Caprica may seem an unusual choice to cover, given that most people I’ve discussed it with are not fans. I am, but there were parts that I was not overly fond of.
To be succinct, I don’t like the Adama family, and most scenes involving them either annoy or bore me. I’m a sci-fi fan, not a mob show fan. I went into the show expecting to like them, given that Commander Adama is their descendant. I knew from Battle Star Galactica (BSG) that the Adama’s had mob ties, but I hadn’t expected them to be so… repugnant. Fortunately the show has so many positives that it made up for that.
The point of Caprica was to provide a history that would lead to the BSG universe, in which humans are on the run from ‘one true god’ worshiping self aware robots. So the show is in a unique position, in that the conclusion was already pre-determined – it would end with humanity being nearly wiped out. I truly enjoyed most of the story behind how humanity fell, even though it shares some chilling similarities with our own society.
I found the holo-bands and the cyber-worlds they are used to create very realistic, in the sense that when that technology is eventually created, it will most likely be used in similar ways. Especially by teenagers. I also found them to be a good way of providing a basis for the way BSG’s cylons are able to create whatever surroundings they wish, in their minds. It’s the same tech, Cylon style.
And being a lifelong sci-fi fan, I absolutely loved seeing the cylons being developed, especially in that it wasn’t easy. We are having similar difficulties ourselves. The bodies aren’t difficult, but the minds are. The only way I can think of to solve the coordination and decision making problems would be to allow them to re-write their own code, but that just doesn’t sound like a very good idea. I thought it was very logical to integrate an excellently crafted duplicate of a real human mind into the cylon software, and the way they kept switching between Zoe the teenager and Zoe the cylon was chilling, disturbing, and brilliant.
But what really blew me away was how Caprica addressed a concept that I have long believed, that monotheism easily leads to fanaticism and violence. I could go on for pages about what a brilliant insight that is, but I doubt many of you would appreciate it. Polly Walker was fantastic as Sister Clarice Willow, she was haughty, cold, manipulative, and creepy, which is perfect for someone with the goal of killing masses of people while preserving the minds of only true (monotheistic) believers in a virtual world. She wanted to forcefully throw away a peaceful polytheistic society in order to impose her homicidal ‘one true god’ on everyone.
And those teachings are exactly what brought about the genocidal Cylon race.