The new sci-fi show was uploaded to the streaming service today
The first reviews for Netflix‘s new sci-fi series Altered Carbon, which arrived on the streaming service today (February 2), are in.
The programme is based on the 2002 cyberpunk novel of the same name by Richard K. Morgan, and stars Martha Higareda and Joel Kinnaman. Set in the future, it sees people’s consciousness stored in “stacks”, aka storage discs in the back of their necks.
These stacks can be transferred from person to person, such is the case with Takeshi Kovacs, who becomes the recipient of a consciousness that has been jailed for 250 years. He can either stay behind bars or help find out who murdered the wealthy Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy).
At the time of writing, the series has scores of 67 and 68 percent on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes respectively, with critics giving mixed verdicts. The Guardian‘s Benjamin Lee wrote in a three-star review wrote that “while Altered Carbon might not be on par with, say, last year’s Blade Runner 2049, it’s an impressive step up from what we’re usually offered.”
The Hollywood Reporter‘s Tim Goodman called it “a complicated, intriguing, ultraviolent, sex-filled and compelling blast, a visual delight that periodically gets tripped up with its writing but never enough to detour the experience.” He added that the programme is “flawed, but also fantastic.”
Mike Hale from the New York Times was less complimentary, saying that it had “some interesting ideas about the wages of immortality”, but “the resources and technology of the future it depicts appear to be devoted primarily to the pursuit of sexual gratification and exploitation, in milieus that recall 1970s Times Square and contemporary Las Vegas.”
The Telegraph‘s Ed Power gave Altered Carbon a four-star review, writing: “To say Altered Carbon is indebted to Ridley Scott’s original “cyberpunk” masterpiece is a bit like suggesting Oasis may have listened to the occasional Beatles record … Yet far from suffering from overfamiliarity, there’s a case that these chunky tropes are Altered Carbon‘s winning component.”
Joel Kinnaman recently told NME that while the show “definitely draws from the same pool of inspiration that Blade Runner was created from” he thinks Altered Carbon “is a little bit more accessible, it has a little lighter tone and a little more humour.”