New 3 Body Problem trailer teases an ambitious, mind-melting Netflix sci-fi show that demands your attention

Saul and Will look up into the sky at something ominous in Netflix's 3 Body Problem TV show
Netflix's 3 Body Problem will aim to take a bite out of Apple TV Plus' sci-fi crown. (Image credit: Netflix)

The final trailer for Netflix's ambitious new sci-fi series 3 Body Problem has been released – and it looks like a mind-melting show that'll demand your attention.

Set to a haunting version of This Bitter Earth track by Dina Washington, 3 Body Problem's latest footage offers an unsettling but epic glimpse into Netflix's live-action adaptation of Liu Cixin's best-selling novel series. With melodrama aplenty, unexplainable sci-fi phenomena, and a spine-tingling tonality, it has the makings of being the latest TV hit for the world's best streaming service.

3 Body Problem's latest teaser follows in the footsteps of two other trailers it's received ahead of the show's March 21 launch. In November 2023, Netflix revealed the show's first trailer, which teased a mind-bending sci-fi series that'll give you virtual reality nightmares. Two months later, a new 3 Body Problem trailer showed off its multi-genre narrative in greater detail, teasing a sci-fi epic, VR horror, and mystery thriller rolled into one.

Okay, so what is 3 Body Problem about exactly? That's... tough to explain. Cixin's novel series is a convoluted tapestry of abstract ideas, sci-fi genre fare, and real-life history, so it's difficult to summarize what to expect from a project that seems certain to join our best Netflix shows list.

Well, for me, anyway. I could rattle off a lengthy synopsis about 3 Body Problem, but I've been known to prattle on for ages when it comes to summing up a movie or TV show I've seen (don't tell anyone I've watched it all, though). With that in mind, I'll leave it to Netflix to provide a more concise story overview: "A young woman’s fateful decision in 1960s China reverberates across space and time into the present day. When the laws of nature inexplicably unravel before their eyes, a close-knit group of brilliant scientists join forces with an unorthodox detective to confront the greatest threat in humanity’s history."

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of Game of Thrones' (GoT) live-action adaptation, have co-created the series with Alexander Woo (True Blood). Breathing life into its ensemble cast of characters are GoT alumni Jon Bradley, Jonathan Pryce, and Liam Cunningham, as well as Eiza Gonzalez (Ambulance), Jovan Adepo (The Stand), Jess Hong (Inked), Rosalind Chao (Mulan), Alex Sharp (One Life), Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange), Marlo Kelly (Dare Me), Saamer Usmani (Succession), and newcomer Zine Tseng.

Taking a bite out of Apple's sci-fi genre dominance

Sophon floats in the sky in front of three stars on top of one another in Netflix's 3 Body Problem TV show

Netflix's 3 Body Problem might give Apple's sci-fi TV offerings a run for their money. (Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix is the world's most popular streaming platform, but let's be real for a moment: it doesn't have a terrific back catalog of unmissable sci-fi shows to call its own.

Sure, the likes of Stranger Things, Dark, Manifest, and Sweet Tooth routinely dabble in the genre, but I wouldn't say they sit squarely in this TV category. Indeed, Stranger Things is more of a supernatural horror in my eyes, while Dark, Manifest, and Sweet Tooth are more likely to be labeled as a thriller, supernatural drama, and fantasy show respectively.

Okay, 3 Body Problem is similarly genre-bending, but there's no denying that – visually, narratively, and thematically – it's first and foremost a sci-fi project. Netflix has corned the market in many other genres, but its library of superb sci-fi fare isn't as strong as it should be.

That's where 3 Body Problem comes in. It has the budget, visual ambition, storied epic, and scientific grounding to be a must-see Netflix sci-fi series. Perhaps more important than that, it has the capacity to land a telling blow on Apple TV Plus' range of brilliant sci-fi shows, too. Apple's streaming platform has become many people's go-to service for all things sci-fi, with acclaimed and award-winning offerings, such as Foundation, Silo, Severance, and For All Mankind, positioning it as the leader in this storytelling field. 

If Netflix hopes to rein in its rival – a rarity for the streaming titan – and truly compete at the sci-fi TV table, it needs shows like 3 Body Problem to not only be great, but also successful enough. I picked it out as one of 10 exciting TV shows I was looking forward to in early 2024, and I truly believe it has the capability to thrill and amaze, and lift Netflix out of its sci-fi doldrums.  Considering Netflix released two of its three trailers well in advance of the show's debut – it usually holds teasers back until a month before a series arrives or returns – it clearly has full confidence in 3 Body Problem doing just that.

Be sure to check back with me in the days leading up to the show's release for my full, spoiler-free thoughts and exclusive chats with 3 Body Problem's cast.

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Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.