When it comes to Netflix originals and the sci-fi genre, the WTF factor appears to be almost mandatory. Stranger Things and Black Mirror are both great examples of that elusive weirdness, and Netflix's first trailer for its new series Altered Carbon looks to follow suit in disturbing ways. With slimy bodies, tubes in throats, and talk of eternal life, Altered Carbon may be the most WTF series the service has delivered to date:
If the future contains vacuum-sealed bodies that are referred to as "human sleeves," I'm not sure I want to be a part of it. Based on the award-winning 2002 novel written by Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon takes viewers 300 years into the future, to a world where death is all but an inconvenience. Human consciousness can be digitized and, through an unlovely process, people can switch bodies and their minds continue living on in other vessels. One wealthy man, Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy), is thought to have committed suicide, but after taking over another body, he resurrects the mind of a former soldier named Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman), offering a new life in exchange for figuring out who actually murdered Bancroft.
That's right, Altered Carbon is about a soldier who is brought back to life by a man who was murdered so he can find out who murdered him. Nothing Terminator about this at all. The book, which the series is based on, has received much acclaim in the sci-fi community, winning the Philip K. Dick Award in 2003. The book is the first in a trilogy, so if this show ends up being a success for Netflix, there's easy source material for future seasons.
Somewhat surprisingly, there hasn't been a lot of buzz about Altered Carbon prior to this bonkers trailer and its release date. The project first made headlines when two former cast members of The Killing, Joel Kinnaman and Kristin Lehman, both signed on for the series. Laeta Kalogridis, the writer of the television adaptation, has a writing resume that includes credits for Shutter Island and the short-lived WB series Birds Of Prey, so there's justifiable cause for excitement. Netflix also enlisted Game of Thrones and Iron Fist director Miguel Sapochnik for the first episode, so it would appear it's giving Altered Carbon all the tools it needs to succeed.
Altered Carbon and all its sopping-wet craziness drops on Netflix February 2. For more on other shows that are coming in the new year, be sure to visit our midseason premiere guide and stay on top of all the things 2018 has to offer. Those still stuck in the past and present (where humans are still under the YOLO system) can still find great television and the dates they are available at our fall premiere guide. For a list of shows that got canceled now, but could make a comeback hundreds of years from now, visit our cancellation guide.