Episode Reviews (16)
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The beginning of the end - although a slow moving introduction to the series, by the end of the episode I felt that this show has plenty of potential.
Although this series already feels completely different from "Battlestar Galactica", it is still a great show. The first twenty minutes were falling apart here and there, the dialogue seemed stiff and I simply couldn't see where things were going.
But by the end of the episode, I know that this show can live up to it's predecessor, and it will deliver the thrills and drama that 'Battlestar' gave us through the five year period that it was airing new episodes on TV.
At times the plot wasn't really going anywhere, and at times I lost interest, but the episode never let go. It had dull moments, sure, but the excitement, the twists and turns that this show has already given are more than enough to keep me watching.
My only major concern is the period in which I need to wait for the series to actually start. 2010 is quite a long way from the current day ... but I really can't wait. The entertainment that Battlestar gave us all these years is still present in this show and although the atmosphere is different, it is still full of potential, full of excitement. I can't wait to see where the writers decide to go from here.moreless
The Pilot episode of Caprica
The Pilot episode of Caprica, an original miniseries prequel to the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, was perfect and very entertaining. I enjoyed watching because the story was fresh yet familiar. The quality of production felt like it had a movie budget because everything was perfect. The main characters are introduced and brought together by tragedy which leads to hints and clues about what is going on leaving the imagination of viewers to do some thinking, which I like. Seeing one of the first Cylon models in action was cool. The ending of this episode was good, and I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
Awful, truly awful. Is it really so hard to write at least one likable character into a show!?
Awful, truly awful. Is it really so hard to write at least one likable character into a show!? The main character is a spoiled, arrogant, self righteous, rich brat, that has been brain washed by a cult. Why am I supposed to care if this waste of DNA is dead or not? Sadly, she's still the most interesting character in the show. Poor character development, bad dialogue, bad story development. It plays like one of the poorer episodes of the new "Outer limits". The technology also seems too advanced compared the what is being used 58 years later. (Look at how far we've come in 50 years.) Overall the concept isn't bad, but the execution was horrible. This is poor, poor prequel to the great show that BSG was.moreless
An amazing introduction to BattleStar Galactica's universe.
This serie Premiere is an amazing introduction to BattleStar Galactica universe. A brillant fresh start to an epic franchises.
The storyline is imaginative and almost canon, the characters are plausible and well played and full of potential. The visual is impressive. The music very well chosen.
If the writers are creative enough, they may give life to a successful new series, not to mention, the possibility for other sequel of spinoff, afterward; just like SG1 did.
I hope that they know where they're going with this show. Because, remember FlashForward premiere. It was brillant and full of potential. But very soon, we felt like let down. If they work this out as nicecly as they did for BSG 2003, This tv show gonna make history.moreless
A tragic, engrossing, and original tale the shows us a side of apocalyptic stories that is often overlooked.
Battlestar Galactica was (is) one of my favorite shows of all time. And one of the more clever and prevalent tactics that series had was using its toned down sci-fi universe as an analog for the real world. The show was drama first and sci-fi second. The Cylon conflict was a tool the writers used to talk about politics, racism, religion and existentialism. Making a series that was more involving because no matter how insane the scenarios looked on paper, they felt real.
With BSG over it seems the writers decided to take that idea even further with their spin-off prequel Caprica as it is impossible to not feel like you've been sucked into world that is just like ours, only with enough sci-fi trapping to make it accessible and cool.
Caprica is set 58 years before the Events of BSG,and the pilot tells the story how Joe Adama, an atterney with a criminal past (Bill Adama's father) and Daniel Graystone, the wealthy owner of a Microsoft-esque tech firm met and eventually create the first cylon after a shared tragey brings the duo together. Thus sending them down a path we know will lead them to unwittingly doom their entire civilization.
Without getting too deep into this thing. I have to say while this episode didn't make me fall in love with every character. They all work because the grief that hangs over this episode is so intensely real and well played by each actor (especially Eric Stoltz and Paula Malcomson). The fact that Daniel/Joe's children were killed by religious extremist again much like BSG gives you another connection to real events. No parent should have to face what the protagnoist of this show are facing. And while their tragedy is of a much smaller scale, and played with a sleepier pace, it is far more accessible than the end of the world plot we got at the start of BSG. That stuff could never happen to anyone. So it is harder to take on a more than viseral level.
So when Daniel Graystone creates the first cylons as both an attempt bring his daughter back to life, and nab a sweet military contract. We see that mankind brought about its own descrution through corporate greed, religious fanatism and perhaps and overreaction to religious fantatism. Can you think of a better metaphor for the state of things today? That aside from the sweet "so that's how cylons were created" lightbuld going off in my head when I saw this is what made this pilot work. It'll be nice to see how this plays out.
There have been maybe stories about the conflict between Man and Machine. But none about the "how" and "why."moreless
An interesting opening, if a slight re-writing of history
Caprica is going to have to tread a careful path if it is to be truly considered a "prequel" to the events of Moore/Eick's BSG, rather than simply being a story told in the same universe, using many of the same hooks. So much has been established in the former show, that while Caprica needs a certain latitude to be able to stray into new arcs of "history", it nevertheless needs to hold true to the tenets established in BSG if it is to remain true to the ideal of a prequel.
By-and-large, the pilot succeeds in this. Yes, there are a few potential cracks in continuity - notably around the origins of monotheism - but these aside, the story works, and works well. Set 58 years before the events of the mini series, Caprica presents a view of the Twelve Colonies that is alluded to, and occasionally glimpsed, in BSG. The colonies are far from unified; society is clearly split along the lines of the "haves" and the "have nots" (with a hint that this divide might be due to religion as well as a matter of place of birth). Caprica itself clearly leads the "haves" while Tauron is very definitely among the "have nots" - possibly alongside Sagittaron, although its importance as a agricultural centre suggests it may be resented by worlds such as Caprica simply because they _rely_ on its produce; something this is against a clever ramping of racial / planetary tensions alluded to in BSG.
Where the other colonies sit, is hard to judge, although it appears that Gemenon may be a seat of potential radicalism as much as religious fundamentalism. I won't dwell on the storyline too much - it is covered only too well in other reviews and in the summaries that appear in these pages. Suffice it to say, the pilot does a truly excellent job in establishing the major players in the show, and also establishing the initial story arcs: loss, grief, alligience, love, hope, religious morality, mistrust, and espionage. These are certainly rich grounds in which to sow any number of intersecting story arcs, and it is easy to understand why Moore himself has referred to Caprica as the first true "space soap opera", likening it to Dallas of the 1980s.
Eric Stoltz, always a welcome sight on-screen, fleshes out Daniel Greystone, the flawed genious, absolutely perfectly. In reading some of the background notes to the series, I have to admit that I was concerned that Greystone could run the risk of being a re-tread of Gaius Baltar (albeit it one with the facade of family life and love) - but this is far from the case. Greystone's character may be flwed, but his failings are empathic: no parent should ever outlive their offspring, and the depth of his grief is something that is tangible, that reaches into us and allows us to identify more closely with him. At the same time, we are gently made aware of the hubris that boils beneath the surface and which may well be pivotal to the coming tragedies of civil strife and the inevitable first Cylon War. Esai Morales brings a similar depth to the character of Joseph Adama, and makes him instantly identifiable as a flawed hero character - his flaw in this case being the fact that he is embroiled in organised crime while have a conscience. His ties seem to be a matter of birth, given the Ha'la'tha - the syndicate in which his is embroiled - appears to have its roots on Tauron, his home planet. It is in Adama that the writers need to exercise the most care; while he was never present in BSG, his backstory was somewhat established - and the certainly seem to have thought this through very well. In BSG, we learn that Joseph Adama is a lawyer who spent a lot of time "letting murderers go free" ("The Son Also Rises"). At the time, this could easily have been taken, along with other hints given by William Adama himself, to mean Joseph was some kind of Public Defender. Now, in Caprica, this is very cleverly translated to the fact that Joseph is as much a mob "fixer" as he is a lawyer, and much of his "letting murderers go free" involved bribes to judges and court officials as it did to his prowess as lawyer. We also discover that he is also the "acceptable" face of the mob: delivering threats and warnings to those the Ha'la'tha regard as potential enemies. The rest of the pilot largely works well: we discover that Greystone's work on developing a cybernetic fighting machine, while stalled, may be biased towards providing Caprica with a new form of soldier more than it is about providing "the colonies" with the same resource: his contract is with the CAPRICAN Ministry of Defence. Whether this will lead to a linking of inter-colony strife with the wider first Cylon War remains to be seen, but it certainly establishes an intresting possible avenue of story telling, should the series develop in that direction. For me, the only jarring element in the pilot was the inclusion of montheism and the idea of the Soldiers of The One (STO). That the belief in the "one true God" originated among the colonials doesn't sit right. In fact it jars alarmingly with what was established in BSG, and as such, comes across as a pure contrivance to explain the Cylon's eventual obssession with their "one true God."
I say this because religious belief systems are increadibly tenacious. Once established, they are very hard to eradicate (even now, despite the Christian church's best efforts - up to and including the "hijacking" of their religious dates and festivals - paganism is alive and kicking, for example). From the pilot, it would appear that the monotheistic cult is VERY well established: it has at least one radicalised arm in STO, and it is sufficiently active to have infiltrated many avenues of life - including educational estalishments - and is sufficiently rooted to worry to the state security services. Given all this, it is hard to accept - even allowing for civil strife, the forthcoming Cylon War, etc. - that the belief in a single God could be so utterly and completely eradicated that - just 58 years later - it is a concept utterly alien to the survivors of the Fall, and comes across as a wholly new, fresh message of redemption to Baltar's followers. Another minor upset in this regard is the idea that the monotheists are based on Gemenon - where Zoe and Ben were headed when he blew up the maglev train. In BSG Gemenon is estalished as a centre of religious fundamentalism within the colonies - and as such, a place where monotheists would likely be the most persecuted. Thus, being a desired haven in which to express monotheistic beliefs seems somewhat at odds with the established BSG backstory. But maybe the writers have other ideas here - such as Gemenon being more radical than we've been lead to believe.
What is far cleverer in the religious context is the subtle differences shown between those who believe in a planoply of gods. Capricans (and by extension the other better-off colonies?) clearly believe in the Gods of Greek mythology - Apollo, Athena, Ares, et al. However, as indicated in one of the conversations between Joseph and Sam Adama, the Taurons believe in the Roman system of Gods - thus, are we seeing a subtle indication of religious divides fuelling the tensions between the twelve colonies?
Again, this idea tends to sit at odds with the idea that the founders of the 12, those who came from Kobol, "dwelt with the Gods" and could be taken as a re-writing of established facts. However, I'd suggest otherwise: the religious scrolls that refer to the relationships between the people and their Gods back on Kobol are the scrolls of the _dominant_ religion of the twelve worlds - and thus are bound to portray their followers as being more "approved" of by their gods. They certainly don't preclude the idea that other belief systems were common among the original settlers of the colonies - nor do they disallow alternative belief systems to take root once the twelve colonies were established. As I said above, belief systems are remarkably tenacious, and very hard to eradicate once established. Thus, the Tauron system - and the fact it may fuel the ethnic dislike of Taurons demonstrated by other colonials - is totally understandable and acceptable. It's just a little odd there were no hints of these divides in BSG - which in may ways would have added a lot of strength to some of the weaker elements of civil unrest subplots that cropped up in that series. Away from this, there are other aspects to the pilot that bode well for the series. For one thing, Bear McCreary is retained to provide the music for the show, and this is a very wise move. McCreary has a singular talent to write compelling TV series music and use leitmotifs to establish both viewer familiarity with characters, arcs and events and to lay down aural cues that help direct the viewer's realisation of things on a more subtle level than through the use of character exposition. While the music evidenced in the pilot is - with perhaps one notable exception - vastly different to that written for BSG, it is nevertheless equally evocative and stirs a rich wellspring of identification within the viewer. Gone are the brusque martial tones of BSG - excepting, of course the all too familiar drumbeats that accompany our encounters with the prototype Cylon as it undergoes evaluation. Instead, we have a richer, more orchestral use of music, one that adds a certain depth to both Caprica - the vibrant city - and the people who inhabit it. Yet, within the overall musical arc, there are subtle motifs and gentle uses of specific elements of the orchestra, that immediately resonate with the viewer, and serve subconsciously to remind us that this world and these people, as different as they are from those we came to know in BSG, are very much part and parcel of the same universe. Caprica clearly has a long way to go, but it is off to a strong, and highly intriguing start. If there is any disappointment to be had at all, I suspect that it will be among those who prized BSG for its sweeping space battles, its dog-eat-dog story arcs and its artificially-created conflicts (such as the black market arc) rather than for its more subtle and thought-provoking elements.
For those willing to stay the course, or who were drawn to the more subtle statements BSG strove to make, and the broader arcs it encompassed (at least in the early seasons), Caprica look set to provide an intelligent and intellectual feast of storytelling. I only hope that that creators have a genuinely clearer idea of where they want the story to go, because it has to be said the one weakness that became painfully apparent within BSG - particularly in seasons 3 and 4 - is that while the start and end of the story were known, little thought had been given as to precisely how the story could be maintained and driven forward over a 4-season arc.moreless
A good beginning!
With "Battlestar Galactica" now all but concluded (only "The Plan" remains), it's time to turn attention to the new series set in the same universe. Ostensibly a "prequel" to the more familiar series, this actually tells a particular portion of the backstory in the Galactica canon.
As per the final season of "Battlestar Galactica", artificial life is nothing new to humanity. Cylons were created on Kobol long before the 12 Colonies were founded. But all of the Kobol Cylons ultimately left to become the 13th Tribe, leaving humanity to form the 12 Colonies. Thousands of years passed, at which point the Humans of the 12 Colonies forgot many of the lessons of Kobol and began to progress towards artificial life once again. About 50-60 years before "the Fall", the first Colonial Cylons were born. These would eventually become the Centurions that rebelled in the First Cylon War, which ended when the Final Five survivors of the 13th Tribe arrived and offered the secret of resurrection in exchange for ending the war with Humanity.
"Caprica" is the story of how those first Cylons emerged. Considering that this pilot is set about 58 years before the beginning of "Battlestar Galactica", there's very little in the way of direct overlap. The series centers on two families: the Greystones and the Adamas. The pilot is essentially the story of how Daniel Greystone and Joseph Adama (William's oft-mentioned father) end up creating the first Cylon out of a shared tragedy.
The Cylons are the most obvious connection to the mother series, but there are a number of other touchstones throughout the story that harken to future events. Those undertones are there right from the beginning. Greystone is apparently a computer genius, and has managed to create virtual-reality technology. This has, in short order, spawned an underground set of "virtual clubs", where teens and other young people engage in group sex, drug use, and ultraviolence.
This unrated version of the pilot can easily be cut for broadcast purposes, but it might lose something in the translation. As it is, the club scenes are just barely enough to communicate the extent and popularity of the clubs among disaffected teens (and as with the real world, that is quite the substantial population). They could have gone a lot further, because the point is to deliver a message: this is what lies beneath the civilized veneer.
This ties, however indirectly, into William Adama's speech in the "Battlestar Galactica" mini-series. He asks the crucial question: is Humanity worthy of survival? It's not just a question of who is being judged, but who has decided to do the judging. In this case, that would be the Cylons, and they begin as a digital copy of Daniel Greystone's daughter Zoe.
This is more important than the technological aspects of her transition to Cylon. Zoe is member of a monotheistic terrorist organization, and she sees the behavior in the virtual clubs as the disgusting product of the stagnant polytheistic Colonial society. Her virtual copy retains that moral judgment of Human society, and therefore retains her desire to change things. In essence, this not only explains the genesis of Cylon monotheism, but also serves to explain why their particular brand of monotheism would lead them to revolt and, eventually, genocide.
The amoral aspects of Colonial society are not confined to the teenagers, of course. The adults are just as bad, if not worse. Greystone himself ignores any number of warnings that his plan to "resurrect" Zoe is a Very Bad Idea, but that's just the beginning. He convinces Joseph Adama to help him use an organized crime syndicate to steal a component for the experiment, for example.
Adama's connection to organized crime seems like a bit of a cliche at first. However, upon closer inspection, it feels more like history transplanted into the future. The discrimination against the Taurons is similar to the prejudice shown against the Sagittarons, which always felt like any of several historical examples of anti-immigrant prejudice in American history. The parallels aren't hard to recognize, so it makes sense that the usual solution of organized crime would result. And the practice of changing names to blend into a new society continues today. All of these elements provide a hook for dealing with social prejudice issues.
What makes it all interesting is how it's all presented. It looks very much like the world that was always shown in those short flashbacks to the Colonies in "Battlestar Galactica". More importantly, there are tons of little visual reminders that this is the same universe. That said, the only blatant connection is the proto-Cylon technology. Everything else is just a slightly more modern world than our own.
The pilot itself could have been re-edited to be a stand-alone film if necessary. It's so self-contained in so many ways that I'm still not sure how this is going to evolve into a series. I have some faith in the writing staff, of course, but it's going to be a long wait until the series hits the air in 2010.
While the acting is top-notch, even in terms of the teenage characters, the pacing, especially at the beginning, is sometimes distressingly slow and ponderous. The same was true for the "Battlestar Galactica" mini-series, however, so it's not necessarily a sign of bad things to come. And it is definitely the kind of material that gains on reflection. Small things that initially escape notice creep back into awareness after the fact. I can only imagine that repeated viewings will draw out more tidbits to ponder.moreless
Not sure what to think, yet
Mm.. I cannot say this wasn't interesting and it really seemed to work - I was hooked up with the story quite quickly and then the bomb and everything I thought it is going, was not happening - so they really had that surprise and dark tunes.. maybe even more than BSG in some point.. I really think the pilot started much stronger than ended - first it looked quite fashinating, the multilayered storyline, trying to figure how it all comes together.. maybe it was just the amount of new things or... I was just expecting something else when I realized what probably is happening, but Adamas and Greystones together did not worked.. not that I liked their stories separately. The whole cylon making thing.. mm.. I am not sure. I like the way the story is answers in some way but where are they going? To first cylon war? (that should be years?) I think most I am not still sure whey they plan to go with the serie. With BSG it was quite sure - it is search for Earth.. pilot there gave that clear answer.. but with this pilot.. not so sure.. But for sure, when it comes on tv, I will be watching as it is sci-fi.. it seems to have brilliant story and great chars.moreless
Caprica has the opportunity to be another good show if it is given a chance by the audience.
I just saw this pilot and as a prelude to a new show it convinced me to watch any future episodes, at least the first ones. As a big BSG fan it was kind of a letdown. As a fan ,the only thing that would keep me watching would be the curiosity to see what actually happened in the first war and how it began, but I have a feeling that curiosity won`t really make me appreciate the show more. I think the association with the BSG 2003 is an unfortunate one for Caprica. The expectations are too high because BSG was such a good show, so complex and clever on so many levels. Caprica has the opportunity to be another good show if it is given a chance by the audience. We should forget for a minute about BSG and take this NEW show for what it is. On another note, the pilot wasn`t brilliant. To be honest I wasn`t crazy about BSG`s pilot either so who am I to judge?? I recommend it to everybody who is willing to give it a chance and not compare it to its already consecrated sister.moreless
58 years before the fall and a lot of revelations
in one single episode we do understand:
1. why cylons are monotheists
2. why cylons have a plan
3. why cylons are called cylons
4. why Bill Adama is a though guy
maybe too many revelations for a single episode?
we also get clues about:
1. geminon weird religion
2. tauron's yakuza/maori affiliations
3. a terrorist group (never spoken of in Battlestar Galactica series) which is going to become the center of the story
the most problematic character is certainly Joseph Adams whose ethical dilemma is set very badly
finally a question remains unanswered:
if zoe's father is able to reconstruct Joseph's daughter why he's not able to (re)do the same with his own daughter?moreless