Caprica

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage.com, John Sciulli/WireImage.com, Albert L. Ortega/WireImage.com

Reading is fun! As part of this week's script read-through festivities, I bring you some new deets on Caprica, the spinoff of Battlestar Galactica from Ronald D. Moore and Remi Aubuchon!

Now, the script draft I have is as old as the gods themselves (OK, 2006, but still), so it may be somewhat out of date, but all the characters and storyline match up with the original Caprica storyline information we got when the pilot episode was first casting, so hopefully the essentials haven't changed too much.

What does the 110-page script say that can't be gleaned from character descriptions alone? Read on to get the dish...

What What With the What Now? Long story short, in the two-hour Caprica pilot, set 51 years before the destruction of the Twelve Colonies, computer hacker genius Zoe digitizes her identity, dies and is resurrected by her computer-hacker genius father in a somewhat mangled online format. Joseph Adams (played by Esai Morales), who is the father of Admiral Bill and grandfather of Major Lee, finds himself entangled in this mess. He's connected both legally, by way of dirty work he does for some bad guys, and emotionally, because his wife and daughter were killed in the same suicide bombing that killed Zoe. Anyway, the digital version of Zoe becomes the brain of the first Cylon (oops!), and herein our epic begins.

Living Dead Girl:
Poor Zoe replicants. Such creatures are always doomed. The only doll-made-real that ever came to any good was the Velveteen Rabbit, and even that story is depressing as all get out if you read between the lines. Tip to the toymakers: Souls, like batteries, should not be included with children's playthings—they corrode inside the product and ruin everything. (And don't bother bringing up Pinocchio. Pinocchio was a little creep.)

Perfect Casting: Eric Stotlz
will be beyond perfect as billionaire industrialist Daniel Graystone. A substantial man in many ways, Daniel's gravitas is largely intellectual, and only minimally moral or psychological. If Joseph Adama is the actual ancestor of Bill and Lee Adama, Daniel is some kind of spiritual ancestor to Gaius Baltar. In a similar vein, as I was following chilly, self-destructive Amanda on her path through the script, I realized I couldn't imagine anyone but Paula Malcolmson in this scenery-chewing role.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy Was a Bear: That bear's name was definitely not Ronald D. Moore. The man knows how to draw the darkest among us, the ones most broken, the ones who, in turn, break things irreparably for others, while the world, as is its way, carries on carelessly. I always wonder, are the shadows of Galactica and Caprica cast by our post-9/11 mindset, or are they simply the natural-born black-eyed boogeyman of RDM's brain?

But TV Is the Idiot Box! Hard to believe this script is the spinoff of a remake of a '70s schlockfest based on Mormon cultural mythology. As densely written and layered as any novel, this script feels original and, most important, deeply thoughtful. Plus, all your major Frontline feature-story topics get a nod: racism, terrorism, industrial espionage, black-ops government agencies, religious fundamentalists, the perpetual panic about teen sex and, last but not least, that pesky, troublesome Internet.

Gangsters in the Family:
Imagine wholesome, upstanding, well-behaved Lee Adama. Now imagine his opposite number: vengeful, criminal, dangerous. There you have Joseph Adams' brother Sam. (Yes, Sam Adams. No wonder the family changed their name back to Adama.) Seriously, I have a crush on Sam already. He's the type who knows the difference between right and wrong, and does wrong anyway, which makes it all the more significant for him and his enemies. And cooler. It also makes it really cool.

Not to Put Too Fine a Point on It (Say I'm the Only Bee in Your Bonnet): A message, I suspect, can be found embedded in this statement by one Agent Duram, a fed who is investigating the suicide bombing: "It doesn't concern you that there's a proven link between worship of a single god and an absolutist view of the universe? A belief that right and wrong are determined solely by a single all-knowing, all-powerful being whose judgment cannot be questioned? A god in whose name the most horrendous crimes can be sanctioned without appeal?"

Dollhouse and Fringe and Caprica—we are truly in a golden age of sci-fi storytelling. Does Caprica sound like it might be up your alley, or are you just holding out for those three additional Battlestar movies? Post your thoughts in the comments.

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