Battlestar Galactica comes to a triumphant end in early 2009, closing out what could be the best sci-fi television series ever made. And that coming from someone who thoroughly enjoyed many of the Star Trek TV series and who loves Firefly – all 12 episodes of it.
The show is a masterstroke of action, espionage, betrayal, alliances, love, relationships and, perhaps most importantly, social commentary. It took a great sci-fi premise and turned it into something more, a drama with complicated, interesting characters that just happens to be set in space. It’s a shame that some people still shrug Battlestar Galactica off as a sci-fi show, because even though it does feature an “alien” race, space battles and [admittedly, not-so-great] fate stuff, it is grounded in reality more than most shows.
So, when Sci-Fi Channel announces that they have ordered 20 hours of Caprica, the new original series spin-off of Battlestar Galactica, I should be thrilled, right? Wrong.
Sure, Caprica may be better than most shows on television, but:
- It’s going to be set on a planet, before any wars. Dramas are all well and good, but without the Cylons, this sounds a little too far removed from the Battlestar Galactica we know and love.
- It’s going to have different actors and characters. Can the writers strike magic twice?
- It’s about two human families competing against one another. Didn’t Shakespeare already write a masterpiece with this concept?
- The show will, eventually, lead to the first Cylon war, right? I sure as hell hope so. But how many seasons is it going to take to get there?
- From the first minute, it is going to be compared to Battlestar Galactica. And it just can’t be as good.
Again, Battlestar Galactica: Caprica could be very good. Still, it’s not going to be as good, so it’s setting itself up for poor comparisons. Beyond that, there is going to be so few similarities in terms of characters, plot and so forth that those wanting more BSG may be disappointed.
I love the drama and social dilemmas that are raised in BSG, but I love the balance it has with some kick-ass Cylon action. Without that balance, will I be that interested in watching a space drama that’s not set in space?
Of course, I’m still going to watch it. What do you think?