A brief cast and character guide to Netflix’s “3 Body Problem.”


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“3 Body Problem” Summary

Netflix’s “3 Body Problem” is a sprawling, ambitious sci-fi thriller based on the Chinese novel “The Three-Body Problem” by Cixin Liu. Created by Alexander Woo and “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, this Netflix series puts a group of scientists on the cusp of dangerous discoveries about the world. Inspired by actual history and physics, “3 Body Problem” bends space and time to tell a story questioning who else is out there in the universe and what they want.

“3 Body Problem” starts during the Cultural Revolution in 1960s China; a young astrophysicist named Ye Wenjie (Zine Tseng) sees her father executed.  The story then takes us to present-day London, where Clarence Shi (Benedict Wong) is investigating a string of mysterious suicides linked together by all the deaths being scientists. One of these deceased scientists brings together a group of her ex-students in mourning; these students are the Oxford Five. Saul (Jovan Adepo), Auggie (Eiza Gonzalez), Jin (Jess Hong), Will (Alex Sharp), and Jack (John Bradley) all reunite in shock over the death. But these scientists are about to individually encounter their own struggles with unexplained phenomena. 

Mysterious countdowns, cults, video games, and murder are all connected to an alien species that’s coming to earth. While their intentions remain ambiguous and foreboding, what we do know is that Ye Wenjie’s actions in 1960s China led to this invasion of the world.

Content Information

“3 Body Problem” is rated TV-MA for profanity, violence, torture, gore, smoking, drinking, sex, and nudity.

“3 Body Problem” General Information

Network(s) Netflix
Genre(s) Drama

Mystery

Sci-Fi

Thriller

Created By David Benioff,  D. B. Weiss, and  Alexander Woo
Based On “The Three-Body Problem” by Cixin Liu
First Aired March 21, 2024
Executive Produced By Alexander Woo, David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, and others
Showrunner(s) Alexander Woo, David Benioff, and D. B. Weiss 

Please Note: The content below contains pertinent spoilers; descriptions are updated as new information is presented; images are changed as better ones are captured; and this is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, guest star, or recurring role. 

 

Groups & Organizations

  • Chinese Communist Party (1.1): The Chinese Communist Party and its military recruit Ye Wenjie as a young woman due to her intelligence.
  • The San-Ti (1.1): the technologically advanced alien race who come to earth because their own world is dying. 
  • The ETO (1.4): The Earth Trisolaris Organization consists of humans that welcome the San-Ti. 

Notable Locations & Items

  • China (1.1): China in the 1960s and 1970s was experiencing a revolution that led to communist control and a massive military takeover.
  • England (1.1): Present-day England is where most of our characters reside.  
  • VR Goggles (1.1): A special pair of goggles that take people to different virtual places in time with incredibly real graphics. This game also serves as an invitation and test from the ETO. 

Saul

3 body problem 8

Played by: Jovan Adepo

Description: Saul feels he is past his prime at 32. Part of the “Oxford Five,” Saul feels like he’s wasted potential as a research assistant and lives under the shadow of his peers. While he once won awards and was in a relationship with Auggie, he spends his days mindlessly staring at screens, smoking pot, and in one-night stands.

  • Introduced in: 1.1, “Countdown”
  • The actor is also known for their role in “Fences,” their role in “Babylon,” and their role in “To Catch a Killer.”

Additional Information

  • Adepo reportedly showed up to his audition slightly hungover. He’s excited to show Saul’s true potential in future seasons. 

Auggie

3 body problem 3

Played by: Eiza Gonzalez

Description: As the founder and chief officer of her own nanotech company, Auggie wishes to use science and her company to make the world a better place. She’s another member of the Oxford Five and is best friends with Jin. While Auggie is on the verge of a scientific breakthrough with nanofibers, she’s afraid of what she’ll find when an unexplainable countdown timer enters her field of vision and no one else’s. 

  • Introduced in: 1.1, “Countdown”
  • The actor is also known for their role in “Baby Driver,” their role in “Godzilla vs. Kong,” and their role in “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.”

Additional Information

  • “3 Body Problem” creators explained that the role of Auggie is a fusion of two characters from the book.

Jin

3 body problem 4

Played by: Jess Hong

Description: Jin is the most curious and fearless of the Oxford Five. Frustrated that her experiment results make no sense, Jin starts to immerse herself in a mysterious VR game that shows up in her place. While her boyfriend is worried about her, Jin finds purpose in the game and takes comfort in Will’s ability to soothe her. 

  • Introduced in: 1.1, “Countdown”
  • The actor is also known for their role in “Inked.”

Additional Information

  • Hong is from New Zealand, and Jin’s background was written to reflect that similarity. 

Will

3 body problem 6

Played by: Alex Sharp

Description: As the most shy friend in the Oxford Five, Will struggles to take action and share his feelings—especially for Jin. But a life-threatening diagnosis soon upends Will’s life and forces him to make some changes.

  • Introduced in: 1.1, “Countdown” 
  • The actor is also known for their role in “,” their role in “,” and their role in “.”

Additional Information

  • Sharp was excited to tap into Will’s universal story of love.

Jack

3 body problem 2

Played by: John Bradley

Description: Jack dropped out of college but might just be the most financially successful member of the Oxford Five. As the founder of a company called Jack’s Snacks, Jack has no problem sharing his wealth and a piece of his mind—particularly with his best friend, Will. 

  • Introduced in: 1.1, “Countdown” 
  • The actor is also known for their role in “Game of Thrones,” their role in “Moonfall,” and their role in “North Shore.”

Additional Information

  • John Bradley previously worked with David Benioff and D.B. Weiss on “Game of Thrones.”

Ye Winjie 

3 body problem

Played by: Zine Tseng (Younger), Rosalind Chao (Older)

Description: After losing her family in China’s Cultural Revolution, Ye Winjie loses attachment to the life she once cared about and grows bitter towards humankind. Ye’s intelligence and knowledge about astrophysics led to her being removed from a labor camp and into a secret government program. Ye makes contact with an alien species through this program. 

  • Introduced in: 1.1, “Countdown” 
  • This is Zine Tseng’s first starring role. You can find Rosalind Chao for their roles in “The Joy Luck Club,” their role in “What Dreams May Come,” and their role in “The Laundromat.”

Additional Information

  • Zine Tseng was initially nervous to cry in front of hundreds of extras during her opening scene, but director Derek Tsang commended the cast and considered what they were doing to be brave.

Clarence Shi

3 body problem 5

Played by: Benedict Wong

Description: Clarence “Da” Shi leads the investigation into multiple scientists’ mysterious deaths. As a chainsmoker with a gruff appearance, Clarence spends more time following the whereabouts of the Oxford Five when he should really be spending more time with his son. 

  • Introduced in: 1.1, “Countdown”
  • The actor is also known for their role in “The Martian,” their role in “Doctor Strange,” and their role in “Annihilation.”

Additional Information

  • Wong considers Clarence a man who takes his job everywhere with him and is defined only by his job.

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