Watching Caprica

So about three days ago, I noticed that Caprica is on Netflix…

I have now watched up to episode 5, “There is Another Sky” (which is, by the way, my favorite so far for reasons I’ll get into). Mostly I have to admit that the ideal time to watch would have been back in 2011, after I marathoned all of Battlestar Galactica in like 2 months and the finer details of the BSG universe were fresh in my mind. On the other hand, I certainly knew about Caprica back then and could have watched, but chose instead to nurse the Galactica-shaped hole that BSG left in my affections. This was in large part due to the fact that I knew that Caprica was very different in flavor to BSG.

And it is. I loved the grittiness of Battlestar Galactica, I loved the desperation of it all. I also think that it was able to make its points about racism, terrorism and all the rest of it a lot more elegantly than Caprica has managed so far. It’s of course nothing new to say that science fiction has always made points about the human condition allegorically, but I’ll say that it’s very interesting to see that making the racial “other” look and feel latino/mediterranean (and by the way, I myself am latina) makes its points more specific, less universal, and in the end less effective than making the “other” simply be cylons.

All that being said, I am enjoying it, particularly for the world-building. I have to say though, much as I appreciate the effort being put into building the Tauran culture, I can’t help but feel that it feels a littleretconny, in that I don’t actually recall it ever being stated that Adama was Tauran, or it being any sort of big deal… which it certainly should be, given the revelations in Caprica.

I also can’t help thinking that it’s very odd for a third-generation Tauran to look like Lee Adama. Even taking into account that William Adama’s ex-wife was blonde and presumably Caprican, somehow I don’t think Adama himself was likely to have any recessive lilly-white blond genes to pass on to his kid. Which I freely admit is me being too nitpicky and overthinking it. And in any case, it was always unlikely that someone who looks like Edward James Olmos would produce a Jamie Bamber.

Aside from all that, the reason “There Is Another Sky” has been my favorite episode so far, is that I find Tamara’s story a lot more compelling than Zoe’s. Zoe knew going in that she was an avatar, and despite scenes such as “Do I look male to you?” she really doesn’t seem to be having that much trouble adjusting to her robotic body. Maybe it’s the actress. On the other hand, Tamara did not know or understand what was happening, and I find that a lot more intriguing. I like the tantilizing little hint about the train bombing, and how it made her pause and troubled her a moment, before putting it out of her mind. If anything I wish we could have seen more evidence of her doubts and suspicions (if she had any) as it became more and more obvious that something was seriously wrong. And I did like the scene where she finally finds out the truth; I like to think that her reaction shows that a part of her suspected or knew, but she’d refused to contemplate it.

So I certainly hope that Caprica deals more with Tamara going forward.

And I kind of want to rewatch Battlestar Galactica now