Caprica: Season 1.5

Caprica: Season 1.5
At its core, now defunct series Caprica was about grief, faith, higher consciousness and the extent humans will go to avoid death or deny the assertion that every living creature perishes alone. It does this while exploring a superficial culture of excess, with people living in virtual playgrounds, relying on technological advancement to escape from a hollow existence of instant pleasure. These guiding thematic veins stem appropriately from the source material: dark, religious sci-fi allegory Battlestar Galactica, which Caprica precedes by some 50 odd years, tackling the premise of Cylon inception and civil unrest surrounding ideological beliefs. When the show started, teenage Zoe Graystone (Alessandra Torresani) had blown up a crowded commuter train as a monotheistic demonstration of Gemenon beliefs. This left parents Daniel (Eric Stoltz) and Amanda (Paula Malcomson) reeling and having to deal with public criticism, exacerbated by the success of Daniel's corporate empire, built on virtual reality games and robot cybernetics. This storyline, along with the underground terrorist "Soldiers of the One" movement led by Sister Clarice Willow (Polly Walker), took up most of season 1.0, with Tauran gangster Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) popping up every once in awhile to explore the possibility that his dead daughter might exist in V-world in avatar form. Season 1.5 starts with the aftermath of Zoe's cross-country police chase in the U-87 Cylon prototype body after Daniel (Eric Stoltz) threatens to wipe the source chip (and her existence) clean to mass produce Cylons for a military contract. With her physical form destroyed, Zoe spends her time in V-world looking for Adama's daughter, Tamara, while Amanda infiltrates Clarice's world in an effort to expose her terrorist connections. Another storyline that takes up quite a bit of time involves Zoe's best friend, Lacy (Magda Apanowicz), being sent to Gemenon for religious indoctrination after Clarice finds out who was involved in the attempts on her life. Despite taking awhile to find its footing, Caprica only became stronger the more it was able to reveal and detail its mythology. The sharp observations of human cruelty and compassion, as juxtaposed with the dominant series themes, were too subtle and profound for mainstream television audiences. It's really quite a shame that this show won't go on beyond this impressive first season, but at least the creators take the final ten minutes in the series finale to expand upon where the series would head in future seasons. But, alas, these episodes are all we get about identity as construct of tangible signifiers and cyber-minutia, and we never will find out to what extent Lacy's connection with the Cylon drones impacts their evolution. This box set includes commentary tracks, podcasts and video blogs, which start out enthusiastically then slowly become more about ratings and cancellation as the episodes advance. (Universal)