Altered Carbon is a series that I really just loved, I enjoy the cyberpunk aesthetic and they did wonderful work on immersing a strong narrative within that universe. Set in the far future bodies of people are just considered temporary sleeves with the real mind of an individual being stored within a stack. The extremely wealthy have extra precautions and that help sets a number of aspects for the general plot or just how meaningless death can be at this point. The story follows a man, Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman) that's been frozen for a very long time and has been released with some interesting conditions. He had been imprisoned and put on ice for a long time based on what he had done hundreds of years prior. I won't spoil this aspect as it is well introduced throughout the season.
The flashbacks were actually well handled here helping to build a more compelling tale. Back to the core character, this is actually a new sleeve for him with the original long having been dead. He's been brought back by an extremely wealthy individual in order to discover who murdered the wealthy man and the reason behind it. This has him going through a very futuristic environment of a grand scale and tracking down leads. It's not a straight up detective type show as there's more complexity to it and some extra mysterious intrigue. You really get to have a true sense of wonder for how things progressed while at the same time getting an expansive look at the society.
I will mention that this series has a high focus on adult content that's not only graphic, but with nudity as well. I don't at all mind since I felt it made sense considering how people regard their sleeves. I still understand that some may not be all for it so thought it was worth the note. The quality within the world in terms of CGI and atmosphere was perfect, I absolutely love cyberpunk and they brought that alive with excellent execution. The presented themes were rather interesting and I felt the interactions between characters were developed upon greatly over the season.
Additional important characters aside from the lead included a tougher always watching member of the local police, Kristin Ortega (Martha Higareda) and the incredibly charming Poe (Chris Conner). Both performed well in their own unique ways and helped bring an excitement to their roles. There are some neat twists along the way and the pacing felt great. Very Bladerunner-esque taking its time when needed for effect and then kicking it into high gear at other times. I was very surprised at certain points and I didn't expect certain aspects to come up as they did.
This was an excellent series that provided a beautifully expansive cyberpunk world to witness. The plot was mysterious while still being full of intrigue. There was solid pacing having enough slow points to help develop everything and make the action feel tenser. The acting was great and the characters embraced their typically wild sleeves very well. There were some neat twists along the way and a developing back story that didn't feel forced instead naturally working into the core present narrative. It all looked fantastic and I was pleased with how it played out. The themes Altered Carbon ventured through were unique and I don't believe I've seen a similar future that plays out quite like this. I'm really looking forward to hopefully seeing this universe expanded upon as it was an easy viewing.
Altered Carbon Season 1 Review at Home with Streamed Viewing
Screening was Provided by Netflix