A new Netflix sci-fi show compared to Dark and Interstellar is climbing rankings, despite dividing viewers

The Signal
(Image credit: Netflix)

New Netflix series The Signal is climbing up the streamer's charts – but it's proving divisive. Released on March 7, the sci-fi series has crept up the top 10 over the past week, making it to #3 in the US, #4 in the UK, and #2 in Australia (via FlixPatrol). 

The German-language show follows scientist Paula, played by Peri Baumeister, who disappears without a trace on her way home from a mission on the International Space Station. While she was up there, she made an unbelievable discovery, and back on Earth her husband and daughter attempt to piece together what happened – trying to decode messages from Paula, they realize that this is valuable information that could put their lives at risk. 

As a German-language drama tangled in mystery, The Signal is earning comparisons to cult classic thriller Dark, which aired between 2017 and 2020, and the theme of family members left behind on Earth while a loved one is lost in space has caused critics to compare The Signal to Interstellar, Christopher Nolan's 2014 movie. 

The show has an audience score of 36% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Netflix subscribers divided on whether it warrants a binge-watch or loses its way across its four episodes. "Really wanted this to be a good… but it seemed it got lost and couldn't quite find its way," said one viewer, while another countered that they liked the show, despite "some slow spots and a few parts that aren't logical (in my opinion). Overall, I'd said that this is worth watching though, maybe even binge worthy?"

"This mystery/thriller with a sci-fi angle kept me guessing, and the ending was not what I expected. It left me with a few big questions unanswered but I did enjoy it," said another, while one more viewer lamented that the show "started off with promise, but then the meh ending left a big hole."

The Signal is streaming now on Netflix. For more, fill out your watch list with our picks of the other best Netflix shows.

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.