Thursday, April 27, 2006

How Is This a Bad Idea? Let Me Count the Ways

SCI FI Announces Caprica:
SCI FI Channel announced the development of Caprica, a spinoff prequel of its hit Battlestar Galactica, in presentations to advertisers in New York on April 26. Caprica would come from Galactica executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, writer Remi Aubuchon (24) and NBC Universal Television Studio.

Caprica would take place more than half a century before the events that play out in Battlestar Galactica. The people of the Twelve Colonies are at peace and living in a society not unlike our own, but where high-technology has changed the lives of virtually everyone for the better.

But a startling breakthrough in robotics is about to occur, one that will bring to life the age-old dream of marrying artificial intelligence with a mechanical body to create the first living robot: a Cylon. Following the lives of two families, the Graystones and the Adamas (the family of William Adama, who will one day become the commander of the Battlestar Galactica), Caprica will weave together corporate intrigue, techno-action and sexual politics into television's first science fiction family saga, the channel announced.
  1. I don't know if anyone on the BSG production staff has noticed, but the show is floundering. I was under the, it now seems, hopelessly naive impression that the decision to push the show's third season premiere back to October was made at least in part in order to give its writers a chance to take stock and put their show back on track. Now is not the time to split the production team's creative energies.

  2. Once again, maybe I was being naive, but I had assumed that the story of the Cylons' evolution and the first war would be introduced on Galactica itself. Splitting off the original show's backstory strikes me as a phenomenally bad idea.

  3. Corporate intrigue, sexual politics--if the second season has demonstrated anything, it's that these are exactly the topics that Galactica's writing staff tends to stumble over and mishandle. Sure, there's 'techno-action' stuck in the middle, but I doubt there are going to be a lot of space battles on this show.

  4. I had my fill of science fiction family sagas with Taken.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Agreed. This is a death sentence for Galactica, which was clearly at the threshold of creative dessication without having its inputs split, distracted, and fatigued.

Mike said...

Hear, hear. (Or is that here, here?) Really, truly, a wretched idea. I'm not sure I agree that the show is "floundering" -- although you made some excellent points in your post on that topic after "Lay Your Burdens... II" -- but, for certain, it is *way* too early to be even thinking about a spin-off, let alone putting one into pre-production.

One would think Ron Moore would know better, seeing as how the Trek franchise died (for the time being, at least) in part thanks to stretching creative resources too thin. (They all stayed at DS9 with none to spare for Voyager, but that's another rant.)

And, frankly, the premise for "Caprica" sounds really and truly boring. As you say, the Cylon backstory belongs on Galactica and only on Galactica.

telepresence said...

Maybe it means tey've decided to abandon the Colonial Culture/Civilian life stuff that many people are interested in, but that they have difficulty with on Galactia. Turn that into a purer military life/war show, and send the rest to Caprica.

Also, the sexual politics thing being mentioned specifically fascinates me.

But yeah, my inital reaction was "WTF?", and my second "Uhm, do you have the time/energy/resources to do two Galacticaverse shows?" Because they've admitted openly that this last 20 episode season was a toughy for them.

On the other hand you can see why Sci-fi channel is excited about it. Cost wise two shows set in the sma euniverse will be slightly cheaper than two seperate shows. They can try to build a new franchise to replace Stargate, which will have to die sometime (Won't it? Maybe with the help of wooden stakes and silver bullets?)

Abigail Nussbaum said...

Maybe it means tey've decided to abandon the Colonial Culture/Civilian life stuff that many people are interested in, but that they have difficulty with on Galactia

I could have envisioned this before the great leap forward in the second season finale, but now? The cast is almost entirely de-militarized. They are civilians. They should have civilian friends, business partners and social circles. If and when the show leaves New Caprica, it would make no sense for characters who have lived for a year as civilians (and in some cases, achieved prominent positions in their new lives) to unthinkingly return to their military roles without bringing the civilian world back with them.

Which is not to say that the writers won't do this, but I would consider it a further and even more egregious mishandling of the civilian issue, not a solution to their existing problems.

Also, the sexual politics thing being mentioned specifically fascinates me.

My reaction was far more cynical - that 'sexual politics' is a codeword for 'yes! This show too will feature scantily clad, oversexed blondes!'

They can try to build a new franchise to replace Stargate, which will have to die sometime (Won't it? Maybe with the help of wooden stakes and silver bullets?)

In all fairness, the Stargate franchise seems to be justifying its existence by acting as an employment scheme for the out-of-work stars of better and unfairly cancelled (and, in the case of Enterprise, worse and quite justly cancelled) genre shows. On top of Ben Browder and Claudia Black (and possibly Connor Trinneer returning for guest roles on Atlantis), Firefly's Moren Baccarin is going to be playing a recurring villain on SG1 next year.

Anonymous said...

I'll take your cynical and raise the ante. Isn't it entirely too likely that the settlement of New Caprica will be wiped away, dismissed as a bad dream experienced by Gaius Baltar? Hit the reset button and everyone is back on board Galatica with the newly elected Baltar.

Steve L.

MichaelBains said...

No worries, but I think it's meant as a replacement for BGS. Critics love the show, but viewership sucks so they'll try for a broader crowd with the backstory.

I thought DS9 was the best ST btw. At least it seemed to have the best actors, other than "Picard" and some guests.

Post a Comment