Review: Syfy's Caprica
Caprica delivers on the hype engendered by its overly successful parents: Battlestar Galactica and executive producers Ronald Moore and David Eick.
Where Battlestar flung viewers into the holocaust of all-out war against intelligent robot Cylons, Caprica narrates the chilling human events that led to the creatures' creation -- and mankind's near destruction.
Genius and hubris, in the form of industrialist Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz) and his teenage daughter, Zoe (Alessandra Torresani), a gifted computer programmer, create the initial mechanism and provide the spark. Kindling comes in the form of Joseph Adama (Esai Morales), father of Willie (Sina Najafi), whom viewers know will grow up to become commander of Galactica.
Viewers who know Battlestar's competing religious philosophies -- the Colonials' belief in many gods versus the Cylons' belief in one -- will not be surprised to learn that dogmatic conflict predates the Cylons themselves. The thematic strain of cultural oppression -- humans over Cylons -- that sparked the machines' rebellion also existed in the Colonies before their destruction, in the form of Capricans over Taurons like Adama. As did the terrorist responses the humans later visited on their Cylon captors.
Strong performances from Stoltz; Torresani; Morales; Magda Apanowicz as Zoe's friend Lacy Rand; Paula Malcolmson as Zoe's mom Amanda (who has a dramatic public epiphany); and Polly Walker (Atia from HBO's Rome) as the girls' school headmistress, Sister Clarice, propel the action of life on Caprica before the deluge.
Caprica debuts on Syfy Friday Jan. 22 at 9 p.m.