Netflix's Next Sci-Fi Hit is Already Being Compared to Interstellar

Netflix's Next Sci-Fi Hit is Already Being Compared to Interstellar
Image credit: Warner Bros., Netflix

Expectations are running high for The Signal.


  • The Signal is a German-language sci-fi thriller.
  • All four episodes will drop in March of 2024.
  • The series follows an astronaut who disappears on Earth, leaving cryptic messages behind.

A new trailer has dropped for the limited series The Signal, set to be released by Netflix on March 7. The German-language psychological thriller is already drawing comparisons to such hits as the Christopher Nolan blockbuster Interstellar and the James Gray-directed Ad Astra.

What Do We Know So Far?

This four-episode series tells the story of astronaut Paula (Peri Baumeister), her devoted husband Sven (Florian David Fitz), and their daughter Charlie (Yuna Bennett).

In spite of her love for her family, it seems that Paula can't resist the pull of space. Her latest mission takes her to the International Space Station for months, with Charlie and Sven left behind to wait for her return. In the opening moments of the trailer Charlie mournfully asks her father, 'Why doesn't Mom like it on Earth?'

When Paula returns from space, the airplane taking her to reunite with her family disappears without a trace. Her husband and daughter are left trying to piece together the puzzle of her disappearance, and they soon realize that Paula discovered something in space that could change life on Earth forever.

Judging from the trailer, it seems that Charlie and Sven's journey involves cryptic messages left from Paula, and that a quest for the truth gets increasingly dangerous the deeper they dig.

Whether The Signal is a story of alien contact or political machinations remains to be seen (is it too much to hope for both?), but the show is already generating buzz for its mix of sci-fi, thriller, and family drama. At four episodes long, it'll be just the right length for a binge: long enough to have a complex plot, but not so long that it gets lost in a maze of twists and turns. Our hopes are through the roof for this one!

The Bar Is High

We're living in an era of good television generally, but if there's one genre that's come a long way in the age of streaming it's science fiction. For a long time sci fi had a niche audience of 'nerds' (no shade, nerds are our people) which wasn't helped by a reputation for poor special effects. But now it's possible for shows and movies to evoke the depth and mysteries of space with relative ease, and folks like Chrisopher Nolan have managed to make the genre as prestigious as any other.

The Signal looks like it upholds the best traditions of sci-fi: not only gorgeous to watch and wide in scope, but also a philosophical look at human beings and ties that bind us. Paula's dilemma as an astronaut and a mother is the starting point for the show, and we look forward to seeing where it all goes.

One of Many

There are no reviews available yet for The Signal, but even if our (admittedly high) hopes for this one are frustrated there are a lot more sci-fi options coming to us this year. High on our list is Netflix's 3 Body Problem, a doozy of a time/space/alien/family story based on Liu Cixin's book series.

There is also a crop of new fantasy releases coming down the pipe. Keep an eye out for the live-action version of Avatar: The Last Airbender, on Netflix starting February 22. Fans are extremely cautious, as we've been burned badly in the past (curse you, M. Night Shyamalan!), but the trailer has dropped and it looks… pretty good? We're not exactly optimistic yet, but we're keeping our fingers crossed!