The Radio Times logo

Everything you need to know about Netflix's new sci-fi series Altered Carbon

Joel Kinnaman stars as an interstellar soldier who has been hired to solve a murder

Published: Thursday, 8th February 2018 at 5:00 pm

Altered Carbon, a dysopian sci-fi series starring Joel Kinnaman (AKA House of Cards' Will Conway), arrives on Netflix next month.


The series has a fair bit of heft behind it: the pilot episode was directed by Game of Thrones' Miguel Sapochnik, who directed seminal episodes Battle of The Bastards and The Winds of Winter, while series creator Laeta Kalogridis is best known for penning the screenplay to Martin Scorsese's dark psychological drama Shutter Island.

From the looks of the first full trailer, it is set to be big, loud and violent; the most action-forward show Netflix has dropped in a long time. Find out everything we know about the new show below.

What is Altered Carbon?

The new series is based on a "cyberpunk noir" novel by Richard K Morgan set 300 years in the future. New technology has allowed for human consciousness to be digitised, meaning that humans can theoretically live forever by hopping from body to body. Now little more than a vessel, the bodies that carry us around are referred to, rather glibly, as sleeves.

At the heart of the story is Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman), an elite, interstellar warrior whose consciousness has been awakened for the first time in over 200 years and placed inside the body of a US soldier. The man who brought him back, aristocrat Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy), has done so in order for Kovacs to solve his own murder – a plot point which has been the denouement of many of the teasing clips that Netflix has released so far.

When is it released?

The eight-episode first season is released on Netflix on Friday 2nd February 2018.

Who is in the cast?

Altered Carbon (Netflix, BA)
Chris Conner in Altered Carbon

Joel Kinnaman, of House of Cards and The Killing fame, leads the line as Takeshi Kovacs, with support from British actor James Purefoy (The Following, Episodes), Renée Elise Goldberry (The Good Wife), Kristin Lehman (The Killing), Ato Essandoh (Jason Bourne, Blue Bloods), Chris Conner (American Crime Story: The People Vs OJ Simpson) and Martha Higareda (Royal Pains).

Altered Carbon 1
Will Yun Lee and Dichen Lachman in Altered Carbon

Will Yun Lee (Hawaii Five-O) and Dichen Lachman (Agents of SHIELD) will feature in recurring roles.

Is there a trailer?

Yes. Delve into the dystopia below. Bear in mind, it's pretty x-rated: good for fans of shirtless, slime-covered Joel Kinnaman, not great for the violence-adverse.


Altered Carbon: season 1 arrives on Netflix UK on Friday 2nd February.


Sponsored content