The major streamers have increasingly blessed sci-fi fans like me with an embarrassment of riches, in the form of everything from TV series like Silo, Foundation, and For All Mankind on Apple TV+ to Netflix hits like Stranger Things and Black Mirror. Apple’s streaming service, in particular, has proven to be indispensable to fans of the genre — and, in fact, is the streaming home for one of two sci-fi TV series that I’m most looking forward to in the new year.
That show is Severance Season 2, which we don’t yet have an official release date for but is widely believed to be coming at some point in 2024.
For the unaware, the nine-episode first season of Severance was a breakout success for Apple TV+, garnering tons of Emmy nominations, five wins, and significant critical buzz. The series from creator Dan Erickson is inventive, memorable, and kept me glued to my screen from start to finish thanks to its snapshot of a dystopian workplace wherein employees have undergone a “severance” procedure — cleaving their work selves from their normal day-to-day selves (their “outies,” in the parlance of the show).
Season 2 of Severance, which counts Ben Stiller as an executive producer, also added several new faces to the cast for the upcoming batch of episodes:
- Oscar and Emmy Award nominee Bob Balaban (The Chair, The Politician, The French Dispatch, Isle of Dogs)
- Robby Benson (Beauty and The Beast, One on One)
- Stefano Carannante (Mirabilia)
- Emmy Award nominee Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones, The Sandman, Wednesday)
- John Noble (Fringe, Elementary, The Lord of the Rings films)
- Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (The Tourist, Trapped, The Missing)
- Alia Shawkat (Search Party, Being the Ricardos, The Old Man)
- Emmy Award winner Merritt Wever (Godless, Unbelievable, Nurse Jackie)
The second sci-fi TV series coming in 2024 that I’m particularly enthused about, meanwhile, is Netflix’s 3 Body Problem, the streamer’s adaptation of one of the most celebrated sci-fi novels of all time from writer Cixin Liu — and which hails from none other than former Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
Regarding the plot of the eight-episode series, which is debuting on March 31, the 3 Body Problem is set during China’s Cultural Revolution. A secretive project involving the military sends out a signal to try and make contact with aliens, and that effort ends up being a success. The signal is picked up by an alien race that’s imploding, and it decides to invade Earth — which sets off all sorts of squabbles and creates divisions between those who, for example, want to fight the invaders and those who want to help.
Fans of the book include celebrities like Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin, and President Barack Obama. Netflix, meanwhile, is unveiling the first trailer for the highly anticipated series at CES 2024, which will mark the streaming giant’s first major presence at the tech expo since 2018.