Content Type: Gaming Reviews
Date: May 5, 2020
Titan Books has published a hardback book titled Altered Carbon: The Art and Making of the Series available from numerous online retailers and high street book stores. Altered Carbon is a television series produced by Skydance Television airing on Netflix. Altered Carbon is based upon a trilogy of novels written by English author Richard K. Morgan titled Altered Carbon, Broken Angels and Woken Furies that were published in 2002, 2003 and 2005 respectively. Altered Carbon stars Anthony Mackie (Avengers franchise), Joel Kinnaman (Edge of Winter and Robocop), Will Yun Lee (The Good Doctor TV series and The Wolverine), Ato Essandoh (Vinyl TV series and X-Men: Dark Phoenix), Renee Elise Goldsberry (Ally McBeal TV series and The Good Wife TV series), Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse and Marvel’s Agents of Shield TV series), Martha Higareda (McFarland, USA and Street Kings), Adam Busch (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), James Purefoy (The Following TV series and Resident Evil), Chris Conner (American Crime Story TV series and Teacher of the Year) and more besides. Can Altered Carbon: The Art and Making of the Series deliver what it sets out to by producing an official companion to the television series?
Altered Carbon: The Art and Making of the Series book is written by experienced author and journalist Abbie Bernstein; regularly writing for magazines including Assignment X, Buzzy Mag and Fangoria having written books such as The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road, The Art and Making of The Flash and more besides.
Altered Carbon: The Art and Making of the Series begins with an introduction detailing the material that the series is adapted from; origins and progression of Altered Carbon’s production; subject matter; and inspirations.
The Ground chapter begins on page 16 concluding on page 59 focusing on the seemingly ever evolving lead character of Takeshi Kovacs, alongside further character bios including detective Kristin Ortega and her entangled love story; Elias Ryker; police captain Tanaka; Samir Abboud and his professional and personal relationship to Kristin Ortega; a digital technician named Mickey; the hotelier named Poe; Vernon Elliot; Ava Elliot; fight promoter Carnage; Dimi the Twin; and Lizzie Elliot. However, there are also locations, technology and fighting such as ground level living in Bay City formerly known as San Francisco and how the visual effects team envisioned it; the architecture of Fell Street Bay City police station; fight choreography reflecting a very close quarters battle that occurs within an elevator; futuristic vehicles; the artificially intelligent Raven Hotel situated in Bay City; the A.I. Management Union; the Panama Rose fight arena; and more besides.
The Aerium chapter begins on page 60 concluding on page 93 focusing on characters including Laurens Bancroft; Miriam Bancroft; Oumou Prescott; Isaac Bancroft; Reileen Kawahara and her personal relationship with Takeshi Kovacs and Reileen’s disguises; and assassin Mr. Leung. However, there are also locations, technology and fighting such as the castle in the sky known as the Aerium that towers above the ground level of Bay City; the Bancroft family residence named the Suntouch House; detailing the fight choreography of the zero-g fight; portable futuristic advanced 3D printers; the PIL transportation system; Mr. Leung’s weaponry; and more besides.
The Off World chapter begins on page 94 concluding on page 153 focuses more on the locations and how they were created including Takeshi Kovacs’ original home planet Harlan’s World; home of the Envoys named Stronghold; Harlan’s World’s capital city Millsport; a space fortress known as Axley Tower; and the Nevermore Hotel. Meanwhile, technology is also a huge focus such as weapons; Stacks; Ocular Neural Interface (ONI); 3D holographic advertisements; and the visual effects that created the world Altered Carbon is set within. There are a few characters that are introduced within the Off World chapter that have their own character biographies including the Praetorians; Envoys leader Quellcrist Falconer; the Envoys; Songspire trees; bounty hunter Trepp; archeological A.I. assistant Dig 301; Colonel Ivan Carrera; and more besides.
Storyboards span from page 154 until page 169; showcasing shot-by-shot illustrations of sequences that assist the director and production team in planning each scene as is highlighted in specific scenes from episodes 7, 9 and 10 of the first season.
Altered Carbon: The Art and Making of the Series culminates in a glossary that defines each of the technical terminologies, while the conclusion wraps up the thoughts and feelings of creating the television series adaptation of Altered Carbon for Netflix from the perspective of numerous production team members, alongside acknowledgements from author Abbie Bernstein and publisher Titan Books.
Quality of writing is consistently of an excellent standard as Altered Carbon: The Art and Making of the Series produces unparalleled insight into the television series including characters, locations, technology, fight choreography, visual effects and more besides.
Altered Carbon: The Art and Making of the Series’ presentation is amazing as the front cover features seven of the main characters including three iterations of Takeshi Kovacs, Kristin Ortega, Poe and more besides; complimented by neon signs from buildings, alongside a stylised title. Meanwhile, the back cover includes four stills and an image of Takeshi Kovacs’ second sleeve wearing a Hello Unicorn backpack, alongside embossed lettering and an interesting synopsis. As the book is simultaneously an art and making of book; there is a huge quantity of high quality photographs from actual scenes, alongside behind the scenes photographs, artwork and storyboards that are all efficiently positioned to maximise text in a reader friendly manner.
Altered Carbon: The Art and Making of the Series’ value is for fans of the Altered Carbon television series that want the written and picture equivalent of a behind the scenes documentary throughout 176 pages.
Overall, Altered Carbon: The Art and Making of the Series delivers a comprehensive official companion book to the Altered Carbon television series. Altered Carbon: The Art and Making of the Series is highly recommended for fans of the Altered Carbon seasons, their cast, crew and production team, alongside Richard K. Morgan’s trilogy of novels that the Altered Carbon series is based upon.
10 out of 10
• Title: Altered Carbon: The Art and Making of the Series
• Writers: Abbie Bernstein with Art Design by Natasha MacKenzie
• Contributions: Everett Burrell (Season 1 Visual Effects Supervisor), Stephanie Cleough (Cast Member), Chris Conner (Cast Member), Michael Eklund (Cast Member), Ann Foley (Costume Designer), Matt Frewer (Cast Member), Peter Hoar (Season 1 Director), Neil Hurran (Director and Executive Producer), Laeta Kalogridis (Series Creator and Executive Producer), Torben Liebrecht (Cast Member), Carey Meyer (Production Designer), Simone Missick (Cast Member), James Middleton (Executive Producer), Robert Munroe (Season 2 Visual Effects Supervisor), Alison Schapker (Season 2 Showrunner), Dina Shihabi (Cast Member), Lornell Stovall (Season 1 Stunt Coordinator) and Nevin Swain (Property Master)
• Publisher: Titan Books
• Length: 176 pages
• Cover: Hardback
Altered Carbon: The Art and Making of the Series can be purchased in the UK from Amazon and Forbidden Planet, while Altered Carbon: The Art and Making of the Series can be purchased in America and Canada from Amazon. You can also find Titan Books’ official website including a back catalogue of captivating books and product details regarding Altered Carbon: The Art and Making of the Series.