So the DVD release of Caprica comes out this Tuesday, telling the tale of the first Cylons (well, the first Caprican Cyclons), and the hand that two families, the Graystones and the Adamas (yes, you read that right), had in their creation.
I came into this with mixed feelings. After all, as much as we say we want more, sometimes isn’t leaving a memorable piece of work with a beginning, middle, and end, alone enough? Look at the multiple attempts to jump back into the Babylon 5 franchise. Even Star Wars…we all wanted more, but, really, wasn’t the original trilogy a perfect piece of storytelling in it’s own right? Was Halloween‘s story of Michael Myers’ youth worth the hassle? Would a tale of a young Dumbledore add to the Harry Potter mythos, or take away from it?
Read my full review after the jump to get my thoughts on Caprica to see if it’s worth your $20 this Tuesday.
Caprica is probably the strongest pilot I’ve seen for a television series since the original Battlestar Galactica miniseries. Strong words, I know, but I feel that, honestly, the pilot/movie is probably best experienced knowing as little as possible. I knew it was about the creations of the first Cylons on Caprica, so that wasn’t a surprise, but the emotional storyline thread holding the pieces together was fantastic. Again, the less you know the better so, if you want some mild spoilers, keep reading. If not, suffice to say that you should pick up this movie on Tuesday, without question, especially since it’ll be a while before this comes to television and, when it does, it will be a much more edited version than what’s on display here. And it’s a damn good show even if you know nothing about Galactica.
Minor spoilers from here on in….(highlight to read)
Caprica is the story of Daniel Graystone (it’s not stated that he’s the “Daniel” cylon model mentioned in Galactica, but it would make sense), a man who’s trying to create a cylon already when we first meet him, but failing miserably. The darn thing just won’t do what he needs it to do. Turns out though, that he has a daughter, Zoe, who’s a genius in her own right, and has been working on creating, literally, an online version of herself. A perfect replica that has a thinking mind in its own right. When Zoe is killed trying to run away from home in a terrorist bombing, Daniel comes across the online “Zoe” and realizes that, with his cylon technology, and the exact replica of Zoe that exists online, he just might be able to bring her back to life. Kind of.
Minor spoilers off…
I’m actually kind of surprised that the pilot was as down-to-Earth as it is. Given the metaphysical nature of Galactica’s ending, I’m surprised that, despite the talk of multitheism vs. monotheism, there aren’t already “angels” and “prophets.” In fact, it feels almost as if this movie was written right around the time Gaius Baltar was preaching about the “one true God” in Galactica, instead of closer to the ending of that show. Still, the conflicting religions are at the forefront of this show, in a less metaphysical way, and more in a battling kind of way. The monotheists are more of a terrorist group than anything, and even thinking of a “one, true God,” can lead someone to be suspected of terrorism.
The acting is phenomenal all around and, just as with Galactica’s earlier episodes (especially the premiere), there is a heavy amount of genuine emotion to the procedings. The finale is heartbreaking, but sets up for a very interesting storyline that will follow in the series. One More spoiler (highlight to read): The Adama’s relation to the creation of the Cylons, and the fact that they are, essentially, part of an organized crime family, is also really intriguing, and I am anxious to see how little William Adama gets out of that lifestyle to become the Commander Adama we know and love.
I’ve already really said too much. Buy the show, but don’t watch it with kiddies – there is nudity, and some violence. And I don’t mean Galactica nudity, I mean REAL nudity. I was genuinely surprised, but this show is for adults, and makes no bones about it. This isn’t Galactica 90210 – this is a genuine prequel that, ultimately, manages to feel like it’s own show. While us Galactica fans will find plenty to love about this show, I think our non-Galactica loving spouses/friends will find plenty to love about this show as well. It’s science fiction that doesn’t feel like science fiction.
Pick it up Tuesday, or purchase using the link below!