Caprica : The Pilot

Caprica – although I’ve read about and heard about this prequel to Battlestar Galatica (Sci-fi has fallen to the prey of prequels big time) for a while, it was only two nights ago that I thought of getting a download of the pilot and watching it. I was/am a huge fan of the original series and although I get the new BSG, I’m not a fan of the very Earth like appearances that they have. Like cars, clothes (suits, hats & ties), houses, politics & religion. It’s all so Earth-like! I know a whole bunch of people like that element but this is a world that is supposed to be thousands of light years away from us and that existed eons ago. Why would they have the same things that we do, albeit a lot more advanced? That is just so that non-Scifi geeks (unlike geeks like me) can get it through their un-imaginative brains!

Lol, all jokes aside, I do like the new BSG and now Caprica too – well going by the pilot, it is a little dull in places but my interest is high. The pilot starts 58 years before the destruction of the 12 colonies and William Adama is but a young kid of 11. We see the two central families of the series – the Adamas & the Graystones – brought together in grief over the deaths of loved ones in a religious terrorist attack. Daniel Graystone (Eric Stotlz) is a wealthy scientist who creates the first Cylon, the mechanical race destined to destroy the Twelve Colonies. Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) is a boarder-line corrupt lawyer tied to the Tauron mob.

The terrorists believe in one god, while the rest believe in many gods. Graystone lost his daughter, Zoe (Alessandra Torresani), a 16 year old genius who created a virtual reality world. Her feelings, memories & emotions are stored in an avatar in this world. Adama lost his daughter & wife in the same terrorist attack – Ben Stark (Avan Jogia), who along with Zoe & Lacy are tied to the one god religious thinking, detonates a bomb in the train in which he, Zoe & Adama’s wife & daughter are travelling in.

When Daniel discovers this virtual world & Zoe’s avatar through her best friend Lacy, he has but one aim – to bring forth his daughter into a new artificial body. The first attempt is to download her avatar into his metallic cylon (so happy to see the original design here) but it looks like a failure. Adama is initially intrigued at seeing his daughter’s avatar in the virtual world but is soon disgusted with what Daniel wants to do. He does not think that the artificial bodies will substitute for their lost daughters and wants no part of it.

Towards the end of the pilot, Graystone gets the contract for a government project to build & distribute his cylons, after a convincing demonstration of it’s military aspects. And then the cylon with Zoe’s downloaded avatar reactivates itself and is horrified to see that she is in a robotic body and panics. She contacts Lacy for help.

Positives: – strong cast, character depth and a strong plot (even if I hate the religious overtones that post 9/11 has affected television) and good special effects. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the story unfolds.

Negatives:- what is more than a nod to Islam (Yousef Adama indeed), too much Earth like appearances, with an unimaginatively disguised tennis court & game, Earth clothes, shops, buildings & general outlook. Come’ on Ronald Moore!

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