Monday, April 27, 2009

2010: The Meaning of Caprica

58 Years Before the Fall.

These are the first words you see when Caprica begins, and from the opening frame there is a clock ticking. Instantly we are plunged into a raging dancehall, where a myriad of decadent behaviors are openly displayed, from rapine to murder and culminating in human sacrifice. Before long we see that all of it is illusion, unfolding behind the eyes of a young girl, a virtual reality that she can access electronically. And why not? All the Caprica kids are doing it.

Zoe Graystone is the daughter of Caprica's leading industrialist and a devout follower of the One True God. This is tantamount to heresy on Caprica, where the pantheon of Kobol Lords are integrated into all aspects of life; to deviate from belief in them is to invite sanction and societal rejection. How this dovetails with her virtual existence at the V-Club is the jumping off point for a story that grows to impact all levels of civil society on the planet.

Her father, Daniel Graystone, is a tech genius in the class of Wozniak and Jobs. He is developing a CYbernetic LifefOrm Node -an acronym that will be revealed in all its clunkiness as CYLONs. Things are not going well in honing these robots for the military, and to make matters worse, Graystone is competing with a Caprican version of the mafia for a vital processor. His ambition will intersect with his daughter's spirituality in startling ways and lay the groundwork for what could be a fantastic new television series.

This is a small part of what is presented in the pilot for Caprica. Rather than risk saying more, I'll leave you with the preview and say that here is something worthy of the Battlestar Galactica legacy.

What is the fall? Beyond the reference to the Christian fall of humanity, the implications are that it is total and profound. Watchers of Battlestar Galactica will have an idea of what the fall represents, but Caprica is not relying on knowledge of the show to appreciate the questions it raises. Viewers new and old will find something to fascinate them in 2010, when the series is scheduled to air.

No comments: