'The Silent Sea' Netflix Series: Everything We Know So Far

5 Things to Know About ‘The Silent Sea,” the Korean Space Thriller Starring Gong Yoo and Bae Doona

Gear up for South Korea’s upcoming mystery thriller series, set to launch in 2021.

With mankind’s fascination for outer space prompting everything from space hotels to the launch of SpaceX, including South Korea’s plan to spend US$553 million on space projects this year, it’s no surprise that stories across distant galaxies are currently reflected in popular culture as well. If you’re a K-drama fan in the slightest, you’ve probably heard of The Silent Sea, the latest space adventure and mystery thriller coming to Netflix in 2021. 

Following the success of Space Sweepers, which was promoted as South Korea’s first space blockbuster and topped the Netflix movie charts in several countries, the streaming giant is launching another crew into space. Set in a distant future where the Earth is threatened with a food and water shortage, The Silent Sea is a sci-fi mystery thriller series starring Gong Yoo, Bae Doona, and Lee Joon.

Here are a few things you should know about the upcoming series: 

1. The Silent Sea embarks on a crucial mission to the moon

According to the official synopsis, The Silent Sea takes place on a version of Earth that has become a desert wasteland, leaving humanity short on food and water and verging on uninhabitable. 

Over the course of eight episodes, the Netflix original series follows the members of an elite team as they investigate the abandoned Balhae Base research station on the moon. There, the team must retrieve mysterious samples from the facility in the hope of saving mankind. 

2. It expands on the premise of a short film called The Sea of Tranquility 

Based on the 2014 short film titled The Sea of Tranquility, The Silent Sea is a series adaptation that expands on the premise of the original. Both the movie and the series have been directed by Choi Hang Yong. 

For the upcoming sci-fi thriller on Netflix, Director Yong teamed up with award-winning screenwriter Park Eun-kyo and executive producer Jung Woo-sung. 

3. Meet the star-studded cast of the series: Gong Yoo, Bae Doona, and Lee Joon

'The Silent Sea' Netflix Series: Everything We Know So Far

Set on a distant future where Earth is undergoing desertification, the sci-fi thriller series stars Gong Yoo, Bae Doona, and Lee Joon.

Recognise some familiar faces? Our first look at the Netflix sci-fi thriller series reveals Gong Yoo, Bae Doona, and Lee Joon donning spacesuits for their mission to the moon. 

Gong Yoo (Train to Busan, Guardian: The Lonely and Great God) stars as Han Yun-jae, the exploration team leader who must carry out the dangerous mission with limited information available. Putting the safety of his team members first, Yun-jae isn’t afraid to put himself in the line of danger. The Silent Sea marks Gong Yoo’s highly anticipated comeback to television, around five years after he starred in Guardian: The Lonely and Great God in 2016.  

Gong Yoo and Bae Doona Star in The Silent Sea

Image credit: Management SOOP Official Facebook Page (left); doonabae (right)

Famous for her roles in Kingdom and Sense8, Bae Doona plays Dr. Song Ji-an, an astrobiologist who joins the team and is determined to discover the truth behind a mysterious accident at the research facility. By the time The Silent Sea airs, it will be Bae Doona’s fifth appearance in a Netflix original series. 

Starring alongside Gong Yoo and Bae Doona is Lee Joon (My Father is Strange, Lucky), who portrays the head engineer Captain Ryu Tae-seok. An elite member of the Ministry of National Defense, he volunteers for the mission to break free from the stifling environment at the Ministry.  

4. The series has two “hidden cards” that could distinguish it from other stories set in space

The Silent Sea follows an elite team tasked to collect mysterious samples from an abandoned research base on the moon.

During an event titled “See What’s Next Korea,” Bae Doona said that she was captivated by the original short film and its potential to expand into a longer project. In a report by TVDaily, the actress mentioned that The Silent Sea contained “two hidden cards” that fascinated her. 

Elaborating on what these “hidden cards” might mean, Bae Doona said, “Other projects may have stories about teams who leave for space because there’s a lack of food and water, but The Silent Sea has something that goes beyond that.” 

Much of the premise of the space thriller is wrapped in mystery, as is the case with most K-dramas before airing. But considering that many Korean television series and movies have distinguished themselves by offering fresh takes on genres popularised in the West, it’s exciting to speculate on what new terrain The Silent Sea will discover in its foray into space. 

5. The Silent Sea is part of Netflix’s US$500 million investment in original stories from South Korea

Following a growing appetite for Korean stories, Netflix is adding more diversity and variety to its slate of content from South Korea.

Netflix announced that it will spend US$500 million (S$663.34 million) in 2021 on original content produced in South Korea and expand its upcoming slate of movies, television series, and stand-up comedy specials from the country. In 2020, the streaming giant revealed that it had 3.8 million paid subscribers in South Korea. 

“Audiences around the world are falling in love with Korean stories, artists, and culture,” said Minyoung Kim, who is Netflix’s Vice President of Content for South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. 

Kim added, “The K-Wave, or Hallyu as we call it here in Korea, is a huge moment of national pride and we’re proud to be part of it. Great Korean stories are nothing new, in fact, storytelling is deeply rooted in Korean culture. But today we live in a world where Parasite is an Academy Award Best Picture winner, BlackPink plays Coachella, and over 22M households tune into a horror TV series, Sweet Home.” 

'The Silent Sea' Netflix Series: Everything We Know So Far

The Silent Sea is scheduled for worldwide release in 2021, exclusively on Netflix.

In addition to The Silent Sea, other exciting Korean titles to arrive on the streaming platform in 2021 are Hellbound, D.P., Squid Game, All of Us Are Dead, My Name, So Not Worth It, and Kingdom: Ashin of the North, the much-awaited spin-off to the zombie sageuk (historical drama) Kingdom, among others. 

Also read: Here’s Why Zombies in South Korea or “K-Zombies” Are Taking Over Netflix

The Silent Sea, which is produced by Artist Studio, started filming in Aug 2020. While an official release date has not been announced yet, Netflix has confirmed that the series will be released worldwide in 2021. 


All images courtesy of Netflix 

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Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany is a writer who covers travel, food, and pop culture. She has a soft spot for stories about Japan and Italy. While she waits for her next adventure, she enjoys writing about the coolest places to stay around the world and where to find them.

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