DVD Review: “Caprica” (y’know – that BSG prequel)
Just as the series finale answered the question “what if someone crossed Battlestar Galactica with Lost?” this direct to DVD movie (soon to be a pilot) answers “What if BSG was crossed with Dallas and the Sopranos?”
(some small spoilers below the fold).
First, it should be noted that this DVD is “unrated” and would likely recieve a PG-13 or even R rating due to some nudity, group sex, and blood.Â Interestingly, it’s pretty obvious which parts will be cut, as some of the other “adult content” is rather TV tame (the one extended sex scene is quite tame and shows very little, whereas several scenes in a virtual nightclub contain lots of brief and not so brief glimpses of nudity and group gettin’ it on).
The story follows two families, both connected because their daughters died in a terrorist bombing.Â The families are the Adams (actually Adama, but they changed their name to avoid prejudice, as young Bill Adama’s father explains to him) and the Graystones, the creators of the Cylons.
Caprica is a polytheistic and rich but decadent and racist society.Â The youth generally spend their time in virtual nightclubsÂ where they engage in all manner of extreme violence and sexual perversions.Â The Adama family comes from Tauron, a backwater planet looked down upon by the rich people who run Caprica.Â Joseph Adams/Adama was made an orphan in a civil war on Tauron, and was raised on Caprica.Â The Tauron mob (a Mafia/Yazuka type outfit) paid for Adama’s law schooling and ask him for small favors here and there, though he wants to get out from under their thumb.
Daniel Graystone’s daughter ZoÃ« (a name that annoys me because the actress has more than a passing resemblance to Zoey Deschanel) has created a virtual copy of herself that thinks and feels.Â She is also secretly a monotheist.Â However, the monotheists are a rather militant group that engages in terroristic acts.Â ZoÃ« dies when her boyfriend decides to suicide bomb a train they are both on.
Her father is five years behind on creating a robot that can be used for military purposes.Â The robot needs to learn to act independently.Â He thinks he can do it if he has a piece of technology from a rival company.Â Knowing about Adama’s mob ties, he befriends him, asking him to steal his rival’s tech.Â And then Mr. Graystone stumbles upon ZoÃ«’s virtual copy.Â Meanwhile, Jospeh Adama wants to move away from the mob, but when Daniel promises a way to get his daughter back, he finds himself driven further into the Tauron crime syndicate.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie – enough so that I look forward to the series.Â There are a few discrepancies – for a series set almost 60 years before BSG, some of the technology seems more advanced than what BSG had access to, and some of it seems to have hardly changed at all.
The character dramas are compelling, though.Â This is a very different series than the BSG that just ended.Â It’s Dallas and the Sopranos set in space, as I said above.
The only sour spot is that Ron Moore (once again, as in the New Caprica storyline) seems to justify suicide bombing as a legitimate means of social protest.Â However, as this is only the pilot, it’s hard to see where he is going with this underground monotheistic cult, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that as the series progresses this will be addressed.
A highly recommended view, though it’s not for kids.Â I’m sure the edited for TV version will be more family friendly, though.