Altered Carbon (Netflix)

Brian G Turner

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Richard Morgan's cyberpunk thriller has been picked up by Netflix, as part of its strategy to develop new and original content:

Netflix Orders 'Altered Carbon' Sci-Fi Series From Laeta Kalogridis & Skydance

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Netflix has picked up Altered Carbon, a futuristic drama series conceived, written and executive produced by LaNetflix Logoeta Kalogridis (Avatar, Shutter Island, Terminator Genesis). The project, which has received a 10-episode order, is based on Richard Morgan’s award-winning 2002 cyberpunk sci-fi novel of the same name. Skydance Television, which produces Netflix comedy Grace and Frankie, is the studio.
 

Nick B

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Not sure if this will end well. It is one of my favourite novels. The main character is a diliberately less than pleasant guy and it would be bad to see him watered down for tv.
 

The Bluestocking

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Not sure if this will end well. It is one of my favourite novels. The main character is a diliberately less than pleasant guy and it would be bad to see him watered down for tv.
If they do half as good a job as they did with DAREDEVIL and JESSICA JONES, then they probably wouldn't water him down, unpleasantness and all.
 

Ursa major

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One wonders what they'd do after season one if it was successful.

A comment on that Deadline article mentions one problem (although possibly not for the producers, who might see it as an opportunity to avoid having to deal with issues about actors wanting to leave the show): the main character is (mostly**) defined by the downloaded mind, so would be portrayed by different actors in different locations. Another is those different locations: three books; three (very) different planets. And the second books is partly set in space.

Apart from cost issues, that second problem might include the thought that those enjoying the first season for its noir-ish private eye feel might not be so keen on the very different settings and plots if the series followed the books (or the lack of any continuing characters). And those of us who enjoyed the books might be disappointed if seasons two onwards were simply new stories set in the world of the first book.


** - The body (the sleeve) does have some influence -- if I recall correctly -- so this could be used to explain why the different actors do not behave in exactly the same way as each other.
 

Nick B

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The sleeves have no effect on Kovacs' personality, only physiological differences. So different actors could be a problem unless the director is on the ball. The same actor, however, would ruin the storylines as there is no real interstellar transport. Morgan doesn't go into how colonisation happened originaly, but assumably there is no real viable fast transport between star systems.
 

Ursa major

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It has been a while since I read the book, but I'm convinced that the sleeve had more than a purely physical influence on the combination of implanted ,ind and body. For instance, I'm sure I recall that Kovacs's sleeve was involved in some of the emotional contact between Kovacs and his contact in the police (because of whose body became the sleeve).
 

Nick B

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I'm pretty sure the only emotional stuff was from other geople who knew the original sleeve's owner. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure. I've read the series 3 times. Might be time for round 4, just to be sure :)
 

BAYLOR

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That could make for a really good and interesting tv show. (y)
 

ctg

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Takishi Kovacs is Japanese, so how does



him come out from that equation? Also is this going to be R-rated?
 

Vertigo

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Takishi Kovacs is Japanese, so how does



him come out from that equation? Also is this going to be R-rated?
He came from Harlan's world which I think was Japanese culture but not necessarily Japanese genetically. However since he spends the entire story (apart from the prolog) in a 'sleeve' on Earth - "My sleeve was in his early forties, Protectorate standard, with a swimmer’s build" - I'm not sure it really matters too much.
 

Nick B

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Takeshi Kovacs was indeed not Japanese (and in fact the name Kovacs is Hungarian) but from Harlans world. The matter is totaly moot however as he hasn't inhabited his own sleeve for a long time. In Altered Carbon he is sleeved on Earth. And described as Vertigo just posted.
 

Vertigo

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The whole sleeving thing actually means that if they continue with the sequels then they'll need a different actor each time :)

Edit: Actually come to think of it I doubt his original body is still alive anyway! :D
 
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Nick B

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It wouldn't be, by the time of altered carbon. There is no mention of actual life extension, only transfer of the digital recording of the mind being transfered to new bodies.
 

Vertigo

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I can't fully remember Kovacs history but I suspect it's not so much to do with life extension as his having been killed several times over whilst he was in the Envoy Corps: "Coming back from the dead can be rough. In the Envoy Corps they teach you to let go before storage..."
 
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