The Sci-Fi Network has finally, finally agreed to put the new Galactica spinoff/prequel Caprica on the air … and not just as a pilot. We have a full series coming, with a two-hour pilot film. How cool is this? It gets cooler: Caprica will star Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales and Polly Walker, three actors I groove on big-time.
This is a look backwards into the previous generations of the Adama family as people living on the very, very-Earthlike Caprica experiment with artificial intelligence (hmmm, where will this lead?). The pilot is in the can, and the series is underway. Here’s the official press release:
Set 50 years before “Battlestar Galactica,” “Caprica” follows two rival families — the Graystones and the Adamas — as they grow, compete, and thrive in the vibrant world of the 12 Colonies, a society recognizably close to our own. Enmeshed in the burgeoning technology of artificial intelligence and robotics that will eventually lead to the creation of the Cylons, the two houses go toe-to-toe blending action with corporate conspiracy and sexual politics. “Caprica” will deliver all of the passion, intrigue, political backbiting and family conflict in television’s first science fiction family saga. As the series begins, a startling development is about to occur — the creation of the first cybernetic life-form node or “Cylon” — the ability to marry artificial intelligence with mechanical bodies. Joseph Adama (Morales) — father of future “Battlestar” commander William Adama (Najafi) — a renowned civil liberties lawyer, becomes an opponent of the experiments undertaken by the Graystones (Stoltz), owners of a large computer corporation that is spearheading the development of these living robots: the Cylons. (from Sci-Fi Network)
Caprica is going to be a lot like Earth, but slightly different. This is something that I have always liked about the reincarnated Battlestar Galactica; the characters are named Bill and Tom and Laura, and aside from a very different religious structure and, of course, space travel, the universe they inhabit is not too far removed from 21st-century Earth. The few images released so make me think the producers didn’t have to worry about the wardrobe budgets that usually affect science fiction TV, and just went to Sears.
I tend to think framing science fiction in this manner makes it more accessible to the general public. Some science fiction works around this by telling very human stories in a non-human or futuristic setting. Galactica decided to dump a lot of the trappings of the original and just tell stories about humans like us in a place like ours doing things like we do … just not on Earth. I found it brilliant from the get-go and expect more of the same from Caprica.
As Galactica winds down, it’s good to see there will be something to take its place.