Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Save Caprica!

So, I watched the marathon run of the last five episodes of Caprica and I have to say... I want more! The Syfy network has got to make money, I get that. And Caprica apparently wasn't profitable enough for them. What I find most sad about this is the fact that the more profitable a TV show is, the less likely it is to be viewed by an intelligent audience that can discern quality from fluff.

Some of the complaints about Caprica that I've read have concerned the fact that it is so much different from Battlestar Gallactica. What's ironic about that statement is that most people knew that going in. It wasn't a surprise. From its very inception, it was compared more to episodic soap operas like Dallas than to BSG. There were also complaints that there wasn't enough action and not enough Cylons. Well there certainly were a lot more Cylons in season 1.5 than there were in season 1. Who's to say that we wouldn't see more Cylons if Caprica wasn't cancelled?

I think Caprica should be given at least a second season to make up for any perceived shortcomings of the first. Seasons 1-1.5 were essentially prologue. In light of its cancelation, they could be viewed as prologue to BSG--or even Blood and Chrome--but I prefer to see it as prologue to a much more dynamic and engaging set of story-lines that could be explored in at least one more season of the show.

Of the final episodes, I was very pleased to see some key issues resolved--even a few trivial ones. We got to see Daniel figure out how to survive his deal with the Guatrau as well as the transfer of power within the Ha'la'tha, evocative of our most favorite mafia films and TV shows. We even saw some reconciliation between the Zoe avatar and the Graystones. Lacy Rand's future is in less doubt but open to some intriguing exploration were it not for Syfy's bean-counters trumping any creative will that might still exist at the network. There's even a plausible explanation for why followers of Surge on Twitter won't be hearing from him anymore. They even resolved the minor discrepancy in continuity regarding the eye color of young Willie Adama (Sina Najafi) and Commander William Adama (Edward James Olmos) in BSG.

The most important question that I had since I first saw the pilot/mini-series for Battlestar Gallactica was even partially answered: How do a bunch of robots find religion? Throughout the first season of Caprica I figured it was some trace of the Zoe avatar left behind in the MCP of that first U-87--yes, if you haven't seen the show, you probably have no idea what that last string of words even means; maybe if you watched the show it wouldn't have been canceled! ;)--while my mind is open to the possibility that that may indeed have been a factor, the closing images of Sister Clarice preaching to Cylons in a church was even more compelling. The idea of these "tools," as Daniel Graystone describes them, having free time and using it to find religion is very compelling and something that I have not seen explored in popular science fiction before. Data on Star Trek seemed too preoccupied with finding his humanity to be bothered by religion. There are no droids among the Jedi. But eventually, Cylons commune with angels.

Oh, Caprica, I am going to miss you! But I hope that the producers of Blood and Chrome--while appealing to the popular desire for more guns, robots and explosions--won't pass up on opportunities to explore more of the spiritual elements that I've really come to appreciate throughout the re-imagined BSG universe. Some flashbacks to the Graystones, Clarice and Lacy perhaps? We'll see.

1 comment:

  1. I just finished the marathon on DVR, and now the cancellation seems even more of a travesty than before. Seeing the garbage SyFy tries to pass off to their audience right now is disgusting. If not for Blood & Chrome, I don't think I'd ever watch SyFy again - and I hope they don't frak that up. It sounds like Eric Stoltz has given up on the idea of someone else (a network with vision) picking the show up, but I wish someone would. Even if it was a pay channel, like Showtime - I would immediately subscribe to see it (already subscribe to HBO). Someone save Caprica!!!!!

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