What to Watch? Altered Carbon

We did watch one Amazon movie this weekend; The Rite, with Anthony Hopkins. You’d expect something good with him in it, but alas, it wasn’t. So, I’m going to talk about another series we binge-watched on Netflix: Altered Carbon.

Altered Carbon


Altered Carbon plays about three-hundred-and-fifty years into the future. Cars fly and people can live forever. How do they live forever? Everybody has a disc implanted in their necks, called a ‘stack.’ These contain the ‘essence’ of the human being it belongs to. When you’re not happy with your body anymore or it gets damaged, you simply take the stack out and place it into another body, called ‘a sleeve.’ Needless to say that if your stack gets damaged, you die. Unless you made a backup, of course.

The Plot

Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman, see the eye candy below) wakes up 250 years after his sleeve is terminated, and he is given the choice by Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy) to either spend the rest of time in prison for his crimes (he was the sole surviving soldier, an envoy, of those defeated in an uprising against the new world order 250 years prior) or to help solve his murder. Everyone thinks he committed suicide, but Bancroft thinks otherwise. His backup was done almost forty-eight hours before the murder, and his memory during those last two days was lost. Takeshi reluctantly takes on the job.

The Cast

Now here is where it gets a bit tricky. See, when you have sleeves at your disposal and you add body copiers, stacks are placed in different bodies left, right, and center. Next to this, we flick from present to past to less past to present, etc. You really have to keep your wits about to follow what is going on. Joel Kinnaman is well chosen for his role as Takeshi Kovacs. I didn’t like him at first as he reminded me of Dolf Lundgren (yes, I’m that old), but I got over it. I loved Martha Higareda as Kirstin Ortega, the feisty detective who failed to solve Bancroft’s murder. Next in the picture is Dichen Lachman as Reileen Kawahara, Kovacs’s sister, who is not to be taken lightly. A sidekick is played by Ato Essandoh as Vernon Elliott, who also plays an important role, and Kovacs former lover is played by Renée Elise Goldsberry (would have loved to have seen more of her, perhaps she’ll return in a follow up season). A special mention for Chris Connor, who beautifully plays the funny AI Poe (after Edgar A. Poe), the hotel (yes, he is the hotel) where Kovacs chooses to stay during his investigation.


What I liked most about the show is that it has a bit of everything all in the one package. I love stories like these. The cast was well chosen, the dialogue funny, and the action moves believable. And cliffhangers. Plenty of cliffhangers!

Joel Kinnaman as Takeshi Kovacs just after he is woken up from a 250-year sleep
Joel Kinnaman as Takeshi Kovacs just after he is woken up from a 250-year sleep


There is a lot of nudity in it. And I mean a lot. And most of it is female nudity. There are some willies shown in the last few episodes, and Kinnaman also has a few scenes where his beautiful body is displayed, but most men are shown from the back, whereas the females are shown in a full-frontal pose. I have nothing against nudity, but it always irritates me that there is a discrepancy between showing off the male and female body. As if female bodies are worth less than male bodies and can be dropped in left, right, and center as if they don’t mean anything anyway. There still is that discrimination in the film industry. And of course, it irritates me that you can’t have a good show without any nudity in it anymore.

One other thing that didn’t like was that the dialogue was hard to follow sometimes, mumbled, but I don’t know if this was due to my hearing impediment. No one else of my family was complaining about it. If you have hearing aids, I suggest you wear them 🙂 (which I didn’t).


I liked the show. For me, it was the full package of mystery, intrigues, love, romance, sci-fi stuff, good old-fashioned fights, and humor. Do check it out (on Netflix).


Author: Jacky Dahlhaus

Paranormal Romance Author

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