Posted: 01/22/2010

 

Caprica, Premiering On Syfy January 22

(2010)

by Laura Tucker




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I’m not always the biggest fan of science fiction, but throw in some futuristic technology and great drama, and I’m all over it. That’s exactly what we have with Syfy’s newest science-fiction drama, Caprica.

Not that it’s completely Jetsons-like, though. While the teenagers escape to virtual nightclubs via “holabands,” the wealthy have robots as butlers, and the minority is a race from another planet, the men walk around in suits at all times and wear fedoras, and the women aren’t wearing clothing from the 40s, but they also aren’t wearing much that exposes the skin or is tight-fitting.

The story starts out as three teenaged friends are visiting a viral nightclub where everything goes, from sex to violence. It’s like a virtual rave. They access through Holabands, but there isn’t really just three of them. It’s more like 3-1/2. Zoe Graystone (Alessandra Torresani) seems to be as much of a technology whiz as her father Daniel (Eric Stoltz). While he created the Holabands, she has figured out how to take all the data of herself that exists in school records, phone records, etc., and use it to create a virtual self that only exists when she’s using the holabands.

In Caprica, there seems to be a non-appreciation for organized religion. Solidarity of One believes that there is only one omnipotent god. Because it is so frowned upon, no one freely admits to believing in this. Zoe and her friends are secretly part of Solidarity of One and have a secret plan to escape and board a train to carry out the plan. Her friend Lacy (Magda Apanowicz) backs out at the last minute, and when an explosion hits the train, she’s left as the only survivor between the three friends.

Well, almost. Zoe’s avatar that she created in the virtual world still exists, but only Lacy knows about it. Daniel runs into Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) who lost his wife and daughter on the train, and the two fathers bond over losing their daughters. Joseph is a lawyer, originally from the planet Tauron. To obtain this law education, though, he had to more or less sell his soul to the devil, the head of a mob. The man holds that over Joseph’s head to get him to do numerous unpleasant tasks.

Once Daniel discovers Zoe’s avatar, it calls into question what constitutes a person. Is it their physical body as it exists in our world? Is it the essence of who they are, such as their individual combination of interests, or is it their soul? It all becomes very existential. This is what’s behind the drama in the series, making it more than just science fiction.

Laura Tucker is the webmaster of Reality Shack and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, provides reviews at Viewpoints, and provides entertainment news pieces at Gather. She is also an Associate Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at LauraBelle@realityshack.com.



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