Review of “Altered Carbon” (season 1)

* * * B

altered-carbonNetflix new science fiction series Altered Carbon is based on the premise that people can be completely encoded on a device, based on alien technology, known as a stack. Bodies that can be controlled by a stack are known as sleeves. People can travel over vast distances by needle casting, which transmits the contents of their stack from one place to another. The wealthiest individuals in this society are known as Meths, and they are immortal, transferring from one sleeve to the next.

Season 1 is the story of Takeshi Kovacs (Joel “Holder” Kinnaman) a criminal from a century old rebellion against the Protectorate, who is taken off ice by a Meth, Laurens Bancroft (James “Carroll” Purefoy) to solve his own murder. He was shot through the stack. Of course, being a Meth, his mind was restored to a new stack from a backup. Kovacs enlists the help of police woman Kristen Ortega (Martha Higareda), an AI replica of Edgar Allen Poe (Chris Conner) and others to help him solve the crime.

I really liked the interplay of the main story with Kovacs’s back story, where he became a rebel envoy, part of a group seeking to prevent people from using altered carbon as a means to immortality. That arc seemed a little rushed to me. Most of the series worked very well, and I liked the way the ending tied everything together. A second season is yet to be confirmed. If it is, will Kovacs remain in Riker’s sleeve (Joel Kinnaman), or will he have a different one? I hope to learn the answer soon.

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About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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