A Chinese-made TV show adapted from “The Three Body Problem,” a popular sci-fi novel series that won its author Liu Cixin a Hugo Award in 2015, is set to premiere on January 15 on CCTV, Tencent Video and Migu Video.
An animated series based on the novel debuted on December 10 on Bilibili, a leading Chinese video streaming platform popular amongst young people. After six episodes were released, the animation experienced a critical rollercoaster, from the grand occasion of its debut, which attracted over 100 million viewers in a single day, to its rating on a top review platform dropping to 4.8/10.
Therefore, attention and pressure of the upcoming TV series have doubled. According to Tencent Video’s data, five hours after the official announcement, the number of in-station reservations for the play exceeded 2 million. The audience expressed their expectations and worries about the director’s standards, special effects and the degree of restoration.
The producers of the TV series are Tencent‘s Penguin Pictures, Linghe Media and The Three-Body Universe. The directer is Yang Lei, known for TV dramas such as “Healer of Children,” “Legend of the Naga Pearls” and “Novoland The Castle in the Sky,” all of which scored below 6.5/10 on Douban, a major Chinese media review platform. The screenwriter Tian Liangliang’s resume also lacks experience in shows with high scores.
In a behind-the-scenes short film released by Tencent Video, Bai Yicong, the founder of Linghe Media, said that many versions of the script have been created, and the plan is to return to the original work itself without adding much sci-fi color. Wang Juan, the vice president of Tencent Video, said that the development cycle of the product far exceeded that of most dramas from Tencent, and full discussions with the author Liu Cixin, experts and readers were carried out.
The public is largely familiar with the cast, which includes Edward Zhang, Yu Hewei, Chen Jin, Ava Wang, Lin Yongjian, and Li Xiaoran.
Yang Lei once said that science fiction works should have their unique practical significance and show the audience some possibility of “future reality.” The production team spent four years polishing the script, and the crew took 126 days to shoot and set more than 270 scenes.
In a promotional poster released on January 12, all the key figures appeared. The poster is divided into two parts, connecting two different times and spaces with the giant parabolic antenna of radar peak as the central axis. The intersection of time and space is the key point of fate.
Before this TV series and animated series, many works related to the novel had been launched, such as various radio drama and audio novels launched in 2019, with a broadcast volume of over 570 million and an in-station score of 9.7/10. The animated series “My Three Body,” which has been broadcast for three seasons, has obtained 200 million views and a score of 9.6/10 on Douban. The fourth season of this animation series is expected to be launched in 2024.
In addition, an immersive sci-fi show was launched in Shanghai this year, a digital art space is expected to be released in Chengdu this year, and games and VR related to the novel are also planned to be launched within one or two years.