Wednesday, February 10, 2010
My daughter, the toaster
At any rate, while we're on the subject of prequels that purport to show the origins of great cinematic badasses, I'm pleased to report that Caprica does it right. The first three episodes, which take place about six decades before the Galactica series starts, have chronicled the creation of the first Cylons on Caprica. Don't read on if you don't want to know...
Well, I won't say too much, except to note that it was a stroke of brilliance that the creation of the Cylons, which will eventually lead to the near-annihilation of humanity, began with an act of love -- a grieving father trying to resurrect his daughter. Yes, it's also an act of profound hubris, making the punishment somewhat justified, but given Graystone's talents and resources, would any of us not follow in his path under the same circumstances?
Also, good choice to cast Esai Morales as Bill Adama's father. (Weren't Morales and Edward James Olmos brothers in Mi Familia?) The show's handling of ethnicity is quite interesting, with the Taurons (the Adamas' ethnic group) functioning as a kind of Arab/Latino blend. Caprica, with its advanced technologies and beautiful cities, is clearly meant to represent the U.S., while immigrants from other worlds live in modestly-assimilated enclaves and complain about discriminatory treatment by the Caprican government.
The show's discussion of religion and terrorism is great. The pilot begins with a terrorist act committed by a group of secret monotheists -- a precursor of the religion the Cylons will follow decades later. Caprica and Galactica remain probably the most mature and thoughtful fictional treatments of 9/11 that television has seen.
It's not totally obvious where the plot is going at this point, but it appears that deep inside every Cylon beats the heart of a brilliant but bratty teenage girl, which makes all kinds of sense.