Wednesday, 6 January 2010

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.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Everyone is whining and complaining about this and that.
Good grief you all must of forgot what CAPRICA is really truly about. Did everyone forget about the last 2 hours of Battlestar Galactica?
Caprica needs to finish its true story line of How things came to be no matter who likes or dont like what its a story line in the Battlestar Galactica What the heck was starbuck. she wasnt neither player but some odd entity ?
We all can email SyFy as well as the Producers of this show to remind them of there TRUE meaning of this story line to get it back on track. Bring Back Caprica dont just let all of us hang. Finish it please