Fri. May 24th, 2024

‘The Three-Body Problem’: Series and book strengths

By ki0nk Mar23,2024

There are a number of ways in which the Netflix series that is based on the novel written by Liu Cixin is superior to the printed form.

‘The Three-Body Problem,’ a science fiction story written by Liu Cixin, has a reputation for being completely inflexible. On the other hand, David Benioff and DB Weiss have utilized all that they discovered while working on “Game of Thrones” in order to develop a series that is commensurate with their inspiration. And in many ways, they have outperformed a work that is four hundred pages long and has a reputation for being abrupt and thick. We have highlighted some of the things that the series excels at as well as some of the areas in which it falls short.

As I read certain passages in the book, such as the countdown that appeared in front of the eyes of certain individuals, I found myself wondering how they would accomplish this in the series through the use of graphics. The response was crystal clear: reducing the extreme nature of the content (in the book, it was almost  like a short horror story that would not be out of place in a comic book written by Junji Ito). When it comes to the explanations of how dimensions beyond the third effect protons, the novel has lengthy disquisitions (made by aliens as well) that are based on complex physics. However, in the series, these explanations are portrayed in a way that is both affordable and graphic.

As a reader, one of my greatest concerns was that the book would not be able to accommodate the frequent transitions from the actual world to the virtual world, as well as the jumps in time that occur throughout the narrative. Due to the fact that the characters in the series acquire the characteristics, mechanics, and aspects of the game at the same rate as the spectator, Netflix has been able to make the parts of the game ‘Three Bodies’ in the series just as intriguing as the rest of the series.

In addition, the game’s objective, as well as its separation into phases and the purpose of each of those phases, are explained more thoroughly than they are in the book.

In point of fact, there is a scene in ‘Three Bodies’ that moves so subtly that it is virtually impossible to miss it. This scene is the sequence in which the human computer interacts with millions of warriors. As a result of the philosophical insanity that it embraces and the skill with which it is portrayed on screen, it is one of the most hilarious sequences in the series.

A sequence of destruction and death that would not be out of place in an apocalyptic blockbuster is also included in the attack on the ship of the pro-Trisolarian sectarians. This attack is slightly different from the one described in the novel, but it takes advantage of everything that the destructive force of the nanofibers can deliver.

The appearance of a group of young scientists, the majority of whom are not Asian, brings a welcome closeness of the characters to the viewer. This is the truth, despite the fact that the typical conspiracy theorists blame Netflix’s non-existent woke policy for the abundance of female characters and the diversity of races (both of which were already present in the original novel to a large extent).

Not because of their races, but because of their youth and their attitude towards the dilemmas that are presented to them: they are closer and more empathetic than Liu Cixin’s sometimes somewhat cold characters and although some of their subplots (the illness, the insubstantial crushes) are superfluous , others (which we will not reveal here) are suggestive and provide nuances to the ideas of the book.

However, despite the fact that, as we mentioned the other day, the ‘Three Body Problem’ series is a welcome turn by Netflix towards a more serious science fiction than ‘Stranger Things’ (which is not going to cease being made; fortunately, both approaches can coexist), the book continues to triumph in that regard. Especially the arid (and hasty) final section with protons and dimensions, the subdivision of the groups awaiting the arrival of the Trisolarians (which is not exactly stellar science, but rather sociology), or the disquisitions on ecology and evolutionism are much better explained in the book (as is logical and natural).

It is true that the descriptions that Liu Cixin provides of the Chinese regime in the sixties are considerably sharper than those that are made in the series, where it is merely an introductory anecdote. This is despite the fact that Liu Cixin’s philosophy and his contentious utterances are two very different things. It is more intellectually interesting to read ‘The Three-Body Problem’ than its audiovisual version, despite the fact that we would not suggest it as a textbook for understanding Chinese history.

The truth is that the book is often a lovely garden of hundreds of fascinating ideas that overlap each other, despite the fact that it may appear to contradict what we said is one of the values of the series, which is Netflix’s capacity to peck at ideas that have been outlined but not developed in order to exploit them more thoroughly. Especially in its final section, the book is a feverish concatenation of pure science fiction ideas, and that is when it is most literary and more unique. It has a touch of classic science fiction, where it was more important to move forward and do it quickly than to stop at the most stimulating ideas. This is especially true in the book’s final section.

By ki0nk

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