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Norfolk author behind hit Netflix sci-fi series Altered Carbon wants TV adaptation to run for five seasons

PUBLISHED: 13:53 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 13:53 20 February 2018

Author Richard Morgan.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Author Richard Morgan. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

The Norfolk author who wrote the novel of the new hit Netflix series Altered Carbon has spoken of how he would love to see the TV adaptation run for about five series and may even write more novels to extend the story further.

Richard Morgan, who grew up in Hethersett and in 2015 moved back to the county, was speaking on a Facebook Live interview in the EDP and Evening News head office this morning where Altered Carbon fans were given the chance to put their questions to the man behind the brutal body swap novel.

Set in the 25th century when human personalities can be stored digitally and downloaded into new bodies known as ‘sleeves’, Altered Carbon tells the story of antihero Takeshi Kovacs, a former UN elite soldier-turned-private investigator, and his attempt to investigate a rich man’s death for him.

When asked how long he would like the TV series of his trilogy to run for, he said: “In an ideal world I wouldn’t put a cap on it because I think it is a concept that just keeps on giving, you can always expand or explore some new avenue. There are three novels in the sequence but having talked to the showrunner, she was saying she thinks probably about five seasons would be a good arc...Five seasons would be great but we have to wait and see, we still aren’t green lit for a second season yet...In the end Netflix still have to actually commission a second season and then obviously each season becomes the measuring stick for whether you continue and that is going to hinge on what we do with the characters, what we do with the scenarios, but I would love to see five, six seasons. I think that would be awesome.”

He said he felt Netflix had “absolutely” done justice to his novel.

Altered Carbon - imagine a future where you can be transplanted into another body and effectively live forever.
Image: NetflixAltered Carbon - imagine a future where you can be transplanted into another body and effectively live forever. Image: Netflix

“Yeah there have been changes but it really has captured the spirit of the book...Some of it is really is almost photocopying, some of it there are scenes in the show that are literally lifted from the book and even the dialogue hasn’t changed that much.

“You have no idea how made up I am about that, watching actors deliver lines to camera that I wrote down 20 years ago, that is just awesome.”

He said would never do a prequel to his trilogy but he also hinted that the Netflix series had sparked some ideas for possible future sequels.

“I always think prequels are a bad idea...I think once you start ‘prequelling’ you hollow out the initial inspiration and you end up in a place where you’ve striplined everything about that character and it ceases to have the mystery.

Tamara Taylor in Altered Carbon. Image: NetflixTamara Taylor in Altered Carbon. Image: Netflix

“Prequels, it feels to me like over exploitation. Good storytelling is as much about what you don’t tell as what you do tell, and you’ve got to leave space. For characters to be compelling they need a past that you don’t necessarily know about.”

He added: “Don’t go back, if you must, go forward, you can always tell more stories going forward and I might end up writing another Kovacs novel, especially now, seeing all this cool stuff happening on screen is certainly helping to fire the boiler.”

Altered Carbon is published by Gollancz and the TV series is on Netflix now.

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