” the Netflix website reads.

“He encouraged them to make necessary narrative changes. Some of those key changes include chronological shifts, character tweaks, expansions, additions, and setting the present-day story primarily in the UK.”

This should help 3 Body Problem become more accessible for a global audience, and also may help to smooth over some of the issues fans have with questionable character motivations over the original three-novel arc.

Our best guess is series one covers, at most, the first novel in the trilogy.

There has already been a Chinese TV adaptation of Three Body Problem, which first aired in January 2023. It is an epic 30-episode version produced by Tencent, and reportedly cost just over $11 million to make.

That’s $371,000 an episode versus Netflix’s average $25 million an episode. Yikes.

Netflix’s 3 Body Problem starts streaming on March 21, while you can watch subtitled editions of Tencent’s Three Body Problem over on YouTube.