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An astonishing breakthrough is taking shape on the planet Caprica. The rapidly evolving spheres of human and mechanical engineering have collided, along with the fates of two families. Joined by tragedy in an explosive instant of terror, two rival clans led by powerful patriarchs, Joseph Adama (Esai Morales, Jericho) and Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz, The Butterfly Effect) duel in an era of questionable ethics, corporate machinations and unbridled personal ambition as the final war for humanity looms. The latest phenomenon from the executive producers of Battlestar Galactica (Ronald D. Moore and David Eick), set in a time over 50 years earlier, Caprica is entirely its own world - provocative, thrilling and startling relevant to our own.
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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.
As a prequel it is an excellent fit which explains much as to the origins of the conflict explored in BSG the mini series which starts the four seasons of BSG including the decadence of Caprica, the materialism, pride, prejudice, and conflict between the monotheist or the belief in one true God and the traditional idolatry of the 13 colonies.
As a stand alone drama it is extremely good, IMO, with quality casting, good CGI and excellent script writing.
There is always tension and has some surprises, at least IMO, up until the very last scene . . . the last scene being touching, spooky and also full of anticipation as to what will happen during the TV series.
Hopefully, the TV series will be of the quality of this film. If that is the case then we could be in for a treat for the next few years. I am very excited to see the coming series.
If you like BSG, I'm rather confident you will like "Caprica" the film and hopefully enjoy Caprica the TV series.
At your command . . . ha ha.
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