‘Altered Carbon’ – Filling in that cyberpunk void

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KAREN KUNAWICZ

This week, my cousin Hank Palenzuela better known as Hank Sparrow (yes, the bartender in the “Trese” comics is based on an actual person) takes over to discuss Netflix’s much anticipated new property, “Altered Carbon.”

Here goes his take:
Netflix finally satisfies the need for a good cyberpunk series. Altered Carbon is based on a novel by Richard K. Morgan. In the future, the human consciousness is stored digitally in chips known as “stacks” which can then be transferred to different bodies or “sleeves” making death almost obsolete.

Takeshi Kovacs is Netflix’s super soldier in latest action-packed series

Takeshi Kovacs (Robocop and Suicide Squad’s Joel Kinaman), a UN special ops soldier is brought back and sleeved into body to solve the “murder” of Laurens Bancroft (Rome’s James Purefoy)—a very wealthy taipan in the future. Besides having to deal with that mystery of who would want to destroy one of the wealthiest men on the planet, Kovacs also has to deal with problems left over by his sleeve’s former occupant, a former police detective with more than a few black marks on his record.

Takeshi Kovacs, super soldier gets fight training

Luckily, Kovacs is able to find allies to aid him in the midst of all this, for the right price of course. Among them is the very likable artificial intellignce that runs the Raven travelling motel. Patterned after the 19th century writer of the macabre Edgar Allan Poe, this AI is quite accomodating and forthcoming with the main character’s needs–everything from state-of-the-art weapons, medical aid, information and even psychotherapy. Eddie, as he is later called in the series, seems to draw the viewer’s eye in whatever scene he is in.


Gratefully, Altered Carbon fills the long-time vacuum for a binge-worthy cyberpunk series. The show’s pacing can be a bit dodgy in certain spots but it does not distract too much from its plot and theme. Not to worry though, this can can be addressed in what I’m (hopefully) sure will be a second season.

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Hank did binge and finished all the episodes. I am just on the pilot and am properly riveted. It’s directed by Miguel Sapochnik, who is probably best known for doing Game of Thrones’ Emmy award winning “Battle of the Bastards.” Will Yun Lee (“The Wolverine,” “Elektra”) plays Birth Kovacs.

If you like a the feel of the first “Bladerunner” film and like a little bit of detective noir, this is for you.

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All 10 episodes of “Altered Carbon”roll out this Saturday.

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