Caprica Jeffrey Reiner

Caprica Jeffrey Reiner
Now that the journey for Battlestar Galactica has ended, Caprica joins the Sci-Fi Channel family via this two-hour movie/series pilot set 50 years before BSG, during the first Cylon war. And as co-creator Ron Moore — and everyone else involved — is eager to point out, Caprica feels and looks very different from its predecessor. There are no costumes and no space ships — even the stakes here are very different, though similarly contemporary. When Battlestar Galactica began, it lived very much in the shadow of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Caprica is much more involved in family dynamics, social interactions and the use of technology. It's the story of rival clans: the Graystones (led by patriarch Eric Stolz) and the Adamas (led by Esai Morales, playing the father of Bill and grandfather of Lee Adama). They're more interested in corporate machinations and rival business interests, but it's their kids that represent the stakes here. Their children are deeply involved in the latest in social networking — a virtual reality world where their avatars are creepily realistic, and where every extreme wish gets fulfilled in the "V Club": sex, drugs, murder and human sacrifice, all played out by impressionable teens in a hyper-real world without consequence. It's the evolution of these virtual identities that leads Graystone to his creative breakthrough: transferring that virtual consciousness into the body of a machine. Ta-da, Cylons! Caprica — released on DVD as a stand-alone movie but really the two-hour pilot to a proposed spin-off series — has a tough row to hoe here: it desperately wants to claim its own turf, away from BSG, and succeeds in some ways. However, its core fan base — those interested enough to justify a series pick-up — are Battlestar fans already invested in the Adama clan and curious to know more about grandpa Adama, whose lawyerly wisdom has already been an unseen presence in Galactica's world. And by the end of this pilot/movie, when the transformational Cylon moment occurs, it comes together in a way that BSG fans will appreciate. It's a matter of time, and execution, to see if Caprica indeed evolves in interesting ways, or if its desire to separate itself from its parent, as it were, also drives away the elements — intelligent "future" parables, interesting drama, a unique take on sci-fi themes — that brought fans to the world of Battlestar in the first place. This DVD is fleshed out by a handful of sort of unrevealing "Making Ofs" that were teased online, and an astute and revealing commentary by Moore, director Reiner and exec producer David Eick. (Universal)