Yep. I’m the one who’s going to be reviewing the Caprica series. I know, I know, I know, I’ve been pretty damn vocal about the creative crash-and-burn that the RDM Galactica became, the massive disappointment that was its entire final season, and how the finale was ultimately kind of a betrayal of the fans. Obviously, those of you who are aware of my stance on the show are going to be pretty nervous about me reviewing the new spinoff/prequel.
Let me calm your not-entirely-unfounded reservations before we begin:
1) Galactica has festered a bit in my mind since it went off the air. I was still giving it occasional guardedly positive reviews up through the end, and while it’s true that the conclusion utterly ruined the entire series in my mind, it’s also important to remember that I absolutely loved the show for a while there. From “Kobol’s Last Gleaming, Pt 1” in Season 1 up through “Collaborators” in season 3, it was the best damn show on the air, and I still respect most of what they accomplished in that stretch, even if they ultimately fumbled the ball and lost the game. I’m not critical because I hate, I’m critical because I love, and I do think that makes a huge difference.
2) I don’t really intend to compare this show to Galactica all that much, anyway. I don’t believe that the sins of the father should be visited on the son, you know? This is a different show, with a different story, and different sensibilities, and while it’s somewhat hamstrung by what we know of Colonial backstory (Which is surprisingly little, really), it will hopefully go its own direction and do its own thing. As such, it should be judged on its own merits, and not be forced to live up to the disdain I have for the way the RDM Galactica ended. I’d also mention for True Believers out there that this cuts the other way: This show shouldn’t be forced to live up to the love you have for the RDM Galactica, either.
While the road to production of this series was rocky, and while its future is looking pretty damn bleak at present (It’s officially a “Troubled Production” now that will be lucky to live past its first season), there’s some elements here that give me hope that the show might actually end up being pretty good. I have my suspicions that it will *not* fall prey to the curse of the Star Wars Prequels (To wit: Spending seven and a half hours of screen time to tell us crap we already knew or suspected, and adding nothing new of consequence), and while the pilot didn’t really blow me away or anything, it wasn’t what I was expecting, either.
That alone gives me some hope for this show. And who knows, maybe the entire RDM Galacticaverse as well.
PLAY BY PLAY
Fifty-Eight years before the fall of the Colonies, we visit a massive, massive rave. Like all raves, it’s pretty big and wild and overpowering, and, ultimately, kind of boring. This one is a bit more over-the-top than most: Teens are running around shooting each other, there’s a stage where a heavy metal floorshow is performing human sacrifices, there’s a fight club, and of course there’s an orgy. The camera spends a lot of time lingering on the orgy. I admit I was a bit surprised by that. The RDM verse has a thing for lipstick lesbians, but I hadn’t anticipated any actual nudity.
Anyway, Zoe, her boyfriend Ben, and their friend Lacey are on the balcony watching the human sacrifice. Another Zoe - a virtual copy - is supposed to jump up on stage and do something to put a stop to this debauchery, but she glitches out, and that’s that. Turns out the whole Rave/Orgy/Bloodbath/Tyler Durden thing is virtual, it’s an online thing. We also discover that Zoe, her beau, and her friend all worship the One True God.
Zoe gets in trouble with her school for cutting class so she can sit in the bathroom with holographic glasses on and visit sex parties, and she’s yelled at by her impossibly wealthy parents. Her mom’s a surgeon, her dad’s a somewhat less aspergery version of Bill Gates. Mom slaps Zoe, and Zoe says “You’ll remember that for the rest of your life.”
The next day, Zoe, Lacey, and Ben cut class, and are planning to run away from home and go to Gemenon, where they’ll have ‘friends and