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Three-Body / 3 Body Problem


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Two very different adaptions of the first book in an epic sci-fi trilogy storyline. The Tencent-produced, 30-episode 'THREE-BODY' came out first last year, and was followed recently by the Netflix-produced, 8-episode '3 BODY PROBLEM'.



Here's a spoiler-free comparison comparing their closeness to the original book -

Although I'd never actually read the books, I decided to watch the subtitled, Chinese 'THREE-BODY' show on YouTube first, after finding out that it was a closer adaption of the original book's characters and settings. And I found it to be an engrossing storyline with some very likable performances by the main cast of actors and actresses. Although things begun slowly with this version, I was engrossed with the storyline and keen to see what happened next. ( It's currently available on the Amazon Prime streaming service, or can also be seen here (legally) for free - https://www.viki.com/tv/39255c-three-body )

The Netflix "3 BODY PROBLEM' show is a faster-paced, swear-filled version with very different characters which I didn't care for so much. Still an interesting watch, but I much preferred the Chinese version's characters and subtitled, more philosophical dialogue. And I definitely preferred the build-up and execution of the terrific 'Judgment Day' tanker sequence in the Tencent version too. Marvellous stuff.

Seemingly, the director of 'THREE-BODY' has now re-edited the show down to 26 episodes for an 'Anniversary Edition' - which removes some unnecessary padding that wasn't in the book, so that the overall pacing of the show is improved. Either way, I look forward to seeing his follow-up season of 'THE DARK FOREST' eventually. But as that may be a while off yet, I reckon I'll be buying the trilogy of books to find out what comes next in the story before then!
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Seems like kind of a dream for faneditors, if the stories are close enough you could dovetail the best parts of both into a multi-language edit
I just started watching the American version yesterday, but just the pilot so far. I wasn't even aware there was a Chinese version as well.
I’ve only watched the Netflix version and I thought it was just okay. I definitely think they made the right choice introducing the main characters from all three books early rather than having a different main character for each season as each book had a different main character. I’m not sure if the Chinese adaptation will follow the books in that respect. I’m interested to watch it though. I’m definitely in the minority among book readers in that I found the first book the weakest (I believe for most folks it’s their favorite). My favorite thing about the first book was the Chinese perspective so that was sorely missed for me in the Netflix adaptation. The books do not have very favorable portrayals of women and, in general lack strong characterization. I liked books 2 and 3 a bit more just because it was fun hard science fiction with lots of theoretical physics and cosmology. But the whole series was not very strongly plotted in my opinion so I think heavy adaptation was needed.
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