'Caprica': Is the origin of the Cylons compelling enough?

caprica-320.jpgIt's hard to become invested in "Caprica" when you know how the story eventually ends.

"Caprica's" first episode is choppy and disconnected, lacking a narrative drive.

Nothing shows the viewer what the main conflict is and why we should care about the characters, especially in light of the fact that we know what the Cylons become and what they end up doing to Caprica (and the other colonies).

When "Battlestar Galactica" started, there was a catastrophic event that propelled the narrative forward. What is going to happen to the roughly 50,000 survivors of the Cylons' destruction of the colonies? How will they rebuild? The moral questions and monotheism vs polytheism and intense character studies came later. The immediate hook was the dire circumstances of the surviving people.

"Caprica" is lacking such a hook. Sure, there's a terrorist bombing that kills a commuter train full of people, but it's hardly the focus. The focus is on what people will do with technology in order to regain what they have lost. And that is... kind-of boring. The conflict isn't strong enough for me.

It's mildly interesting to see how Cylons came about -- particularly since they appear to have evolved from the mind of a "Gossip Girl"-esque sex club attendee named Zoe -- but I didn't really want to watch any more episodes after the pilot.

Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales are actors I like very much, but their characters do not compel me the way Edward James Olmos, Katee Sackhoff and Mary McDonnell's characters did when I first saw "Battlestar." Stoltz and Morales have the added baggage of a show partially centered around teenagers, none of whom I enjoyed.

I truly wanted to give "Caprica" a ringing endorsement because I was very excited about it... but I just can't. I certainly think "BSG" fans should tune in and perhaps it will grab you in a way it did not grab me. If so, fantastic. I hope it does. But I don't think I will personally be tuning in for very long.

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Photo credit: Syfy

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