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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Caprica Review

Dvd content: violence, nudity.


How do you follow one of the greatest television shows ever made? With a terrestrial bound, domestic drama with a known outcome; that makes sense right? Ok, that was my reaction too. But then again the fact that BSG took so many chances is why it made for such compelling TV.

Why didn’t they continue BSG for another year or two? Or go back even further to the story of the final five? One idea I read from a fan sounded great to me, and that was another series where it was the same story only with different actors in different parts; since all of this has happened before and all of it will happen again. I don’t think that would have worked as a series, but maybe as a season of BSG set during an earlier exodus.

Caprica tells the story of the aforementioned colony 58 years “before the fall.” Moore continues the dating around “the fall,” the same way he treated it the last few episodes of BSG. And one can see the first sequences of Caprica as an example of the debauchery and evil which the Angels described at the end of BSG, and there seems to be some rather Old Testament preludes to destruction going on here too. But suddenly, we realize that all of that isn’t real, but the product of a virtual world.

In the real world, Dan Greystone and Joey Adams (Joseph Adama’s less ethnic Caprican name) form a strange bond after Greystone loses his computer genius daughter (played by the girl who played the first Ann Veal on Arrested Development who here is very not Ann Veal (read: Hot)) and Adama loses his wife and daughter in a terrorist act; an act which Greystone’s daughter is mixed up in somehow, caused by a militant monotheistic group.

Greystone is a robotics engineer working on getting the military contract to build what will become the Cylon centurions, and Adama is a defense attorney who’s morally torn by allegiances to the Taurian mob which paid for his education after the deaths of his parents.

Like BSG, religion plays a central role in the show. But a new addition is a more direct focus on race; Tauron’s are considered dirty immigrants by the Capricans. The show, now completely planet bound, is essentially a dark, slow-paced family drama. But the show is extremely well put together; Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales are excellent in the two lead roles, the show is very well shot, the art direction is subtle but top notch, and Bear McCreary, who also did the music on BSG, continues to do some of the best soundtrack work on TV.

I’m not sure how this would work as a series; its premise seems too compact and limited to really sustain itself for very long. Then again many thought the same about Galactica.

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