June 12, 2009
Rated: NOT RATED Runtime: 93 min Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Caprica is the pilot for the prequel series to the new Battlestar Galactica. The pilot was released on DVD in April 2009, the series will start airing on the SciFi Channel in 2010. Set 58 years earlier than the beginning of Battlestar Galactica, it details the origin of the Cylons.
It follows two families, the Greystones, and the Adamas. Both are struck by tragedy when a terrorist plot on Caprica kills loved ones. So if Battlestar is an Iraq War metaphor, this has overtones of 9/11.
But, it revolves around virtual reality technology, artificial intelligence, and robotics.
Eric Stolz plays Daniel Greystone. After losing his daughter Zoe (Alessandra Torresani, who looks a bit like a younger Zooey Deschanel), he discovers that The Kids Today on the planet Caprica have been playing around in in a virtual reality world to sample the vices that they haven’t done in real life. But he discovers his daughter has left a simulacrum of herself in the virtual world. He becomes obsessed in a Doctor Frankenstein way with bringing her back to life, at least in some form. He’s also developing robotic soldiers for the government. Proto-Cylons, basically.
Meanwhile, he befriends Joseph Adama (Esai Morales), who lost his wife and daughter in the same terrorist attack. His son survives, and, if you watched Battlestar, you can probably guess who he’s going to turn out to be.
The Adama family are immigrants from the planet Tauron. There is prejudice against them on Caprica, and, let’s face it, as depicted here, Taurons are basically movie Sicilians. He’s a lawyer for a Tauron crime syndicate. At times, the Godfather overtones are laid on pretty thick.
Then there’s Laci Rand (Magda Apanowicz), a schoolmate of Zoe’s, who discovers her school may shield a religious cult of dangerous fanatics.
The look of the production is interesting. Like the revamped Battlestar Galactica, it tries to keep fashion and props and architecture somewhat like our world (everybody isn’t dressed in tinfoil outfits) while still trying to make it look like another world in a far-away time.
For the record, I was a mild fan of the revamped Battlestar Galactica. I’ve seen the last half of Season 3 and most of Season 4. I still haven’t seen the first two seasons. It was an interestingly gritty retake on the original series, a big Iraq War metaphor. I think it bogged down sometimes in all the Cylon mysticism.
So I watched this with some misgivings. Did it really need a prequel series?
But it’s actually very good. As science fiction, better than Battlestar Galactica.
It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out as a series in 2010. For now, you can watch the DVD of the pilot.
Popularity: 69% [?]
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