173 of 181 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I loved watching Battlestar Galactica on DVD having missed it when it was on the air. I wanted to keep a good thing going and knew I wanted to buy all of the Caprica prequels to watch. So I ordered this pilot disk, Caprica Season 1.0 and Caprica Season 1.5. When I got them here, I found that this pilot episode is also included in the Season 1.0 disk set. I didn't want others to get suckered into the "frequently bought together" Amazon shtick and order more than they needed.
256 of 279 people found the following review helpful
I was extremely skeptical when I heard about the proposed prequel to the greatest television science fiction saga of this generation. Attempting to cash in on the success of Battlestar Galactica so soon after the series ended seemed like a losing proposition doomed to mar an amazing franchise. Well, consider those fears alleviated. The first taste of "Caprica" is absolutely amazing. With no space battles and the themes of humanity's destruction and survival at the hands of their own creation already done to death, I feared for a lack of compelling material to further immerse me in the pre-genocide human society of the twelve worlds. All politics and no spaceships makes science fiction a dull genre. But what BSG did for the space opera, "Caprica" is set to do for cyberpunk. If BSG was Star Trek and Babylon 5, "Caprica" is Ghost in the Shell and The Matrix. I am beyond impressed.
The story unfolds as a terrorist attack by a youth seeking to draw attention to his monotheistic cause (most worship the old Greek gods). The result tears two families apart and in half a century's time will lead to the destruction of human society. But before that there is one hell of a story to be told. The themes on the social commentary buffet so far includes a much more bold dialogue on religion then even BSG gave us, a different angle on the definition of human as we know it, a frank look at a racist society, and an exploration of the logical extremes of future virtual existence. This is to say that once the internet and virtual reality become compatible, one hell of a can of worms will be opened.
Since this series premiere comes to us in movie form, the gods have shined upon us. As far as it's predecessor pushed the sexual envelope for a tv show, "Caprica" has easily bested it here. I don't know how they are going to cut this for television. There is abundant nudity, group sex, and some serious girl-girl going on in this film. Virtual human sacrifice in underground virtual hacker clubs speaks volumes about the social issues to be confronted and is damned disturbing. There is one violent death featuring a but of arterial spray as well. Still think science fiction is for kids? The idea of creating a virtual copy of yourself by hacking the information in your own brain and uploading it to a digital avatar, thereby achieving a brand of immortality is brilliant and the Frankenstein complex that leads a father who lost his daughter to cross lines that should never be crossed is stroke of absolute genius.
Familiarity with it's parent show will certainly deepen your appreciation of "Caprica", but it is not at all necessary. This is great science fiction, period. Now's your chance to get on board with what promises to be the best series in coming years. Don't miss it. Battlestar maniacs will get to see one of that show's enduring heroes in his formative years and witness the birth of the first Cylon in a heart-rending accident. But at it's heart this show -like Galactica- is about two things: massive universal concepts of humanity, and intimate relationships with the characters who inhabit this work of fiction. One cannot improve on that formula. There is no television show, no movie, nothing in entertainment that I am currently looking forward to more then this. If you are a fan of adult science fiction in any way, then this is what you need to be watching. And that goes double for BSG fans.
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
When I first heard the Sci Fi Channel (or as it's soon to be called: Syfy) was going to make a prequel series to Battlestar Galactica I was somewhat hesitant. Not because I was one of those science fiction snobs who thinks the genre can only be about space battles, aliens, and a certain startship that shall remain nameless. No, I was hesitant because I knew the network's history of meddling. The disaster that was season three of BSG can be squarely placed on the shoulders of the network suits. The idea of bringing the history of the colonies to life has the potential to be interesting and thought provoking television. After viewing the finished product recently released on DVD I have to say they've succeeded in many ways.
The story of Caprica takes place "58 years before the fall" of the colonies. At the heart of the story are two families: the Graystones, a wealthy family whose patriarch founded a technology company (a company that inadvertently leads to the downfall of all mankind); and the Adamas, a less-than-wealthy family from the world of Tauron. Joseph Adama, father of the future Admiral Adama (now only an eleven-year-old boy) is attempting to hide his family's ties to Tauron by changing their name to Adams. Both of these families are drawn together by tragedy when Graystone's daughter, Zoe, is killed in a terrorist attack by a monotheistic group along with Joseph Adama's wife and daughter.
By accident, Graystone discovers that his daughter created a fully functional avatar in a virtual world where she and her friends, along with the youth of Caprica, go to escape their mundane world. Using his daughter's work and a piece of stolen technology, Graystone downloads Zoe into a robotic form his company is working on for the Defense Ministry. This scene alone is one of the most eerie of the entire episode. As you watch Zoe attempt to get comfortable with her new metal body and see the look on Daniel Graystone's face as he watches, it's like seeing a father witnessing the birth of his child. Very Frankenstein-esque.
Caprica is filled with the some intriguing ideas and concepts. Of course, you have the usual BSG-speak. "Frak" is used often, you have the gods, and the twelve colonies named for astrological signs. What will make Caprica stand out is its ability to flesh out many of the concepts that we just took at face value with the parent series. In this pilot alone were learn more about the religion and prejudices of the colonies than we ever did in Battlestar Galactica, but it wasn't appropriate for BSG to tackle those topics. Caprica is designed to do just that.
One of the more intriguing concepts I hope Caprica will tackle are the people of Tauron. Like any large society, the people of Caprica have their prejudices and there seems to be a strong prejudice against the people of Tauron, or "dirt eaters" as some call them. From what we can glean from the pilot, the people of Tauron are peasants who toil at hard labor and are looked down upon by the rest of the colonies. Out of this servitude an organized crime group has formed; a group with close ties to the Adama clan. From what we see in this pilot episode, the people of Tauron look similar to South American Indian cultures such as the Mayans or Aztecs in how their presented. It will be interesting to see how this is developed.
This pilot has some fun "ah ha!" moments. One of the more interesting "ah ha!" moments comes when we learn just how the Cylons developed their belief in the One True God. That revelation alone makes everything coming in 58 years even more understandable. It's moments like this along with scenes showing the development of the Cybernetic Lifeform Node, or Cylon, that will make Caprica an intriguing series to watch. It's these moments that allow me to forgive the series for starting out a little slow. Hopefully, Caprica can find a fan base that will make it worthwhile for Syfy to keep it on the air for a few years.
75 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2009
With Battlestar Galactica now over, the team that brought us one of the best sci-fi shows of the last decade now step back into the series' own history with Caprica. Set 58 years before the fall of the colonies, this show has a very different feel and design from it's predecessor.
The story centres around two familles, the Greystones and the Adams, both of which are devastated when a suicide bombing on a maglev train kills Daniel Greystone's daughter and Joseph Adams' wife and daughter.
As the authorities investigate the bombing, evidence seems to indicate that Daniel's daughter Zoe may have been involved with a religious extremist group called 'Soldiers Of The One' who believe that there is only one god and not many.
While Joseph tries to help his son William through the trauma, he is asked by some of his Tauron colleagues to 'help' them with a legal issue. Being a man of moral standing, Joseph has trouble with what they want and tries to find a way out of the situation.
Daniel also has problems with both his wife, Amanda, and that his company's latest project, the U-78 (that's the old style Centurions!) is being threatened by an off-world corporation. As Daniel attempts to complete the project, a friend of Zoe's unwittingly shows him the way to solve his problem and a way to get his daughter back.
Zoe's ability to manipulate digital information and environments leads Daniel into a virtual reality world of night-clubs, sex, excess, human sacrifices and digital avatars.
Both Daniel and Joseph struggle to come to terms with their loss but in the wake of the tragedy they both begin to find something out about themselves.
For those fans wanting a show like BSG, this is not it.
Caprica is more akin to a modern day detective / legal / gangster drama with a few sci-fi elements in the mix. The show still deals with issues like BSG and tackles religion, racial tolerance, faith, monotheism vs. pantheism, terrorism, suicide bombings and the trauma of losing someone you love.
Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales are excellent as Daniel and Joseph. It will be interesting to see how these characters develop as the show continues through the first season. The show sports the same high production values and standards that we expected from BSG which gives the show a very cinematic look.
There are links to BSG and hopefully the plot lines about the first Cylon war will slowly develop as the series progresses. It was great to see the first Cylon Centurion perform it's basic tests and utter those immortal words "By your command."
Caprica has huge potential so lets just hope it gets the chance to fill in some back story for those who love Battlestar.
"So say we all!"
65 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2009
Caprica: One Hell of a Beginning!
How `human' can robots be? Can they possess a soul? Can they feel? Can they have memories?
These are four important questions that Ronald D Moore and David Eick ask in "Caprica", a new stand alone series that continues (sort of) in the vein of Galactica. On screen, "Caprica" revolves around two influential Caprican families joined in an instant of terrorism. The death of two children bind them in grief, then bind them in a scientific experiment that dares to ask the question: Can you bring the dead back to life in another `body'? A secondary theme that runs through the film is that of Monotheism, and a belief in a God who is all knowing, and powerful. Right and wrong smacks in the face of corporate right and wrong and profit margins.
The world of Caprica, as envisioned by Moore and Eick, is one of virtual nightclubs, modern cities, space travel, computer technology, and galactic economies that, in some ways, is not so far off ours today. The teens travel in their virtual club, engaging in random sexual acts, witnessing human sacrifice, killing, drinking, and amidst this debauchery, find One god who makes sense of it all and empowers Zoey to change the world before her death. Business legend, Daniel Greystone, in his grieving, `meets' his dead daughter in the club, and seeks to re-introduce her to the world. Joseph Adama, has another reaction, yet still becomes part of the project.
As a film, this in incredible. There is conflict. There is theology. There are moralistic arguments. There is crass commercialism. There is incredible technology that seeks to blur the line between man and god. There is faith. And there is pure, unadulterated lust.
There are few film scenes that can be considered powerful. Images like the unveiling of Darth Vader in Star Wars, Rick saying goodbye to Ilsa and Victor Lazlo in Casablanca, John Wayne walking away from his niece in The Searchers, and Rocky raising his arms in victory will never be forgotten. Today, we have a new addition to that list. As the first cyborg/human robot rises and dials her friend then speaks with the voice of Zoey....a chill ran down my spine. I can hardly wait for the series.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2009
Tensions are rising between the Twelve Colonies. The poorer planets are feeling oppressed and exploited by the richer, whilst the more powerful worlds are arrogant and decadent. On Caprica, richest and most powerful of the twelve worlds, people live increasingly empty lives. A new technological innovation, the holoband, has led to the creation of stunningly convincing artificial worlds or 'V-clubs' where young people can murder and torture one another for pleasure. Sickened by the collapse in morals around them, a small group of people have been swayed by the argument that there is one all-powerful, all-knowing god who can save them if they chose to be saved. But some the followers of the One God believe more direct action is needed, and one troubled young man proves his faith by stepping onto a packed commuter train laden with explosives.
In the aftermath of the disaster, two men are brought together by shared grief: computer programmer and entrepreneur Daniel Graystone and lawyer Joseph Adams. Both of them lost a daughter on the train, Zoe and Tamara, and both are searching for answers. Daniel soon learns that his daughter may not have just been an innocent bystander and, buried in the depths of the V-club, Zoe hid a programme that may provide him with the breakthrough he needs in the creation of a new military robot for the Caprican government: the Cybernetic Lifeform Node. For Joseph, whose brother is a high-ranking member of the Tauron crime syndicate, his life becomes more dangerous and complex as he tries to provide a living for his son, William, and find a way to cope with his own sense of loss.
Caprica is a prequel series to Battlestar Galactica, beginning fifty-eight years before the Fall of the Twelve Colonies and about six years before the beginning of the First Cylon War. Absolutely no knowledge of BSG is required to watch this show. Whilst BSG was a space opera, Caprica is resolutely a planet-bound drama, focusing on the characters, the politics, the crime syndicates and scientists of their world. There isn't a single space shot in the whole pilot movie, not even an establishing shot of Caprica, which seems to be a declaration that this show is going to try to do something different.
Yet it shares more similarities with the progenitor show than just a shared background. It's similarly ruthless and hard-edged. The pilot does not shy away from scenes of violence. In fact, the opening sequence in the V-club is far more explicit in violence and nudity than anything seen on BSG. The questions raised in BSG about artificial sentience and what constitutes a person or a soul are explored in even greater depth in this opening episode, and it's fascinating to see Caprica as technically more advanced than it is later on. Those claiming this show isn't science fiction simply because it focuses more on an AI singularity than on space battles are seriously in error. This show has the potential to be a far more hardcore SF show than BSG itself.
The characters chosen to tell this story work very well. Eric Stoltz plays Daniel Graystone as a driven man whose desire to learn, to innovate and to always come out on top is beginning to compromise his morals, and this character development is complicated by the death of his daughter and the manner in which he deals with his grief. Esai Morales brings significant gravitas to his role as Joseph Adams, and you could easily imagine him being related to Edward James Olmos (and yes, there's a reason why the surname gets changed). The interplay between these two very different men is interesting to watch and the scenes with the two actors are impressively handled.
The rest of the cast likewise impresses. Polly Walker, recently seen as Atia in Rome, takes on the role of Sister Clarice Willow, the head of the school where the cult of the One God has taken root. She has only a few scenes but channels an impressive amount of intensity into a very different role. Alessandra Toressani as Zoe Graystone is a bit more variable, but most pulls off a very tricky and demanding role, rising above the simple 'troubled teen' archetype to take the character into a somewhat more disturbing direction. Paula Malcomson as Amanda Graystone also gives a remarkably good performance as the mother who has to cope with the loss of her daughter.
Special effects-wise, Caprica obviously doesn't have tons of space shots like BSG, but if anything it has a harder job, transforming downtown Vancouver into Caprica City without it standing out to the viewer. There's a couple of impressive sequences (the destruction of the train, most notably), but mostly their work is confined to establishing shots which, curiously, aren't as impressive as the stunning shot of Caprica City in the BSG finale (which I'd assumed was test-run for Caprica). Bear McCreary is also on board for the music and his work is initially more muted than BSG, though BSG fans will take great delight at spotting a couple of themes from the parent show that are deployed at strategic moments.
Caprica's pilot episode does have one significant problem: it feels like we cover about 50% of the plot needed to get us to the show's end-point (presumably the start of the war) in just the pilot by itself. I'm not sure if there's enough plot strands to fill a single 20-episode season, let alone a multi-year ongoing series, and this raises the prospect of dreaded filler episodes (and BSG showed that this team are particularly inept at handling filler). But, given that the pilot has an excellent cast, solid writing, a compelling and dark storyline and an atmosphere not quite like anything I've seen before in SFTV, I'm more than willing to give them a chance to show what they can do.
Caprica's pilot (****½) is available on DVD now in the United States. The pilot will air on the Sci-Fi Channel in the United States and on Sky One in the UK and Ireland in early 2010, followed by the rest of the first season.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2010
I highly recommend this DVD to any fans of science fiction that enjoy a good philosophical debate as well as action and adventure.
I bought Caprica through Amazon while deployed in Iraq. While we did not have first run movies, we managed to cobble together a fairly nice set-up for showing DVDs. Caprica was the only movie that we ended up watching more than once.
Caprica serves as the prequel to the Battlestar Galactica series.
Caprica introduces Commander Adama, and we meet his father as well as the creator of the Cylons.
The DVD explains how the Cylons came to be created with a "bit of deception in their DNA." (I did not puzzle it out the first time around; my soldiers helped me out. I won't ruin it for you either; you have to watch the final five minutes carefully.)
Caprica asks some gnarly philosophical questions without either purporting there are easy answers or letting the audience off the hook without some serious though.
What is the nature of intelligent life?
Does a clone have a soul? Well, what if the clone is just a magnetic facsimile? What if the original model is dead?
Not since Mary Shelly has an artist addressed these questions so profoundly and powerfully.
I have not been able to watch the series that the original DVD precluded, but I look forward to seeing it in the future.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
My expectations were very low.
The final year of Battlestar Galactica was ...good...but it didn't match the *amazing* and *phenomenal* of the first few seasons.
Nevertheless, it was good.
The idea of a prequel without Kara and Lee and Chief and The Old Man....you could only hope it would be entertaining...
But Caprica is not entertaining.
Caprica is brilliant.
How did the Cylons become living beings? What does "Cylon" mean? What was the stimulus for creating the machines that would
one day run over the entire human race?
Caprica opens in a holographic world created by teens for teens. Everything in the world is precisely how you
would expect teens of 2010 to create it. One big virtual reality ...shared life experience... is the Genesis
for all that would happen 58 years later.
There could have been no predicting what the holo-technology would eventually come to.
The cast took a bit of time to connect with. Half way through the movie it all clicked into place.
And at the end of the movie...with an ending that was both frightening and ecstatic...I was driven to find
out just when the season premiere's.
For someone who has never seen a season of BSG, this movie will be a four star view.
For fans of BSG, it's a five star engagement.
And there is great potential felt for the upcoming series.
Author of Covert Persuasion
The 168 Hour Week: Living Life Your Way 24-7
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2009
First, know that my friends and I tremendously enjoyed "Battlestar Galactica", the predecessor to "Caprica". We watched every episode every week, usually twice (to make sure we didn't miss anything), and firmly believe that BSG really is "the best show on television" as Rolling Stone Magazine so aptly put it. BSG had tremendously well-written, gut-wrenching, and soul-stirring writing; first-rate, believable acting; artistic and believable cinematography; beautiful and creative music that stands on its own; and excellent special effects. Caprica, now... Caprica has one thing in common with BSG: it has excellent special effects. In fact, the show starts off quite literally with a "bang" - a quite well-rendered explosion aboard a futuristic train and the resulting carnage provides a memorable opening to the show.
The very, very sad thing is that the train wreck that starts off Caprica is a great metaphor for the show itself - loaded with potential, charging forward with tremendous momentum (granted it by the work of genius that was BSG)... and then it explodes, de-rails, and leaves carnage all around it and a group of viewers saying "What the frak just happened?"
I won't give away the plot, or at least, not more of it that you should already know if you've watched the trailer and, obviously, BSG (hint: the Cylons eventually go to war with the humans and kill everyone). But, I will say that Ron Moore and David Eick should be ashamed to have plastered their names on this as Executive Producers, because frankly it feels like an attempt to simply cash-in on BSG's phenomenal success with a poorly executed spin-off that was drawn from bad fan fiction, not the minds that brought us a mind-expanding meditation on human existence, the existence of God or gods, and the nature of life itself. The concept and story behind Caprica have a tremendous amount of potential... but that's all it remains: potential.
The story as told in this movie seems like a first rough-draft: "there's this girl, see, and she's some kind of computer whiz, way better than her dad who's also a computer whiz, only HE DOESN'T KNOW that she's smart about computers and that at only 16 years old she's managed to write software that is lightyears ahead of what anyone else can do, but dad just thinks that she's a typical teenager who's into bubblegum and boys and hair and lipstick..." Egad! I won't ruin the rest of the "surprises" that lie in wait for you like a trenchcoat-ed overweight flasher standing in the dark alley you are currently considering traversing... I'll just advise you to be prepared to both laugh and be offended by the QUALITY of flasher you are about to be inconvenienced by.
Writing: the writing is poor. Not "awful", just poor. If you compare it to the worst episode of BSG, it's poor. If you compare it to some of the awful fan fiction out there... it's mediocre. It's un-nuanced and overly explicit - frankly, there were several times when my friend and I felt a bit insulted by the excruciating plainness with which details and explanations were laid out for us in dialog - the writers must think the audience is tremendously stupid.
Acting: I'm surprised to say this, given the actors here, but the acting is generally wooden, often inappropriate to the scene and dialog, and just generally unbelievable. At times it seems like the actors aren't even trying to emote, probably because they don't care about the story or the characters (and why would they, since they had to read the script?); at other times, scenes are over-acted. Very rarely is a scene believable, and the few that are really stand out because of this.
Cinematography: The "look" of the show harkens back to BSG in many ways - different color pallets are used for different locales, similar to how different pallets were used for different planets in BSG - but in general the cinematography is vanilla and boring. BSG used a documentary-style, with lots of shaky hand-held camera work, tight closeups, zooms that cause the scene to go out of focus, etc., all of which drew you into the immediacy and "realness" of the story, people, and places... Caprica has none of this, and so it looks like any other show. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's an important difference from its predecessor.
Music: I became a fan of Bear McCreary's music because of BSG; I've purchased each of the BSG season soundtracks and each one is beautiful and interesting to listen to on its own. Unfortunately, the Caprica soundtrack is just plain boring. It sounds like generic TV drama music - it's unmemorable and certainly not anything I'd want to listen to by itself. However, I don't think this is Mr. McCreary's fault - he had to produce a musical score for a poorly-written and woodenly-acted train wreck, and given the source material I think he did a decent (but by no means excellent) job.
Special Effects: The special effects in the show are great, especially for a TV show budget. The train wreck, the action scenes with Cylon soldiers, shots of the city - it's all well-done.
Bottom Line: Caprica was tremendously disappointing, not just because it didn't live up to the extremely high bar set by BSG... but because it's simply a bad made-for-TV movie. However, it does have this redeeming quality: the movie wraps itself up quite neatly at the end, answering practically all of the outstanding questions we have from BSG about where the Cylons came from and how they became monotheists; in fact, the movie is wrapped up SO nicely at the end that we aren't interested in the answers to the new, melodramatic questions the movie introduced. My advice is to skip Caprica unless you're such a huge fan of BSG that you absolutely must see everything that has the name "BSG" associated with it.
"So say we all?"
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Captivating in its dialog and in its philosophical and technological undertones, this story is fascinating because of its mirror of today's world. Indeed, Caprica has much in common with the present time: there are spoiled and rebellious teenagers, women who marry into money, tobacco use, terrorist attacks, out of control technology, organized crime, religious fanatics, frenzied greed, corporate espionage, petty rivalries, racism, and pre-meditated murder. But there are differences: the predominant religion of Caprica is polytheistic, with a belief in a single god considered an aberration, even radical. But the followers of monotheism in Caprica are very similar to the ones of our world: they are dogmatic, even violent, and are fond of pointing out how the gods of polytheism do not heal the hurt of the people of Caprica.
It is the character of Zoe that is the most interesting one in this story. She makes the technology viable, and the avatars possible, instead of some teenage prank to access a virtual nightclub. The avatars are conscious of their imperfections. One of them cannot for example feel their heart beat, and another remarks that they don't "feel like a copy." They therefore possess the affective part of their real counterpart's brain, with all its vicissitudes and pleasures. It is amazing what you can experience with only 100 terabytes of information, and even more amazing that you can accept a copy, give it a hug, as Zoe's father did, and ignore the "surface details." However all copying is done with less than 100% fidelity, but this makes life more lively and more interesting.
Zoe's death from a terrorist attack sets up a series of decisions, taken both by her father and his newly found friend/criminal Joseph, that brings into Caprica machines that are self-conscious and goal-directed. To have such machines is the ambition of many of today's technology enthusiasts, who like those in Caprica, are self-absorbed and giddy with optimism about the future. No doubt in future episodes of Caprica, such machines will follow the advice of one of the characters, and "find things in life that make you cry, that make you feel." In our time there is certainly ample opportunity to find such things, both for humans and machines.