5. Altered Carbon, based on Richard K. Morgan’s 2002 cyberpunk sci-fi novel of the same name, is a complicated ultraviolent new Netflix series dripping with sex and tons of eye candy. All the riveting popcorn elements are in place – vibrant cinematography, impressive world building, and strong casting make this peak TV. Netflix could have a Game of Thrones type hit on their hands – leveraging the sequels Broken Angels and Woken Furies for seasons to come.
4. Taking a 15-year trip from book to screen, I never thought Altered Carbon would or even could be made. Screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis timed this adaption perfectly and got it on the right platform without ratings restrictions or worrying about weekly viewers. Netflix is the perfect place for telling this complicated story.
3. The visuals can be described as Blade Runner inspired but unlike the disappointing sequel that came to theaters last year, Altered Carbon delivers where Blade Runner 2049 did not. It shares some of that film’s sexuality, flying cars, and futuristic weapons, but that’s where the comparisons end. Altered Carbon does a better job exploring the separation of classes and the advancement of tech, foreshadowing an inevitable conflict of Transhumanism.
2. Altered Carbon is a rich concept that takes place in a 25th century where humans can store their souls on alien tech called “stacks.” Stacks are embedded in the base of the brain when you are a year old. If your body is destroyed you can be “spun up” into a new body called a “sleeve.” This new chance of immortality poses very interesting questions for world religions, especially Catholics and Muslims.
1. Joel Kinnaman, Martha Higareda, Renee Elise Goldsberry, James Purefoy and Ato Essandoh, are an impressive and diverse cast. Kinnaman only signed on for one season but there are several other books in the Takeshi Kovacs universe. I can only hope they can get him to return because I do believe he made the role his even though it was played by three different actors.