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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.

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But wasn't Dwight Schrute a huge Battle Star Galactica fan?

I LOVED BSG when I started watching it. By the time it ended, I loathed it more than anything I've ever seen. It flew so high, only to crash so very, very low.

It may not be like my grandfather Sci-fi. But its more like my grandmother soap operas.

Gee, I loved BSG then, and now. And Caprica has immense promise, with its 'religious' conflicts building toward a confrontation.But if someone is fazed (not phasered) by spaceships, I doubt that they will be able to take Zoe's turning into a Cylon and back as the camera pans across the scene.Cliches abound in both series, but they usually help because they are out of kilter, and give a better sense of strangeness. But Jimi Hendrix as a racial memory? That was a bit too much. Now Jefferson Airplane dispensing eternal wisdom in A Serious Man, I can believe. But Hendrix?