Altered Carbon Starts Off Successfully

Josiah Majors, Reporter

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The newest Netflix Original Altered Carbon offers mystery, science fiction, and action all in one. The world of Altered Carbon is beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Immortality can be accessed by all, and since  dying is so rare, the value of human life is basically worthless.

The story takes place in the nearby future where death ceases to exist due to the creation of “stacks” and “sleeves”. Stacks are small discs that hold all of a person’s consciousness while sleeves are the bodies stacks are inserted into.

The creation of these two technologies allow humans to pick and choose who they want to be–for a certain price. The rich can freely buy any sleeve they want, at any time they choose, but the poor must deal with whatever sleeve they are given which naturally causes friction between the economic classes.

This gives a conflicting dynamic to the world because, ultimately, the rich are untouchable while the poor are left to pick up the scraps.

Through the use of flashbacks, the story follows mercenary Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman) as the present-day sleeve and Byron Mann playing Kovacs in flashbacks. Kovacs’ original body (Byron Mann) was killed while attempting to supply weapons to a rebellion faction. Once Kovacs “dies” his stack is taken out of his body and placed in storage where it stays for 250 years. Suddenly, Kovacs is awakened and resleeved into his new body(Joel Kinnaman) to find that the richest man in the world, Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy), hired him to solve the murder of Bancroft himself who has been resleeved.

The show does an excellent job of expanding on the debate over how much human life is worth and how the government would control the power to obtain immortality.

Another success of the show is how well it presents difficult concepts. The concept of immortality can be difficult to grasp at times since in our world, it doesn’t exist. The show handles this perfectly by presenting stacks and sleeves as a viable and scientific explanation for how immortality is achieved.  

Altered Carbon is a stunning new show that I highly recommend to any science fiction lovers or people just looking for a new show to binge on Netflix.


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Altered Carbon Starts Off Successfully