Caprica – SyFy’s Newest Flagship

Well the time has arrived that all the deprived Battlestar Galactica fans have been anxiously waiting for, the arrival of Syfy channels new flagship franchise “Caprica”. In the TV world spin offs are a bit of a black sheep as they pretty much are universally awful, need further proof just look at the weekly CBS lineup. So naturally when dealing with a spin off series for arguably one of the two or three best shows ever to air on TV, fans were skeptical, and with the shows that filled SyFy channels lineup pre-Battlestar being, well, we will be kind and say sub par, that uneasiness was ratcheted up just a bit. Luckily for us however SyFy got it right, and they didn’t just get it right they knocked it out of the frackin’ park. I really have to give them credit, as of late their spin off series Stargate Universe has proven itself to be quite excellent and leagues above the previous fairly terrible Stargate Atlantis, and really, actually I’d go as far as saying its leagues ahead of Stargate SG-1 as well. Couple that with Warehouse 13 and Sanctuary and SyFy channel has build themselves a damn solid lineup thats made even better with the assention of Caprica as their stations new crown jewel.

Everything we loved from Battlestar is here and done just as skilfully and adhered to just as faithfully, well minus space and all the dogfights. The cast they’ve assembled is filled with familiar faces from many under appreciated shows with cult followings. We get Paula Malcomson from Deadwood, the always amazing Polly Walker from Rome, Magda Apanowicz from Kyle XY as well as Scott Porter who played Jason Street on Friday Night Lights. The cast here is as impressive as a cast can get none perhaps more so than the relative newcomer and ridiculous beautiful Alessandra Torresani who plays both the human avatar of Zoe Graystone as well also the first Cylon. I can’t underscore enough just how pitch perfect and flawless cast this series has been.

The story remains faithful in every way to Battlestar as well. The writing is so well done that the transition is seamless. In the same ways that the BSG films Razor and The Plan filled in gaps and retold parts of the story without any hiccups or snags this has the same essence, transporting us back into BSG universe history with ease. What makes this work so well is the fact that it knows its place in time, in credit to Ron Moore who unlike creators of certain franchises, yeah Lost and Heroes I mean you, Moore seems to know every inch of the universe he’s created and he knows how to render every aspect of it in the perfect fashion to weave a powerful and intricate narrative without the show ever approaching the point of caving in upon itself from plot-holes or inconsistencies. It really feels as if he’s lived this whole saga in a past life and is retelling history.

Caprica looks also to be headed in the direction of tackling our most complex social and religious issues head-on more so even than Battlestar did. The polytheistic society is even expanded upon further as we are being given a much more meatier diet of the colonies societal workings. From polygamy to martyrdom to racial tension the series is only a few episodes in and is already showing that its not going to skirt the tougher subject matter, it will dive in full bore just as its predecessor did.

I know I’m heaping the praise on quite heavy but the show is really that phenomenal and in a TV landscape filled to the brim with mostly mind numbingly simplistic cop and hospital procedures and IQ challenged reality shows it’s not too often that we get a thinking mans shows, let alone a thinking mans sci-fi show. So while I’m sure there will be endless debate for the next twenty years over and endless litany of issues concerning Caprica, there’s just one thing we should all keep in mind. This may be the last time we get a sci-fi show this good, ever. Ever.