I started watching Caprica because I wasn't ready to let Battlestar Galactica go. Not yet. BSG was one of those epic shows that stays with you for the rest of your life, like Buffy and Lost. So when I heard they were creating a prequel spinoff I was on board. And then I watched it.
Maybe that sounds a bit harsh. I didn't hate the initial movie and following episodes, it just wasn't at all what I was expecting. I guess what I was mainly looking for were Cylons, and five episodes in, they're in short supply. Caprica is mostly a drama with a touch of sci-fi, significantly less sci-fi than BSG. The premise is fairly simple, two families lives are torn apart when a terrorist blows up a commuter train. One family, the Graystone's, lost their daughter, Zoe, who was actually the girlfriend of the bomber and had no idea what he was planning. The other family was the Adama's. They lost a mother and a daughter, leaving Joseph, the father and William, the son. What happens from here on out will eventually lead to the fall of mankind at the hands of the Cylons.
Zoe Graystone was blessed while she was alive. Not only did she come from a rich family, her father's company invented holobands (a virtual reality program) and the original Cylon shells. She was also a genius. Zoe was in the process of creating an avatar of herself in the virtual world that could exist there without her and now it's all her father Daniel has left. He does a solid for his new friend-in-grief Joseph and recreates Zoe's technology to make an avatar of his daughter Tamara. Joseph never even used a holoband before and becomes understandably freaked out when he sees and feels his daughter in V-World and is told she can't feel her heart beating. He jumps out of the program and both he and Daniel believe her lost forever. In reality, or virtual reality as the case may be, she's trapped there, scared and alone. Zoe on the other hand is a little better off...
She takes being dead fairly well considering, don't you think? Ok, she's not thrilled with being stuck in the body of an 8-foot robot but at least she gets to walk around in the real world. Plus, she finally got to change her dress. She's living in a virtual world for Christ's sake, she could change outfits every two seconds if she wanted to! What was up with that? Geeky sidenote, did you notice the original BSG theme being flipped through on the stereo? None of this sounds particularly bothersome I guess but the show itself moves at a virtual snail's pace. Coming off of the bing-bam-boom of BSG you can imagine how torturous that can be. Everyone talks and talks and even when you think something awesome is about to happen, like the murder of a main character, it doesn't. I'd like more than one cylon and I want them actually doing stuff. Luckily this past week's episode finally took it up a notch in my opinion and really showed me what this drab follow-up to a stupendous sci-fi giant could turn out to be. Tamara has been discovered by users of a particular V-World called "New Cap City," that reminds me a lot of Dark City, and drafted into helping them win. In the midst of learning she can be shot in the game, feel pain but not die, she also learns of her real world death. She also discovers she can alter the code at will in V-World. Now, practically invincible, she appears to be turning into the ultimate badass. Wicked. As if that wasn't a big enough "holy shit" moment, the decision that came later certainly would be. Daniel Graystone has vowed to stop profiting from holobands after pressure from the public who think it's leading to the corruption of their children. Just when his company is about to oust him, he rallies and brings his spectacular Cylon to work. He says they're losing control of the holoband market anyway due to illegal downloads (hint, hint society) and must instead bring the company into a new era - the slave trade. He makes a long speech about how the Cylons are sentient beings then goes on to explain how they can use them for free, endless labor. What Daniel doesn't know is, Zoe is the only reason that Cylon works at all. How will he duplicate the effect? Will he connect the dots and realize a human mind is the only way to get his robot to work? The implications are dangerous at best. Caprica isn't perfect but now it's getting somewhere.