Third-episode verdict: Caprica

The CarusometerA Carusometer rating of 3

So we’ve been hanging around for Caprica to turn up for ages now. I reviewed the pilot episode (an extended version of episode one with extra nudity and fun) back in April of last year, so this has had a lot of gestation time.

Yet, despite all that planning, this prequel to Battlestar Galactica is really quite desperately dull and uninvolving. Now, I do like the fact it’s trying to do some proper sci-fi: this has both ideas and real characters with real emotions.

But the characters are simply dull and uninspiring. I don’t care about them at all. The kids are all gits and terrorists who are going to end up causing an epic war; the adults are insipid and stupid. Despite the fact the apocalypse and destruction of humanity isn’t for more than 40 years, no one can tell a joke, go shopping or have fun – okay, everyone’s bereaved and/or a fundamentalist, but all the same, there should be a few people enjoying themselves during the heyday of the colonies, surely?

Minor niggles

  1. The Taurons have mysteriously become Greek – although they call their gods by their Roman names (despite BSG using the Greek names) and can’t work out whether they’re speaking Ancient Greek or Modern Greek (because Lord knows that’s not how you pronounce Αδελφός μου in Modern Greek yet shop signs are in Modern Greek). How did that happen? It’s no biggie, since it’s not as if Caprica, which is increasingly American in its vision of the home worlds, is depicting the home worlds identically to America. It’s just odd that they’re doing it right now, and messing up the gods’ names when they were so consistent before.
  2. Please stop Peter Wingfield from doing American accents. He’s a great actor with his own accent, so why does he keep trying to be American?
  3. The theme music is awful and reminds me of Friday The 13th: The Series way too much
  4. Why, if the 12 colonies are capable of interstellar flight, hyperspace jumps, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, are they still using wobbly VHS tapes to record things?
  5. After BSG steered so pleasing clear of technojargon, why, on the soap opera family version of it, are we suddenly being treated to reams and reams of the stuff?

I do admire certain aspects of the show: it’s doing some interesting riffs on the nature of soul, how we treat machines, etc. The switch between Zoe and the Cylon to demonstrate her soul is still there is creepily ghosty. It manages to depict a convincingly futuristic world on a small budget. The idea of having the monotheists as religious nuts who want to kill people and the polytheists as nice types who wouldn’t hurt flies is challenging.

But it’s just so boring and worthy. I know how the story ends already, so it’s the journey that counts, but I’d like my fellow travellers to be a little more interesting if I’m going to go on it.

PS Interesting to note a police reunion here, since Wingfield and Brian Markinson, who plays one of the ‘FBI’ types, were partners on Touching Evil.

Carusometer rating: 3
Rob’s prediction: Probably will last a season, but I wouldn’t bet there’d be much more than that. The BSG factor might be enough to keep it going though.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

    View all posts