“Your body is not who you are,” the opening of the latest trailer for Altered Carbon declares. The Netflix original miniseries, coming February 2, is based on Richard K. Morgan’s novel of the same name. In both miniseries and novel, bodies are referred to as “sleeves.” People’s consciousness can be, and often are, stored and transferred after death–sometimes long after, and usually without a choice of which body they will wake in. A prison term is not time spent in a physical space; it is a time spent stored while life goes on while someone else takes the body the prisoner was in.
Takeshi Kovacs, played first by Will Yun Lee and then by Joel Kinnamon, is one such prisoner: An Envoy soldier turned rebel and then imprisoned brought back to solve the murder of the wealthy Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy) with the threat of permanent erasure if he fails to do so fast enough.
From the look of the trailer, the series keeps the hyper-masculine violence of the book. What the trailer doesn’t indicate is whether or not the questions of identity and reality, both tied to the body and not, that Morgan includes in his book will make it onto the screen.
Aesthetically, the look is very Blade Runner, with the requisite rain and smokey haze, which is an odd choice given that the original and the sequel are still on people’s minds. It’s not a bad look, those lovely, twisted brain sculptures are quite striking, but under the circumstances, it strikes me as more of a default dystopia than a carefully thought out choice.
What do you think? Like the look? The way the plot seems to be heading? Let us know in the comments!
Altered Carbon Official Synopsis
In a future where humans can transfer their minds from body to body, a rebel is brought back to life to solve a twisted, high-stakes murder case.
Learn more on the show’s Netflix page