Netflix’s Modified Carbon Was Too Weird For This World And It’s A Tragedy

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Sci-fi Slick is the order of the day in Altered Carbon, a neon-infused Netflix adaptation of Richard K. Morgan’s novel. Netflix

As a fan of weird and wacky sci-fi showsI am used to seeing my hopes dashed by sudden network cancellations. Heck, I’m still not done Firefly never have a second season. So when the news hit Wednesday Netflix has canceled mind-blowing sci-fi thriller Altered Carbon, I was sad, but not shocked.

Every time I try to explain Modified carbon to friends, they would respond with puzzled expressions as if to say, “This sounds like a lot of work.” They are not wrong. I have notes on random sheets of paper that I scribbled down as I looked, just to stay on top of who’s who and what they were doing on the show.

The world of modified carbon (based on the novel of the same name) is a mixture of strange scientific and personal identity issues. A person’s memories and consciousness can be stored in an alien-made disc called a cortical stack, which is then implanted into the back of a person’s neck.

The piles can also be transplanted into new human bodies called sleeves. A person’s consciousness can live on forever as long as it moves from sleeve to sleeve. But if your stack is destroyed, you die. Only the rich, known as the Meths, can afford stacks and the new human shafts to place them. These are the basics of Altered Carbon, but even that can be difficult to follow.

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Actor Joel Kinnaman as mercenary Takeshi Kovacs in the first season of Altered Carbon.

Netflix

In Season 1, the consciousness of mercenary Takeshi Kovacs (played by Joel Kinnaman for now) is uploaded into a new body, with the task of finding the killer of a murdered Meth. This body exchange explores the idea of ​​identity on several levels. Some people decide to change their gender and may divide their consciousness into two rounds rather than one. Still with me?

We mainly follow Kovacs, who must solve the murder to stay alive. He must also find clues to his own past involving his sister Reileen Kawahara (Dichen Lachman). And this is only the first season.

Season 2 jumps 30 years in the future and now Kovacs (a new cover animated by the old Avengers Anthony Mackie) is determined to find his lost love and revolutionary leader Quellcrist Falconer (Renee Elise Goldsberry). Falconer is also the original creator of the stacks and handles.

The second season had a lot of twists and turns that made the story interesting and puzzling. Recruited to work on a planet called Harlan’s World, Kovacs discovers that Falconer is truly the host of an alien entity known as the Elder, who wants revenge on the Founders who initially took control of Harlan’s World. These founders wanted to eradicate the other ancients and steal the technology behind the batteries.

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Avengers actor Anthony Mackie plays mercenary Takeshi Kovacs in the second season of the Netflix sci-fi series Altered Carbon.

Netflix

The remaining old one uses Falconer’s sleeve to get close enough to assassinate the remaining Founders. But just as the Ancient One decides to kill everyone (Founders and Humans), Kovacs takes the Ancient One to his own stack and lets the uber-laser energy weapon destroy him and the Ancient One in order to save the human race. Now that Kovac’s sleeve and stack are destroyed, he’s dead, right? But it is not. So yeah, things get even stranger and confusing.

And this is where the problem lies with Altered Carbon. As you can already tell, the storyline has a lot of characters changing bodies and then trying to kill each other and then changing bodies. It might be too complex for most regular sci-fi fans.

I love that my sci-fi shows have a lot of layers, but in the case of Altered Carbon, the layers have layers, and then those layers change layers. I had written a wall of notes about the murder of a detective, just so I could remember who died and who was resurrected in which person.

I’m the kind of fan who likes to put their work into understanding a show better. I’m obsessed with multi-faceted characters, side storylines, and hard-to-comprehend futuristic science. I love a TV series that doesn’t give its viewers everything. If you want to understand the world of Altered Carbon, you have to work in it.

But that’s what killed this show in the end. Attention times are getting shorter and shorter. Superhero movies and TV shows rule streaming. Sci-fi entertainment has been reduced to bite-size, easy-to-understand stories full of characters to tell with a dollop of nostalgia.

If Altered Carbon was about a bunch of ’80s kids jumping in and out of bodies, or maybe a bunch of superheroes who could take over a body to defeat it, maybe the series would still be. the. But there is something inherently difficult about Altered Carbon that has kept it from becoming a smash hit.

Altered Carbon was cyberpunk fiction at its best, with stunning graphics and special effects, but let’s be honest: in the end, if not enough people can relate to the characters and the story, it’s also dead. than a destroyed pile of human memory.

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