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3 Body Problem fans dealt blow to renewal hopes

The future of the Netflix sci-fi series 3 Body Problem remains uncertain – despite the show’s creators pushing ahead and planning multiple further seasons.

Adapted from a best-selling Chinese book trilogy, the series rose to the top of Netflix’s Most Watched chart when it debuted on the streaming service last month.

However, in a development that some have interpreted as an ominous sign for its prospects of renewal, 3 Body Problem has already been displaced from the No 1 spot.

In the UK, the series currently sits behind the Guy Ritchie crime show The Gentlemen, which debuted two weeks before 3 Body Problem.

Over Easter, the show also fell behind the religious series Testament: The Story of Moses, though that programme has since fallen to third.

While viewing figures are usually only released at Netflix’s own discretion, pundits have often used a TV show or film’s ranking in the Most Watched chart as an indicator of popularity – with a sustained spell at the top of the chart a hopeful indicator of renewal.

Speaking to the Inside Total Film podcast and GamesRadar+, the creators of 3 Body ProblemGame of Thrones showrunners DB Weiss and David Benioff, and True Blood’s Alexander Woo – recently stated that they were optimistic about the odds of renewal, and had already begun mapping out future seasons.

‘Game of Thrones’ star John Bradley in the puzzling head-scratcher ‘3 Body Problem’ (Netflix)
‘Game of Thrones’ star John Bradley in the puzzling head-scratcher ‘3 Body Problem’ (Netflix)

“Well, there’s three novels in the trilogy,” Woo said. “The novels get longer and longer so I wouldn't say it maps out exactly to three. We have some really strong ideas about what to do in a season two, and then it’s a little hazier down the line. But we want to get to the end, we want to get to the end of the trilogy, and whether that's three or four, you know, or some other number.”

“The goal is to get to the end of the trilogy and it seems like it would map out over probably, certainly more than two seasons but beyond that, it’s hard to know exactly.”

3 Body Problem is adapted from the first of a trilogy of novels by Chinese author Liu Cixin. Season one can be streamed now on Netflix.

In a two-star review of the series, The Independent wrote: “When a book is deemed ‘unadaptable’, it is almost interpreted as a challenge. Of course, no book is really unadaptable; the problem is that rendering it on screen will simply be too dull, or confusing. 3 Body Problem is somehow both. Benioff, Weiss and Woo made radical and transformative changes to the source material, but lost something integral in the process.”