Netflix is going all-in with the upcoming sci-fi series Altered Carbon, as a newly released featurette does a deep dive into the idea of consciousness swapping and the role it plays in bringing a soldier back to life to solve the attempted murder of a man who's lived for centuries. The video is yet another piece of marketing from the streaming service being delivered well ahead of the show's early February premiere, suggesting Netflix may have a hit on its hands.
As far as featurettes go, 'Building the World of Altered Carbon' is full of new information that gives potential viewers a better idea of what's in store when the series premieres. Mostly, though, it's concerned with the ideas of "stacks", small hard drive-like devices on which the entirety of a human being's consciousness is downloaded, and then inserted into a new body – or sleeve – near the base of the skull. It's like an extra vertebra that just so happens to contain everything that comprises the mind of an individual.
In the video, executive producer Laeta Kalogridis breaks down the idea behind the stacks and what it ostensibly means for human kind – immortality. But as is usually the case with hard sci-fi dramas like Altered Carbon, there's something else going on beyond the philosophical questions of a digitized person living in a body they weren't born into. To make that point clear, the video invites series stars Joel Kinnaman and Will Yun Lee to explain how they're playing different versions of the same character, Takeshi Kovacs.
Most of the marketing so far has focused on Kinnaman's resurrected soldier and the task he's given by Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy) of tracking down his would-be killers. This time, though, we are introduced to the man he was before being "put on ice" after having been part of a resistance movement that was against the use of sleeves. Lee explains why his character is known as Birth Kovacs, and provides a little insight into his frame of mind once he discovers he's been resurrected in the body of Joel Kinnaman.
Since Kovacs was so adamantly against the idea of the digitized consciousness and the immortality that inevitably arose because of that technology's emergence, it stands to reason he'll be looking to use the investigation into Bancroft's attempted murder as an excuse to pick up his old ways and continue with the cause he fought for. At any rate, we're just over a month away from finding out for ourselves.
Altered Carbon premieres Friday, February 2 on Netflix.