Based on the famous sci-fi novel “The Three-Body Problem” written by Liu Ci Xin, “Three-Body” is a Tencent’s new drama adaptation featuring the star-studded cast of Zhang Lu Yi, Yu He Wei, Chen Jin, Wang Zi Wen, Lin Yong Jian, Li Xiao Ran, and more.
Warning: mentions of suicide, minor spoilers ahead
“Three-Body” follows the story of China’s leading nanomaterials expert Wang Miao (Zhang Lu Yi). The drama is about the mysterious events that unfold when Captain Shi Qiang (Yu He Wei) enlists Wang Miao for help investigating a strange phenomenon in the scientific community involving the apparent suicide of a number of leading physicists. In the process of their investigation, Wang Miao enters the VR game “Three-Body” and learns of remarkable truths of the past as well as about the mysterious alien civilization bent on conquering Earth no matter the cost.
Having recently premiered on January 15, the 30-episode-long drama is already past its halfway mark. Below are four reasons why you should start tuning into “Three-Body”!
An incredible adaptation honest to the original
The original novel “The Three-Body Problem” is part of a trilogy titled “Remembrance of Earth’s Path,” and the English version translated by Ken Liu became the first-ever Asian novel to win a Hugo Award for Best Novel. In addition to having sold millions of copies worldwide, the sci-fi novel has been recommended by celebrities including American novelist George R. R. Martin, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, and former U.S. president Barack Obama among others.
Tencent’s latest adaptation does a great job of keeping the same lines from the original, delivering them with great impact and chilling tension. “Three-Body” was also filmed in famous locations such as the National Astronomical Observatory Miyun Station, Ningbo Museum, and Shijingshan District where the Beijing Electron–Positron Collider II is located, adding another element of realism to the drama.
Riveting characters born from a talented cast
Zhang Lu Yi of “The Devotion of Suspect X,” “Sparrow,” “The Mystic Nine,” and more takes on the leading role of Wang Miao, the reluctant researcher who gets swept up in a mysterious series of events. Zhang Lu Yi’s engrossing performance as the blunt but resolute Wang Miao is riveting to watch, keeping viewers glued to the screen as he pieces together a complicated puzzle. Wang Miao is a stickler for rules but greatly respects knowledge, and he eventually becomes a key piece in the investigation revolving around the late scientists when he is asked by the Asian Defense Counsel and Captain Shi to become a mole by joining the Frontiers of Science, a science organization at the forefront of physics with mysterious motives.
In the first episode, we’re also introduced to the rugged and forceful Shi Qiang portrayed by Yu He Wei of “Cliff Walkers,” “The Rebel Princess,” and “Adoring.” Shi Qiang is bent on learning the secrets behind the current investigation and is also persistent in enlisting the help of Wang Miao. Shi Qiang and Wang Miao are seemingly polar opposites at first, but they play off each other excellently, putting their heads together and eventually getting closer despite disagreements along the way. It’s particularly amusing to watch Shi Qiang egg on Wang Miao into participating in the investigation following the suicide of Yang Dong (He Du Juan), a researcher who Wang Miao seems curiously familiar with.
Compelling mystery with great tension
From the very start, “Three-Body” gives a compelling mystery with an overarching question, asking, is physics real? The recent cases involving the apparent suicides of leading physicists had a common factor that pointed to the same bone-chilling answer: physics doesn’t exist.
A closer look into Yang Dong’s death also shows a mysterious woman who seems to know the future, delivering the results of Yang Dong’s experiment even before she conducts the experiment itself. The mystery heightens as most of the scientists who committed suicide are linked to the Frontiers of Science, and they’ve already made contact with Wang Miao, which begs the question—what role does he have to play in all this. As Wang Miao faces one question after another, you’ll also find yourself asking what’s in store next for this gripping and captivating drama.
Immersive cinematography with unprecedented sci-fi elements
Everything from the dark lighting to the desaturated colors, suspenseful music, and dry humor of the show adds to the tension of the “Three-Body,” creating a gripping narrative that you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from. The story goes back and forth in time, and each new perspective only creates one new question after another. The advanced and realistic CGI really delivers the science fiction elements of the drama, creating a greatly immersive story.
The CGI really begins to ramp up and shine further along in the drama in episode 7 when Wang Miao and Shi Qiang enter the virtual reality game “Three-Body” and come face to face with a jaw-dropping virtual reality world with a vast and breathtaking landscape. The CGI for these scenes are so incredibly immersive that it feels as if the virtual world is coming to life before your very own eyes. Within the VR world, Wang Miao and Shi Qiang learn about the existence of an entire civilization that is trying to survive the Chaotic Era, a time period characterized by uncertainty and extreme weather conditions. The civilization’s solution to the issue is to dehydrate (literally) human bodies until the return of the peaceful Stable Era, during which the bodies will once again be rehydrated back to normal.
The sci-fi journey Wang Miao and Shi Qiang undertake is pictured in a spine-chilling way, breaking creative barriers and going beyond your wildest imaginations. As the episodes progress, the plot only becomes more unpredictable and intriguing, and you’ll also find yourself unable to tear your eyes away from the extraordinary mystery.
Watch “Three-Body” below:
Those in Southeast Asia can watch here!
Hey Soompiers, are you tuning into the sci-fi mystery “Three-Body”? What do you enjoy most about it so far? Let us know in the comments!