Altered Carbon, Netflix’s big, weird new science fiction series, arrives this weekend, and in anticipation of this, the streaming service has released an in-depth Altered Carbon featurette that looks at the way the series treats life and death.
Altered Carbon is, for the most part, a strange show. There’s a lot of rich, complex mythology in the series, and it doesn’t spoon-feed its audience. Instead, it throws you head-on into the weird stuff and makes you figure it out on your own. If you want an idea of just how complex the show is, check out our handy guide to the series right here. Seemingly in anticipation of how complicated some of the show’s ideas may be, Netflix has wisely put together this clever Altered Carbon featurette that explores the way the show deals with immortality. Netflix has clearly spared no expense here, going so far as to hire master science explainer Neil deGrasse Tyson to narrate. Check it out.
Altered Carbon featurette
Long story short: in the world of Altered Carbon, death isn’t the end. Thanks to alien technology, human beings have been able to download their consciousness (or soul, if you want to get theological with this) into a little memory drive known as a stack. When the body, or sleeve, you currently inhabit dies due to illness, accident, or murder, you can simply have your stack uploaded into a brand new sleeve, and be born again in a new body.
Of course, in the world of the show, the super-wealthy have exploited this to their great advantage, causing an even greater rift between the haves and the have-nots. Altered Carbon is a visually stunning series, and it’s truly committed to its wild and crazy ideas. That said, the show itself left me kind of cold. As I said in my review: “Altered Carbon is a big, bold, visually stunning sci-fi extravaganza. Unfortunately, the story the show is telling fails to live up to the jaw-dropping visuals on display, ultimately robbing the series of its power.”
Altered Carbon arrives on Netflix on February 2, 2018.
Based on the classic cyberpunk noir novel by Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon is an intriguing story of murder, love, sex, and betrayal, set more than 300 years in the future. Society has been transformed by new technology: consciousness can be digitized; human bodies are interchangeable; death is no longer permanent. Takeshi Kovacs is the lone surviving soldier in a group of elite interstellar warriors who were defeated in an uprising against the new world order. His mind was imprisoned – on ice – for centuries until Laurens Bancroft, an impossibly wealthy, long-lived man, offers Kovacs the chance to live again. In exchange, Kovacs has to solve a murder … that of Bancroft himself.
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