Galactica spin-off

Someone please tell me that this isn’t as stupid an idea as it sounds:

‘CAPRICA’

From executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick (‘Battlestar Galactica’), writer Remi Aubuchon (’24’) and NBC Universal Television Studio, this new series is set over a half a century before the events that play out in ‘Battlestar Galactica.’ The people of the Twelve Colonies are at peace and living in a society not unlike our own, but where high-technology has changed the lives of virtually everyone for the better. But a startling breakthrough in robotics is about to occur, one that will bring to life the age-old dream of marrying artificial intelligence with a mechanical body to create the first living robot – a Cylon. Following the lives of two families, the Graystones and the Adamas (the family of William Adama, who will one day become the commander of the ‘Battlestar Galactica’) ‘Caprica’ weaves corporate intrigue, techno-action and sexual politics into television’s first science fiction family saga.

When the announcement of a spin-off series leaves you uninspired, something must be wrong. Partly it’s my lack of excitement at spin-off shows in general, but it also seems like the wrong time. If anything the last season of Battlestar Galactica demonstrated that producers Moore and Eick need to focus all their energies on steering that show more firmly; giving it renewed focus and internal consistency. To split their efforts onto a spin-off at this moment seems misdirected. Worse it’s a prequel spin-off, with all the sense of futility that tends to imply. About the only good thing is that the timeframe so far pre-dates the main show as to avoid trampling on the backstories of known characters. There’s also little risk of contradicting anything we know of the later Cylons at such an embryonic stage in their development.

I’m not saying there isn’t potential to tackle big issues in an interesting way, or to tell surprising stories about fresh individuals, but it all seems redundant. The issues that show can explore are fundamentally the same issues that the parent show can explore, albeit in a different setting, and we already know the broad shape of the story the spin-off will tell.

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