In ‘3 Body Problem,’ Our Days Are Numbered

The Netflix adaptation of an acclaimed Chinese sci-fi series is anxious about time. Christians don’t have to be.

Time is running out in Netflix’s 3 Body Problem.

An alien race, the San-Ti, announces that they will arrive on Earth in 400 years. Before they get here, they intend to “kill” science, preventing humanity from developing the technology to wipe them out.

This otherworldly threat precipitates most of the action in the eight-episode TV series, adapted from Chinese author Liu Cixin’s popular book trilogy, Remembrance of Earth’s Past . The show focuses on a group of Oxford scientists who try valiantly to thwart the San-Ti’s devious plan. That includes theoretical physicist Jin Cheng (Jess Hong), who comes up with an outlandish scheme to intercept the San-Ti fleet using the principles of nuclear thermal propulsion.

The characters in 3 Body Problem are desperate to save themselves from impending doom through intellectual innovation and technological prowess. Their frantic race to save humanity brings a common question to the fore: What are we doing with the time we have left?

Our relationship with time is fraught. Time imposes demands and restrictions. Every day, there are deadlines to meet, deals to acquire, and dinners to cook. There isn’t “enough” time to pursue hobbies or dreams.

Compounding these pressures is our culture’s obsession with turning back the clock. Creams and serums tout the erasure of wrinkles and age spots in three to six months. Researchers study ways to extend our life span; some are even striving to reduce one’s biological age.

As we seek to slow time down, we bemoan the speed at which it passes. Vacations feel far too short. Children grow up too fast. Our loved ones pass away sooner than we expect. We turn to “slow living” in the hopes …

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