Saturday, 3 May 2008

The idea behind the series

Since the big announcement, several script reviews have surfaced online and the writers themselves have revealed some of the major plot points of the pilot for Caprica. More on those later. First, here's a quick overview of the events that led to the pilot being greenlit by the Sci Fi Channel in March as well as some of the basic ideas behind the prequel.

Last October, Caprica was described as "the first science fiction family saga" that will "weave together corporate intrigue, techno action and sexual politics." Built around two families, the Graystones and the Adamas, the series has been conceived as the prequel to the events in Battlestar Galactica, the series that returned for its fourth and final season in April.

David Eick, Galactica executive producer and one of the creative brains behind Caprica, said: "If Battlestar Galactica is Black Hawk Down, I would say that Caprica is American Beauty.“ He continued by saying that the show is “all about the inner lives of the people on a planet and how their personal relationships as well as their professional relationships inform what will become the creation of the Cylons. It's a political story, a family story. It’s about the creation of the Cylons, and it’s about a company. It’s planet-based. It’s very character-oriented, very serialized and very much about the characters. It’s a whole different genre, and that’s what makes it exciting.”

It was Remi Aubuchon who originally pitched the idea for the series, an allegory about slavery with robots, to NBC/Universal independently of the Galactica series. NBC people put Aubuchon in touch with Galactica creators Ron Moore and David Eick, who were already considering a spin-off, and the idea for the new show was born.

In spring 2006, Aubuchon described Caprica to Dreamwatch Magazine: "This is a very human story about how our own hubris can lead us to disaster," adding that, while the new series would not be dependent on Battlestar Galactica, "certain elements have been embedded into the first few episodes of season three" of BSG that would be explored in Caprica.

In November 2006, Ron Moore shed some more light on the new series:

It's actually a prequel, and this would be a one hour pilot not a mini – series. It takes place 50 years before the events of Battlestar Galactica and it's essentially about the creation of the Cylons.

It's a very different show; it's not action – adventure and it's not even in space. It takes place on the Planet Caprica and it’s more of a family drama, with political and corporate intrigue. We're well into the writing of it actually; we're doing re-writes on the script right now and Sci Fi has been very happy so far. At the moment, we're just waiting to see if they greenlight it or not.

Generally, there’s always a two step process: there's ordering the pilot and then there's ordering the series, but because we're not designing it as a mini – series, I don't know that anybody would even see the pilot if they chose not to go to series with it.

Tonally, it will be very different. This is Caprica before the fall. It's a decadent world, but also a world that's going at a very fast pace. It's a prosperous society that hasn’t experienced the devastation of the first Cylon war yet, so this culture has really not been taken down a peg, and their hubris is getting the better of them. It's a go – go society that's teetering on the brink, so it’s not that apocalyptic survival scenario of Galactica. The whole thing is tonally very different.
In March 2007, Moore told's Laura Miller:

"It was a different kind of show. Instead of an action-adventure sci-fi piece, it was more of a prime-time soap, a sci-fi Dallas."

Caprica was stuck in development hell and went through a number of rewrites before it was seriously considered again in late 2007. The decision to give the show a chance came as a result of several factors: the writers' strike left Sci Fi in shortage of finished scripts to produce, Ron Moore was looking to leave for NBC and the channel was also looking at the sales of Razor, the direct-to-DVD movie that explored the circumstances behind the events on battlestar Pegasus, introduced in mid-season two.

The Caprica series is currently in pre-production at the Sci Fi Channel. The two-hour pilot, greenlit in March, will be directed by Jeff Reiner.

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