I think that helped.
I guess I should explain that first. I went into “Caprica” with very, very low expectations. The trailer looked interesting, if not overly compelling, and while I’ve been feeling some fierce “Battlestar Galactica” withdrawal since the show ended (sniff), I was not expecting much from this show.
Granted, “Caprica,” the kickoff miniseries for the series that will premiere sometime next year, is not “Battlestar Galactica.” It doesn’t have the immediate hooks of the BSG miniseries, or the strong characters (male or female) its mother ship had. It’s also heavy on the talking and light on the action, another aspect BSG managed to balance more often than not.
So, that’s what the show isn’t; what’s left is something that is more compelling than I thought and a setup that is a bit heavy with the speeches but leaves some intriguing possibilities for the future.
We begin 58 years before my beloved BSG begins, and Caprica is a land of decadence and general moral decay. Zoe (Alessandra Toreson) thinks she’s found a way out of the dark by keeping a copy of herself in a virtual reality club. She has plans, we don’t know what, for her copy, but before she and her friends can make it to Gemenon (for the uninitiated, another planet), her friend and fellow monotheist Ben (Avan Jogia) blows up the train they’re on.
Also on that train were Tamara and Shannon Adama, the daughter and wife of Joseph Adama (Esai Morales), a lawyer with some unsavory connections to an organized crime family. Zoe’s dad, Daniel (Eric Stoltz), reaches out to a fellow father, and they bond over shared grief, an uncertain future, and Pyramid (a basketball-esque game).
Daniel, like his daughter, is also a computer genius and when he accidently meets Zoe’s copy, he comes up with a plan to get this copy back to the real world, to conquer that pesky problem of life after death. He ropes in Joseph by promising the same thing for Tamara and Shannon … and our series begins.
My biggest fear for “Caprica” was that it would combine the religious aspects of BSG (something I never really got in to) with the boredom of the Caprica scenes from season one and become something unrelentingly unpleasant. I’m glad I was wrong; yes, there were definitely some hiccups here and there, most notably Morales’ overly chilly performance, but I liked it. A lot.
“Caprica” was not love at first sight; but it does make the BSG goodbye easier.