Saturday, 30 January 2010

Caprica opening title and new promo

SyFy released the Caprica main title today and a new promo for season 1 also appeared online.

Interviews with Polly Walker and Esai Morales

Two new interviews today. SCI FI Wire talked to Polly Walker and Fancast to Esai Morales. For full articles, follow the links below.

Polly Walker:

"She's not what she seems, obviously, because she's not just the head of the girls' religious academy," Walker told us in an exclusive interview this month. "She's a religious terrorist, and she's the head of the terrorist organization. She's incredibly dangerous, and she runs into all the different characters and manipulates and is scheming. She has a conscience as well, but she feels like she has direct access to God. She feels like she's God's messenger."

When Walker (HBO's Rome) filmed the pilot, she sought assurances that there would be more to play in the extended run of the show. "I was promised it," Walker said. "It becomes pretty huge, what I have to do. So that's why I wanted to do it. I was promised that it's going to get crazy. It's a crazy character that I play. She's out there."

The show will deal in part with the conflict between monotheists and polytheists, and Clarice's mission is supporting the One True God philosophy. That means she'll want to see the Cylons come into common use.

"She wants that," Walker said. "That's what she wants with all her heart. She's a monotheist, and Cylons believe in One True God." - SCI FI Wire

Esai Morales:

What point are you at in terms of filming?

EM: We have [a few] more to do. And it’s really devastating stuff to do. I’m not looking forward to the emotional drudgery. It’s one of those things that you can’t believe when you read it. You go, “Oh my god….” I can’t give it away, but it is a major, major surprise.

The impression we get from the first few episodes is that your character is involved in organized crime, albeit reluctantly. Would you say that’s accurate?

EM: You could say that. Put it this way – he’s from Tauron, and he chose what would be the equivalent of the all-American way. Trying to play by the rules – but they never let you forget where you come from. So at the same time, he’s indebted to the man who put him there. The father figure of the [crime family] who paid for the “education” of my brother and I. My brother of course took the more direct route – as an enforcer. And I am a lawyer who will do things out of a sense of loyalty, but I am not a made member – at this point. I resent all that sort of stuff. It goes against the image we’re trying to portray, which is ‘We’re above that kind of thing.’ But when Mr. Graystone needs something that he balances against what I need – which is contact with my beloved daughter or wife – and I make that compromise you see in the pilot, where I tell my brother, ‘Yeah, yeah – do that. I need a favor.’ He says, ‘You need a favor?’ and he’s surprised because I’m not the kind of person who trades in favors with organized crime. Yet I’m not holier than thou. That’s what I love about my character. He doesn’t like what he’s doing, but – who does in our world? We’re all part of some bigger system we don’t like to go along with, if you really analyze things.

The show also deals with the concept of cheating death and trying to achieve immortality. If you were in Joseph’s place, would you be torn as he is on the issue, or would you find yourself more quickly aligning with being for or against what Graystone is trying to achieve?

EM: I’m playing him very close to me. It’s rare that I get characters that are somewhat close to me in the education or life experience range. I’ve had a varied experience filled life, and they color me! So this character, I like playing him close to me, with a few differences. I would just say that I would probably be in the same place, because there’s common sense, and then there’s emotional sense. And emotional sense says, “I don’t care. I want my mommy. I want my baby. I want my doggie. I want my daughter. I don’t care.” There’s this human need to connect to life, and especially life that you’re brought forth. It’s like a job that’s unfinished if your child dies before you.

Your most powerful scenes, at least in these first few episodes, seem to be with Eric Stoltz. If you had to describe him using only three words, which three would you use?

EM: I would say, first: professional. Second: extremely witty. And third: extremely guarded. - Fancast

Friday, 29 January 2010

Details on 1x02 Rebirth and 1x03 The Reins of a Waterfall

SyFy has released the synopses of the next two episodes, Rebirth and The Reins of a Waterfall. For even more details about tonight's episode, you can check out the review over at If Magazine.

Rebirth airs tonight at 9/8c.

SyFy will also show a rerun of the Caprica Pilot at 7.

And just a reminder that Dollhouse, the other Frankenstein show in Caprica's extended family, says its final goodbye at 8/7c on Fox.

From the release (spoilers follow):


Air Date: January 29, 2010
Written By: Michael Angeli
Directed By: Jonas Pate

Zoe (Alessandra Torresani) struggles with being trapped in the robot while grief and pressure mount on the Adamas and the Graystones. Joseph (Esai Morales) makes a decision that drives him to confront Daniel (Eric Stoltz), and Amanda (Paula Malcomson) makes a shocking public confession.


In the wake of the MagLev bombing that killed his daughter, Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz) plunges himself into work. He tries to figure out why he can only create a single intelligent robot, not understanding that the answer lies within the fact that part of his daughter survived the explosion and is closer to him than he could imagine. Consumed with grief, Amanda Graystone (Paula Malcomson) is obsessed with discovering who her daughter really was, and slowly begins piecing together the details of Zoe’s life.

Zoe (Alessandra Torresani), trapped in the robot body, turns to her friend Lacy (Magda Apanowicz) for help. At the same time, Headmistress Clarice Willow (Polly Walker) – a secret member of the shadowy “Soldiers of the One” terrorist group – is also focused on Lacy, putting the girl under pressure from all sides.

In the episode’s culmination, at a memorial service for the victims of the train disaster, Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) confronts Daniel about the loss of his own daughter. Before they can come to an understanding, they are interrupted by a stunning public announcement from Amanda Graystone, who has become convinced that her daughter Zoe was to blame for the terrorist action.


Air Date: February 5, 2010
Written By: Michael Angeli
Directed By: Ronald D. Moore

After Amanda’s (Paula Malcomson) public confession of Zoe’s (Alessandra Torresani) terrorist involvement, those closest to Zoe must face mounting pressures.


Following Amanda’s (Paula Malcomson) public revelation that their daughter was responsible for the MagLev tragedy, the Graystones must face the wrath of angry Capricans. For Daniel (Eric Stoltz) this includes a confrontation with Sam (Sasha Roiz) and Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) in which Joseph demands that Daniel reunite him with his daughter’s avatar — the essence of his daughter Tamara (Genevieve Buechner), living on in virtual space. Daniel also realizes he can’t deal with his grief in private — this is all going to play out on a public stage.

At the same time, Zoe Graystone (Alessandra Torresani) adjusts to living life in a robot. She hopes her friend Lacy (Magda Apanowicz) will help her escape to another planet — neighboring Gemenon. Lacy is concerned, however, that she is rousing the suspicions of headmistress (and STO leader) Clarice Willow (Polly Walker). While in V-World, the girls meet a frightened Tamara Adama who doesn’t understand what she is or how she came to be here.

At the Global Defense Department, Agents Duram (Brian Markinson) and Youngblood escalate their efforts to track down the terrorist group responsible for the bombing.

More interviews: Alessandra Torresani & David Eick

A couple of really good interviews emerged online in the last couple of days. IGN talked to Alessandra Torresani and has an interview with David Eick. Some snippets below.


IGN TV: You've got a really fascinating part here. What was the audition process like?

Alessandra Torresani: They didn't give me the script at first, so I went into casting, directors and everything, and [it was] not a cold read, but just a script, and I just knew there was me, the regular girl, and then this avatar. At the time, we knew what an avatar was, but you know, you read a script and then suddenly you're talking to yourself. You're like, "Ehhh, this is a little weird." So it was very confusing to me, but it immediately hit me, as if I was born to do this. I just thought, "You know what? This avatar, Zoe, is a child. Everything's brand new." And that's how I treated her. She doesn't realize she can talk, and then she learns to talk; you'll see that in a couple flashbacks. You'll see how she first learns to walk; it's like she's a child.

IGN: Is it interesting for you now, knowing that is the future of your world and pondering what role your character plays in that?

Torresani: Yeah, obviously, I'm the reason why Caprica died. I can't think about that right now, because I'm just thinking about the birth of the Cylon and how it's still just a 16-year-old girl stuck in a 7-foot robot body.

IGN: That is a fascinating aspect of the show. I was talking to David Eick earlier and saying how you hear "16-year-old girl trapped inside a killer robot" and it could come off really goofy, but it doesn't. The second episode establishes the technique where we see the Cylon the characters see and then cut to you, Zoe, trapped inside, watching what's going on. What's it like playing those scenes where you are the robot? You don't have any dialogue, obviously; so it's a lot of reactive stuff.

It's really hard to show emotion without saying a word. I do this huge scene with Eric [Stoltz] and Paula [Malcomson], and Paula's just emotional and crying to Eric that her daughter's gone. And I'm there and I have to watch this and not be able to talk and not be able to touch, and it just has to be all in my eyes. And that was very difficult, because, are you kidding me, if I was the daughter and I saw my parents and I hadn't seen them and I'm stuck in this body I would wanna grab them and have them hold me. And that's what so sad about the whole character; that's a whole other aspect of it.

IGN: I've watched the first three episodes, and there are some moments where you, as the Cylon, get to show off your strength. Have you gotten to do a surprising amount of action in the series?

Torresani: I'm a blackbelt in tae kwon do, so it was funny, because when I did the show they didn't know that, and then slowly as this got picked up, I was like, "By the way, I'm really good at kicking butt. Really good." And I've always wanted to. You look at Jessica Alba in Sin City and all these girls, and you're like, "I can do that! I'm better! I want some action stuff!" And so they found that out, and they actually wrote a bunch of stuff of me getting in girl fights and kicking and roundoffs and this and that.

IGN: Can you hint at all about where the story is gonna go?

Torresani: I play five characters. I have lots of guns. I wear red lipstick. I can go back and forth from different worlds. That's about all I can say. I wear really cool heels!

IGN: You have two wonderful actors playing your parents. What's it like to work with them?

Torresani: Gosh, it's absolutely brilliant. It's great. I mean, Eric Stoltz; I don't even need to say anything on that. He's just phenomenal. And the fact that he got to direct an episode is just great, because he's the ultimate actor's director. He gets it, and he really, truly acts as the father of our show, on and off screen. And then Paula's just a riot. She's just genius at what she does, and when she gets in that role, she is in that role. You're like, is this Amanda Graystone I'm talking to or is this Paula Malcomson? It's inspiring. It really makes want to try extremely hard to impress them as well as myself and the fans.

IGN: [Laughs] Lastly I wanted to also ask you about another show I was a big fan of, The Sarah Connor Chronicles. That was a one-episode guest appearance ["The Turk"] where you had to play a pretty heavy, intense character.

Torresani: I didn't even know how intense it was until after. Like, that character went throughout the whole season [after I was gone]. Yeah, that was a crazy character. I don't think I've ever had to commit suicide on a show.

IGN: That's what surprised me - that they didn't stop her from killing herself.

Torresani: It was a really deep character without even saying a lot. There was a lot going on there. That was a fun show. That was really fun. People always say, "Oh, don't you wish you had stayed on longer?" But, you know what, I'd rather do a quality character than quantity, and I'd rather have this one-episode arc that's so intense that continues on the show than some bulls**t, stupid, "I'm in a hundred episodes but I play a stupid character." I'd rather something with depth. I never knew how many people would actually recognize me from that, but it was sci-fi. But I didn't realize how huge that show actually was.

IGN: With that and now Caprica, has it given you a new perception of science fiction?

Torresani: I love it. I think it's so deep and so now. People say, "Oh, it's science fiction, it's crazy." but, you know, it's really not. We're 20 years away, if that. Ten years away from having Cylons walking this Earth. Honestly, we are. We're very close, and I think it's great. -- IGN


I'm now three episodes into the show, and I'm surprised by how closely these episodes snap together. Clearly this was an intention, to go deep into these characters and to interweave the episodes – how did you decide that this is the direction you wanted to go after BSG?

It was really an unusual beginning to the process. Both Ron and I had done self-contained series before, Ron had done the Star Trek shows, and I had done the Hercules universe and it was in about the second season of BSG where we started to decide whether or not there was another story to be derived or hatched from this world that we were deeply immersed in. We knew we didn't want to have some sort of continuation of the story, where you'd have some paraplegic commander, some speed freak, in command this time. We debated doing another thing entirely, a Buck Rogers show that would take place in contemporary society and have an artificial person coping with reality.

Then we started looking at the big picture of something we had been discussing, about how many of the BSG episodes were self-contained versus ongoing threads. By the end of the series, I think by the beginning of the fourth season, the episodes were all essentially serialized. And they were great. And so we started talking about moving forward with something that was unapologetically a serial sci-fi soap opera, that from the beginning would be designed to be that sort of animal – free from all the responsibilities or obligations to carry through the artifice of having a beginning, middle or an end.

So once you knew you wanted to go serialized, how did you decide that Caprica would almost follow the likes of A.I. or Blade Runner, in dealing primarily with these issues of artificial intelligence, and this blurring line between computers and humanity?

Well we wanted to go broader, beyond Battlestar, and we thought wouldn't it be great if we went backwards and if we did a prequel that didn't in any way require knowledge of Battlestar. If it had no baggage. And you could still trade on those mythological strands, but now explore and tell stories in a completely different way. What was so unorthodox is that we pitched this to the studio in general terms and they said, ‘Wow, that's really interesting,' and then Remi Aubuchon, this successful television writer, approached them separately with this idea that was dealing with artificial intelligence and the creation of a sentient life. And they said, ‘ Wow, you should call Ron and David and put your heads together, you're all smoking out the same crack pipe.' And we met with him and it was this rare occasion where we had the foresight to put this all together.

It's interesting, though, how you use the notion of artificial intelligence here. It's not just for the sake of something flashy or high-tech, but there's a lot of emotional turmoil that's unleashed by this…

Well, we had thought of Caprica as replacing what oil is in our time with artificial intelligence – this resource that changes everything. And what we actually had a lot of discussions about was Frankenstein, about this need of one man to create life at any expense. And in that story, you have a brilliant man who goes mad with the implications of what he's done. Now imagine that taken to whole new level of moral questioning, when you're talking about the man's own daughter. That level of moral questioning almost runs the risk of a potential break with your own sanity, when you face what you're really trying to do, to bring back a replica of your daughter. -- Techland

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

New interview with Esai Morales

TV Guide has a new interview with Esai Morales, which contains a few minor spoilers for the rest of the season. You can read the whole article here. How did you get involved with the show?
Esai Morales: My manager told me to take a look at this. "This is a really classy show," she said. "The creators are geniuses. It's on Syfy, but they're doing a whole rebranding thing. This could be a flagship show for them." I wasn't a BSG guy per se. I had kind of grown away from sci-fi in my adult years. I'm really happy to be back in a way that I don't feel like I'm regressing to my childhood! There is nerd appeal, but at the same time, it's something many people can identify with. It's just a smart show and unlike anything I've seen on television. Joseph Adama is sort of mythological since we've never met him until now. How would you describe him?
Morales: In reality, the myth is not as grandiose. We will be deconstructing a bit of the statue of the man and showing the human being. I'm not playing him as some sort of hero. I'm playing him as a man who is just trying to survive, stay on the right side of the law and be a good role model to what's left of his family. He'd like to reconnect with the digital aftereffects of his own daughter. When he hugs and holds her, it's as if [she's real] — except for one little thing: He can't feel her heartbeat, which is that poetic representation. What are these things if they are not people? What do they feel? Where do they go when they're in limbo? Are you still filming? What can we expect coming up?
Morales: We are. [In] one of the episodes, I have to deal with possibly the most devastating drama that the character has faced yet. You would think after all he goes through it wouldn't get worse, but it gets worse. We take a gamble and it doesn't go well and we basically have to make a run. If I suggest too much, it'll be obvious. I was literally in tears when I read it. I went to bed in tears with the thought that of that happening to me. [In the season finale], there might be a time jump. We might see them a few years later.

New clip from 1x02 Rebirth

SyFy has released a new preview clip for this Friday's episode, Rebirth:

Caprica pilot ratings

The pilot premiered to only 1.6 million viewers, which isn't really bad news since it was up against the Haiti telethon, which aired on all the major networks and a number of cablers and drew about 24 million viewers in the U.S. and 83 million in total. 

The first new episode of the show, Rebirth, airs this Friday at 9/8c on SyFy (that's after the Dollhouse series finale on Fox), so we'll get a better idea of where the show stands with the ratings this weekend.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Caprica spoilers: Casting sides for episodes 1x02 and 1x03

Back in June/July 2009, SpoilerTV posted casting sides for episodes 1x02, Rebirth, and 1x03, The Reins of a Waterfall. One is 48 pages long and the other has 25 pages. Both give away pretty major stuff, so don't look if you don't like being spoiled.

Here are the links, for the spoiler addicts:

1x02 Rebirth

1x03 The Reins of a Waterfall

Sunday, 24 January 2010

New Caprica season 1 trailer

This is the trailer that was aired on SyFy after the pilot:

New interview with Eric Stoltz

L.A. Times posted a new interview with Eric Stoltz. He talked about his character, Graystone's relationship with his wife and daughter, the general mood of the show, and some of his upcoming projects among other things.

With the acclaim for "Avatar" and the quality of "Battlestar Galactica," sci-fi is being seen in a different light. Are you a big fan of the genre and did that color your decision to join "Caprica"?
I've been pretty lucky -- or slothful -- in that I've never been a "career builder," I take the jobs that come along that feel right, and that's left me fairly open to all genres, really. But with "Caprica," the complex, dark and very smart script was the draw.

Paula Malcomson [who plays Amanda Graystone] described Daniel Graystone as a "Bill Gates-type" on "Caprica." How would you describe him?
That's fairly accurate. With some Oppenheimer, some Dr. Frankenstein, and a little Icarus tossed in as well. A driven, ambitious, creative man who is on the verge of recognizing his limitations and flaws -- always an interesting place to be.

What's his relationship like with Alessandra Torresani's Zoe (pre-train explosion)?
Well, fatherhood is clearly not his strong suit -- I think when she was a very young child they were close, but as she hit the difficult teen years, he put all his frustrations and confusion about parenting into his work -- the one area he excels in.

What's his relationship like with Malcomson's Amanda (post-train explosion)?
Like any couple who have been in a good solid long-term relationship, they have a very strong foundation for when tragedy strikes. This foundation will be tested -- repeatedly -- as they try to find outlets for their grief. But I think they are one of those curious couples who kind of thrill at the challenge of remaining together through thick and thin. Keep reading

Interview with Caprica location scouts

L.A. Times talked to Anand Kanna and Scott Firth, who are location scouts for the show. You can read the article here.
Grand designs: Caprica City is fictional, but it was largely designed by a real Vancouver architect. "Arthur Erickson buildings totally suit the style of the show," Firth said. "He's one of our favorite Vancouver architects, and you'll see quite a few of his buildings in 'Caprica.' He did some buildings at the University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Public Library. They're quite striking. They're really sexy buildings."

Neighborhood watch: "We used different parts of the city for different challenges," Kanna explained. "In Vancouver, there's an area called Coal Harbour, which is very modern. That was perfect for establishing Caprica City itself, the steel and glass look of downtown Caprica and its really modern-looking buildings." Added Firth, "And then there's another area of town in the series, and it's called Little Tauron, which is a little bit backwards. It's more of the run-down, '40s feel. So we would go to Chinatown for that."

City limits: At any given time, parts of Vancouver appear on a municipal "hot list," published quarterly. "We usually get a list from the city of locations where it's dicey to move into," Kanna said. "It's a list of sensitive areas that have had a lot of filming, and it's to give everybody a bit of a rest from having a film crew in their neighborhood. And a lot of the stuff on the hot list is construction -- not to film on a road that has a big pit on it with no water main in there. So the hot list is there just as a guideline, but the city works with us, and everything ends up working out fine in the end."

Place holders: Since the "Caprica" writers cast their imaginations far beyond Vancouver's brick-and-mortar reality, the location scouts follow suit. "You have to be pretty creative in a lot of ways," Firth said. "The farthest we've been away is about 50 kilometers from the studio, and it was a 40,000-square-foot mansion on a farm. But it was scripted as something else. A location doesn't have to be exactly what's in the script, as long as you can make it look like what you need, whether you have to augment it with some set decoration or a sign.

Previews for Caprica 1x02 Rebirth

Here are the teasers for next week's episode:

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Caprica premieres this evening...

... at 9/8c on SyFy.

If for whatever reason you don't get a chance to tune in live, the extended, family friendly cut of the pilot is still available on Hulu.

Hope everyone enjoys the show!

Caprica news roundup - interviews, articles, reviews

Okay, with the show premiering this evening, a whole bunch of news, reviews and interviews showed up in the last couple of days. Here are some links:

L.A. Times has a couple of new interviews as part of their Caprica countdown.

Magda Apanowicz:

The old standby question: Were you a fan of "Battlestar Galactica" before joining "Caprica?"
I made a conscientious decision not to watch it until after we filmed the pilot. I was one of those people that looked at it and said, "Eh, I'm not really a sci-fi fan," but holy! I went back and watched it and I'm like "Holy!" How did I not know that this show existed in my life! It was unreal. I just recently watched the whole series again. It's so good. I can't believe that I was one of those people who said "I'm not really a sci-fi fan."

I saw you at the screening of the "Battlestar" finale at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences last year, talking to "Caprica" [executive producer] Jane Espenson. What have you learned from working with her?
Yeah. You saw me bowing to her because I am a huge "Buffy" fan, again from someone who said they weren't into sci-fi. Though I've realized over the past few years that I am a massive sci-fi fan. Pretty much every one of my favorite movies is sci-fi. Everything I've worked on is sci-fi. And meeting Jane Espenson was just jaw-dropping, not talking just in awe. I was like "You're Jane Espenson and you worked on 'Buffy' and how was that and that's awesome and you're awesome and this is awesome." There was more actual conversation once we got past that. I just felt really honored to meet her. Keep reading

David Eick:

So how long ago did the idea for "Caprica" actually come about?
The first time that myself, Ron Moore and Remi Aubuchon got together to discuss it was was five years ago. It's crazy cause it doesn't seem that long. Ron and I came from these franchises that had spawned offspring. In Ron's case it was "Star Trek" and in mine it was the "Hercules"/"Xena" world. At some point during the second season of "Battlestar," we started kicking around the idea of another story rooted in this world. We started kicking around the idea of a more human-based, terrestrial-based soap opera with a sci-fi undertone that would take place in the years before the events that were depicting in "Battlestar." In affect, it would be Dallas where the McGuffin would be artificial intelligence instead of oil.

We had a general conversation with execs at Universal, then we tabled it as we continued to make "Battlestar." We got a call from those execs some time later and they said that at some point in time they heard a pitch from Remi Aubuchon that they felt crossed paths in many ways with what we'd talked about for our "Battlestar" prequel. It just made sense to Ron and I to have another partner since we were so into just making "Battlestar" at the time. So we sat down with Remi and started to hammer out where this spinoff would be.

So I don't really need to ask if it was a harder sell than the original 'reimagined' "Battlestar" premise?
Our reimagined "Battlestar" premise was held back by a couple of things at different stages. One was title, which was a blessing and a curse. It opened certain doors, but there's a whole contingent ... who would not watch a show called "Battlestar Galactica" no matter how many trophies you win. And Bonnie Hammer said to me, 'You're gonna have to explain to me again when you come in to pitch this why the world needs another space opera.' And I think we did.

In this case, we had a leg up, you could say. We were coming at the "Battlestar" mythos at what did not feel like a lot of other shows. As unique as "Battlestar" is, it's still easy to lump it in with "Stargate" and "Star Trek" and "Andromeda" and I can't even name them all. Whereas with "Caprica" I think we're operating in very unique territory. Keep reading

They also reviewed the pilot here.

SpoilerTV has the full transcript of the conference call with David Eick and Paula Malcomson here.

BuddyTV talked to Jane Espenson about Sam Adama, the gay character on the show - link.

Airlock Alpha talked to Bear McCreary about the show's score.

PinkRayGun has an article about the Caprica set visit last October here.

Ausiello at Entertainment Weekly has a pic of James Marsters and says he will first appear on the show on March 5.

Times Colonist interviewed Magda Apanowicz - link. So did

Wired talked to Alessandra Torresani - link. Sioux City Journal also has a new interview with her.

SeattlePi has an interview with Esai Morales here.

And the Wall Street Journal talked to David Eick - link. has a lengthy review/feature about some of the issues that will be explored on the show.

And here is the New York Times review.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

New Caprica trailer

A new trailer for Caprica showed up online today:

Katee Sackhoff likes the Caprica pilot

Katee Sackhoff talked to TV Guide Magazine recently and they asked her what she thought about the Caprica pilot. Here is what she said:

"The texture, colour and grit reminded me of Galactica," she said.

She added: "Had it been pretty it wouldn't have worked, and Caprica has a nice blend of [serenity] before the attack and grittiness to show what comes after."

Katee is a regular on the new season of 24, which just premiered this week and is definitely off to a good start. You can watch the show every Monday at 9/8c on Fox.

Source: Digital Spy

Caprica cast interview from the TCA red carpet

SCI FI Wire has posted an interview with Alessandra Torresani, Magda Apanowicz and Sasha Roiz from the TCA red carpet. Here it is:

Eric Stoltz talks about Caprica has a new interview up with Eric Stoltz. He talks about his character, Daniel Graystone, his first encounter with Battlestar fandom and the Caprica script, and the ways in which the show will explore the ethical implications of artificial intelligence.

Q: What did you hear about the plans for "Caprica" that made you want to be part of the project?

A: I was shooting something in Utah and the script was sent to me, but I didn't get around to reading it right away -- and then it went missing from my room. It turns out one of the guys at the hotel was a big "Battlestar (Galactica)" fan and had bribed the maid to take the script so he could read it. It was a very interesting introduction to the passion and fervor the fans hold for that show.

In any case, this prompted me to read the script, and it was so rich and complex that I decided to meet with the creators to see what they were like in person.

Q: How would you describe your character, Daniel Graystone, and his relationship with Joseph Adama?

A: He's a captain of industry, a billionaire not unlike Bill Gates, someone whose imagination and creativity and knowledge have richly rewarded him. He's united with (main character) Joseph Adama by loss -- they are both deeply wounded (not literally) by a terrorist bombing -- and although they are bound by this event, they really are like chalk and cheese in that they have nothing else in common.

Q: In what ways is "Caprica" similar to and different from "Battlestar"?

A: ("Caprica") is different in that it's about two families -- it's not a war story, it's not set in space, it's about two families and how they connect and disconnect, and how the feelings that our families generate can fuel us on to make decisions that resonate around the world, but are perhaps not always in the best interest of society. It's similar in that it has wonderfully complex characters who are neither all good nor bad, but exist in the middle area that we all seem to live in. Keep reading

New interview with Paula Malcomson and David Eick has a new interview with Paula Malcomson and David Eick. You can read the entire article here.

We took part in a conference call with Malcomson and Eick earlier today, and we got the chance to ask them about how you handle a bad mom like Amanda. Does Malcomson have a hard time playing such an unsympathetic character?

Malcomson says, "It's definitely something that occurs to you in the back of your mind, but as an actor you have to set aside your own judgments as to whether the character is good or bad... Being a good actor is sort of understanding the complexity of the human psyche and also knowing that we are none of us perfect. But yes, it was tough, and I did think that, particularly, men would find this character unsympathetic. I just tried to… tap into the loss and the pain, and the fact that she has made mistakes and go from there… you know."

Eick adds that he doesn't think there's any room for the trope of "sympathetic characters" on shows like Caprica, any more than there was on BSG. "Audiences like challenging characters. [There's] no room for black and white, [only] morally gray." And he adds that you'll find Amanda unpredictable and weird: "Sometimes you expect her to lose her shit and she holds it together, and vice versa. That's part of the charm of the show."

Also, Eick explained more about what's new and different in the version of the two-hour pilot that airs on Friday, as opposed to the version many of us already bought on DVD. "The version that airs Friday is tricked out with a couple of new shots and visual effects and some new scenes we reshot." Keep reading

Monday, 18 January 2010

Paula Malcomson interview (Caprica countdown)

Paula Malcomson is one of the Caprica actors who talked to L.A. Times for their Caprica countdown series of interviews. She discussed her character, Amanda Graystone, Amanda's relationship with her daughter Zoe, female characters on Battlestar Galactica and her experiences working on Deadwood among other things.

Who is Amanda Graystone?
She's a plastic surgeon who's married to a tycoon, if you will. She has her own hard-working, busy career, and I think she's well respected in her field. We don't focus a lot on her inner workings as we start on this journey with these people, then this tragedy happens and she sort of rips herself out of her career and separates herself from her work. While her husband goes into his work more deeply, she fires herself.


Emotionally, she's in a tough place. She's dealing with the death of her daughter in the public eye. She's sort of a celebrity in this world that they live in; her husband's sort of the Bill Gates of their time. We find her dealing with all of this tragedy and terrorism and maybe implications that her duaghter... well, she's going down this road to find out what her daughter's involvement is and it's pointing towards the fact that her daughter has been complicit in this terrorist attack. She's sort of discovering how little she's known about her. Anything that she's know about herself and her life and her world is all in question now.

How was her relationship with her daughter?

Her daughter's a very precocious young woman. It had been a challenging time. You see the day before the bombing, that there's a big fight between them. She's sort of pushing her to the edge. She's a very smart kid; she challenges their ethics... she challenges them at all levels. She's an incredibly smart kid, and we get to see how incredibly smart she is later. Amanda has no idea what genius her kid has, but we see that the last thing before the bombing is they have this fight, and she slaps her. And that's how it's left. She doesn't get to say goodbye in some sentimental way and has all these feelings of guilt and remorse and is trying to work through some of that stuff.

Do you think that viewers will be surprised at how Amanda develops as the season progresses?
Yeah. I certainly was. ... As this character formed, it took a lot of turns that I didn't expect. You can take a lot of that with a pinch of salt in the beginning because things just sort of organically occur as part of the process. But as they see the character grow, it informs how they write for you.

I think that, if we're dividing the show into two halves of the season, at first we're seeing Amanda as more reactive in just dealing with the circumstances that she's in. Then as we move forward, in around Episodes 8, maybe 10, she becomes a lot more of an active figure in the series, with an agenda. Things heat up a lot in terms of what she's doing. Don't want to give it all away, but she becomes a force to be reckoned with.

Since playing Trixie on "Deadwood" and other smaller roles on things like "Lost" and "Law & Order," what drew you to this role?
The script of the pilot was a great script and it was a great character. The creative team comes with quite a pedigree, and I'd heard all sorts of wonderful things about "Battlestar," so I just wanted to work with them. After I'd done "Deadwood," it took me a while to figure out what I would do after playing Trixie because that was an incredible roller coaster. A real role of a lifetime. I wanted to find something I felt was very different from her and would afford me the opportunity that I got with working with [Deadwood creator] Dave Milch in terms of a writing team and in terms of real, grown-up, challenging acting. That was what I was interested in doing. It was a heavy-duty script, and I was interested in playing in a real relationship in a marriage as well. Not an idea of a television version. And certainly working with Eric Stoltz... we both work very similarly. Keep reading

Caprica pilot seen by 1,5 million people before the premiere

Airlock Alpha talked to SyFy president Dave Howe about the decision to release the Caprica pilot on DVD so early and to stream it on their site, as well as about how this might impact the premiere numbers. You can read the whole article here.

Since releasing the entire pilot episode online several weeks back (and months after first releasing it on DVD), more than 1.5 million people have watched the "Caprica" pilot through the Internet or on DVD, according to trade publication Multichannel News. The episode has been offered through, Hulu, and other places. (...)

"The more people that we encourage to watch that pilot and come in for the series, the better off we'll be," Howe said at the time. In deciding whether or not to offer "Caprica" early to the masses, Howe said he and the bosses "talked about it endlessly."

"It's the risk we took in releasing it on DVD first, and the risk we take in streaming it," he said. "In this climate, with the audience we have, it's the right thing to do. We have this amazing techno-savvy audience that isn't going to always watch linear TV like a linear audience."

Those who watched the pilot already still might want to tune in, Howe teased. There will be some new features included in Friday's airing as well as a "supertease" of the rest of the season.

Interviews with Jane Espenson and David Eick has a couple of interviews up with Jane Espenson and David Eick here.

Espenson talked about the central conflict on the show being not between humans and robots but between different groups of humans, while Eick talked about the beginnings of the show.

According to Espenson, the "other" in Caprica is other groups of humans, instead of the Cylons which barely exist at this point. You have twelve colonies, with diverse ethnic groups, all in conflict with each other. And that doesn't even include the monotheists, who are a minority in all the different colonies. The show's being very careful to make clear that not all monotheists are evil terrorists, adds Espenson. The whole stew of conflict, with each group believing it has the right answer to all of society's woes, brings a society that's at peace closer to the brink of war and disaster. And those elements — a peacetime society where different groups of humans are fighting over cultural and religious differences — allow Caprica to tell very different stories than Battlestar Galactica. It's still just as allegorical as BSG, however, and it still has something to say about the times we're living in.

Eick told us that Caprica started out as Remi Aubuchon's pitch for a totally unrelated show about robots, and then Syfy suggested turning it into a BSG prequel. And that opened up all sorts of ways to explore the same questions as BSG, only from the opposite side — instead of a show about machines who are becoming human, you have a show about a human girl who becomes a machine. Either way, you're getting to ask some questions about what humanity really is, says Eick.

Alessandra Torresani about the five faces of Zoe

Alessandra Torresani talked to SCI FI Wire about the character(s) she is playing on Caprica. The complete article is here.

"I've done a scene where I play three characters in one," Torresani said. "Season 1.5, the second half, third episode into it. Besides just that, I get to play five completely different characters, which is not like any female 16-year-old show character that I've ever seen before in my life."

Zoe O: "Zoe 0 is the original Zoe, who's the daughter of Amanda and Daniel Graystone," Torresani said in an interview this week in Pasadena, Calif., at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. "She's the rebellious girl that's trying to find the Soldiers of the One and is trying to find the One True God on Gemenon."

V World Zoe: "She creates the avatar, which lives in the virtual world. The avatar is the childlike version of herself, but when original Zoe's in the V club, she's this wild, crazy [girl], has tons of sex, drugs, does all this but now is trying to clean up her act and clean up the V world. Does that kind of make sense to you?"

Cylon Zoe: Daniel Graystone figures out how to put his daughter's memories into the very first Cylon. The show will portray the machine both as a robot (depicted with visual effects) and as Torresani herself (representing the character's inner personality, which only the audience sees).

Zoe 4 and 5: Torresani is keeping the remaining two Zoes a secret. "It's going to get really interesting, really interesting," she said.

Torresani shared a little bit about her process for portraying the different versions of the character. "The avatar, it's like a rebirth of a child," Torresani said. "She's a newborn. She's touching things for the first time. She's standing for the first time. She's talking for the first time. It's this innocence that is very bizarre to see come out of a 16-year-old's body and mouth. I completely erase everything and just pretend that I'm this newborn child. You have to, but it's very, very hard when you're playing the Cylon as well and playing another character."

Alessandra Torresani promotes Caprica at the BAFTA/LA Awards Season Tea Party

Alessandra Torresani attended the BAFTA/LA 16th Annual Awards Season Tea Party to promote Caprica on Saturday (Jan. 16).

The event was held at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

To see all the pictures, visit Just Jared Jr.

Caprica premieres in only four days, on Friday, January 22 at 9/8c on SyFy.

New interview with Bear McCreary (Caprica countdown)

Bear McCreary is one of the people involved in Caprica who were interviewed by L.A. Times this past week. You can read the full interview here.

You create your themes based on characters, so when something is not fully formed like "Caprica," do you just go on the script itself?
No, never. I honestly never read the script if I can avoid it because a lot will change from the time it's written to the time it's produced. Sometimes the entire tone of an episode can be reshaped in directing or editing or acting. I don't like to base my ideas off of an alternative reality. With that said, there are times where I need to know in advance certain character arcs. "Caprica" is a great example. I won't give you any spoilers, but there are certain reveals that I know are coming in the back half of the season, so I'm already planting seeds. I'm not going to mention anybody, but after things happen, you can go back to the beginning and see where, musically, I was telling you who these hidden characters are. Stuff like that is really fun.

That's awesome to think about that level of nuance. Let's talk about the two main characters: Eric Stoltz as Daniel Graystone and Esai Morales as Joseph Adama. What, musically, stood out for each of them?

Both of them are featured prominently in the pilot, so my initial original conceptual themes came from the pilot. Daniel is aristocratic and sophisticated and wealthy and very intelligent and highly educated. He's really the kind of character that we never saw on "Battlestar." So I wanted his music and generally the tone of the show itself to be more familiar. I didn't want it to have that kind of tribal raw energy that the "Battlestar" score had. So it's more western; it sounds more like a traditional chamber orchestra. You hear instruments that are not foreign to anyone. English horn and harp and piano. So it has a really calm, meditative yet familiar aspect. One of the things I wanted to say with that is that the world of Daniel Graystone is our world. It's more far-fetched in that it's advanced, but unlike "Battlestar," which is like a submarine, Caprica City is an environment that we are familiar with. So the music should be familiar.

You mentioned the Taurons ... so have you thought about the different musical themes that each culture could create?

Absolutely. And there had been times throughout "Battlestar" where we're dealing with people from different colonies and I wrote particular themes for them. But this is the first time I really tried to craft an identity for, not only Tauron, but Caprica as well. And it's something that I think we're going to explore more. Eric Stoltz is already talking to me about the episode he's directing where we get to see a little more of another colony. He's asking me what the music sounds like and I say, "I don't know. I'm not there yet." But we're gonna get there.

They also embedded a clip from a concert Bear held last year. If you haven't heard the Caprica theme performed live, here it is:

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Interview with Sasha Roiz (L.A. Times' Caprica countdown)

As part of their Caprica countdown, Los Angeles Times interviewed Sasha Roiz (Twitter link), who plays Sam Adama, Joseph's mobster brother. He talked about his character, the Adama family relations and history, Tauron values and continuity with Battlestar Galactica among other things.

How's it feel to be a Tauron assassin?
Interesting question. Well it feels really great that they've imbued this character with so many dynamic elements. It's not just a cookie cutter monster; he's got so many complexities to him that it's just a joy to play him.

What's the relationship like between Joseph and Sam?
At the beginning of the series, it's relatively strained. Obviously, the circumstances of the tragedy exacerbate the difficulties that the brothers had, and the brothers have a very different opinion of the world that they live in. Joseph is someone who's been trying to assimilate into the Caprican life while Sam is steadfast in staying loyal to Tauron and the Tauron community and has absolutely no interest in assimilating into the Caprican world. So those differences sort of come to a head, especially in the aftermath of the bombing and the loss of his wife and daughter.

The Ha'la'tha seems like a "Godfather" or yakuza type of organization. Where did you get your influences?
Yeah, it is of sorts. It's very much an ethnic organization not unlike what you said; it's kind of like a mafia or Yakuza. It's very similar to the way other mobs were formed in our world, say a century ago. When Italian and Irish and Jewish immigrants came over and were ghettoized and treated as second-class citizens, they formed organizations to protect themselves and their own ways of life and enforce their own laws. The Ha'la'tha have created a community and a life and a force on Caprica, and Sam's a soldier in that organization.

Sam Adama the role model ... is this all that good for for his nephew Willie, the future Admiral William Adama?
Ha! Well, Sam thinks so and has no doubts about it. Like I said, it's a very difficult time for the family, and Joseph's focus begins to spin a little bit out of control as he starts to chase after this avatar of Tamara [Adama, his deceased daughter] and he leaves Willie behind. So this is where Sam comes in almost as a surrogate and starts to raise this young boy. Sam always feels like the kid needs more Tauron influence, and along with that is a certain pride and strength that he wants to imbue in Willie. [Keep reading]

Caprica gets a positive review from Variety

Variety's Brian Lowry has posted a very positive review of the Caprica pilot. Here are a few snippets:

At first blush, the idea of a "Battlestar Galactica" prequel provoked skepticism of the "Why not leave well enough alone?" variety. Yet through its first four hours (including a two-hour premiere), "Caprica" exhibits more than enough promise to justify the mission, tracing the birth of the Cylons a half-century before the events of the earlier series while again weaving in powerful and resonant themes -- including religious intolerance and what truly makes us human. Although uneven in places, a quality cast and cliff-hanging episodic twists establish "Caprica" as an heir that shouldn't disappoint "BG" geeks.

The original "Galactica" was particularly adept at incorporating such flourishes and exploring concepts that compelled the audience to confront and contemplate their own reality -- particularly pertaining to terrorism's use as a tactic -- and series creators Ronald Moore and Remi Aubuchon again tackle those kinds of big ideas to push sci-fi boundaries in intellectually provocative ways.

For all that, the new show will doubtless be most enticing to fans of the old one, for whom every beat will carry echoes of the war to come. Whether that will limit the program's commercial appeal to a subset of "Galactica's" modest fleet of loyalists remains to be seen, but if this prequel can maintain the quality of its initial salvo, that will likely motivate at least those viewers to beseech whatever gods they pray to that "Caprica" be blessed with a prolonged stay in this place called Earth.

Friday, 15 January 2010

New trailer for Caprica

Los Angeles Times has a new trailer for Caprica. It was shown at the Television Critics Association press tour. You can watch it here.

Caprica premieres a week from today.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Two new Caprica previews

A couple of new Caprica previews appeared online earlier today. One is a teaser and the other is a short clip with Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales.

Source: Multipleverses

The Caprican, a Caprica City news site, goes live

SyFy has given Caprica an online extension, The Caprican. From the looks of it, the site will be covering news from Caprica City. 

Here is the announcement from SCI FI Wire:

Need a solar wind update for your flight to Tauron? Want the latest Pyramid scores for the Buccaneers? Check out the daily Caprican news Web site, with all the news from the city by the sea, Caprica. And you'll want to read all about the Graystones, too...

Interview with Jane Espenson

Michael Hinman at has a new interview with Jane Espenson. She talks about the point at which the show picks up after the pilot, the challenge of living up to Battlestar Galactica, and - heads up, astronomy geeks - how the 12 Colonies are grouped across different star systems in the same star cluster.

Check out the video:

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

New interview with Alessandra Torresani

L.A. Times has a new interview with Alessandra Torresani. Nine days to go until the premiere, two episodes left to film this season.

As Zoe Graystone, viewers don't get to bond a whole lot with you in the pilot for obvious, explosive reasons. How will we really get to know her?
Well I play five different people from the pilot to the season finale -- which I'm assuming five 'cause it may be more, I mean, we haven't shot the season finale or seen the script yet. So, yeah, you'll see, literally, five different young, 15-year-old girls.

I spoke to Eliza Dushku ("Dollhouse") about playing different characters on a show. Is each one of the roles you play a different personality at all?
They're all based on the same idea, but they're all very, very different. People will definitely know the differences between them all.

Was there a favorite?
Hmmm ... I don't know. Probably the robot cause she's a kick-ass [character]!

With Taurons, Capricans and such helping bridge the mythology of the "Battlestar Galactica" universe, did you feel any pressure?
Not so much. Yeah we're following in their footsteps, but we're a completely different show and we're a different style of show. We're not battleships fighting each other running away from the Cylons. Yeah, you want to keep all of their fans, and you want more, but you can't guarantee that. We're our own show -- it's fresh and new and we're going to base it on a completely new idea.

What do you think about the Cylon technology itself? Are we going that way as a society?
Absolutely! I'm convinced that Ron Moore is actually an alien and he knows these ideas already -- what's going to happen. He's just giving us little hints and little clues. I absolutely think so, I mean, why not?

Wow. Well, would you be into it? Would you do it, especially knowing what could possibly happen as a result?
Oh yeah, I'm a science nerd. I love this.

So you watched a lot of sci-fi and "Battlestar" before you got the role?
I never saw "Battlestar" before, but then I watched it after we shot our pilot because I wanted the first Cylon to be completely different than how Tricia [Helfer] portrayed it or Grace [Park] or any of the girls. I watched it and became completely obsessed. But yeah, I'm into "Star Trek" and stuff ... I'm more into "Aliens," but yeah it's all fun! Keep reading

Monday, 11 January 2010

Bear McCreary plans to post updates on Caprica score

Heads up: Bear McCreary posted a new entry on his blog about the scores he's been doing for Caprica, Human Target and the video game Dark Void. He says he will post detailed entries about his work on these projects, as he did while Battlestar was still on the air, so keep an eye on his site for updates.

Human Target premieres on Sunday, January 17 at 8/7c on Fox, Dark Void is out on January 19, and the extended Caprica pilot airs on January 22 at 9/8c on Syfy.

Here is what he says about Caprica:

BSG fans I assume already know about this one. What the rest of you guys might not know is that Caprica is a distinctly unique series, one that can be enjoyed without any knowledge of BSG. My pilot score soundtrack album was released last year to rave reviews (”A rich and satisfying journey; subtle and beautiful.” - IGN 6-22-09). With the series now airing, you can finally hear the somber themes and instrumental colors introduced in the pilot expand into a vibrant and vast musical universe, complete with new character themes, songs, anthems and onscreen piano and vocal performances. Caprica City, as you will discover, is a very musical place and the producers have allowed me to craft that musical identity and share it with all of you.

I started this blog with modest aspirations of updating it once a month or so. Over the course of BSG, I realized that there are actually countless other people out there like me who really enjoy the ins and outs of film scoring, and this blog has obviously grown. As a result, I am planning to post blog entries about all of these new projects with the same intense detail of my BSG entries.

I am confident when you guys hear this music, you’re going to want to know more about it. Expect to see a flood of entries, album and merchandise announcements and other surprises on the blog here in the coming weeks. And be sure to check out the Human Target, Dark Void and Caprica scores next week, because I think you guys will love them.

Source: Bear McCreary's blog

Another report from the Caprica panel

TV Squad posted a report from the Winter Press Tour here. David Eick talked about Zoe's character and the decision to do the scenes with both Alessandra Torresani and Zoe's Cylon body.

"The reason for that," said Eick, "beyond just how difficult it's proven to be on production to accommodate that, because it does tax us greatly, but it was so critical because the emotions are so important.

"And you can only get so much of an emotional point-of-view from a CG creature. And we had this magnificent actress in Alessandra, who we knew could deliver all the complexities of this angst-ridden young woman that we just thought it would be cheating the show, the audience, and just our storytelling ability to limit it to just visual effects."

And he and Jane Espenson also discussed the similarities and differences between Caprica and Battlestar Galactica. Espenson said, "There's no stark bad guys and good guys, that this is a world that is perceived by some of its residents as sort of sliding over the edge, and there's a whole bunch of people who think they've got the answer."

Eick added:

There are the occasional Easter eggs and nods and acknowledgments for the Battlestar faithful to enjoy or maybe deepen some of their appreciation for it, but I think legitimately the show stands on its own. And other than the fact that if you happen to know Battlestar Galactica, you know that that show had its roots in some of the stories we're telling now, there really is no relationship between the two shows whatsoever.

Caprica - Winter Press Tour report

Ausiello at Entertainment Weekly has the first report from the Winter Press Tour. You can read the article  here.

Caprica, like Battlestar Galactica, doesn’t treat the [sci-fi] genre like a toy department,” exec producer David Eick told reporters at Winter Press Tour. “We take it seriously.”

Translation: The drama, starring Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Polly Walker, and Paula Malcomson, will be brimming with BSG’s trademark moral complexity. “There are no stark good guys and bad guys,” said fellow e.p. Jane Espenson. “Everyone has moral shadings and we can tell very complex stories as a result.”

On the flipside, Eick stressed that non-BSG loyalists will not be lost if they tune into Caprica. “New viewers will find that there’s virtually no tether to BSG from a storytelling standpoint,” he maintained. “Legitimately, the show stands on its own… It’s not called Battlestar Galactica: Caprica [for a reason].”

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Caprica screening in New York

New Caprica video: scene from episode 1x02

Here is a clip from the second episode, with Alessandra Torresani and Magda Apanowicz, from The Daily Beast:

Interview with Caprica producers: Ron Moore, Jane Espenson, David Eick

The Daily Beast has a lengthy new article about Caprica here. They talked to the show's executive producers Ron Moore, Jane Espenson and David Eick. Here is some of what they had to say:

“[Caprica] continues on the thematic aspects of Battlestar in terms of what it means to be human, how our personal, familiar, emotional decisions can have sociological or political impact, and that… the greatest wrinkles in our culture and our history can be boiled down to an emotional response to something,” said Eick. “It’s an ironic sort of commentary that small, personal motivations are what contribute to the biggest changes in society.”

“It’s got a very different flavor,” said Moore of Caprica. “It’s setting out to tell a very different story… It’s planet-based, instead of space-based, it’s not action-adventure, it’s much more centered on two families than a military environment. We wanted it to be much more about contemporary society and problems that are coming up on a social front as well as a technological front.”

The main distinction between the two shows, said Eick, is that Battlestar was a war story while Caprica is set during times of peace. “It’s more personal,” he said. “It’s how those very universal feelings that we all have, feeling ostracized from our families, feeling misunderstood by our loved ones, not feeling like our potential is being realized or appreciated, lead to these enormous sort of technological avalanches of discovery… and huge cultural shifts.”

Espenson agrees. “The conflicts come more from the clashing of people from different cultures and representing different life-philosophies—capitalists, technocrats, mobsters, polytheists, monotheists, terrorists, federal agents,” she said. “It’s a portrait of a culture in transition, trying to find its moral footing. It feels contemporary without being in any way a literal reflection of today’s headlines.”

“It doesn’t really have the sense of a new dawn, which is the guiding idea of the Obama administration,” said Moore. “[That’s] about new beginnings, hope, and change. These are people who think that they are making things better, who think that they have a handle on what their society wants, but they are watching it fly apart at the seams without even realizing it.”

Eick said: “We never sat down on Battlestar and still don’t… with The New York Times and say, what episode should we write this week? To whatever extent there is an infusion of suggestive, allegorical current events in the show, it’s very slight and oftentimes subconscious… and rarely if ever do we go to any great lengths to remark or wink or comment on some current event.”

“If there’s a fine line… we’re trampling all over it,” wrote Espenson in an email. “This is the glory of doing a sci-fi show. You can say what you want to about extreme polytheists and (pre- or non-Christian) monotheists and really say some stuff about religion without saying anything about any particular living religion. It’s amazingly freeing.”

Additionally, the difference in perspectives between generations is an important distinction between Caprica and its forebear, stressed Moore. Battlestar’s characters were all adults; Caprica purposefully has strong teen characters. “Where’s the youth culture leading this society, because ultimately that is where societies go,” Moore said. “And there was this idea at the heart of the show that we were very intrigued with, which was that this apocalypse is born from an angry, 16-year-old girl.”

“One of the frustrations we found on Battlestar was just getting people to sample it,” said Moore. “There was a barrier to particularly female viewers, who just wouldn’t tune in to a show that was about people on spaceships.... I always felt that that was a really artificial barrier to entry. We wanted to create a piece that was definitely a science-fiction piece but make entry easier: Make a society that looks like our society, let people talk more like us, make it much more contemporary-feeling.”

Those who can put aside preconceived notions will find Caprica to be a complex family-driven drama as well as an exploration of many contemporary themes.

Or as Espenson tartly sums up the show’s first season focus: “Robots, religion, sex, torture, late-night talk shows, murder, robot-abuse, virtual crime lords, virtual drugs, and robot-fondling.”

Monday, 4 January 2010

New interview with Jane Espenson

IF Magazine has a new interview with Jane Espenson. She discusses her role as executive producer, continuity with Battlestar Galactica, the casting of James Marsters, and other things. A few snippets below, for the full article, go here.

JANE ESPENSON: I’m still executive producer. Really the only thing that’s changed is Kevin is running the room now, as we’re breaking the last couple episodes of the season, so that I can go write on the last couple episodes. It’s really pretty much a procedural change, as much as an organizational one. Running the room and doing all the show runner stuff and all the production stuff was taking a lot of my time and it wasn’t the stuff that most interested me and I was really, really suffering from missing the writing, and I wanted to be able to get in for at least these finale episodes and not be distracted by production and actor issues and be able to genuinely do a lot of the writing. So this was initiated by me and Kevin is fantastic. Kevin has this amazing decisive equanimity that is allowing him to see it through, get stuff done, get everything lined up, so that I don’t have to be in the room, I can be at my computer, writing like a fiend. I’ve done more writing in the last couple weeks – I just couldn’t be happier. It was a matter of me asking for what I needed and getting it and it’s really a good change for the show and for everyone involved.

iF: How involved are Ron Moore and David Eick?

ESPENSON: They’re both very involved, thank the Gods. They’re fantastic. They’ve worked together for so long, they’ve got a wonderful shorthand and I’m just learning, because a lot of the producer things are things I [had] never done before, so I [was] trotting alongside them going, “Wait, what do you do when something’s way over budget? When do you cast a role in Canada and when do you cast a role in the U.S.? How much should I be listening to notes from the director, versus notes from production? How much should I be delegating to my writers versus handling myself?”’

iF: Were there things you enjoyed about hands-on producing/being the show runner?

ESPENSON: Oh, absolutely. I [enjoyed] the interaction in the room very much, because whenever there is one of those debates where everyone is all with their hearts in their throats because they really want the decision to be made in favor of the story that they think best serves the characters, and they’re going to be a little disappointed when it doesn’t come down their way and they have to embrace this other path. I never [had] to be the one who’s disappointed, because I got to say, “Oh, no, we’re going on that path.” And that’s wonderful. And I [liked] that if I read something in a writer’s script that I didn’t feel was right for our world, I had the authority to say, “No, no, this feels a little too earthbound, this doesn’t feel like …” for whatever reason, I [could] give the note. I liked having that much say.

iF: With CAPRICA, are you finding it hard or easy to write into the BATTLESTAR narrative that already exists?

ESPENSON: Actually, shockingly easy, because of this wonderful fifty-eight-year cushion between our events and those events. BATTLESTAR was my last home before [CAPRICA] and I still feel very much a part of that. Really, BATTLESTAR’s the mother ship. You don’t feel the need to set up stuff. I mean, we’re setting up stuff in this big wonderful broad-stroke palette that we have to work with, which is, we have the war coming up, then we know the skin jobs are going to arrive, then they’re going to help the Centurions make more skin jobs and we’re off and running. All we have to do is make sure we don’t contradict anything that’s been said about that road to that first war, and not a lot’s been said. We’re inferring things that seem natural to us, which is a lot of fun, because you go, "Before these twelve colonies were unified under one government, they would have certainly had separate national anthems, national creeds, national identities. Maybe they would still use some [different] languages, they would still use cultural markers like the Tauran tattoos that we’ve seen. All we have to do is backtrack what we know and create a livable, reasonable, interesting culture." For sci-fi writers, that’s a dream – that’s not a chore, that’s fun.

iF: James Marsters has a recurring role on CAPRICA as a terrorist. How instrumental were you in getting him hired?

ESPENSON: I was very instrumental in the hiring of James Marsters. I knew he was right for our show, creatively, and [wanted him on] for the joy of the BUFFY-meets-BATTLESTAR, which just gave me personal delight. I knew he was perfect and I pushed very, very hard for him.
iF: Given the fact that you presumably are showing the prototypes of the Cylons, will we be seeing actors we recognize as the Twelve?

ESPENSON: The thing about the prototypes of the Cylons is that it is a bit down the road. What we’ve got right now is one girl and one robot. I don’t know that you would see the actors [who played Cylons on BATTLESTAR]. You would see – well, I’m not going to answer. It’ll be fun to watch it unfold.

Jamie Bamber on Caprica: Too domestic

Jamie Bamber shared his impression of Caprica with Digital Spy and it seems the pilot left him a bit underwhelmed.

"I liked it," Bamber told Digital Spy, but--"I've got to be honest, for me it was a bit too teeny and domestic to really fire my imagination. But they're trying to make a different show to Battlestar."

Caprica deals with the family dynamics and rivalries that lead into the first Cylon war. "The things I enjoyed about Battlestar was the social-political side of it and I felt it was a bit domestic."