• Muthukkumaran B

Altered carbon - Intergalactic tale of unending love

Updated: Jul 23

From the outset, altered carbon may seem like a galactic fight fest, interspersed with lots of skin show in the Game of thrones mould. But the show is held together by unending love.

Altered carbon is based on Richard K. Morgan's novel of the same name. Altered carbon is a dystopian cyberpunk thriller web series that has a techno-noir theme in it. In the far future, humanity has found a way of navigating intergalactic travel and immortality by inventing a technology called stacks, that can let you store your consciousness into small discs called stacks. Intergalactic travel is possible by beaming your consciousness to a distant planet and choosing a different body(sleeves). Technically you can't also die as long as your stack stays safe. The uber rich, who are called meths, named after methuselah of the Bible fame, have found a way to take backups of their consciousness by uploading it daily to their own satellites. But it's not all roses and sunshines as the financial imbalance is so big, the society is in turmoil. The show follows Takeshi Kovacs, who is labelled as a terrorist, and been in cryostasis for 200 years, for taking part in a failed revolution lead by Quellcrist falconer. Takeshi is an Envoy, a super trained elite soldier.


Image credits: Netflix

Season one sees Joel Kinnaman playing Takeshi, and the story revolved around Takeshi being revived by a meth, who hands a murder mystery to Takeshi and expects him to solve it. The aforementioned meth is shot dead before his daily backup, and he needs to know who committed the crime. The challenges faced by Takeshi and the people he comes across forms the crux of the story. He receives help from an AI who is a fan of Edgar allan poe, played by Chris Conner, a police officer played by Martha higareda and an ex military man played by Ato Essandoh. The action sequences are adrenaline pumping with the setting immersive.

Second season follows Takeshi and poe in a distant planet searching for his lost love, the revolutionary leader Quellcrist, played by Renee Elise goldsberry. Suddenly he receives a request from another meth who upgrades him into a military grade sleeve played by Anthonie Mackie. But the meth is murdered with his backups also destroyed leading to suspicion falling on Kovacs. And he finds his long lost lover quell, who has no memory of who she is and going on a killing spree. The action is a step above from the first season. But the screenplay feels a bit off compared to season one. But overall it is a solid second season, which makes us expect for the third.

What holds the series together is the little moments of genuine emotions portrayed by the characters even though they may feel like they lost their humanity. The unending love that makes Kovacs travel the galaxy in search of quell is both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.

A must watch for SciFi fanatics.


Available in : Netflix

Content warning : Gore, nudity, violence (18+)watch alone

Bingeopedia rating : 4/5



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