The Caprica pilot episode hits DVD on Tuesday, and it is one hell of a tease. It’s a tease in the best possible way; that sweet first kiss that you just know in your heart will lead to more. It’s familiar, but new. Most of all, it’s an hour and a half of great entertainment, and something to keep Battlestar Galactica fans smiling after the show’s recent completion.
This new show is very clearly a product of the final season of BSG. Religious themes, which were littered across the entire series but became the true central theme of BSG are front and center here from the very beginning. The show takes place 58 years “before the fall” in a world that could be hours +10-20 years. Technology is just further enough along to place it firmly in the realms of science fiction, but the rest of everyday life is familiar enough to make it all very believable. This story is about the modern birth of the Cylons (Yes, that’s an acronym, and yes, you’ll hear the longform of it) and the families who created them. Like BSG before it, the SciFi elements are really background; they are necessary storytelling devices, but they clearly are there in support of the relationships.
This is of course the opening to something larger, as all pilots are. The presentation on DVD first was clearly to support the original vision. This is bloodier, more graphic in both violence and sex (including some nudity), and deals more directly with adult themes than the version that will eventually make it to TV in 2010.
...It’s hard to view this from the point of view of someone who never watched or worse didn’t enjoy BSG. For fans of the show, this will make an ample replacement/supplement, and should simply make those people very happy that they get to continue to explore this era of the universe. For those who never watched/didn’t like BSG, this certainly offers a more down-to-earth look at the world, but still centers around themes of religion, life and how it’s defined, morality, ethics, racism, and how people interact with one another, especially in the face of great tragedy. The presentation is similar enough that it will likely turn off anyone who didn’t enjoy the first show; after all, that’s what a spin-off is for. Seeing how this all fits into the larger tapestry of the universe that was established in 4 seasons of a beloved show is sure to intrigue fans, and this was a hell of a way to start things off.
The Wall St. Journal has an article on the use of robots by the military.