The pilot aired last Friday, January 22nd, and the first episode of the first season will air, this Friday, January 29th.
Now, many fans had already seen the pilot, which was released directly to DVD in 2009. When I picked it up, my boyfriend immediately said that it was not a good thing, this direct to DVD thing. The fact is, while I had followed the Caprica news since day one, he didn’t, and I knew a little more than he did. It’s true that usually, a direct to DVD pilot is not a good sign. It usually means the networks aren’t ready to give it a green light and are afraid of the outcome. While not entirely false, I suppose, Caprica’s early release was more of an experiment from the executive producers rather than the network. Why? To see the fans reactions, see where they were doing something wrong, and straighten it before the series officially began in 2010. Was it a good move? I think so.
I admit that my first viewing of Caprica left me with a sense of emptiness. With Battlestar Galactica’s recent ending – which I liked, by the by; take that hardcore haters who refuse to watch anything written by Ron Moore anymore over 1 hr of an entire wonderful and captivating series – it was strange to step back on Caprica, even more so when so little was shown of the Colonies before their fall. Even so, the bits we got to see in character flashbacks showed a different view of Caprica, somehow more connected to the world we learned to love in BSG then what was showed in the new Caprica series. That’s something I bit my lips over. I didn’t like this new Caprica, it didn’t look like Starbuck’s apartment, and it didn’t look like it did when we first saw Baltar and Six before the Fall. It also didn’t look like the Caprica we saw when Roslin walked under the fountain at the end. Why did it bother me so much? Why was the change, much more western now, making me feel annoyed?
It took a while for me to understand why the changes were done. I came to realize it at the beginning of January when I was babysitting my parents’ cat and stumbled on good old photo albums. I had seen them before, but it had been a while and I felt like looking through them again. I felt that uneasiness settle in again, the same I got when watching Caprica. I saw my father, no more than 20 years old, standing by his old, really ugly khaki car, and the world around him was so different then mine that it made me feel out of place. The more I looked at these pictures, taken 20, 30, 40 even 50 years ago in some cases, the weirder I felt. And suddenly, I understand. The world changed. Where am I going with this? Some fans of Caprica argued they also did not like the Western feel they got from in, unlike what they saw on BSG. The world changed. Simple as that. 50 years ago, cars were different, buildings were different, houses and streets were different... Caprica is set 50 some years before the Fall and the beginning of Battlestar Galactica. That it should look and sometimes feel so different makes much more sense now, and I feel better watching it. 50 years is a long time to change the world, and more so when a terrible war raged over it for over a decade.
The other aspect some fans did not like from the Western feel was that it seemed to make no sense with the world of the Colonies. And yet, these BSG fans forgot something very, very important. “All of this has happened before and will happen again”. That it should look similar to our world today is not so out of context anymore, now is it? That civilization as we know it is engrained within us is really not that strange either. While there are some differences, we’re destined to repeat the same patterns over and over. So, yes, I believe that Caprica looking more western makes quite some sense.
The overall story, I found more captivating after my second viewing. The biased BSG fangirl within me had quieted down at least long enough for me to enjoy the television pilot more than the DVD pilot. In Battlestar Galactica, the skin job Cylons will refer to themselves as children, children of humanity, etc... Their behaviour toward humanity is sometimes so exaggerated that you could sometimes feel as though they really were children rebelling against their parents. And by watching Caprica it came into such a light it could have been written on the screen word for word.
Zoe Graystone was a 16 year old prodigy who, as her mother put it later, enjoyed finding new and creative ways to piss off her parents. The rebellion has already begun, but is made that much clearer when Zoe decides to leave Caprica for another colony, leaving her parents behind with nothing but a little note she was unable to send before a suicide bombing took her life. Zoe was gifted when it came to computers. She understood how the human brain worked, and thus created the very first perfect AI. This AI was a perfect digital copy of herself who felt everything Zoe felt at the same time. With the real Zoe gone, the last feeling D-Zoe felt was a terrible grudge against her parents, teenage rebellious hormones, and fear. What a cocktail. Her father, a genius (or mad) scientist known across the colonies, finds out about her deceased daughter’s project and decides to use it to “bring her back”. The experiment seems to fail at first and D-Zoe’s data is lost in the process of transferring her into the first Cylon body. The added data, however, helped calibrating the war machine and the initial project of the Cylon creation became funded and underway. Unknown to Zoe’s father, however, D-Zoe’s data was not lost in the Cylon body and she becomes trapped in the Centurion.
See where am I going with this? A teenage, grudgy girl trapped in a Cylon body? It already tastes bitter, and with reason. We already know the first Cylon War will happen a few years from then – the Cylons rebelling against humanity. All of this seems to be residual data of teenage angst against their parents. And here comes the “The children of humanity rebelling against their parents” bit once the Fall of the Colonies takes place. Furthermore, it emphasizes the Cylons’ desire to become human. The trailer of the very first season of Caprica was enough to emphasize this greatly. D-Zoe obviously grows more and more bitter with everything she comes across in the outside world. It’s highly likely to feel like humanity does not deserve to live – and well, the Cylons highly believe they don’t.
Now for the characters, I was not entirely certain about them at first. I admit, Zoe’s tantrums got on my nerves. But she’s growing on me, little by little. It’s amusing to see William Adama as a child, although I get annoyed each time I see his dark eyes – which should be BLUE! The Adama’s and Graystones appear to be colourful families this far, and I can already tell that I’m going to despise Daniel Graystone as much as I once did Gaius Baltar.
The score also sets a different mood, but there are little hints toward BSG that made me glitter in fangirlism again. As such, whenever the Cylon Centurion is introduced, the drum beats we got so used to in BSG make a triumphant return, reminding us that this world as soon to be at its end. One bit in the pilot replays Bill Adama’s theme and made me adore that scene even more. Bear McCreary is back and strong thus far, and let’s hope his work will be as good as BSG and Sarah Connor Chronicles.
All in all, I enjoyed Caprica, but I know the real challenger begins this Friday, with the first official episode which will lead us into the spiral of the story. I like that the series does not necessarily require its audience to have watched BSG, but it might make them want to watch it once this is over. I’m hopeful we’ll get a glance of the first Cylon War as well, even for half an episode. I feel the series may very well conclude with the first Cylon War, or perhaps the Fall.
Regardless, it’s a series that feel like it could be strong and might set SciFi’s bar again. SciFi is NOT all about Battleships and explosions, and I enjoy a lot more of the psychological aspect then the boom boom. I think people holding a grudge against BSG’s finale need to grow up and move on and to give Caprica a chance. Remember that while you may not have liked or enjoyed BSG’s finale, you enjoyed roughly 80 hours of it until the last hour.
Also, it was said from the get go that this would be different from Battlestar Galactica. So why the long faces? You already knew! Maybe I’m too lenient (I’ve been told the same with Silent Hill from people who haven’t even played the last games), but this is my opinion on the matter. I just think that some people are missing out on something that has more potential then believed.
Plus... James Marsters is going to be on the show. Come on people, James Marsters! Spike in a BSG universe? Yes please! Anyone else thinks he could have been a cool cylon? XD lol