Submitted by snicmtl t3_112d32d in television

About ten episodes into this and I must say, the production on this is very high quality.

The show follows the novel very closely and they recently announced they will also do the other books in the series. Many correctly assumed the novel would be hard to translate into film but it seems this show has taken the right approach by taking its time and exploring what some might consider the less flashy interpersonal/character development sides of the story.

If you are ok following with subtitles, and somewhat curious about 'current' Chinese culture/media or what they want to represent in the media, it is very interesting!

I could definitely see a generation being influenced by this in many ways: increased curiosity re: science, eco awareness etc. You can tell they had very high aspirations for this.

All in all, highly recommend if you enjoyed the book. Might be a bit hard to follow/grasp without having read the book first considering language barrier/names and other reasons which would be spoilery to divulge


edit: Link to the official Tencent Youtube channel which is providing the episodes:



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sevsnapey t1_j8jegll wrote

30 episodes? jesus


snicmtl OP t1_j8jez7m wrote

Yeah I'll admit that's a big draw to me; I love when writers have lots of runtime to work with. It (in the right hands) does the subject matter better justice and they seem to really have splurged on this.


sevsnapey t1_j8jfib8 wrote

i probably should've expanded but i'm surprised. it's hopefully a good thing because from what i've heard about the three body problem is that it would be hard to adapt to film but i don't know if that's a runtime issue or a "this show gets weird and would be hard to translate" but either way it's good the writers were given enough room to move. so long as it isn't bloat


godisanelectricolive t1_j8k1uw1 wrote

That's the average length for Chinese tv shows. It's because one season runs are common instead of telling a story over multiple seasons.

There's are benefits and drawbacks to this. One drawback being there's often more filler.


Paulofthedesert t1_j8jraql wrote

> i don't know if that's a runtime issue or a "this show gets weird and would be hard to translate"

It's the latter. There's an entire sequence at the end involving a proton that is one of the coolest sci-fi things I've ever read but seems impossible to film. It'll be a lot of exposition over some hopefully cool cgi but like, I wouldnt want to be the graphic artists in charge of that.


bjtrdff t1_j8kdbav wrote

There are a ton of things in the book that I honestly can’t imagine them translating - the crazy 2d things, the proton stuff at the end, all kinds of stuff. I’m not one for subtitles, and am very curious about the Netflix version, but this may have sold me on giving this a go.


Roook36 t1_j8mw54i wrote

I can't wait for that. That's when the book went from "wtf?' to "holy crap that is insane". There are so many moments like that where something will happen and I think "well you can't explain that scientifically" and then it does haha


snicmtl OP t1_j8jgk3z wrote

Yeah so far so good, no bloat but for sure they are not rushed. The conversion of this book into a shorter film form is the big reason many including myself are quite worried about the upcoming Netflix version, though I do hope it can also be fun to watch, I can't imagine it reaching the depths of the Tencent version.


Roook36 t1_j8mwibv wrote

Honestly, the first book is a straight up mystery story that doesn't get really crazy and takes place in current times. That one seems like the easiest to film as it's almost just a buddy cop story with a scientist and hot headed detective

The 2nd and 3rd book though are just full of huge scifi set pieces and theoretical concepts that I had a hard time fully visualizing. They're just chock full of stuff that would need to be CGI to show.


anonyfool t1_j8p3bk5 wrote

There are some extremely long series (30-50 episodes) in both China and Korea for one season, sometimes with 70-90 minute episode run time in Korean TV where they can't show commercials so the episodes incorporate a lot of product placement versus 44 minutes in American broadcast TV with about 15 minutes for commercial breaks. The upside is one knows in advance that the series will usually end with one season.


lightsongtheold t1_j8jdkp6 wrote

It is also worth noting this is available on Rakuten Viki in a lot of markets as well as YouTube.

I’ve not had the chance to check it out yet but I absolutely will. Glad to hear it is a very solid adaptation and that they have plans to do the sequel books as well.


jusw4tching t1_j8k7o8n wrote

Apparently the budget of the whole season is around $11 millions US. Which is around the cost of one (1) episode of the upcoming Netflix show.


snicmtl OP t1_j8l5hop wrote

Wow that's a pretty incredible difference, can't wait to see what take Netflix and co. will have on this


MeronDC t1_j8pjtlv wrote

the real difference is that everything is expensive in Hollywood because of unions, production crews, filming location, taxes and etc...

so with 11 million dollars they are able to do something Hollywood would need like 50 million


Roook36 t1_j8jezzx wrote

Honestly surprised at how much of the VR stuff they're doing and the production value of the CGI. It's not amazing by any means, but it looks surprisingly good at times. I believe in the Netflix version they'll be doing all those scenes with actors on a green screen.

I'm enjoying it quite a bit. It's so slow with the 30 episode run, and the cinematography and areas they film are so beautiful at times. It's nice to just turn on and chill and watch.

Loved the books after reading them just over the past few months and I have serious concerns with the Netflix version as this does not seem like a book series you can really turn into a short, bingeable streaming show. But they are going hard into the books on this version, for better or worse, and I don't imagine anyone else would do such a faithful translation to the screen.


snicmtl OP t1_j8jfbnk wrote

Agreed on all points. The CGI (>!mostly the virtual world scenes!<) is probably the worst part of the show for me. It is kindof surprisingly bad? Not bad, just not up to par with the rest of the show and certainly not excellent


JohnGillnitz t1_j8k9415 wrote

A point here is that the show is set in 2007. So it is representing things from 16 years ago. It's kinda funny that parts of it are practically a VW commercial. All the main characters drive those older VWs. Or maybe I just notice more because the main character drives the same Gen1 Tiguan I drove up until about three weeks ago.


Roook36 t1_j8jfka5 wrote

It's weird because some stuff, like when there is a lot of smoke, it looks like a PS2 game. But other times, when the CGI characters are talking, you can "see" the actors face in their CGI character. It's so weird. I don't imagine they did mocap on the faces like Avatar lol

EDIT: It's also so weird to see >!the Trisolarians dehydrate. I always thought they'd just dry out into like a strawman. And later on didn't even picture them as human beings. But in the show they lay down and just start flipping out with water squirting everywhere!<


snicmtl OP t1_j8jh4xg wrote

Actually that's a better way to describe it! The CGI quality is really uneven. >!Like all space scenes are good to me. The people are decent but yes the dehydration scenes are probably the worst. And the physics of when the bodies 'pour' out of the pyramids...what?!!<


Roook36 t1_j8rnif6 wrote

Lol this just came YouTube feed and actually shows how they filmed it. They did use face tracking cameras! And motion capture suits. This scene specifically shows them filming >!the dehydrating scene and explaining how to do it to the actors!<


Scotsmania t1_j8jpi0h wrote

While Netflix might not be the best bet for the most faithful adaptation they're probably more likely to actually finish the story. Although they've said it's renewed waiting for 2nd seasons of Chinese shows is a nightmare, it could be 1 year, 5 years or even never. It's supposedly really popular over there so hopefully it falls more on the quicker end of the scale but they don't have a good track record.


Sigmarsson137 t1_j8jbvp5 wrote

How did you watch it, it doesn’t appear to be out yet


snicmtl OP t1_j8jc2fx wrote

A yes! Forgot the essential bit.

Here is the link to the playlist:


Added tip: I found setting the subtitles to 150% works best


cronedog t1_j8jkama wrote

I'll have to give it a try


Takseen t1_j8kbyrf wrote

&gt;they recently announced they will also do the other books in the series.

Hurray! I just finished the show, was hugely impressed. Hadn't seen any Chinese TV shows before.

30 episodes meant they got to take their time and include (almost?) everything from the book. Has been a few years since I read it.


Steve490 t1_j8kq1ut wrote

We are all turkeys. So are you.


HottyMcDoddy t1_j8mgesw wrote

I knew nothing of this going in, and haven't watched anything Chinese before. Episode 2 was mind-blowing in the best of ways.


Careless-Act9450 t1_j8k4t10 wrote

Thanks for this, I was unaware I could watch it yet. I saw your link as well. I am pumped to watch this.

I have read through the boxset enough times that I actually just reordered it. My friends think I am nuts for multiple reads for some reason.


burglarysheepspeak t1_j8kac41 wrote

It's great isn't it I'm! 18 eps in, loving how fleshed out and not rushed it seems. The story telling has been fantastic throughout but especially ep 14(I think) onwards.


jojowasher t1_j8kghf0 wrote

so much better than the CGI version, "The Three Body Problem" so confusing with three different TV shows and apparently a movie out there somewhere. I watched one episode of that and didn't continue, only started the first episode of this live action one, but wow that other one is bad.


snicmtl OP t1_j8rksrq wrote

The movie was terrible/not representative of the book as could be expected for such a short runtime. The effects were ok but I’m not really there for that


TK-25251 t1_j8m1zmp wrote

Definitely looking forward to binging it

I never read the books so it will be interesting to see the story for the first time


WagonWheelsRX8 t1_j8k6qel wrote

Going to have to check this out! I just finished the last book in the trilogy a few days ago, and found them to be quite enjoyable. Had no idea they were being adapted into a series, though (until now). Thanks!


[deleted] t1_j8mlecn wrote

I got as far as ep 4 then gave up, it was progressing so slowly - an entire episode given over to our guy wondering about the numbers appearing in his photos - I was dying of boredom. Maybe I'll give it another go and carry on at some point, IDK. Loved the books.


serenehide t1_j8kqwtj wrote

Not a fan of the book, it's extremely pessimistic. The "solution" to the problem in the first book is kind of comical. It's made out to be some incredibly difficult problem that an interstellar civilization couldn't figure out, but then, it's just answered pretty plainly.

Also the author is a horrible person.


kazh t1_j8lb198 wrote

It's shot like a parody. You have to be paid to hype that trash so much, especially to suggest it will influence a generation.


snicmtl OP t1_j8lbfu6 wrote

I’m curious, have you watched full episodes to form this opinion?


kazh t1_j8ld1b6 wrote

I dare anyone here to start watching that and try to get through full episodes.


xmagie t1_j8m4s0p wrote

I have watched the entire series, I don't know what you are talking about. I don't speak a word of chinese, (and english isn't my first language so I'm used to watch english shows with subtitles) and I had never read the books but I was captivated right from the start.

It has an, what's the english word? intimist aspect? I really love how the characters Da Shi and Wang Miao interact and how they slowly progress to become friends. How it is Da Shi, the ordinary policeman, who in the end helps so much humanity.

Ye Wenjie is portrayed amazingly by both actresses. I only regret not seeing fully what happened to her during some parts of her life (not going to spoil it but I suppose those who have seen the drama or read the book understand what I mean) but all in all, it was a great drama.

It's not all about the money. The Netflix series will be more polished, probably, because of the money invested and I will watch this adaptation. But money is not all.


kazh t1_j8n854m wrote

Money can't buy care and professionalism.