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TV Review: Caprica: Season 1, Ep.1: Pilot

The first episode for the Battlestar Galactica spin off series, entitled Caprica: Season 1, Ep.1: Pilot, is both brilliant and seriously flawed. The reasons why the script for Caprica sat on a shelf for as long as it did (taken off because of the Writers’ Strike) become apparent during certain scenes in the episode.

The technological concepts on the show are great: the virtual reality technology (reminds me of the canceled Fox show VR.5), the computer paper, and the robo butler (not new but cool).

The best part of Caprica: Season 1, Ep.1: Pilot is the virtual realty and by extension, the V.R. Clubs. The V Clubs offer boundless avenues to explore as did the Holodecks on Star Trek: The Generation. The V.R. Clubs that the underage frequent are sensational. If you have ever wondered what the dark side would be to the Holodecks or V.R. technology, you’ll see it in the first five minutes of this episode of Caprica.

The presence of this V.R. technology unfortunately opens up the big flaw in the Battlestar Galactica universe: Where was this VR technology on Battlestar Galactica, Battlestar Pegasus, and the Thirteen Colonies? It is never referred to, used, or alluded to in passing. You would like people trapped abroad a metal container would look for any escape, virtual or otherwise. With the pleasure ship Cloud 9 (why weren’t there VR units onboard that ship) destroyed, what is left? What about the prominent black market in fleet? Weren’t their bread and butter rare and hard-to-get luxuries/commodities, like VR? How much would an hour back home be worth to someone who has been locked abroad a ship for two years be? Hmmm.

Remember Kendra Shaw from Battlestar Galactica: Razor and Season 2 of Battlestar: Galactica when Rear Admiral Cain and Battlestar Pegasus were introduced. You never heard mentioned or saw Kendra Shaw during that entire period of Season 2 yet Shaw was Cain’s assistant, the officer she so highly regarded. It made no sense. Kendra was an after thought by show creators and now so is VR.

If they had only planned out all of the shows and movies in advance these gaps would not be present. I digress. Back to Caprica: Season 1, Ep.1: Pilot.

Another flaw of Caprica is the presence of the Adams. The main family on the show did not have to be the Adamas. A whole new family, like the Greystones, could have been introduced. One of the best part of the episode is the tragedy that occurs to both families and how it effects the main families of the show. Their pain is all too real, especially in the world of terrorism we live in.

I liked most of Caprica: Season 1, Ep.1: Pilot but did find it odd that Daniel Greystone (Eric Stoltz) did not know his daughter, Zoey Greystone (Alessandra Torresani), was a computer genius. Wouldn’t her math test scores have alluded to the fact? She never made anything computer related, showed it to her dad, emailed it to him or shared it with a computer teacher? She never entered a computer science fair? It’s possible the majority of this things never occurred (especially her father ignoring her) but all of them, unlikely.

The open racism (against the Taurons) on this sci-fi television show is something I have not seen since Space: Above & Beyond was on the air. You would think in an advanced democratic society, people would hide their racism, especially when in mixed company.

One glaring, major question the viewer will ask themselves is: If Greystone is such a brilliant, innovative, and thorough scientist, before he put the electronic, cognitive brain that contained his daughter’s virtual self, into a robotic body for testing, why didn’t he make multiple copies of his daughter’s virtual self instead of putting the only one into an experimental device? No scientist, let alone a grieving father, would do something so egregiously asinine.

Losing your daughter twice has got to be hell on earth. The fact that he didn’t make a hard copy of the Zoey data and put it in a bank vault is another script, plot hole that no fore-thinking scientist would ever make. The last living remainder of his daughter and he doesn’t make a hard copy, please.

But then there is the counter argument, something people may over look

Why was Daniel Greystone so sad when Zoey’s virtual data stream is corrupted, he goes into VR, and she is not there? He has a hard copy of the data he made in the VR Club of Zoey’s data plus the Zoey in the VR Club is still in existence. There are two copies of Zoey’s virtual self still in existence so what is the big deal. I think the viewer is supposed to forget these two facts and believe the Zoey in Greystone’s data base is the only copy in existence. This is not the case as I just pointed out.

Here are some more question that Caprica: Season 1, Ep.1: Pilot writers Ronald D. Moore and Remi Aubuchon should have asked themselves when writing its script:

If someone threatens to kill you, wouldn’t you tell someone? Would you really go to sleep where your new enemies can find you?

If you are going to blow yourself, would you really take your non-fanatic girlfriend with you or would you take an earlier train by yourself?

These unworked out logic kinks are reasons why this script should have remained on the shelf, at least until they were worked out.

“All targets neutralized. Program completed, by your command.” Loved this line from Caprica: Season 1, Ep.1: Pilot.

The ending of Caprica: Season 1, Ep.1: Pilot was one of the most exciting segments of the episode, a very hard accomplishment after the spectacle of the VR Clubs. Seeing Zoey’s consciousness come alive inside of the Cybernetic Life-form Nod aka Cylon was great. Seeing her call her best friend, Lacy Rand (Magda Apanowicz), while inside that robot body made it even better. I’m looking forward to seeing the implications of Zoey’s virtual self in that Cylon body. Will she inform her dad? Will she continue her implied work and try to create a “real” body to download into?

What did you think of Caprica: Season 1, Ep.1: Pilot?

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About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

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