Netflix isn’t wasting any time in promoting the ambitious (and very expensive looking) Altered Carbon, releasing a teaser and extended trailer for the sci-fi series in the same week. Set to premiere in February, the series already saw a number of gifs of its futuristic locales leak ahead of a cheeky social tease promoting the process that allows human consciousness to be downloaded into new bodies. Following that, the first teaser made its way online, offering a first look at just how expansive this gritty, neon-filled world will be, as well as introducing Joel Kinnaman as the new body (or sleeve) of soldier Takeshi Kovacs (also played by Will Yun Lee).
In a new trailer for the series, those unfamiliar with the novel by Richard K. Morgan will get a much better sense of what Altered Carbon is all about. The promo is longer and it’s given a hefty voiceover that quickly makes it clear Kovacs was resurrected – so to speak – to investigate the murder of Laurens Bancroft, a man whose immense wealth has seen him live for centuries and end up in the body of James Purefoy – for the purposes of the 10-episode season, anyway.
It offers a compelling starting point for the story, and introduces two of the series’ main players, one who is funding an investigation into his own death, and one who may not be too happy about the new world in which he finds himself. But it also introduces a theme that is common throughout the science fiction genre (though by no means exclusive to it): the immense gap that exists between the wealthy and the poor and how that wealth offers few access to some astonishing privileges – like the ability to reduce death to a mere inconvenience.
Like any sci-fi project worth its salt, Altered Carbon isn’t here to sell you solely on a rich white guy – played by James Purefoy or not – and the details of his character’s astonishingly long life. Instead the trailer expands on what has been seen before with a few longer looks at the world of this cyberpunk-noir. It presents a visually impressive setting that, with just a few quick glimpses, verifies the gifs released not too long ago were indeed from the show, and it suggests that anyone who can’t get enough of the gritty urban landscapes of Blade Runner will find plenty to like here.
All that aside, it’s difficult to believe anyone would want to pass up the chance to see long shots of Joel Kinnaman kicking dudes across the room in slow motion. It would seem the surprisingly beefed-up physique he brought to the most recent season of House of Cards was the early days of him getting into his role for Altered Carbon. What that has to do with the quality of the show is anyone’s guess, but so far it certainly looks like a good reason to settle in for an early February binge-watch.
Altered Carbon season 1 will air on Friday, February 2, 2018 on Netflix.
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