Title: Caprica – Feature Length Pilot Episode
Starring: Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Alessandra Torresani
Released: 29th March 2010
Run time: 89 minutes
Set on Caprica 58 years before the events of the Second Cylon War re-imagined in the Battlestar Galactica saga, the Twelve Colonies are enjoying a long period of peace and prosperity. Yet an act of religious fanaticism sets the fates of the Adamas and the Graystones onto a collision course.
It’s the beginning of the end for the human race as Caprica tells the story of how the Cylon race was born. Two rival dynasties, the Adamas and the Graystones, come together briefly, as future events are set in motion. Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz, Pulp Fiction) has developed artificial and biological intelligence. He has developed what I, as a Star Trek fan, would probably think of as a holodeck, where all the kids live out their wildest fantasies – group sex, murder, bloody fist fights, ritual sacrifice, anything goes. His daughter has come up with some way to make her own ‘avatar’ real. When she dies in a terrorist bombing her father wants to use this duplicate of his daughter, Zoe (played to excellent effect by the talented and beautiful Alessandra Torresani – undoubtedly a star in the making – appearing in Caprica in her first recurring roles having had only bit parts on shows such as CSI and Arrested Development), as the basis for a robotic version of his daughter in the body of a Cylon.
However when he comes into direct conflict with the charismatic Joseph Adama (Esai Morales, 24), who has also lost his daughter in the same events there begins a conflict of ethics, science and business as the war for the very survival of the human race looms on the horizon.
I’ve never watched any of the new incarnation of Battlestar Galactica. All I remember is the ill-fated late 70s version starring Dirk Benedict that ran only 24 episodes (although they were each an hour long, so that’s the same as four seasons of 30 hour episodes). It’s testimony to the success of the newly imagined series (that ran for 5 seasons) that it has also spawned this prequel series, which if this feature length pilot episode is anything to go by, will be very good indeed.
I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy Caprica or not but I found it to be absorbing and thrilling even if I wasn’t sure exactly what it was all about. The script and direction are both strong and the acting is also accomplished. I can say that it has certainly whet my appetite for watching more Battlestar Galatica and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to fans of the series as well as Battlestar newbies.
It looks as though we can look forward to at least a full season of 17 episodes.