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The series takes place over 350 years in the future, in the year 2384. In the future, a person's memories have been decanted into "cortical stacks," storage devices of alien design which have been reverse engineered, duplicated en masse, and surgically inserted into the vertebrae at the back of the neck. Physical bodies are called "sleeves," disposable vessels that can accept any "stack." Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman), a political operative with mercenary skills, wakes up 250 years after his sleeve is terminated, and he is given the choice to either spend the rest of time in prison for his crimes, or to help solve the murder of one of the wealthiest men in the settled worlds Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy). Takeshi was the sole surviving soldier of those defeated in an uprising against the new world order 250 years prior.
Altered Carbon is based on the 2002 sci-fi novel of the same name by Richard K. Morgan. Netflix ordered it to series in January 2016, more than a decade after showrunner Laeta Kalogridis initially expressed interest in making it into a feature film. Kalogridis said the R-rated material combined with a complex narrative made Altered Carbon a difficult sell to studios. The first season consisted of 10 episodes and was released in February 2018.
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