Making a Case for Caprica

First things first: Though the freshman Syfy series Caprica is obviously inspired by Battlestar Galactica (it's a prequel, of sorts, about early models of cylons), it ain't the second coming of BSG. But dismissing Caprica for unfavorable comparisons to one of the best shows in recent history is doing the promising young upstart a disservice. It may not have gigantic ratings, but after five episodes of increasing quality and suspense, Caprica's assets are becoming hard to ignore. Ahem:

The storyline draws the show's characters closer and closer together.

The show's pilot kick-started the drama in a major way: A secret cult, believing in one true God instead of the polytheism of the 12 colonies, recruits students to carry out an act of terrorism. One of them, Zoe Graystone, is the daughter of tech superstar Daniel Graystone, and during the attack she kills the wife and daughter of Joseph Adama (yes, dad of the future Admiral Adama). Suddenly, the salt-of-the-"Earth" Adama family is hobnobbing with Caprican elite as the two families grieve together. Meanwhile, Graystone has created avatars of his and Adama's daughters in the virtual world—a Matrix-like existence popular with the young people those days—and the two plot a way out of this mess. Meanwhile, Zoe's cult friends continue to unravel the mystery surrounding her death. It's becoming increasingly fun to explore how these worlds collide and influence one another.

The acting is dark, brooding, and compelling.

Both Eric Stoltz (who plays Daniel Graystone, and was seen in the superb film Kicking & Screaming—not the Will Ferrell one) and his onscreen wife Paula Malcomson find fascinating ways to cope with the loss of their daughter: Daniel throws himself maniacally into his work, and Amanda removes herself from the world, only surfacing to deliver rambling, regrettable accusations to the press about the cult. Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) brims with barely controlled rage over his own loss and the fact that, little by little, his son is slipping away into the arms of his shady brother Sam (Sasha Roiz). Friends and enemies are made out of obligation to the deceased, and the superb actors hold their emotions inside until they're about to burst, making for nuanced, melodrama-free delivery. This is to say nothing of Patton Oswalt as the host of a Daily Show-esque program, who couldn't have been cast more perfectly.

The virtual world rocks.

Last week, the Adama daughter Tamara, who's nothing more than an avatar at this point, found herself in the virtual New Cap City, playing a Grand Theft Auto-like game involving gangsters and rich 1920's scenery. The rules of the game dictate that when you're killed, you can never play again—and once Tamara realized that she's immortal (with no real life to go back to), she took advantage by running a bank heist against the game's most notorious mobster, infiltrating his organization, and killing everyone in sight. While Caprica's reality is very similar to our modern-day existence and merely peppered with technology, the show's virtual world is a hell of a lot of fun. Prepare to nerdgasm.

Like BSGCaprica's not really "about" sci-fi.

Larger questions are raised almost immediately: If the virtual world, created by Graystone, is plaguing the youth, how can Graystone solve the problem by using more technology? How will Joseph Adama balance his Tauran roots and traditions with the pressure to "fit in" to Caprican society? At what point is a cult not a cult, but rather a viable alternative to the major religious undertones? In a short amount of time, Caprica has already explored racism, family, and living with fear; imagine the drama woven out of an entire season.

Everyone says "frak."

Nostalgia's a powerful persuader.



What do you think of Caprica so far?

Comments (32)
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I enjoy the show. There's not to many good shows with writing like this. Well fringe is a good one.
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And this Adama guy - first he doesn't wat to have a holoband version of his daughter, then he does, than he doesn't and after that he does again, plus he wants his holowife too as a bonus - and all of this in 3 first episodes!
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I must say woth regret that I really don't like this show (I've watched 3 first episodes). It's another disappoitment after BSG. I really can't stand Zoe. Ppl say that she's not a terrorist. Maybe not, but still she is completely off for me - she is diestant, devoid of feelings. She can relate more to terrorists then to her own parents who are suffering in front of her. She is just emptionally absent and serial killer Dexter is a 'warmer person' then she is.
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I can't wait to see how it all folds out to get Zoe to Gemenon. Also I love the interacacy of the entire show not to mention the way a robot is showing emotions to some nerdish computer tech.
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I know for absolute certain, that Caprica will take a huge turn around Episode 9. So for all you sitting on the fence, just hang on for a few more episodes....we won't be disappointed.
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This show is gliding along ultra smoothly at an excellent pace with exceptional acting talent and direction. The writing is par with the matrix of this alien worlds amazing landscape. The last episode “Know Thy Enemy” is evidence that the ball is rolling and can't be dropped. I agree with the articles author in that a sophisticated audience that loves this genre could be enlightened and brought up to speed to attract larger following. A complex alien culture to me is intriguing and a big draw for me. I subjectively think television is typically lacking in entertainment value and the connection for entertainment, is for me…the reason I want to watch this show.
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good enough for awhile, but it needs a little more zoe graystone and less lacy.
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great show
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Half the show is good, but the other half is very weak : Lacy, Sister Clarice, Amanda Graystone, the police agents, and all the religious stuff. So when that weak stuff is on, it's really boring and hard to watch.
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I didn't watch BSG (only saw a few episodes here and there when my dad or husband was watching them) and basically only know the premise that there are Cylons and the Humans and Cylons were fighting each other.

Anyway, not really having watched BSG I really like Caprica and look forward to it each week. It's made me even consider watching BSG. I hope it sticks around, I'm really enjoying it.
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I know almost nothing about BSG so I wasn't sure about Caprica, I agree that it has really gotten better in the last few episodes. I like how they explore reality, and what it means to be alive.
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During the latter half of BSG's initial run, I learned that they were working on a Galatica prequel, and I wanted Caprica canceled like nobody's business because I feared that it would adversely impact BSG (e.g. Eick and Moore having their attentions split; cheesy, retconned BSG plots; etc.). But now that BSG has concluded relatively unscathed, I became more willing to give this show a chance even though I still wasn't too enthused about it. The first episode didn't really impress me, but that's sometimes the case with pilots, and each of Caprica's subsequent episodes have only gotten better. Now I'm semi-hooked. It is, by far, the best new (i.e. current) show on Sci-Fi.
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i was bored the first couple episodes, but the last 2 episodes have become much much better. I'm actually looking forward to the next episode, instead of just watching it because I feel like i should since its is related to BSG. People should really give it a chance.
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It is not that great to me. I am hoping it gets better.
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I hate it actively. It builds on the stupid finale of BSG, which seems to give up all the show's depth to focus on knee-jerk anti-tech preaching. This is even worse, though, making shallow remarks about the pervasive use of technology among our youth, which is always ironic when it is done through CG-heavy film and TV aimed at a squarely 18-35 male demo. All the excesively obvious analogues to modern day US don't help, either.
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I like the show
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I would probably give it a shot if I didn't already watch so many shows already.
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I think the show thus far has been fantastic. Its the ladies that are the best part, Paula Malcomson "Amanda", Polly Walker "Clarice", Magda Apanowitz "Lacy", and Allesandra Torresani "Zoe" are the true strength of the cast and all are doing excellent work. Can't wait to see what the entrance of James Marsters to the cast does. The character seems like its going to be another Marster's tour-de-force role. How can they cancel a show with the best female characters in a drama on television?
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The show so far has its strong elements and its weaker elements. For example, I'm not a big fan of the Cylon Zoe scenes. But its strengths are enough for me to stay interested. I like the deeper look into the culture(s) that preceeded the BSG storyline, and am looking to see more of that. Though the biggest draw for me is the character dynamics with the Greystones and Adamas. I'm enjoying seeing Daniel deeling with the whole holoband controvercy, and the new direction he's taking with the company. Looking forward to seeing more of the connections between that and BSG. Overall a good show. It does have room for improvement, but it's only a few episodes in.
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I've been enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would.
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Hi guys, I was speaking from the perspective of the rest of the characters when I say Zoe was a terrorist. They all think that, even though it's obviously not the truth. But, bottom line, I'm glad you guys like this show too. Let's do this!
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At first I didn't love it but as the episodes go on here in the UK, I think I'm getting too.
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I think that the best part was learning that Cylons run on Linux. In the background of Greystone's home lab, there's a wall of bookshelves. On that wall of bookshelves are Linux titles. By your command...
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I with you. following the dtory every week on sci-fi...oopps....syfy. I hope more people get to discover what a gem this show is.
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I'm loving the show, probably my favorite at the moment. Loved BSG and think this Caprica is doing it justice. Please cross fingers that they don't cancel it. I'm still mourning SG-1 and Atlantis......I also love that other shows have used the word FRAK I think it will catch on....
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FRAKKING GOOD!
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I'm enjoying the show, great escapism and it has this surrealism to it that combines reality and sci-fi in a great package. Don't forget Sister Clarice (Polly Walker) man is she great, she's like a control freak with Hitler like deviousness. She's awesome. The Bong Queen!
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I think it's brilliant. It's currently one of my favorite shows! I just hope it doesn't get canceled any time soon.
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Without a doubt, it will be the most engrossing thriller you'll see on TV, sci-fi or no sci-fi, BSG or no BSG.
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Zoe didnt kill anyone her boyfriend is the frakking terrorist!!
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love it, never watched BSG before and just started to now.
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Zoe doesn't kill people in the terrorist attack. It is her friend who explodes the bomb. She is killed herself. She just thought they were leaving Caprica and joining a cult.

Did you even watch the pilot?
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