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Caprica

CoverThe series finales of your favorite television programs tend to leave a strange taste in your mouth. That taste is often both an appetite for still more adventures with your favorite clan of characters, be they Buffy’s Scooby gang or the crew of a Federation starship, and the ill-inducing sensation that what just transpired wasn't as satisfying as you anticipated. The finale of Ron Moore's re-imagined Battlestar Galactica this spring left neither. Viewers, myself included, seemed for the most part, satisfied.

The finale did leave us something—an onslaught of trailers promising more. Fans in the know had heard rumblings but were treated to the trailer for not only "The Plan," a two-hour stand-alone movie chronicling series' events from the Cylon perspective, but also the long-awaited first scenes of prequel series Caprica. Casual viewers may find themselves waiting until January 2010 for more; that's when SyFy (the new moniker of the SciFi Channel) will begin airing the series. But the show made its debut in April on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download. The series stars Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales and Magda Aponowicz set in the colonies 58 years before the cylon war we've heard so much about.

In a world intoxicated with its own success, technology looks to be taking a dangerous turn. In the first few scenes we see teenagers entranced with boundary-bending virtual technology and a robot as a mundane household servant. At its core Caprica is a story about two families with a somewhat intertwined destiny. Daniel Greystone is a businessman, robotics by trade, at the top of his game. Joseph Adama, yes, THE Joseph Adama, we know is a lawyer working in Caprica City, a flourishing metropolitan area that recalls most futuristic depictions of city life, minus any grit or grime. Early on a tragic accident claims the lives of a few of their family members, inciting the events that will lead to… well, we know what happens eventually.

Overall I'm not generally a fan of prequels. There's something about the origin story that just doesn't work for me when we already know the outcome. But this is where Caprica stands apart. Not only does it establish a mythology that while not conflicting with the BSG time stream also blazes new ground, but, by episodes end, a familiar endoskeleton is already in the picture as a major player. If you were a fan of BSG, you'll probably be a fan of Caprica. While the parent series explored aspects of religion, war and politics, this offspring promises a little of the same (terrorists of the one, true god) with more to build on while asking us the ultimate question—what exactly does it mean to be human?

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