Show: Altered Carbon
Available on: Netflix
What we thought:
Altered Carbon had unfortunate timing of being released in the wake of the Blade Runner sequel. There were comparisons right, left and centre. But this sci-fi series has little in common with the Harrison Ford blockbuster other than they are both set in the far future. You may as well say it’s a rip off of tech noir films such as Fifth Element, The Matrix, Gattaca or Total Recall. It certainly didn’t deserve the hate it got.
Altered Carbon is set on Earth in the 24th century and the while the world is a very different place, humans are still the same. In other words: Trash.
But the premise of this show is rather interesting. Human existence has been reduced to being saved on disks called cortical stacks that are located at the base of the skull. So as long as that stack doesn’t get damaged it can be transferred to a new synthetic body or a sleeve as they call it.
But as I said, humans are trash so the good bodies i.e the fit, beautiful and strong go to those who can pay for them. Unfortunately if you’re a little girl who died in an accident you get transferred to an old lady sleeve and your parents don’t even recognise you.
The series starts with our protagonist, Takeshi Kovacs, getting killed for his part in a rebellion and put on ice for 250 years. Takeshi was an Envoy, a political operative with mercenary skills, brought out of limbo by the wealthy Laurens Bancroft who elists Takeshi’s skills to solve his own murder. Dun, dun duuuun!
But how did Bancroft survive if his stack was destroyed? Well if you are super rich, you can upload your consciousness to the cloud. I’ll wait while you laugh.
It’s both amusing, insane and actually why the hell not? There is so much of our information being uploaded to the cloud these days; it’s not even that far-fetched for our actual consciousness to be uploaded.
So Takeshi takes the case and from there on out, it’s a twisty tale with surprises and lots of ‘OMG’ moments. Joel Kinnaman is easy on the eyes and is hilarious and endearing as the grumpy protagonist Kovacs who grows on you rather quickly.
If you’re a sci-fi fan and have a love for murder mysteries then this one should be straight up your alley. It’s an easy and fun watch so put it on your watch list.