Headaches are never fun, but Altered Carbon's high-concept story deals with the kind of mind-blowing subject matter that's more than worth the brain strain. It's Netflix's big new sci-fi show for 2018, based on the cult classic cyberpunk book of the same name, and it looks positively stunning.
Seriously, see for yourself by checking out our exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette above, which gives you the low-down on Altered Carbon's plot while showing off never-before-seen footage, including a better look at James Purefoy's mysterious millionaire Laurens Bancroft.
If the first trailer left you scratching your head as much as your jaw on the floor, this video offers a more detailed explanation about Altered Carbon's world, showcasing the MacGuffin at the heart of the show itself: the Cortical Stack. I'll let esteemed actor Joel Kinnaman do the talking on that one, but showrunner and creator Laeta Kalogridis (pictures below with Kinnaman on set) has also opened up about the fantastical world of Altered Carbon.
“I’m thrilled to get the chance to share the cyberpunk world of Altered Carbon with the Netflix audience," she says. "It’s been a labor of love and lunacy, much like the journey of Takeshi Kovacs himself, and I’m beyond excited for all of you to see what we’ve created."
Even attempting to describe the plot of Altered Carbon makes me sound like a raving lunatic, so I'll just go ahead and let Netflix's official synopsis do the heavy lifting:
Based on the classic cyberpunk noir novel by Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon is an intriguing story of murder, love, sex, and betrayal, set more than 300 years in the future. Society has been transformed by new technology: consciousness can be digitized; human bodies are interchangeable; death is no longer permanent. Takeshi Kovacs is the lone surviving soldier in a group of elite interstellar warriors who were defeated in an uprising against the new world order. His mind was imprisoned, “on ice”, for centuries until Laurens Bancroft, an impossibly wealthy, long-lived man, offers Kovacs the chance to live again. In exchange, Kovacs has to solve a murder ... that of Bancroft himself.
That's a whole lot of science-fiction right there. Given the pedigree of Netflix's previous adaptations, though, I'm confident that Altered Carbon has a real shot at becoming something special, especially with that Blade Runner 2049 level of production value on show.
You'll be able to stream all of Altered Carbon on Netflix next year come February 2, but if you're looking for something to binge over Christmas until then, why not check out our rundown of the best shows on Netflix?