Finished Netflix's 3 Body Problem? There's a related series streaming on Amazon right now

Three bodies, but two different shows

3 Body Problem
(Image credit: Netflix)
Quick Summary

Netflix's hit sci-fi series 3 Body Problem isn't actually the only series based on the books currently streaming. Amazon Prime Video has Three Body

The new sci-fci show that no doubt has heads spinning across watercooler chats the world over is Netflix's 3 Body Problem. From the creators of Game of Thrones, it has a complexity that makes the adventures of those in Westeros seem like a stroll in the narrative park. But did you know that it isn't the only TV adaptation of Liu Cixin's books? 

In fact, it was only last year in 2023 that the Chinese adaptation of the books aired, and you can stream the first season now on Amazon Prime Video, under the name Three-Body.

Described by many as an unadaptable source material, Netflix's series managed to fit the first season into just eight episodes, that's a nice concise story, but can leave you wanting more. The Chinese series takes the opposite approach - there are a whopping 30 one-hour-long episodes. Good luck binging all of them in a weekend.

Luckily, you can get a taste of it for free - the first two episodes are streaming on YouTube.  

There is a slight frustration, however, as certain episodes are inexplicably not available - taking it down to a still-bumper 18 instalments on the streaming service (all episodes are available in the US on Peacock). This is a curious case, and one (not unlike the actual 3 Body Problem) I've struggled to find an answer to. 

But which is the better show? Well according to the ultimate not at all definitive measure, Rotten Tomatoes, it is Netflix who can celebrate a victory - but only just. Three Body sits on a solid 70% audience rating while Netflix's 3 Body Problem has 78%. 

I won't claim to know any of the actors in the Chinese version but the Netflix adaptation does have an impressive number of names attached. As well as Benioff and Weiss (and Alexander Woo) on writing duties, there are some noticeable names on screen in Benedict Wong and John Bradley with the titans that are Brad Pitt, Rian Johnson and Rosamund Pike producing. 

For English speakers, the Netflix show is definitely the easier one to watch (and shorter), but if you're a superfan of the source material, you'll no doubt take as much content as possible. 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.