‘Altered Carbon’ Creator on How Show Could Examine LGBTQ Issues in Season 2

Laeta Kalogridis tells TheWrap Netflix’s new sci-fi series has “barely scratched the surface” of its technological implications

Altered Carbon

A key concept in Netflix’s cyberpunk series “Altered Carbon” is the “stack,” an advanced hard drive installed on the brainstem on which a person can save a copy of their consciousness. The main effect of stack technology is a form of immortality, because a stack can be installed into another body if the original body dies. But there’s another a major implication only hinted at during the first season of “Altered Carbon”:

If you could choose your own body, would you go with the one you were born with?

That’s an especially important question for gender fluid or transgender people. The topic was only hinted at in the first season, but “Altered Carbon” creator Laeta Kalogridis told TheWrap it’s something she would like to explore in greater detail.

“The idea that this kind of technology creates interesting intersections between your idea of your physical self and your idea of your inner or spiritual self, or your idea of being fluid in some way, certainly the idea of reassigning your gender, becomes a whole lot easier if you don’t actually have to do it surgically,” Kalogridis said.

“At the very least it becomes different. You are still in a body you weren’t born in. And I think exploring the idea of being able to recreate the physical self in another different way, I mean we’ve barely scratched the surface of that,” she continued. “And LGBTQ, and so many issues and the ways in which we feel comfortable or uncomfortable in our physical bodies, are things that I think the show is very right to explore, but has not yet been able to do. Certainly first season. We touched on it a little bit — but not much.”

However, Kalogridis is quick to clarify that it was a matter of time, and source material, not intent, and she would like to explore the issue much more deeply should the show get renewed for a second season.

“I mean if we did get a second season — which we don’t know yet — but if we were to get a second season, I would definitely say that was one thing we frankly didn’t have time to touch on, and wasn’t dealt with in the book at all,” Kalogridis added. “We went a little further than the book did, but honestly, it was just about time.”

“Altered Carbon” Season 1 is available for streaming on Netflix as of Feb. 2.