Netflix’s Altered Carbon, an upcoming sci-fi series starring Joel Kinnaman, is one of the most expensive shows the streaming service has ever produced. Costing roughly $7 million dollars per episode, there’s a chance this show is the reason Sense8 was canceled, and expectations are high for Netflix to deliver. Taking a page straight out of the Blade Runner playbook, the cyberpunk dystopia of Altered Carbon is a future where, for a price, your consciousness can be placed into a new body after your death with a process called resleeving.
According to an official synopsis of the show:
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. The series is produced by Skydance Television for Netflix.
As excited as I am for this new show, the hodgepodge of familiar concepts from Blade Runner – they even ride around in Spinners – and The Matrix makes me think Netflix is trying to play it safe with this one. It’s not the worst idea in the world. A show this expensive needs to have a certain amount of accessibility if Netflix intends on both turning a profit and producing additional seasons. Best case scenario, the marketing for this show is intentionally focusing on the more familiar ideas, leaving the real surprises for later.
Netflix has also released a batch of new posters that are, at best, horrifyingly creepy. Each poster focuses on one of Psychasec’s “sleeves,” curled up in plastic bags, ready to be woken up. The graphic posters are definitely eye-catchers, and they may make you feel a little icky. Additionally, the almost-nudity makes these posters “kind of NSFW,” so you’re probably better off not scrolling through these if you’re at the office.
Altered Carbon debuts on Netflix, February 2nd.