Tag Archives: virtual reality

Caprica Season 1, Episode 4: There Is Another Sky (Review)

It hurts more on the inside

[Minor plot points, no major spoilers]

This episode is about holding on to what you still have after you’ve lost something that means a great deal. We have Joseph Adama losing his son, Graystone losing his company, and Tamara (Joseph’s daughter) losing her innocence. In There is Another Sky, all three of them find ways to change their perspective, either with the support of a loved one or via virtual ruffians.

It seems like Joseph’s grief over his family’s deaths and the guilt over ordering Amanda Graystone’s murder have finally caught up with him. He is moping about the house, obsessing over family pictures, and basically ignoring his kid. He gets two wake-up calls: one from his brother Sam and another quite literally over the phone. He realizes he needs to pay more attention to his son. On Tauron Willie would be a man, but on Caprica he’s still a child.  We see Joseph trying to connect with Will and failing. This was the emotional storyline of the episode and it really packs a punch.

Daniel Graystone brings us the plotline with the glimpse into the future, a future that will eventually doom most of humanity. Because of his public stance on the holobands being “over,” the board of directors wants his head on a platter. Daniel does what he does best: he finds an unlikely way to impress the board, and reminded this Battlestar Galactica fan of at least two BSG series grand entrances.

Tamara Adama seeks Vesta, another avatar that seems to know a lot about V-world and might help her find a way home. As we all know, Tamara is dead, so this can’t end well. Still, Vesta promises escape in exchange for help winning a virtual game called New Cap City. Nobody knows what the goal of the game is; Vesta and company are focused on getting as much virtual money as possible. This storyline provided the best visuals- an interesting mix of deco, steampunk, and gritty forties.

Some episode trivia:

  • If you want to open a vault in New Cap City, the code is Picon-Caprica-Gemenon-Picon-Tauron
  • Joseph, Will, and Tsattie live at 615 Olympic St. #3 Caprica City
  • Taurons use ritualistic clapping at funerals
  • When a fat cat wants you to leave in New Cap City he says “Take a powder” or “Blow”
  • The actress that plays Zoe (Alessandra Torresani) was born in 1987; the Cylon unit she’s in is U-87. Coincidence? I think not.
  • There was more shirtless Sam in this episode. And I approve.
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Caprica Pilot Review (Spoilers)

No, really, it's the future

The new Battlestar Galactica series Caprica (SyFy) begins fifty eight years before the fall of Caprica to the Cylons. We finally get to see what life was like before humanity ended up living in run-down spaceships jumping from place to place in an attempt to outrun the Cylons. You don’t need to have seen BSG to understand the Caprica prequel, but you would certainly have a different perspective considering future events.

This is a richly created world.  The details are wonderful. Little things like mourning customs, a silly “So Say We All” hand gesture (nice try, but glad it didn’t survive the genocide), the Pyramid sports game that for some reason reminded me of Quidditch…

In Caprica City, teenagers don’t merely flirt online; they enter virtual nightclubs where every type of decadence is permitted. The Holoband technology that allows this is the Caprican answer to the holodeck. (Bonus- when you get scanned for your avatar you tingle.) House robots that resemble large floating dildos guard your house. Levtrains looking eerily like Cylons transport the masses. Extremely large deity statues benignly observe the Pyramid games. Proto-centurions play paintball with mechanical Shmoos.

Not everything is a utopia. There is a terrorist organization called the Soldiers of the One, a monotheistic group amongst the gods-worshipping Colonials. Prejudice according to what planet you’re from substitutes for racism.

Daniel Graystone, the creative genius behind the Holoband and Joseph Adama, lawyer, both lose family members in the same event, and they “coincidentally” meet while having a smoke.  They end up talking for hours about their loss over coffee and more cigarettes.

Joseph Adama, played by Esaí Morales, is a lawyer from the planet Tauron, the “racial” underdog of Caprica.  He and his brother Sam are orphans due to a Tauron uprising and civil war. Adama is an unbeliever of sorts and lives in the city with his mother in law and son Billy (future Admiral Adama). His brother Sam is a member of the Tauron mafia and has the tattoos to prove it. Seems like Adama gets to defend Tauron syndicate members in court but isn’t involved directly with them so he can feel ethical about it. Yet during this episode he gets called upon to do dirty work not only for the syndicate but also for Graystone. He doesn’t get a break. He routinely deals with anti-Tauron prejudice, even to the extent of modifying his surname to fit in. He can’t quit smoking. He has to deal with a nagging mother-in-law. The one bright spot in his life is his son. It’s a rich character for Morales to interpret.

The Caprica series looks very promising. I was a bit worried by the promos heavily featuring the decadent virtual V-Club and Graystone’s daughter- naked. Looks like it will be an excellent addition to the BSG world. Hopefully we’ll get to see some more planets during the series. Tauron would be a good place to start. Gemenon too, since it might be related to the Soldiers of the One.

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