Battlestar Baggage: Why SyFy’s Caprica Deserves to be Judged On its Own Merits

Battlestar Baggage: SyFy’s Caprica

February 23rd, 2010

Early on in a show’s run, there is always room for improvement. Every show will take time to find its feet, and whether it’s a rough pilot or a case of pilot repetition or a character that feels underdeveloped, all freshman series will have points of contention.

This doesn’t mean that, from a critical perspective, we forgive the show these problems, but it also means that we don’t rake a series over the coals for them. The critic’s job becomes almost like a meteorologist’s, analyzing the storm patterns (the cast, the plot’s general direction, the world-building, etc.) that could eventually develop into a great series or fizzle out quickly. It’s still very much a personal analysis of the situation: Starz’ Spartacus: Blood and Sand was written off by many critics (myself included) as something which would never evolve into anything worthwhile, but I’m hearing from a lot of fans that the show (so long as you lowered your expectations based on the quality of the pilot) is surprising them, so this (like meteorology) is not a precise science in the least.

It’s not often that I’ll outright question negative responses to particular series I enjoy, but I’ll come right out and say it: I don’t get the tepid response to SyFy’s Caprica. Judged as a new series, Caprica has overcome a weak pilot with a series of episodes that demonstrate a clear sense of the world being depicted, offer a complicated moral tightrope for the characters to walk, and take their time in order to let the show’s fantastic sense of atmosphere sink in rather than be thrown in our faces. While it is not perfect in any way, it is subtle when it needs to be subtle, and doesn’t allow its more large-scale developments to deliver only large-scale consequences, making significant progress from its pilot even while taking the time to ruminate on key themes and ideas.

In short, it’s in pretty fantastic shape for a new series, so I really wish that everyone would start judging it as one.

After watching this past week’s episode, “Gravedancing,” I read a variety of reviews of the episode. Most telling, I thought, were the comments on The A.V. Club’s review of the episode from Noel Murray (he gave it an A-). Some were discussing the intricacies of the episode, quibbling over particular points, but then there was the following response from an Anonymous commenter:

“In short, it seems like Caprica maintains the worst qualities of BSG (things that happen for no reason, melodrama, over acting, pretentious plot lines that are clearly way out of the cognitive league of the writers) while maintaining none of its strengths (Tricia Helfer, beautiful shots of missiles streaking through space).”

Now, as the A.V. Club readership manages to nicely balance the trolls with some intelligent folk, there were some who replied in order to both defend Caprica itself and to criticize the practice of bringing Battlestar Galactica into the discussion. It’s one thing if people don’t like Caprica because they don’t believe it’s quite working: Header Leader, another commenter, admits that “it’s hard for a show to have everything cranking smoothly right off the bat, but we’re getting a few episodes deep now, and I just don’t see things jelling.” I may not see the show in the same light, but he or she isjudging the show on the right merits.

And yes, I believe that the anonymous commenter above is judging the show on the wrong merits. Battlestar Galactica is the elephant in the room with Caprica, there’s no question about it: I get that people didn’t like the finale, and I get that some people have decided to entirely write off Ronald D. Moore and this universe as a result. And I know that since this was positioned as a prequel to that series, there is this sense that the problems with Galactica will somehow transfer over. This is not without some logic (although as someone who thought the finale was fine, I don’t entirely “get it”), and it certainly creates baggage for viewers who were not pleased with how Galactica ended its run.

But those viewers are doing this series, and television in general, a disservice if they are willing to let that baggage define a show early in its run. While spinoffs are generally considered a pretty safe television gambit (economically if not creatively), it’s pretty clear that prequels are more dangerous, especially when they start after the original series has ended in divisive fashion. Some viewers seem to expect that Caprica is faced with the task of redeeming Battlestar Galactica, or is somehow forced to answer for its sins. While these viewers are undoubtedly the minority, there are more who perhaps believed that Caprica would be more space than opera, expecting the show to be more recognizably similar to its predecessor, and are subconsciously caught up on that to the point that they aren’t seeing Caprica’s merits beyond the series which came before it.

There will be a time, once Caprica gets further into its first season, when we can start comparing the two series, but at this early stage in its run the only important question pertaining to Battlestar Galactica is whether or not Caprica is leaning too heavily on that series’ legacy. And while the show has its nods towards its predecessor, including the use of Frak and the presence of William Adama in a younger form, it has never once used the connection as a crutch, consistently resisting the built-in story in favour of drawing characters that stand on their own. There are no gratuitous nods to what Zoe’s creation might make possible in the future, no treacly scenes of Joseph Adama telling his son that some day he might grow up to be Admiral of the Colonial fleet, and no signs that the worship of a one true God could one day become something far more dangerous.

Instead, the show has very much set itself up as the anti-Galactica, telling the types of stories that show was never able to tell due to the sense of urgency and desperation that defined the human population. While Galactica never quite delved into the cultural beyond conflicts which would logically arise in difficult situations, Caprica is able to have Sam take William on a tour of Little Tauron for no other purpose than to consider the characters and their place within that culture. While human melodrama (the opera in “space opera”) had a place aboard Galactica, it is the lifeblood of Caprica, and is being handled with greater subtlety as a result. The show knows what it owes to the series that came before it, but it also knows that it has the potential to go in different directions, and Jane Espenson and Co. have shown a really strong understanding of what makes the series unique.

My concern is that people aren’t seeing that, or that they don’t want to see it. I understand that some people watched Battlestar Galactica for the space battles (I was one of them for a brief period in Season Three – I blame New Caprica for creating expectations the show would never reach again), and that they wouldn’t enjoy Caprica. I also get that some people just don’t like the kind of series that Caprica is becoming, an adult drama series with a sentient robot, WWII-era cultural details, group marriage, and a focus on how humans respond to loss in a world where belief and technology offer unique avenues for our grief. But the fact that the show is willing to go in that direction, willing to step away from Galactica’s shadow and become a show that is fundamentally different from everything else on television, is the type of start which should earn our patience rather than our judgment.

I understand that the show is a tough sell, and I certainly don’t believe that everyone who watches the show has to love it. But the show deserves a shot on its own merits with both potential viewers and, thinking ahead, with SyFy, who has yet to renew the show for a second season (a decision that will likely wait until the show returns for the second half of its season in the Summer) based on ratings lower than they would have hoped. I just hate the idea that I spent years convincing skeptical viewers that Battlestar Galactica was more than just science fiction only to have its prequel series be overlooked based on criteria that, to my mind, is just as arbitrary and just as problematic. Caprica deserves a fair chance at success, and thus far the creative side of things is showing signs of promise that most young series would kill for: let’s not let all that go to waste based on what came before.

This show deserves better than that.

Cultural Observations

  • These bullets will probably be more specific to certain episodes (mainly “Gravedancing”), so if you’ve read to this point and are interested in the series I’d suggest watching instead of reading.
  • This past week’s episode, “Gravedancing,” was (as Alan Sepinwall points out) slower than those which came before, but I consider this a good thing. At this stage in a show’s run, there’s pressure to “keep things moving,” but although we got Amanda crashing the Sarno show and getting abducted by Sam (which, in combination with the Memorial outburst, perhaps connect Amanda too much with these sorts of big displays), the show was more interested in the scenes which followed those big moments. Amanda walking out was followed by a complex and civilized interview that revealed important parts of Daniel’s character (and showed Amanda as capable of remaining under control in those types of situations), while Sam’s abduction was more important for the scene at Joseph’s apartment soon thereafter where Sam diagnoses Joseph as a Caprican in a Tauron body. The show could have made these moments seem sudden or shocking, but it let them play out, and I really liked its effect on those stories.
  • I’ll admit right now that I was sort of in love with the dancing sequence in “Gravedancing,” which I understand were somewhat divisive. It was such a simple sequence of scenes, played out like the start of an awkward flirtation that showed us (without any words from Zoe, keeping it in Philomon’s perspective) how much the robot senses and understands, able to both take offence and perhaps feel flattered at his awkward comments about her chest and able to adapt her dancing to in some way meet his. It demonstrates that Zoe, while able to escape into the virtual world, finds her real world existence more compelling, more “real,” which tied in nicely with Daniel’s comments about how Zoe’s abhorrence of the virtual world was what drove her into the STO.
  • While Sam Adama (played with great subtlety by Sasha Roiz) has been “scary” in the sense that he’s willing to take dark actions, there is no question that Joseph’s mother-in-law is far more terrifying.


Filed under Caprica

26 responses to “Battlestar Baggage: Why SyFy’s Caprica Deserves to be Judged On its Own Merits

  1. I don’t feel BSG comparisons are fair either. It is very much is a different show, and even going into the pilot I was not expecting a planet-bound BSG.

    That said, I’m still with Header Leader in that I don’t see things really working yet. Maybe it’s the genre iconography slippages that are throwing me off (cybersteampunk noir melodrama?) or little tonal issues, like the dancing sequence. I see your point about it, and agree about its narrative place, but it still feels weird (perhaps because Philomon isn’t really fleshed out that it felt creepier than it should have?).

    I’m still watching each week, but it’s more from a lack of options than a real desire (which is also probably clouding my judgement of the show).

    (And yes, Joseph’s mother-in-law’s is way more dangerous. (She was the catalyst for my “What the hell is wrong with this family?” tweet.))

  2. Eldritch

    I’m watching Caprica for now and enjoying it, but I fear it’s still vulnerable to the kind of story devices which ruined Battlestar’s finale (Yes, I’m with the finale haters).

    Moore seems to miss the distinction between fantasy and science fiction. I’ve seen the argument elsewhere that stories don’t have to make sense. But the resolve of Kara was insulting to anyone who likes logical stories. The inclusion of god as minor background character insults god and the religious community. God sends an angel to have sex with Baltar so the last humans can die as subsistence farmers on a primitive planet. Quite the divine plan.

    Moore writes great drama. He just doesn’t care if his stories or characters are grounded in a believable context. He’s more in love with dramatic devices than story integrity. Which character in Caprica will die and return to life with no explanation? Will it turn out that the Tauran mafia uses wizards and magic to overcome it’s enemies? Will a fairy provide the last thing Daniel needs to make the Cylons work?

    In Moore’s commentary on the finale, he explained the scene of Apollo chasing the bird around his apartment, which puzzled many fans. The image of a man chasing a bird came to him in the shower. He actually said he didn’t know what it meant, but it was so irresistible that he couldn’t resist putting it in.

    Caprica’s developing nicely dramatically for now, but when will Moore find a meaningless image he can’t resist which he then inserts into the plot?

    Maybe this easy sense of betrayal is why BSG fans aren’t watching Caprica.

    • Solmyr

      Lee chasing the bird was a perfect metaphor for the whole Lee-Kara relationship. Lee wants to chase Kara out of his life desperately, but when he stops, when he’s not sure anymore if he really wants her to leave him alone, the bird flies away from him, and Kara disappeares. I LOVED it, and I don’t care if Ron Moore didn’t put it in on purpose, but I suspect that wasn’t the case.

      By the way, I absolutely love Caprica, it’s my new favorite show on the air (the previous one was BSG of course :).

  3. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with putting an image in based on instinct rather than with specific metaphorical intention, particularly when it’s one as loosely interpertable as a man chasing a bird, and I don’t mind Moore’s intuitive rather than deterministic approach, but I think it backfired in BSG with the absurdly convoluted Final Five stuff that was just a bunch of plot with no logical emotions.

    That said, Caprica isn’t clicking for me. The reason is primarily that it, like Dollhouse, is a show that’s more interesting in theory than execution. The combination of disparate genre elements seems like a bold tact, but leads to a show that’s just a bunch of disconnected stories and characters with no real hub. The best shows have something tying everyone together, and you don’t have that here. I think the pilot, with its glimpses of a hedonistic future world of decadence, was the best episode to date, and subsequent episodes have been less and less rewarding.

  4. Everybody keeps telling me I need to watch BSG to enjoy Caprica more, and right now I just don’t want to. I always wanted to see BSG and I always promised I would (and I will, eventually), but right now I’m loving every little unique piece of narrative that is Caprica (it’s such an odd show, with such an odd pace, and I love that so badly right now) and every BSG fan I run into has issues with it, that don’t really sound like issues with Caprica itself.

    That said, I totally agree that grandma Adama is the most terrifying character yet. In Gravedacing she made me go ‘WTH’ every time she was on screen.

    As for Amanda, she is like the show. She is totally odd, but I just love her. And you’re right, from Rebirth it seems like she is at the center of every big emotional scene, and she is quickly becoming the emotional center of the show. Maybe it’s because Paula Malcomson is just so good with the outbursts. She is also very good with just being there for Eric Stoltz to play against, and I think that’s why the interview scene works so well. She crashes and she says her piece, but what matters is that you can believe that her presence would be enough for Daniel to change his behavior entirely. The abduction I just didn’t find that effective. I wish it was longer. I think that if we were to believe that Sam had kept her for a few hours it would look more cruel.

  5. Jarom

    Here’s a question to chew on; like the previous commenter, I am watching Caprica never having yet watched a BSG episode (but I plan on it someday). Everyone always talks about judging Caprica through BSG; what might be the repercussions of going the other direction, as I am? There are the mundane questions, such as whether BSG will be spoiled by things I see in Caprica, but there’s a larger issue at stake–without having watched BSG, Caprica wouldn’t really be a prequel, would it? BSG would instead be a sequel … or would it? How might I judge BSG differently seeing it as a sequel to this world? And are the creators even considering that, or are they focusing almost completely on those who have seen BSG?

    • Personally, I think Caprica has plenty of resonance without knowledge of BSG, and while there will be some pieces that you’ll be able to put together earlier than others once you get to BSG they won’t “spoil” anything.

      They’re very different shows but there will be some connections that you’ll be able to make once you dig into the BSG Miniseries. Right now, I don’t think they’re aiming exclusively towards those who have seen the other show, and in fact they’re avoiding that as much as possible to make sure Caprica can stand on its own two feet.

    • Eldritch

      As I see it, so far, Caprica and BSG work well as standalone series. I’ve seen nothing in BSG which spoils Caprica or is necessary to understand its plot threads. The same goes in reverse, Caprica isn’t spoiling BSG. Different characters doing different things.

      So enjoy Caprica now and BSG later as you wish.

      As to the prequel/sequel question, I’d say it’s not relevant. From BSG we know humans invented robots, which became intelligent and eventually revolted. Later they returned to annihilate humans. A small group of humans escaped and were pursued by the robots.

      Caprica is a sequel only in the sense that it’s a story which takes place in the same history. It’s not a prequel in that there’s no overlap in story or characters (with one possible, though negligible, exception).

      For someone who’s seen BSG, however, Caprica can be interesting. We know things about this alien-human culture and it’s nice to see them illustrated. For example, from BSG, we knew the Cylons were monotheists, so it’s interesting to see their theological beginnings.

  6. Pingback: Balancing It Out: ‘Caprica’ « @Number 71

  7. This may not be the place to restart this argument, but you brought it up first, so I’m taking the torch (to use a timely Olympic metaphor). I have been unable to articulate my feelings on the BSG finale for almost a year now because the nay-sayers still make me so upset. I know you sympathize, especially with your whole thing with Lost, and how we should trust the process and everything. So despite my past inability to put my feelings into words, here goes. I strongly feel that the people who call the “God Did It” ending to BSG a cop-out have one of two problems:

    1) They belong to that group of troublesome viewers in television who bring their own expectations to a show with a specific message and purpose and then become angry when that show tells the story it has always wanted to tell (in a very competent fashion, I might add) instead of the one they wanted to hear. The “God Did It” ending was NOT a deus ex machina, simply because it didn’t come out of nowhere. It was telegraphed right there in the mini-series, and clues were shoved in our faces throughout the entire run of the series. I mean, for frak’s sake, Six tells Gaius right away that she is an Angel of God, and I believed her. People who didn’t see that must be in some sort of denial, or repressed the four seasons worth of foreshadowing the writers gave us.

    Or 2) They simply don’t subscribe to the beliefs and ideas that BSG in the end was trying to convey, and having those ideas shoved down their throats was understandably uncomfortable for them. Which, that’s fine, but don’t take your issues out on the show. It’s just doing its thing, and it’s not Ron Moore’s fault (or Espenson’s or Angeli’s or Olmos’s or anyone’s really) that the remarkably consistent messages and themes that ran throughout the entire series do not ring true with you. Just because a thing doesn’t have weight for some people doesn’t mean it can’t be extremely meaningful and beautiful to others (for example, me). I am a huge proponent of the whole “just because you don’t like something, doesn’t mean it isn’t good” thing. I think especially in the case of high-stakes television like BSG there comes a point where you just have to surrender yourself to the storytelling and acknowledge that you are an audience to a story that isn’t yours.

    Does any of that make sense? Because when I write about this, I get upset (even a year later), and when I get upset, my brain loses it’s word-forming functions. Maybe I should have posted this on your BSG post? Oh well.

    • socrates17

      Excellent analysis.
      But I took a different tack towards
      the nay-sayers. I simply ignored them since I found the 2 Daybreaks moving, sincere, and felt they completely and naturally followed from things that had been happening since the beginning of the series.

      The fact that I’m an atheist gave me no problems with the angels and a scripted, extant all-powerful God. I enjoyed The X-files despite not believing in psychic powers or UFOs. The possibility that there are many worlds with intelligent life, which ever more urgently has to have a reply to the Fermi Paradox and which is weakened now due to the lack of hits on SETI, still has an incredibly powerful non-Bayesian statistical basis. However, any even remotely plausible science/technology mandates the conclusion that none of them, no matter how advanced, could or would, or could even afford the resources to cross-interstellar space to come here. Yet I still enjoyed The X-Files main arc until Chris Carter completely lost track of what he was doing and I could only enjoy the stand-alones.

      And then there’s their contact policy of fishing at the shallow end of the gene pool. (Notice I said “contact”, not “believe in” or “think they saw.” Yet I’ve enjoyed shows with Gates, FTL drives, and even Blakes 7 which without even a high tecj hand wave had ships getting half way across the galaxy in a matter of hours in the season 2 finale.

      Don’t even point the word “wormhole” at me without looking up how much energy one would take to generate.

      The existence of an all-powerful god, Eru-Illuvatar, in the books although kept carefully out of sight in the films, didn’t stop me from enjoying Lord of the Rings. There were angels, though. What do you think the Valar were? And the Maiar, including Gandalf, Sauron, Sarumen, were a lesser order of angels when compared to the Valar = Archangels.

      These are TV shows and are presented as fiction. I’d go so far as to say IMPORTANT fiction. Remarkably well made, thoughtful work that engages with issues that are political, social, ethical, scientific, humanist, existential, etc.

      I understand and share fan intensity, but I cannot comprehend a statement that a particular episode or plot point “left a bad taste in my mouth.” Like the Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer song goes “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive”.

      Enjoy what you get out of these shows.
      Quibble about the points that you don’t like, but don’t chuck the baby out with the bathwater.
      Appreciate what you did get.
      Have some respect for opposing opinions. I like to think that I do. I have no problem with even diametrically opposing informed (Harlan Ellison) opinions
      – only the way some people react in ways that suggest the producers had done something inimical to them personally
      – only in the number of times that an episode, arc, or entire series gets written of in some people’s heads over a difference of creative opinion.
      – only in the way negative opinions are often stated as dogmatic fact
      I love Ashley’s excellent suggestion that we should not bring our own agendas These are often set to a hair trigger that will lead us to feel betrayed of those agendas weren’t followed.

      And, yes: Caprica is awesome. My (99% positive) recollections of BSG add resonance, but I think it is well enough done that a BSG background isn’t necessary.

    • d

      Stumbled across this while reading about Caprica, which I will still be giving a chance when it returns. But why all this angst about people not liking the BSG finale? I’m one of them , and I’m fine with you liking it. There’s really no deep mystery as to why people didn’t like it–unlike you, we just don’t feel the ultimate story was told in a competent fashion. I think most of Season 4 is a total mess. But life goes on.

      Have a nice day.

  8. As if my last comment wasn’t long enough, I feel that I should clarify something: by no means do I think the finale was faultless. Kara’s fate was puzzling (I’m convinced the writers just didn’t know what to do with this intense character they’d created), and the climax was a little anti-climactic, however I’m not about to let those two relatively minor quibbles ruin my enjoyment of such a great series.

  9. Complex

    Great Piece, but having recently re-watched the BSG finale with Ronald Moore’s commentary, I’m actually more dumbfounded than ever on how anyone can think the finale was good.

    I don’t hold BSG against Caprica, but when you look at how Moore ended BSG, it’s hard to get invested in anything Moore will do in the future because of the way he approached the BSG finale.

    He admits in his commentary he put off writing the finale until the last minute, wasn’t sure what he was going to do and, I quote, “Wasn’t all that emotionally invested in it when I turned it in,” and therefore was “Surprised it turned out as well as it did.”

    That statement was so ridiculous as to defy reason. The finale clearly showed Moore wasn’t invested in the show any longer. He even admitted he already was spending most of his time developing the Caprica pilot.

    A few points that bother someone who is trying to make a living as a writer.

    1. The Final Five: They weren’t Cylons when the show was conceived and no amount of retconning was going to change that. The Explanation was weak and almost insulting given the contradictions.

    2. I had no problem with the show being written in arcs, but bad decisions made during the latter part of the third season only got compounded in the fourth. The Final Five storyline became mired in its own BS. They would have been better off casting five new actors and just having them show up. It would’ve been better than what they did do.

    3. Starbuck: Telling us in the commentary it was a “bold decision” to not explain her situation would’ve been correct had that been the intended artistic direction instead of just a cop out because they couldn’t think of anything better.

    4. Cavill’s Suicide: Made no sense. I don’t even know where to start on this one, it’s that dumb.

    5. Starting Over: So . . . . ALL 39,000 survivors decided they didn’t want technology anymore? My suspension of disbelief only goes so far.

    6. Gaeta: His storyline felt forced and weak. Not saying there wouldn’t have been some kind of uprising, but it just didn’t work for me how it played out. This is a 3,000-word Essay by itself.

    I still love BSG, there are elements of the finale that are very good, and I still recommend the show to people, but when the producer of the show so clearly gives up to focus on other things, it makes me not want to invest any time in anything else he might do.

    Even if Caprica gets renewed, the last season will come, and there’s nothing stopping Moore from once again deciding to shift his focus to a new project and slap together another sloppy, argument-inducing finale.

    • Bourney

      1 and 2. The Final Five: Actually, they were Cylons since the shows inception as BSG is governed by something known as preordained harmony. Case in point, Anders group being the only identified survivors (what about search and rescue missions on any of the other planets?). Back on Caprica, it was made rather blatantly clear by Boomer that the Cylons control over the planet is rather complete i.e. the Cylons chose who lives and who dies. Helo also noted that he and Boomer were the only colonial survivors. The fact that they let Anders group live is a heavy hint at him being a Cylon.

      3. That’s right, it wasn’t explained because that’s the WHOLE POINT. It’s up to the viewer to come to their own conclusions.

      4. Cavil was a cynical narcissist, his behavior was perfectly within his character.

      5. THIS IS THE WHOLE FRAKKIN POINT OF THE SERIES (idiot), Adama says something along the lines “you’ll notice the decidedly low tech approach to the ship’s design” at the very beginning.

  10. Craig Ranapia

    OK, I’ve got a serious question here: Would ‘Caprica’ get half as much shit about “being slow and boring” and not having any “sympathetic characters” if it wasn’t SF?

    I ask because I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say ‘Mad Men’ is one of the most praised American dramas of the last decade, and I do love it — but not for the fleet-footed storytelling and lovable cast.

    I’d argue that SF television is still expected to be (at heart) a string of nice self-contained action-adventure shows, with liberal use of the third act reset button where nothing every has lasting consequences and the characters don’t really change. I’m not saying that’s an illegitimate mode of story-telling (as my long shelf of Stargate and Trek DVDs would testify) but it’s not the only one.

    • I completely agree with you. There are a tone of similarities between the tones of Caprica and Mad Men, and aside from the robots, they’re both concerned with telling the same kinds of stories.

      • Yeah, I think that’s the case too. It’s very rare for me to read comments where the show is being judged by itself. In fact, I’ve read reviews that actually talk more about BSG, with spoilers for the people that didn’t see it.

        It was a problem TSCC had too. Sometimes the show would just try to be a character show and people would hate it. They couldn’t do it, because people just wouldn’t respond to it. Everybody was always wanting lots of action scenes and were just veru unhappy whenever the show slowed it’s pace.

        I think that Caprica might have that problem too, but I think they did a smart move, which was to focus very much in this reflexive, character driven type of narrative this early on, so the public gets used to it and know that it’s what the show it’s going to look like most of the time. And people who want an action packed show are just going to drop off already, which is bad for the numbers now, but I think is gonna give Caprica a more solid, supporting fan base.

  11. beautifully written essay. I am new to the BSG universe, having only seen the last season of the show, but I love Caprica. The world-building being my favorite aspect of the show. I am not bothered by the slow dramatic pace, and because we all know what will eventually happen in the BSG universe focusing on the details of a culture right before its collapse is the most fascinating part. I hope the show gets renewed.

  12. Ian

    I don’t know where this fits into the argument, but I watched Caprica by chance not realizing — for several episodes — that it had anything to do with BSG, which know little about, but will definitely seek out — because I enjoyed this show so much.

  13. Hello just came across your blog and been reading some of your posts and just wondering why you chose a WordPress site dont you find it hard to do anything with? Been thinking about starting one.

  14. Pingback: Caprica – “There is Another Sky” « Cultural Learnings

  15. MBer

    I didn’t watch Battlestar RonMooreica; I have too much love for the original series. It was 1977 and I was 9 when I went to the movies and saw something about a kid from the desert who goes off to save a princess and destroy a huge space station. But after that, you couldn’t watch it anymore…no DVD, no VHS, not even Beta, it wasn’t even on TV until 1983.
    Enter the Alpo-hawking Lorne Greene and his Battlestar…with fighters that look and function like airplanes and shoot red lasers…with enemies who are faceless and fly weird-looking ships…and hey, this was the only way to get a Star Wars fix in those days. So even today, when it looks so campy (Dirk Benedict has to be the campiest actor EVER), I still love it. Thank you Hulu!
    But Caprica is a totally different animal. The characters are so rich, especially the Adamas. The parallels to modern-day society are so chilling. The production design keeps the viewer interested and alert. The viewer’s expectations are constantly being challenged. And Paula Malcolmson makes me melt.
    Yousef’s Mother-in-law Ruth? Seriously scary. Her dialog about Tauron children playing jacks left my jaw agape for about an hour.

    I just hope hope hope that the same dirteaters that bitched and moaned about the excellent “Star Trek Enterprise” don’t kill Caprica.

  16. Pingback: Caprica: There Is Another Sky (s1e5) | The Ashcan

  17. Pingback: Scene-ic Storytelling: Philosophy and Memorability in SyFy’s Caprica « Cultural Learnings

  18. Red

    I love Caprica and have written to SyFy to tell them so. I have not seen BSG but will start this week.

    My take is that this is an adult character drama in a sci fi setting. I am not watching it for the battle scenes. As life long female sci fi fan, what I enjoy are the characters, the plot, the world building, the ideas and consequences.

    I recently watched Buffy and Angel, in massive marathons. I watched all of Buffy first, then Angel. They are 2 completely different shows in the same world and I enjoyed each on their own merits.

    What I do have the advantage is knowing that the ending of BSG is about angels so can watch for foreshadowing. And being an atheist, it will be intersting to see if I pick up on those clues as easily as a religious person would. On the other hand knowing the Zoe/STO connection should help.

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