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Altered Carbon Trailer Recites The Rules Of Immortality

In the future, you'll get to stay alive as long as you would like to—but no body lives forever.

There's a lot to establish in the world of Altered Carbon, from its far-future setting to the multiple faces of its protagonist. Speculative sci-fi can be a tricky sell, especially on television, and neglecting to effectively establish the setting, rules and lore for a story can lead to swift failure. 

All credit to Netflix, then, for its Altered Carbon rollout, which is doing a pretty good job of taking prospective viewers by the hand and guiding them slowly into the rules and logic of the new series. Slowly, steadily, the marketing for this thing is establishing the world of the future—especially this recent spot, which firmly establishes the setting, central mystery, and the inner workings of the series' version of immortality.

The trailer is centered on a voiceover from Laurens Bancroft, a fantastically wealthy man who has lived to a Methuselah-esque age thanks to his repeated usage of a process known as "resleeving." In this world, human bodies are relatively expendable things that have come to be known as "sleeves", a casual term reflective of how easily a consciousness can be transferred from one body to another—provided you're rich enough to afford the procedure.

When the series begins, Bancroft—played by James Purefoy—has recently died unexpectedly, awakening in another sleeve to discover his previous body slain in mysterious circumstances. Also, he's lost his memory from the final moments of his previous life, leading him to hire the protagonist, Takeshi Kovacs, to get to the bottom of his own murder.

Interestingly, Kovacs—played in the present by Joel Kinnaman and in flashback by Will Yun Lee—is also a resleeved individual, a soldier brought back, to his surprise, into the body of a disgraced police officer.

The series is based on a 2002 novel by Richard K. Morgan, the first of a trilogy and the author's debut. It was created by Laeta Kalogridis, who previously wrote Shutter Island, Terminator Genisys, and the upcoming Alita: Battle Angel.

Altered Carbon has been ordered for a 10-episode first season, and it all lands on Netflix on February 2, 2018. For more, check out two previous promos for the series here and here.