Altered Carbon TV series

Discussion in 'Books, Music, TV & Movies' started by Veho, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Veho
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    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Based on the eponymous SF novel (part of a trilogy) by Richard K. Morgan.




    If the trailer feels confusing, and it does: the series follows Takeshi Kovacs, a former special ops agent ("Envoy", in the novel's parlance), now working as an investigator/mercenary/advisor/hired gun/anything really. In the setting, everyone is fitted with a cortical implant that stores and backs up memories, and people (those that can afford to) can change bodies, "travel" by uploading their memories to remote hosts, and live forever by swapping bodies for younger models.
    There are several plot points revolving around this, the concept is very well integrated into the book (and hopefully the show as well).

    The first book I recommend, but as the trilogy progresses it gets weirder and (in my opinion) worse.

    I spoke to Richard K. Morgan at a con once. He seems like a cool guy.
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Nov 21, 2005
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    I will probably watch it because I like such concepts and there are few enough depictions of such things in long form video.
    The video there, don't know if it was just over saturated or something but reminded me of the ultra clean 90s type sci fi -- give me blade runner but your set designer was an OCD cleaner.
     
  3. Veho
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    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Sliiiightly longer trailer this time:



    The setting is supposed to be grim and dirty in the best traditions of cyberpunk of yore and I'm hoping they bring that to the screen.
    I guess dirt is too difficult to render so most 90s (and cheap 00s, and very cheap '10s) CGI and associated content looks suspiciously clean and sparkly.
     
  4. Veho
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    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Okay, so, they are taking huge liberties with the source material, and turning the main character around quite a bit. With this many changes in the character and the setting diverging from the source right off the bat, there's no telling where the story will go.
     
  5. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I don't know if I should have watched that trailer as far as spoilers/key moments go. Hopefully it will filter out by the time I get around to it.

    That said this has the makings of an action film rather than "this technology exists, here are some ways it could play out". Still not sure about the relatively clean nature of some of the sets either but it was not as bad as last time but the warehouse, sewer, nightclub, eerie semi abandoned building alarm went off in my head which normally only happens for games.
     
  6. Veho
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    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Yeah, like I said earlier the technology and its implications and its impact on society were well explored and expanded upon in the book, and it's very important to the main character's background/origins/motivation/everything. The series appears to throw this entire connection out the window, and the whole character is rewritten. It's weird. Not necessarily bad, but weird.
     
  7. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    I just watched the first episode, and liked it.
    I don't know the original work, so I can't compare and can't tell if the series is too much different.

    The story is quickly explained and we don't have difficulties understanding what happens. We probably miss a lot of background on the character's past, but it will probably be explained later if needed.

    I like the visual and the story setup. (edit: the visual and FX are very well done for a series)
    The world looks like blade runner's and something in it makes me feel about The Expanse (for the Belt's visual, and the solo cop).
    I also have psycho-pass in mind, but I'm not sure why. And of course about ReMember (the game).
    Maybe I'm wrong. I usually like a lot of things that other people don't, so don't stop on my comparison if you didn't like these other movies/series.

    Not much more to say for now, I'll go watch the other episodes.
     
    Last edited by Cyan, Feb 3, 2018
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  8. Veho
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    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Cyan likes this.
  9. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    whoaa, really creepy yeah.
    I wonder how/if they got an authorization for something like this.
    I guess it's the only of its kind.

    nice idea though

    edit:
    I found the video (thanks to logo in the pictures ;) )
    http://cbsloc.al/2FEPur1

    it's Breathing !
     
    Last edited by Cyan, Feb 3, 2018
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  10. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Also saw the first episode.

    My exposition alarm went off, even if they did very well (80% of the time that policewoman opened her mouth it set it off, and if you were to tell me she was massively expanded for the show I could see it). At the same time if we ever got an alternate cut of it then yeah. Exposition might be the wrong word... hurried might be better.

    I saw the colour correction red and blue/green in the opening credits but they seemed to lean into it. Not bad but I note it anyway.

    If you are going to tell me the book was a mind fuck I would believe you. This was a more than valiant attempt at doing that on screen but it seems to be something people kind of struggle with for bigger budget sci fi.
    On the other hand I am not getting the animated cliff notes of the book feeling I get from quite a few of these sorts of things, though I will reserve the right to change that upon reading the book.

    Shows to compare it to. American gods most recently actually. Also possibly Blood Drive, even if it was mainly the hotel sequence and some of the explorations of themes. Going actual sci fi maybe the trippier/earlier episodes of Farscape or Andromeda. Alternatively what if Jupiter Ascending were good would get you somewhere.

    The tech. A bit wonky but if living a long time is a thing then I can ignore a lack of progression.

    The trailers. Bloody awful actually if it is going to be like this.

    Will be watching the second episode when it is not 3am. Normally that would be damning but I really am tired.
     
  11. T-hug

    T-hug Always like this.

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    I thought the action scenes were good but apart from that the writing was pretty bad and acting not much better. Doubt I'll watch the other 7 episodes.
     
  12. Veho
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    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Two very differing opinions so far. I am intrigued. I can't wait to watch it. ^_^
     
  13. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    In anything I watch I am seemingly unable to tell bad acting until we hit high school theatre production levels of bad. It is something I am actually quite thankful for as being able to tell bad other things does not help me that much elsewhere.

    Writing wise if we remove hurried exposition detective it set up enough things for me to be intrigued. If you were expecting a fully, or even fairly fully, explained world and backstories for the characters after one episode then you will not get it here.

    I would not be surprised if it gets worse, though getting better would be where I lay a bet. I would also say it is by no means a good pilot, which is surprising for a netflix job as that is usually their forte. Any of the other shows I mentioned were better in their pilots. On the other hand if it is bad then at least I don't suffer the walking dead thing of "started spectacularly and went to crap after that". I would also say any one of the major segments of story in it could have been spun up into their own episode. I imagine I will have a better idea when two or three episodes have been done and then whether it was cut poorly.
     
  14. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    Like I said above, I guess I like everything I watch, so my opinion is considered biased and doesn't count :P

    I don't try to criticize every part of the show, whether acting is good or bad, whether the color is blue de-saturate or green or red on the credit (who care about the credit?), whether it's theater level or not. (what's wrong with theaters?), or if the pilot doesn't match the previous show's spectacular pilot (things can only be better than previous work or else it's bad? you better watch them in a specific order or you'll get deceived quite fast by watching lesser shows after better ones)
    I watch the show and enjoy the story as it comes. I'm not difficult when it comes to movies, tv shows, books or games.
    Why always compare to previous work or movies you watched? if I don't like something, it's because of its own reason and not because another author did something different. if I didn't watch the other author work then it would make that one good?

    But I understand other people have their own preferences and a few details can be decisive to stop watching/playing/reading.
     
    Last edited by Cyan, Feb 5, 2018
  15. dimmidice

    dimmidice GBAtemp Addict

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    Started it yesterday, Finished it today. Pretty good series though the first 5 episodes were definitely better than the last 5 episodes. The last 5 episodes have some writing issues where the main character suddenly knows things that other characters mentioned when he wasn't there, and he just suddenly brings it up in conversation. With no offscreen moments where he could've been told.

    Also at one point a character doesn't remember something which is a big reveal thingy. But then right after they say a line from the memory that they have no memory of. Just made no sense, lol.


    But it does have some really good bits too, but i can't really get into those without spoiling. It's basically a more violent gory blade runner. Overall the story is interesting for sure. Though the ending is disappointing.
     
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  16. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    ah yeah, I always find it funny (or weird) when characters acts like normal when hearing a secret that only the spectator knows.
    before the spectator learn it, nobody talks about it, but once you heard about it once, everybody speak about it and don't seem surprised.
     
    Last edited by Cyan, Feb 5, 2018
  17. MisterSteak

    MisterSteak Member

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    I haven't read the origin material, but I quite enjoyed it.

    Story wasn't super strong, but the world-building was incredible. I'd love to see more stories and series set in that future.
     
  18. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

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    I loved it, from the perspective of a noir-style sci-fi series. The sex and nudity was a bit gratuitous, but otherwise I'm pretty sure that there wasn't a single scene that wasn't deliberately put in to deliver key information
     
  19. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Nov 21, 2005
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    You reckon that was gratuitous? Too many European sci fi shows in my past I guess.

    Anyway saw the finale.
    Not a sci fi show for all time and some of the things which were "illegal" seemed pretty arbitrary and things which were "expensive" were also pretty arbitrary (hundreds of years presumably having passed and things were still ridiculously expensive*, this despite the incentives to do such a thing quite literally being life or death), though they were used well enough to tell the story. I imagine the reasoning for all such things were communicated better in books, mainly as this would not be the first time such a thing has happened.

    *I am all for external forces controlling markets and magic to do things with it that would not happen if allowed to develop unconstrained.

    Otherwise a nice little high concept and self contained sci fi show. Don't get too many of them these days -- there is some good sci fi but it seems to all want to be a multi series epic. Definitely glad it was done as a short form TV series and not a film.

    Would make an amazing "roguelike" style MMO too, though I am not sure the tech is there to do it justice.
     
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