3 Body Problem review

3 Body Problem


‘Three Body Problem’ is an adaptation of Liu Cixin’s 2008 novel by the same name, which is part of his trilogy “Remembrance of Earth’s Past.” It was develop into an English-language live-action TV series by Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B.Weiss and Alexander Woo from True Blood (already released in China in 2023). Due largely to its many complicated layers and dimensions that combined an interesting mix of Chinese history, VR gaming, astrophysics and alien life forms. The book has always been thought impossible to adapt to screen.

Across the world, it appears that famous scientists are committing suicide and as a detective pursues a link between these deaths. It becomes apparent that something is bigger than just Earth’s dimensions. Something that transcends space-time.

The show runs on two different time lines one starting in China during Maoist Revolution years of 1960s. Where Ye Wenjie (Zine Tseng) watches her father being brutally murder by communist revolutionaries because he is a physics academic. Ye Wenjie survives the Chinese Cultural Revolution intellectual crackdown. But she goes through military enlistment and secret radar base posting for her scientific expertise. Meanwhile in the present day, detective Da Shi (Benedict Wong) is investigating mysterious deaths of scientists. Who seem to be taking their life insanely violently.

And when another leading scientist, Vera Ye (Vedette Lim), inexplicably commits suicide bringing together five former Oxford students-physicist Jin (Jess Hong), nano-technology expert Augustine (Eliza Gonzalez), physics teacher Will (Alex Sharp), snack tycoon Jack (John Bradely) and Vera’s lab assistant Saul (Jovan Adepo). At this point Jin & Jack had already become obsessed with a virtual reality game. They used to play with Vera before she killed herself.

The intriguing thing about this game with highly developed technology, difficult levels and interface is that it would take another few decades for the human race to make. It was Da Shi who also had an opportunity to play it as this game was love by a scientist who kill him self. At the same time Augustine begins to see a countdown. That only she can see along with threats to prevent her from accomplishing great things in nano-tech. On the other hand, a disillusioned Ye Wenjie starts picking up frequencies from an alien planet. Asking them to come and enslave humanity because she has given up hope on earth. Thereby putting the entire planet and future generations at threat.

‘Three Body Problem’ premise is thus immediately enticing, forbidding and mind-bending. The production designs and vfx are larger than life especially inside the game are jaw-dropping. Furthermore, the setting and action is violent and gruesome at times but well choreographed. Clearly this shows of a massive scale in terms of production values of the show. However, the book deviates from the narrative as it moves the action to UK rather than China as well as developing five main characters who in some way contribute towards unraveling the mystery behind alien invasion. Thus throwing light on moral dilemmas among them and their opinion about human nature.

An interesting parallel is also drawn between man and an alien where power comes into picture – reverence towards a higher force without questioning it, cruelty. That usually follows ultimate supremacy when they no longer need purposeful service are easily dispose of. Moreover, an allusion is made to climate change looming large in another dimension. Neverthless however complex the narrative might be sometimes dilute its pace slackens a lot as considerable time is spent. On how these five friends relate to one another or how love affairs fit into all this.

Amongst other performances Rosalind Chao (Ye Winjie older), Johnathan Pryce (oil tycoon Chris Evans). Liam Cummingham(Da Shi’s boss), Benedict Wong and Zine Tseng were outstanding.

If you’re a fan of science fiction genre then you should add ‘Three Body Problem’ to your watchlist . Also for those people who have read none of its source material. It creates a fascinating ,menacing ,and richly textured universe of inter-stellar wars fantasy and spectacles. Nonetheless, season one leaves certain questions unanswered probably preparing ground for further development in season two.

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