Caprica: Not Your Father’s Sci-Fi
Back in 2006 Grant Gallicho wrote a post about the phenomenon of the TV series Battlestar Galactica, which came to an end last year. He wrote then: “The new BSG is nothing less than a triumphant return to the best of what the genre can do: reframe the questions of the day in new, unusual, and illuminating contexts.”
BSG was everything that Star Trek wasn’t: gritty, tragic, more interested in flawed humanity than in Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s utopian notions of humanity having triumphed over…its humanity.
Yes, BSG was something of a space opera but it’s ambiguity-haunted tale of humans vs. the nearly-human Cylons took the genre to new heights on television.
Still, for a lot of people, BSG probably had too many spaceships–the trappings of Sci-Fi that a lot of you just don’t like.
The new series by Ronald Moore, Caprica–set in the BSG universe fifty years to the events of BSG–has a much different feel. And it might just appeal to those who don’t think they like science fiction.
True, there are sci-fi elements galore: virtual reality, robots, artificial intelligence, etc.
But it is set entirely on terra firma, It is a drama about two families traumatized by grief.
Like BSG Caprica actually takes politics and religion and race and ethnicity seriously — sans cliches. It even manages to tackle parenting and youth culture in ways that hit home with this parent.
In short, it’s worth checking out on the Sy-Fy channel (and/or Hulu), even if you think you don’t like Sci-Fi.