We'll get to discover the tangled family traumas behind the creation of the Cylons after all. The Sci Fi Channel finally gave the greenlight to Caprica, the 1950s-style Battlestar Galactica prequel. And the Sci Fi Channel hopes the show will get a broader audience than BSG, because it doesn't have spaceships.
Here's what Sci Fi Channel president David Howe told Variety:
"Battlestar Galactica was absolutely our flagship show. It put us on the map and helped transform the perception of the network," said Sci Fi prexy Dave Howe, noting that the cabler hopes to draw a broader audience to a series it sees as more compelling family drama than "space opera."
"We want people to come to this who have never heard of Battlestar Galactica, " he added. "I think, because (Galactica's) backdrop was space and spaceships, there was a barrier to entry for some viewers. Caprica has none of that. It's an intense family drama set on an Earthlike planet, in the near future, speaking to a lot of the ethical dilemmas that we as a human race are going to have to face very shortly."
Those ethical issues include artificial intelligence and, sort of, human cloning. In Caprica, Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz) creates the first Cylon after his daughter is killed in a train bombing. The daughter has left a avatar of herself in cyberspace, and Graystone is able to download it into a robot body. (The bombing is the work of the daughter's boyfriend, who belongs to a fanatical monotheistic sect.) Meanwhile, Joseph Adams (a lawyer whose real last name is Adama) also loses a daughter in the bombing, but ends up deciding the robot-daughter replacement thing is a bad idea. This sets up a running conflict between the Graystones and the Adam(a)s.
The show could air as soon as early 2010, after BSG's final episodes air next spring, and a BSG TV movie, "The Plan," airs next summer. [Variety]