CAPRICA A NEW BREED OF SCIENCE FICTION
It’s science fiction, but not as we know it. Guy Davis invites you to blast off with him to Caprica.
Something like Caprica, one might say. It’s possible that only the odd glimpse of a robotic Cylon or the liberal use of the fictional profanity “ frak” would give a viewer the indication that Caprica, now airing on Seven’s new digital channel 7mate, is a spin-off of the late, great sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica.
Because with the exception of those elements, and some advanced technology that’s a few years ahead of anything Microsoft has developed so far, Caprica doesn’t really seem like science fiction. Instead, it comes across like an edgy drama with well-drawn characters and a philosophical bent. Oh, and robots. Taking place primarily on the planet of Caprica, one of 12 planets colonised by the human race in the distant future, and set 58 years before the rebellion of the Cylons, artificially intelligent robots built for warfare and manual labour, the show intertwines the fates of two families.
Daniel Graystone ( Eric Stoltz) is Caprica’s answer to Bill Gates. He’s a brilliant but ruthless tycoon whose virtual-reality technology has made him wealthy and powerful.
His teenage daughter Zoe ( Alessandra Torresani) may be even more brilliant than he is, but her embrace of fundamentalist religion sees her fall in with a cult-like group responsible for a terrorist attack all too reminiscent of the 9/ 11 bombings.
Two of the people who died in the attack were the wife and daughter of Joseph Adama ( Esai Morales), a lawyer with some dodgy underworld ties. ( If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Joseph is the father of William Adama, who grows up to command the Galactica.)
At first, Daniel and Joseph are bound by their shared grief … but events soon conspire to put them at each other’s throats. In fact, the glory days of Caprica and the other colonies are numbered.
Co-creator Ronald D. Moore, the man behind the Battlestar Galactica remake, has called Caprica the story of “ a society that’s running out of control”, a place so entranced by its own prosperity that it fails to see its own downfall approaching.
Admittedly that doesn’t sound as cool as a show that had armies of fighter planes shooting it out in space, but Caprica could be seen to have more in common with terrific dramas such as Deadwood, Rome or even Mad Men in that it’s a very real, very human story that takes place in a world unfamiliar to its audience.
World’s apart: The cast of includes ( from left) Magda Apanowicz, Alessandra Torresani, Polly Walker, Eric Stoltz, Paula Malcomson, Sasha Roiz and Esai Morales.