I wouldn’t normally cram two Pulse Pause Moments together as closely as I have these two, but I was just so blown away by Altered Carbon, that I had to write about it now.
(BTW, further to my post last week about Riverdale, I have added a postscript to that one – t.)
If you are old enough to remember Blade Runner when it first came out, and you liked the weird dystopian, dirty future that Ridley Scott envisaged, then you’ll love Altered Carbon. It’s a Netflix original, filmed in Vancouver (sorry, had to get that in), and features an international cast (Sweden, Australia, Mexico, Canada — and that’s just the primary stars).
At first, I thought I was watching a version of Blade Runner, because this futuristic setting is very, very similar. The story is also similar; the hero is trying to solve a murder and everyone and everything is determined to stop him.
The big difference is that Harrison Ford in Blade Runner was trying to solve a murder revolving around short-lived artificial humans. Kovacs (played by the Swedish giant, Joel Kinnaman) is trying to solve a murder revolving around long-lived, virtually immortal, humans.
If you know anything about my books at all, you can see why I was hooked immediately. 🙂
Blade Runner was released in 1982 and got to tell the whole story in just under two hours.
Fast forward thirty-five years (oh man, and that makes me sigh!), and story-telling has evolved so much, that now the best stories are told via TV series. Altered Carbon can take its time telling the story properly, which is just as well, because the book it is based upon comes in just short of 600 pages. Also, because it is a Netflix original, the usual restrictions on general TV viewing standards don’t apply. The story can be told as it should be–although fair warning; there is full frontal nudity, fairly graphic sex and the violence is off the charts. A refreshing change is that it isn’t just the women that get the nude scenes. None of the sex and nudity and violence feels gratuitous, though. It all helps set the mood and the atmosphere for the story and certainly raises the stakes!
It’s a terrific tale that doesn’t rely on the weird and cool future setting to hold the viewer’s interest. We had to work hard to put down the remote and get on with our evenings every time we watch an episode. It’s highly compelling.
There is also a romance being told in between the betrayals and murders and “sleeve-swapping” (which I’ll leave for the show itself to explain to you). The romance is subtle, which perfectly suits the hard-boiled style story telling.
If you like your detectives enigmatic and calloused, including the women, then give Altered Carbon a try. It’s worth the effort.
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