Now that Caprica has left television, the BSG universe churns on, with a new series set during the first Colonials-Cylon war. Moviehole.net was sent an advance script and posted a spoileriffic summary of the first part of the two-part pilot episode.
What interested me the most was the direct connection to Caprica. And of course, the series is has the word Galactica in the title, so you can draw an inference from that. But since it’s a spoiler, specifics are below the fold:
Caprica will be canceled; there are five unaired episodes left, but they will be yanked from the Tuesday slot and rebroadcast next year sometime.
I’m disappointed, honestly. I was very skeptical of the premise when I heard about it as BSG drew to a close, but Caprica earned its own name and seemed to want to continue the traditioin of exploring the meaning of humanity. The latest episodes introduced another “angel” head-character that also lent a spiritual continuity. The subplot of Lacy joining the STO, the Church on Gemenon, and the war on Tauron all had echoes of modern issues but suitably and safely abstracted. It provided a broader vision of the Twelve Colonies than we ever had a chance to explore aboard Galactica.
However, I think Caprica spent too much time on its ensemble; I was excited that it seemed for a while that Daniel would be a widower, and disappointed that the thoroughly useless character returned. The plot was excruciatingly slow, driven by the cliffhanger formula rather than just resolving things. But still, it would have been nice to see where they went.
We pretty much know how it all turns out. Somehow, Zoe and Tamara are the seeds for true sentience among the Cylons. It would have been interesting to see how the STO and the Taurons factored into the inevitable rebellion of the war machines. And, how they tied it back to the concept of Everything that Has Happened Has Happened Before – after all, as Caprica unfolded, the Five were racing back from the radioactive ruins of Earth 1. Zoe’s angel was revealed to have given Zoe the basic design for Cylons which Daniel copied, and then she herself is destined to become the precursor to their soul. If done well, it could have added real depth to the Galactica mythos.
Unfortunately, since Moore and crew basically made stuff up as they went along and retconned the heck out of the plot with each season, I doubt that Caprica would have answered more questions than it raised. So maybe it’s a good thing Caprica has withered.
I still have SGU – and it’s the best thing on TV until the Doctor returns.
I caught the two-hour series pilot of Caprica on On-Demand a few weeks ago and I have been meaning to comment on it. It’s definitely not a replacement for Galactica, but it clearly wasn’t intended to be. Galactica took an ancient science fiction idea, the question of what makes us human, folded it into religious belief, and created a literal mythos. But Galactica never really asked the question itself – what makes us human? – it showed us the answer as a given. The skin job cylons were presented as human from the start, both the original Earth/Kobol variant and the Colonial variant. The idea that they were still fundamentally machines was never really broached, except as “toaster!” epithets – with the exception of Model One, John. He was the only one to rage at his creators for making him merely human.
somewhat inspired by Mark’s list of games, movies, and anime he intends to watch next, I wanted to list some of the upcoming (and older) series on television that I am going to sample to try and replace the gaping void that Batttlestar Galactica’s ride off into the sunset (literally) has left behind. In no particular order:
Stargate: Universe. This takes the Stargate franchise into a fresh direction, into the unexplored universe far beyond the scope of the previous series (SG1 and Atlantis). The plot premise sounds like a cross between Quantum Leap and Star Trek Voyager – but wit the Stargate writers, the extreme suckage and wasted potential of ST:VOY will hopefully be avoided. This is,however, the Stargate franchise, so expecting the series to take actual risks or bold storylines is probably wishful thinking indeed. Unlike BSG, Stargate plays it safe – characters never die, there are never any major changes to the status quo, and the series prefers technobabble exposition to simple character interaction (a failing it has inherited, though to far less degree, from the Star Trek-ification of science fiction).
Caprica. This prequel series to BSG is styled as a soap opera/drama rather than an action and adventure series. Still, it will be interesting to see how they respect/extend/desecrate the BSG canon. One thing that worries me off the bat is the insinuation that we will be seeing humaniform cylons instead of toasters. Still, with Ron Moore aboard as a producer, hopefully they will avoid the temptation.
Chuck. I caught an episode of this engaging series on a recent United flight and I found myself intrigued. I barely know what it’s about apart from what I inferred from the episode, but Chuck appears to be an ordinary schmoe who somehow has some super classified database implanted in his brain, neccessitating protection by the CIA and involvement in all sorts of silly capers with foreign agents who are trying to learn his (protected) identity. In teh meantime he works at a Best Buy (suitably modified for trademark purposes). This is funnier than it sounds,but it also had some honest emotion too. A major appeal was seeing Adam Baldwin (Jayne from Firefly) playing major supporting role.
Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles. I know this series is rumored for cancellation, but it’s got Summer Glau.
Warehouse 13. This is probably the most anticipated show on my list. The basic idea is to try and mix X-Files with Raiders of the Lost Ark, with two (FBI?) agents assigned to Warehouse 13, a desert government facility where all manner of supernatural objects are stored (think the big warehouse where they stored the Ark in Raiders). The agents are tasked with going off around the world and retrieving more of these objects. The previews suggest that the agents are a lot more interesting, personality wise, than Sculder or Mully ((I mean, they were both deadpan and taciturn. Even Scully’s supposed cynicism about the paranormal became hollow by the end of the first couple of seasons. The only characters with any genuine warmth were the Lone Gunmen)).
I’ll take this moment to ridicule SciFi Channel’s universally-panned name change to SyFy.com (or, as I like to think of it, Siffy). Then again, despite being home to 3 of the 5 series listed above, there’s barely any science fiction on the channel anymore. Most of the time they are showing bad horror flicks like Anaconda or whatnot.