Corporate espionage, online role-playing games, terrorist attacks--the world of Caprica isn't so different from our own. The science-fiction series delves into the complex back story that led to the superb rebooted Battlestar Galactica: two men connect through mutual grief, each having lost a daughter in a bombing. Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz, still best known for Some Kind of Wonderful) is the multimillionaire inventor of the holoband, a virtual reality version of the Internet; Joseph Adama (Esai Morales, NYPD Blue) is a lawyer and functionary for a crime family. Their glimmering friendship swiftly mutates as each realizes that the other offers something he wants… which eventually leads to the answer of Battlestar Galactica's greatest mystery: how did the Cylons begin? Caprica is flush with hot-button issues, ranging from alternate sexualities to religious extremism to troubling moral questions raised by accelerating technology; the world is a skillfully conceived dark mirror of contemporary life. The characters, unfortunately, are not so well developed. Too many of them have no clear desires or driving impulses--which isn't unlike real life, but makes for a meandering story line. On several occasions characters have to do something dumb just to keep the plot in motion; again, not unbelievable, but it's hard to stay engaged with characters you can't respect. Still, every episode has at least one moment that's truly clever or emotionally compelling, just enough to keep a viewer going. The series strengthens as it gets further in, so this may be one of those precarious first seasons where the creators work out the kinks (the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was pretty rocky, but then it soared into the stratosphere). Caprica has a lot of potential; if it finds its footing, this could be great television. --Bret Fetzer
Presented uninterrupted and in Dolby 5.1 surround sound, the first season of the critically-acclaimed drama from Executive Producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick comes to a thrilling climax in Caprica Season 1.5. Fifty-eight years before the events of Battlestar Galactica, mankind is wrestling with the question of what makes one human, and sealing its own fate of certain destruction. Alliances are made, secrets are revealed, and lives are forever changed while the conflict between man and machine takes shape. As the season races towards its stunning conclusion, the seeds are sown for the inevitable, brutal clash between the newly-born Cylon race and its human creators.