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Canberra Today 3°/8° | Saturday, April 13, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Cautious optimism greets alien-invasion opus

Jess Hong in The Three Body Problem… a huge, sprawling saga that, with time, could be streaming’s next big hit.

Streaming reviewer NICK OVERALL says there’s a blast awaiting anyone happy to get caught up in the grandiose sci-fi malarky of The Three Body Problem. 

FIVE years since Game of Thrones ended and the show’s controversial creators David Benioff and DB Weiss have just launched their new series.

Nick Overall.

Over the epic fantasy show’s eight seasons the duo went from lauded to lambasted. They’re still held responsible for the ending that many fans thought was such a let down they started a petition to remake it which has hit almost two million signatures.

And so viewers are approaching their new series sceptically but cautiously optimistic. Can Benioff and Weiss redeem themselves?

This time they’ve turned their hands to sci-fi with an adaptation of another series of books no less ambitious than Game of Thrones.

It’s called The Three Body Problem, based on the 2008 novel by Chinese author Liu Cixin.

This tale begins with the mysterious death of a scientist in 1960s China that sets off a chain of events that alter the universe as we know it.

Six decades later, some of earth’s brightest minds must come together to prepare the planet for an invasion from an advanced alien species fleeing their own doomed solar system.

It’s one of those books that has often been called “unfilmable” but it hasn’t stopped Benioff and Weiss giving it a red hot crack with the help of Netflix, where the show is now streaming.

“The Three Body Problem” follows dozens of characters whose lives intersect as a result of the cosmic conundrum that ties them together. The cast includes several Game of Thrones alumni including John Bradley and Liam Cunningham, who fans will remember as Samwell Tarly and Davos Seaworth.

Those happy to get caught up in all this grandiose sci-fi malarky will have a blast here. The Three Body Problem is a smart blockbuster and Benioff and Weiss have set the scene for a huge, sprawling saga that with time could be streaming’s next big hit.

It’s a show that has the potential to become something great. Let’s just hope Netflix doesn’t cancel it before it can get going.

“I hope it’s as big as Thrones,” Benioff told the BBC in an interview on the new series. “Our goal really is to get to the third season.”

THIS month a new show streaming on Binge has transformed one of Victoria’s most popular tourism spots into the setting of a crime noir thriller.

It’s called High Country and it’s set amongst the southern alpine peaks of the Great Dividing Range.

This series comes from the creators of another popular Aussie series Wentworth, where star Leah Purcell played one of the inmates inside the brutal, titular women’s prison. 

Wentworth was something of Australia’s answer to Orange is the New Black, but in High Country Purcell is on the other side of the law as Andrea Whitford, a hardened cop posted to a small Victorian town after five people mysteriously disappear into the surrounding wilderness.

It’s not long before she becomes entangled in a web of deceit, murder and revenge.

Purcell is exceptional in the lead role and would you believe she’s also joined by a Game of Thrones star as well. That would be Ian McElhinney, who plays police officer Sam Dyson, another cop who gets caught up in this brutal and puzzling case.

Rounding off a trio of talent is the star of crime thriller Mystery Road, Aaron Pederson, showing just how prolific outback noir has become not only for Australian audiences, but for those around the world.

The real highlight here though is the setting. These days crime dramas are a dime a dozen and making something that truly stands out is no easy feat. The wintry Victorian wilderness here does just that though.The mountains watch over this town with an ominous gaze, turning High Country into something of a character itself as this eight-episode plot unfolds.

This one is worth a shot for crime junkies and anyone looking for the next series to get addicted to.

 

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Nick Overall

Nick Overall

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