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Altered Carbon

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Pius

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I am a major consumer in the field of sci-fi and fantasy movies and series and most recently in the line is a series from Netflix called Altered Carbon that I finished this weekend. It's a good series that I hope will come in a season two in the future.

The series, currently on Netflix, is based on a novel written by Richard K. Morgan 2002, where we get to follow the protagonist Takeshi Kovacs as he wakes up in a futuristic world. A world where life is stored digitally on so-called "stacks" inoperated in bodies called "sleeves". A world where the physical body is next to useless and where those who can afford clones and digital backups of themselves live forever.

It's a dark series with a lot of naked whose purpose is to clarify how the physical body has been reduced to something interchangeable and trivial. The life of the physical body can be compared to the way we look at cars today. It is something we prefer to upgrade and acquire newer, better models of.

The actions are bloody and violent with some kind of indifference, distinguishing between "sleeve death" and "true death" depending on whether or not the person's digital implant is damaged. At bodily death, there is hardly anybody's eyebrows while digital death equals murder.

The story in the series is interesting and bit of a bit complicated, just as I like it. It's a lot of puzzling and given that different individuals change bodies occasionally, it never gets boring. The series changes the shape and orientation as the story evolves so if you expect a series that you can figure out after the first episode, you will be reconsidered.

The actors with Joel Kinnaman in the lead do a brilliant job even though I think the scriptwriters hold on to some scenes. Martha Higareda, who plays the police Kristen Ortega, does not really fit into my mind, but gets stuck between an angry and frustrated woman and a rocky action hero where the contrasts get a bit too big for it to feel completely natural.

Joel Kinnaman is suffering from an Ivanhoe syndrome, where he slowly falls from a stone-hard murderer to a soft hugging bear. It is quite clear that using his moral compass as a kind of counterpoint to the perceived evil of other characters.

Most impressed, I'm probably Dichen Lachman, who seems to have had rather thin roles before. In Altered Carbon she blossoms well and she has several scenes where she can show off her martial arts skills and that she can act on a wide range. A much more faceted role than she usually has in other words.

The fact that the series relies heavily on the physical form is meaningless, so it also means that all characters in the series are interchangeable. This provides a good prerequisite for the survival of the series if one chooses to take it forward after season one. Already in this season there have been several well-known actors who stepped in and then disappeared. With clones and a digital consciousness that can be moved between bodies and worlds, you can mix actors a bit as you like. On both good and bad, obviously.

I liked this series even though it was a little bit naked at times, and one showed a bit of bitterness as a bit dated. If I may wish, it would not be wrong if it became a bit more cyberpunk, but Altered Carbon does not really fall into that genre.

Altered Carbon is no Bladerunner or Johnny Mnemonic without a more traditional sci fi like Total Recall or Elysium. If you are old enough, you may probably want to read some of the references that appear sometimes, such as wonderfully mad Matt Frewer from Max Hedroom or the water scene from Ghost in the shell.

 

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Humm now you are making sure I do watch this one, I have been debating it but just had not taken the leap. 

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Pius

Give it a try, you might like it :)

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Donor

Seems like a basis for liking this show is that you haven't read the books.

 

I didn't read the books. Loved it!

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okayy first episode down and I an loving this, I do not feel like I have to slog through it to get to the meat of the situation, this and black mirror are two of the best they have done in my opinion.

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Curator

I saw the trailer to this on yt and it looked really interesting. I'm glad it was worth the watch. I'll have to check it out at some point soon. Incidentally, I've been watching some of Lost Girl and while pretty tropish and cliched (WHAT ISN'T IN THAT GENRE AT THIS POINT), it was enjoyably acted, written and produced and I felt it was a very good fit with Changeling.

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