Transferring a human consciousness into a new body at will is not a new one, but it does remain an intriguing idea. It almost always leads to discussions about the spirit and soul and what role they play in a world where this is possible to accomplish. This body-swapping is the central premise that serves as a basis for the new Netflix series Altered Carbon. From what I understand there’s a murder mystery that plays a prominent role in the series narrative also, adding a nice touch of film noir to the mix.
Altered Carbon takes place 500 years in the future, where human consciousness can be uploaded into a “cortical stack,” allowing the rich to change bodies (“sleeves”) in order to live forever. There are, naturally, people opposed to this, and the series will delve into this as well as a central murder mystery that will explore this strange new world. Here’s a synopsis: 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 based on the novel by Richard K. Morgan‘s 2002 story and got adapted by writer-producer Laeta Kalogridis (Alita: Battle Angel) and director Miguel Sapochnik (of “Battle of the Bastards” fame from Game of Thrones).
The series stars Joel Kinnaman, James Purefoy, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Martha Higareda , Ato Essandoh, Chris Conner, Will Yun Lee, and Dichen Lachman. Altered Carbon debuts February 2, 2018, on Netflix. You can view the trailer below.