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3 Body Problem is a huge hit for Netflix, but the hard science might stop it getting another season

Just... explain it to us like we're five

3 Body Problem screenshot
Image credit: Netflix

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There is a reason why more of us aren’t scientists, and that is because science, with all its math and meticulous documentation, is really hard. Trying to wrap your head around the workings of the universe takes a lifetime of study and work, which is one of the biggest barriers to Netflix’s 3 Body Problem getting a second season, according to the people behind the show.

D.B. Weiss, one of the showrunners who brought Cixin Liu’s iconic sci-fi novel series to life, explained that one thing that they needed to solve if the show got a second season was how to present the advanced scientific concepts the story is built around. “You don’t want people to be pushing pause and hitting Wikipedia every five minutes. You could do the version of that that makes people do that but it pulls people out of it. In the book, he’s explaining all this stuff to you anyway in writing. It was a challenge that was ultimately what drew us to the project to begin with.”

Related: The biggest problem in Netflix's 3 Body Problem is hiding the bodies (of the crew, that is)

Trying to balance the need to explain the physics of what is happening on the screen without every episode becoming a science lesson is only going to get more difficult in future seasons, which has led to the team spending some time trying to make it work. “We’ve been putting our heads together to figure [it] out recently, especially the past couple months.”

3 Body Problem is currently streaming on Netflix, where it has been one of the streamer's most popular shows of the year. We expect to find out if we’ll be getting more episodes in the next few weeks, once the writers figure out how to explain the workings of the universe to a public that needs to be reminded not to stare directly into the sun every time there is an eclipse.


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