The much anticipated Battlestar Galactica follow-up Caprica is set to debut on SPACE Friday night. As you may have heard, it rewinds viewers 58 years before the Cylons destroyed the 12 Colonies and set into motion the epic events of the hugely popular BSG. This prequel is set on (spoiler alert!) Caprica and it promises to explore the origin of the Cylons and the life and times of the Old Man’s old man. Still very much in the realm of science fiction, Caprica is the family saga of the Adamas and the Graystones – two families that become intertwined after a tragic terrorist attack. It promises to be a drama focusing largely on relationships, personal demons and political turmoil – all set against the backdrop of a future (or is it historical?) world.
The burning question on every frakkin’ BSG fan’s mind is whether these new characters, new situations and the practically unknown world of pre-Fall Caprica can recapture the magic of the original. Can a prequel hold the interest of an audience when they all know what will happen in the end?
Star Wars may be our greatest touchstone when it comes to discussing prequels, and if George Lucas’ prequel trilogy is anything to go by, things might not bode well for Caprica. While the new Star Wars movies interested millions who wanted to see how Skywalker the Elder became Skywalker the Darth, the films suffered horribly in execution with disinterested scripts, wooden acting and cheap, childish sight gags. That said, viewers still tune in every week to understand more about how Clark Kent became Superman on Smallville.
So perhaps the curiosity in prequels is there, but their success comes down to the way the backstory is told – for every awful Dumb and Dumberer or Hannibal Rising, there’s a solid Red Dragon or even a brilliant Godfather Part II. Thankfully, Caprica boasts a top-notch cast (including solid lead actor Eric Stoltz) and the strong point of BSG was always its mature, nuanced writing. If these qualities can carry over to Caprica, my hunch is that the interest will follow suit.
What do you think? Is Caprica a non-starter for you? Or can you not wait to explore the rise of the Cylons and the history of the Adamas?