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Simone Hoogheem
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Is it Really a (Three Body) Problem?

Netflix Releases First Season of Show Based on Critically Acclaimed Book Series
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3 Body Problem was officially released by Netflix on March 21, 2024. The show is based on the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy by Cixin Liu, a Chinese science fiction author. The first book of the series, titled The Three-Body Problem, was originally serialized in Science Fiction World in 2006, the same year it won the Galaxy Award for Chinese science fiction. It was later published as a stand alone book in 2008. In 2014, it was translated by Ken Liu and published by Tor Books. The book became the first book by an Asian author to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel. It was also nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel.

The Books

The Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy (地球往事 or Dìqiú Wǎngshì in Chinese), typically referred to by only the title of the first book The Three-Body Problem, follows the story of many different characters following the threat of invasion by an alien civilisation called Trisolaris. The first book mainly follows a woman named Ye Wenjie, who was the one who alerted Trisolaris of Earth’s existence amid China’s Cultural Revolution.

The second book, The Dark Forest, follows the dark forest hypothesis, the theory that alien civilisations exist but are silent and hostile, and trying to find a solution to the Fermi paradox, the inconsistency between the fact that there is no evidence of advanced alien life and the high likelihood that such civilisations exist. The novel follows Luo Ji, a sociology professor who suddenly finds himself at the center of the Trisolaran Crisis, despite the fact that it is predicted that the Trisolaran Fleet won’t arrive for another 400+ years. The United Nations creates a program called the Wallfacer Program, after the discovery of sophons, high dimensional beings controlled by Trisolaris that block the technology advancement of Earth and report everything that happens back to the fleet. The UN chooses 4 people to devise plans that must never be talked about or discovered, and grants the individuals access to almost all the resources the world has to offer. The first three Wallfacers were chosen for obvious reasons, but Luo Ji, and society, don’t understand why we was chosen. The Wallfacer Project is countered by Trisolaris, who choose people to be Wallbreakers, people to find out and expose the Wallfacers’ plans.

The final book in the series, Death’s End, follows the times before, during, and after the Trisolaran Crisis in a satisfying, but unsettling, conclusion to the series. It follows many different characters through many different eras, giving readers context to things they may have previously missed.

The Netflix Adaptation

Netflix’s adaptation changes many of the characters names, nationalities, and appearances from the original series. It features big names, such as John Bradley, Liam Cunningham, and Rosalind Chao. The show received a 78% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.7/10 on IMDb. The series has amazing CGI, and is easy to watch, despite the hour-long episodes.  It was mainly filmed in the United Kingdom. Though there is only one season at the moment, watchers are eager for the next season.

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Simone Hoogheem, Editor-in-Chief
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