Passion for TV adaptation ‘Three-Body’ continues
Published: Jan 18, 2023 12:15 AM
Promotional material for Three-Body Photo: Courtesy of Tencent Video

Promotional material for Three-Body Photo: Courtesy of Tencent Video

Three-Body, the TV adaptation of Hugo Award-winning Chinese writer Liu Cixin sci-fi novel The Three-Body Problem, has continued to grab netizens' attention, earning overly positive reviews since its debut on January 15. 

Apart from airing on Chinese Central Television 8, the show is also streaming on Tencent Video, where comments on the first five episodes reached 1.8 million in total by Tuesday. Multiple hashtags for the show such as "Three-Body, original fans thrilled," and "Three-Body screening calendar" are currently trending on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo. 

The show has not just been well-received by "newcomer" viewers, fans of the original novel have been posting overwhelmingly positive comments on the show, such as "it made me cry" and praising the TV adaption for respecting Liu's original book. 

"I didn't have high expectations for the TV adaption since I'm not the only fan that was traumatized by the previous animated one, but the TV version remains faithful to the novel. I want to support it as a potential model for the IP's adaption in the future," Chen Zihui, a fan in Wuhan, told the Global Times. 

Before the release of this "potential model," an animated version streamed on video platform Bilibili in late 2022. While the show earned a high number of views due to fans' high anticipation, it later encountered a reputation Waterloo. Nearly 40 percent of viewers have given the adaptation a single star out of five on Chinese media review site Douban.  

Xue Zhouyu, a TV scriptwriter, told the Global Times that while viewers who have not read the novel may be easily "overwhelmed" by the epic, it has still won the hearts of the audience because it "uses cool visuals only as a compliment to the core story." 

Xue said that the TV adaption is "friendly" to newcomers as the writers have also added some human elements to the sci-fi story, especially showing the characters' relationships with one another. 

"This has softened the somewhat serious and coldly scientific and purely intellectual characters in The Three-Body Problem, thus drawing the audience further into the story." 
Xue predicts that the show will end up receiving a "fairly good and above average" rating. 

"It is surely not the last attempt at an adaptation. Netflix's version also releases in 2023. There will be more diversity brought into the IP's adaptation even reaching to fields such as gaming," Xue said.