Probably wisely (and probably mandated to SyFy by the NBC/Universal gods), Caprica took last Friday off to avoid going up against the opening of the Winter Olympics, but it's back tonight. Now, you just have to watch harder. ---
The Battlestar Galactica prequel hasn't quite been the ratings juggernaut that SyFy expected--and considering all of the pre-hype for Caprica, they definitely expected it pull in more viewers than Swamp Loggers on Discovery (!).
Too bad, considering Caprica is even more ambitious and capable of a longer payoff than Battlestar Galactica: Set 58 years earlier, it's less “sci-fi” in most ways (no spaceships; suits and ties instead of uniforms), even more so in others (personal tech and virtual reality gone wild; installing beings—maybe even souls—into robots), but still tackles familial, political and social-class drama with same bite of BSG.
The setup: After a technology mogul’s (Eric Stoltz) young daughter (Alessandra Torresani, the topless brunette in Caprica ads everywhere) is murdered, he learns she’d not only been spending online time in a hedonistic virtual-reality club, but her digital self still exists there—and, like a chip off the genius block, she’d somehow programmed all of her memories and feelings into her virtual twin. Pair this new discovery with just-emerging “Cylon” robotic weaponry technology, and Battlestar geeks know here it's all headed. Throw in some interpersonal/cultural tension between Stoltz's character and the father of future Galactica commander Lee Adama, the moral implications of "virtual people" and the occasional sex scene that's not in a on a grimy spaceship bunk, and you've got some Grand Drama.
Oh, and the look (retro-futuristic) and effects (subtle, but, well, effective) of Caprica are amazing. Some are evident in this trailer, which doesn't do even partial justice to the series: