Caprica Season 1 Episode 1

Caprica is a new series from Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore. The show takes place 58 years before the reimagined Battlestar Galactica and follows the creation of the robotic cyclons, who eventually plotted to destroy human civilisation in retribution for their enslavement.

Before any of you non-Battlestar Galactica fans lose interest, however, Caprica is designed not to repeat what was done in Galactica and for those newcomers to be able to follow what is happening and enjoy the show.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the show, there are some things that you should know. First of all, there are 12 colonies that make up human civilisation in the world of the show. Caprica is one of these colonies. At the time the show is set, all of these colonies operate autonomously and independently from one another. Caprica, as a world, is intoxicated with its own success, and the show is primarily based on the world itself, not in space as Battlestar Galactica is.

All caught up? Good. Here is where things get interesting. Caprica, as a show, focuses on two families – The Graystones and the Adamas. Both of these families lose a loved one in an act of religious terrorism. While Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) makes an effort to accept that his wife and daughter are dead, David Graystone (Eric Stoltz) is devastated by the death of his daughter, Zoe (Alessandra Torresani). Through Zoe’s friend, Lacy (Magda Apanowicz), David discovers that Zoe, before her death, created an avatar of herself in a virtual world. While this is not unusual, what is, is the fact that Zoe’s avatar lives on after she has died, and through Zoe’s use of biofeedback protocol, not only felt Zoe’s death, but has absorbed her memories in the process.

David Graystone, in typical grieving father style, attempts to download his daughter’s avatar and place it in a robotic body in order to bring Zoe ‘back to life’. This is where he and Joseph Adama differ. David offered Joseph the chance to resurrect his wife and daughter, and Joseph struggled with the notion until he came face to face with an avatar of his daughter that David created. Even though Joseph has supported David so far, he abandons him and his ‘abomination’.

David believes that his experiment has failed, and Zoe’s information has been lost, but in the closing moments of the pilot Lacy gets a phonecall from Zoe. She is in her robotic body and asks for Lacy’s help.

So there it is, the premise has been laid out for Caprica over the space of a 90 minute long pilot. There are times when it all seems to drag on a little bit, and the devices used to reveal the religious fundamentalism of the monotheists (polytheism being the standard order of the day) and the grieving of the Adamas and the Graystones seem to go on for too long. It feels as though the pilot could have been done in an hour and the extra 30 minutes was inserted to flesh out the episode and make it longer.

That said, however, the episode really does grab you, once it starts to pick up. The world has already been established in Battlestar Galactica, but for us newcomers, it doesn’t seem to different from our own. The technology is different, but then, it would have to be in order for the show to have a purpose. What makes the pilot worth watching is the human feelings of grief that the characters experience at the loss of their family members. It is this that makes the show relatable, as we could all imagine wanting to bring back a loved one after their untimely death.

Sadly, there are more than a few parallels in the pilot with the Japanese Manga sensation Astro Boy. Father is building ultimate weapon. Child dies. Father builds robot to replace them. What is different is the religious and ethnic differences between the inhabitants of the planet Caprica and it seems that these are going to have a large part to play in the series as a whole.

So although the pilot feels overlong at times, it has definite promise and it will be interesting to see how the show progresses.

GS Reviewer: Brogen Hayes

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