Holy wow; this is excellent news. In case you hadn’t noticed the dearth of good science fiction television these days, some of us are feeling desperate. Where the hell is Sense8‘s second season (possibly returning in December); how long until we get Bryan Fuller’s Star Trek (2017, and even then, it’s on CBS so…*groan*); how are we supposed to survive with no damned futuristic, science fiction television?
Enter Netflix. Again. Enter Suicide Squad‘s Joel Kinnaman, who if you didn’t recently see kicking ass on House of Cards, and the Underwoods all over the place, well, just go kick yourself.
Enter Miguel Sapochnik, director of Game of Thrones‘ best ever episode — “Hardhome” — and enter Richard Morgan’s Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel Altered Carbon. Does it get any better than that?
Set in a future where humanity has spread to other planets and a person’s consciousness, mind and soul, can be downloaded into a new body (aka “sleeve”), former elite soldier Takeshi Kovacs (Kinnaman) is brutally murdered, thrown into a cop’s body, and in the middle of a vast political — and religious — conspiracy. With a script by Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island, Bionic Woman, and unfortunately Avatar and Terminator Genesys), the good far outweighs, and I have faith enough in Netflix, Kinnaman and Sapochnik to put this on my must-see list.
*Updated December 1, 2017:
In addition to Hamilton’s Renee Elise Goldsberry, who plays rebellion leader (and Takeshi Kovacs’s [Kinnaman] great love) Quellcrist “Quell” Falconer, the cast has rounded out nicely with Chris Connor (American Crime Story, Colony, Longmire) as Poe, Hiro Kanagawa (Legends of Tomorrow, The Man in the High Castle, The Magicians) as Captain Tanaka, Alika Autran (The 100, When We Rise, Supernatural) as Okulov, Dichen Lachman (Supergirl, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Shameless, The Last Ship) as Reileen Kawahara, Ato Essandoh (Django Unchained, Vinyl, Elementary) as Vernon Eliot, Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica, Riftworld Chronicles, Rogue) as Dimitri Kadmin, Kristin Lehman (The Killing, Human Target, Rogue) as Miriam Bancroft, James Purefoy (Hap and Leonard, The Following, Episodes, Revenge) as Laurens Bancroft and Antonio Marziale (Supernatural) as Isaac Bancroft.
And via Twitter, here’s the first tease:
Become a new you with Psychasec. pic.twitter.com/RDJ2lh0ZR1
— Altered Carbon (@AltCarb) November 30, 2017
*Updated with trailer, December 4th.
Updated with another trailer, December 7th.
*Updated with full trailer (January 11, 2018) that dives into the story a bit more than the other clips we’ve seen. Joel Kinnaman’s Kovacs, formerly a Japanese man whose consciousness has been (for now) downloaded to a tall Swede’s body — it remains to be seen whether the series will cover his other bodies, using other actors.
Altered Carbon hits Netflix February 2, 2018.