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New sci-fi series produced by Laeta Kalogridis premieres on Netflix

Aside from entertaining audiences, Altered Carbon set 350 years into the future provides an indirect commentary on social matters such as economic inequality

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(L-R) Dichen Lachman, Joel Kinnaman, Laeta Kalogridis, and Martha Higareda. Photo: Variety via Joo Min Ho/Netflix

07 February 2018

Greek American producer Laeta Kalogridis has finally seen her beloved series Altered Carbon air on Netflix.

Based on a book of the same name by English author Richard K Morgan in 2002, Kalogridis best known for her role in producing films Avatar, Shutter Island, and Alexander, had pitched the idea to bring the story to the small screen some 15 years ago.

The sci-fi series is set in the year 2384, where human consciousness can be downloaded onto 'stacks' - a piece of metal stored at the base of a person's head. The 'stack' is then transferred into a new body, known as a 'sleeve' that can be purchased, at the end of their lifespan.

The show sees Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman), a violent mercenary, wake 250 years after his sleeve is killed. He is given the choice to spend the rest of his life in prison for his crimes, or to help solve the murder of the wealthiest man in the world (James Purefoy).

It is only the rich who can afford to continually avoid the entire ageing process, and essentially, death, which Kalogridis revealed is a commentary on the widening gap between those "who have and those who don't", and what struck her most when reading the book.

"Maybe this comes out of being Greek; it is a deeply anti-democratic thing to have a few people who own everything and everybody else being underneath it. It's bad for human society," the producer said.

The first season of Altered Carbon features 10 episodes, each of which reportedly cost between US$6-7 million to make.

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