Netflix debuted its latest original series this weekend. Altered Carbon is the network’s latest foray into the sometimes cut throat territory of original programming. We have been seeing more and more original content on all of the subscription networks and Netflix is no exception. They have over 8 billion dollars to spend on original movies and TV shows and are moving towards having half their catalog filled with original productions.
Netflix obviously spared no expense with Altered Carbon. The attention to detail that went into reproducing Richard K. Morgan’s world (he authored the book the series is based on) is obvious in every scene The series follows the lead character, Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman) as he navigates through different timelines. In this universe, death has been done away with and you can live forever when your consciousness (which is saved onto discs called stacks) is put into a new, sleeve, or human body.
This is what has been done to Kovacs, who has been awoken from a 250 year slumber/prison sentence. He is “re-sleeved” into a new body and brought back to solve the murder of the extremely wealthy Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy.)
Kovacs is dropped straight into this highly technological society where the very rich and powerful live in mansions literally built in the sky. They live forever, re-sleeving themselves into cloned bodies repeatedly; as long as their stack or brain is not damaged.
Kovacs meets Kristen Ortega (Martha Higareda) a police detective that doesn’t trust him but seems intrigued by him nonetheless. She is one tough cop that is not easily fooled. She immediately has her guard up with Kovacs.
The world of Altered Carbon is slick, highly technological, and brutal. Technology clashes with the gritty underworld of drugs, prostitutes and organized crime. All of the vices are represented in this first installment.
I was captivated from the opening scenes and didn’t want to miss a minute of the action. Believe me, you better pay attention, this episode was nothing to sleep through. If you blink, you will miss some detail that will leave you wondering what happened but that’s what is so great about Netflix; you can always hit rewind. One of the surprises of the show was seeing Tamoh Penikett playing a Russian assasin. I’ve been a fan of his since his appearance on Supernatural and was happy to see him showing off his acting chops once again in this episode.
I’m looking forward to watching the rest of the episodes and seeing how the world of Altered Carbon evolves.