As someone who loves sci-fi, I knew that Altered Carbon had a strong chance of being a series that clicked with me. This is a Netflix original series that has 18 episodes spread over two seasons as well as a weird animated series as well. It is pretty laser-focused and very entertaining and you fellow sci-fi fans need to check this out if you have not already.
How to Stream or Download Altered Carbon
You can stream it or you can download Altered Carbon from a digital service such as Amazon Prime Video or Netflix. Click on the Download button at the end of this review. If you like cyberpunk themes, checkout also the movies Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049, or the game Cyberpunk 2077.
The Movie Review
One of the things that make talking about a show like Altered Carbon hard is that it is a mystery type of show so you do not want things spoiled. The show takes place in the far future in a cyberpunk-style world. Actually, I think the world created here may be one of my favorite cyberpunk-style worlds of any TV show or movie.
I know I have said a few times that this is a sci-fi show, however, I would also say that there is a bit of a film noir/detective thing with Altered Carbon as well. Taking place in Bay City, people’s memories and their consciousness can be basically saved forever. They can be kept on this disk that is called a cortical stack. This can be taken from one synthetic body (called a sleeve) to another, potentially keeping a person alive forever.
I liked how there is a bit of mystery around this technology and the fact that it is from an alien race was something really cool. Anyway, while it is possible to “live forever” only the super-rich are able to do this and one man called Laurens Bancroft is someone who does just this.
The thing is, Lauren ends up getting killed, the authorities rule it as a suicide, but he’s back up consciousness that was made hours before his death feels like he was murdered. Our “hero” is a man called Takeshi Kovacs who is a highly-skilled mercenary and his stack was actually in a prison!
He has his stack put into a new body (Joel Kinnaman) by Laurens and he is tasked with finding out who killed him. It is a real detective story and something that I had a great deal of fun with. Seeing him try to piece it all together and find out what really happened made me have my detective hat on the whole time I was playing.
In the second season, we see Takeshi being moved into a new body (Anthony Mackie) and I do actually prefer the second season of the show. Here we see Takeshi looking for someone that he loved as well as the leader of the group he was with before his stack was imprisoned.
There are two fewer episodes in the second season and that means that things move along at a bit of a brisker pace. I feel that the story is more personal with Takeshi this time around and that really did help me get connected to him as a character. However, season 2 ended with a few things left unresolved which was very frustrating!
This really is a great show, but as good as it is, the way that it ends will leave you wanting more and not in a good way. I say this because they clearly thought they were getting a third season so they left some major plot points unresolved during season 2. Netflix is pretty bad for canceling good shows! Still, even with that being said, Altered Carbon is a great example of how to do a sci-fi TV show right!