Sunday, February 28, 2010

Geektastrophy 1: Caprica , first impressions

As with many scifi geeks, I have been a huge fan of the reimagined version of Battlestar Galactica.  I didn't much care for the cheesy, 1970s version of BSG as it always just seemed to be a Star Trek rip-off that paled in comparison.  However, I do love the fact that Battlestar Gallactica footage was stolen for the movie  "Space Mutiny" (Can we say Big Mclargehuge?) which is featured in one of my favorite Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes.  Anyways, the 2003 iteration of Battlestar focused on the quest for survival by a small group of humans in the face of total destruction at the hands of the cylons.  It deals with interesting overarching themes including the nature of humanity and artificial intelligence, as well as very compelling discussions of the nature of war, terrorism, and god.  And yes, there certainly were a lot of points where BSG stumbled in the first couple of seasons, but while it was on, it was a series that I couldn't wait for the next episode to air. 

Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica

Caprica is a prequel set 58 years (is this really enough time?) in the past that deals with years leading up to the Cylon revolt within the 12 Colonies.  In particular the series focuses on Daniel Graystone, who is in the process of creating the Cylon centurions, The Adama family (Sam and Joseph) Dad and Uncle of William Adama from the Caprica series, and the activities of the extremist group known as the Soldiers of the One Cult.  First the good.  Zoe, the cylonized main character has the potential to turn out to be very interesting, what with being the first free thinking cylon who is trying to escape the clutches of Graystone's lab on quest for something or other for the Infinite Cult (which I will discuss below).  Secondly, I definitely like the Cosa Nostra aspect of Joseph Adama's ethnicity, as that could lead in very interesting directions.  I am a mob fiction obsessee (Godfather, Goodfellas, Grand Theft Auto, Sopranos- I love it all) so I can get behind almost anything that involves a well thought out organized crime sub plot.  Also, I really am interested in the character of Sam himself, and I am curious how it will eventually end up effecting Bill Adama's young character who Sam is basically putting through the training not unlike the schooling of one Henry Hill.  

Ok, now let's talk about the Soldiers of the One nonsense.  Why?  Please, somebody tell me why this had to involve some terrorism BS subplot that only seems to be there so that this series can be relevant.  I get it.  They got sucked into a cult that is not unlike the cult of fundamentalist Islam blah blah blah... I just feel that the concept of terrorism and extremism was sufficiently dealt with by BSG, where there were plenty of extremists (cylons) blowing themselves up for their cause.  One more thing is that I'm having a really hard time feeling anything at all about the very wealthy Daniel and Amanda Graystone and how hard it is to be them.  It's not only they are not only unlikable, but I don't even have the energy to feel much of anything for either one of them.  Part of the problem is that the Graystones can't even hold a candle to the genius and glamorous Gaius Baltar and of course there's no equivalent to "Six" in Caprica. I only compare them because Gaius and Daniel are both supposed scientific geniuses who greatly change the face of humanity through their scientific developments.  This is perhaps an unfair comparison, but Daniel Graystone or his wife have not yet appeared the least bit interesting beyond being the parents and (in Daniel's case) creator of cylon Zoe Graystone.  I guess we'll see where they go with the whole restructuring the V-world.  

So, these are a few of my first impressions of the series up to the episode "Gravedancing".  As I am a cable lacking peasant, I will not get a chance to see the newest episode until Wednesday.  I am eager to see how this series develops as, despite my doubts, I believe it has a great deal of potential.  I am still hesitant because I just don't feel that really grabbed by the plot line like I did with BSG.

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