Caprica (series)

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Created by Ronald D. Moore
Remi Aubuchon
Theme music by Bear McCreary
Production company NBC Universal
Number of seasons 1
Number of episodes 18 (two-hour pilot plus 17 regular episodes) (list)
Debut channel Sci Fi Channel
US first-run airdates USA 2010-2011[1]
UK first-run airdates UK Spring 2009[2]
DVD release
Production staff
Executive producer(s) Ronald D. Moore
David Eick
Remi Aubuchon (pilot only)
Jane Espenson (starting with "Rebirth")
Kevin Murphy (starting with "Unvanquished")
Supervising producer(s)
Associate producer(s)
Story editor(s)
Online Purchasing
Available at iTunes – [ Purchase]
Related Media
@ BW Media

Caprica is a television spin-off of the Re-imagined Series produced by Remi Aubuchon, Ronald D. Moore and David Eick for Syfy. It is a prequel that focuses on the Adama and Graystone families on the planet Caprica and the invention of the Cylons. The pilot is set 58 years before the Battlestar Galactica Miniseries and was released direct to DVD on 21 April 2009. The series was canceled after one season on 27 October 2010, with the remaining episodes airing first on Canada's Space channel and then on Syfy in a marathon on 4 January 2011.[3]

Production History


Development of Caprica began as early as the 2005-06 season of Battlestar Galactica according to an IFmagazine interview with producer David Eick. About the same time, 24 writer Remi Aubuchon pitched a series to the Sci Fi Channel similar to the Cylon storyline. Realizing that they could not devote their full time to both Battlestar Galactica and a spinoff, Eick and Ronald D. Moore decided to team with Aubuchon: "We took some of what we had and some of what he had".

In a may 2006 interview with Dreamwatch Magazine, Remi Aubuchon stated that he originally pitched a series that was an "allegorical story about slavery with robots" when approached by Moore and Eick. Aubuchon elaborated on details about the Battlestar spinoff, saying that William Adama would be 11 years old when the series begins. Aubuchon described the series as meant to stand on its own from Battlestar Galactica, but that "certain elements have been embedded into the first few episodes of season 3" of the current series.

On November 6, 2006, Moore updated Dreamwatch magazine regarding the new series:

"It's actually a prequel, and this would be a one hour pilot not a mini – series. It takes place 50 years before the events of Battlestar Galactica and it's essentially about the creation of the Cylons.
"It's a very different show; it's not action – adventure and it's not even in space. It takes place on the Planet (sic) Caprica and it’s more of a family drama, with political and corporate intrigue. We're well into the writing of it actually; we're doing re-writes on the script right now and Sci Fi has been very happy so far. At the moment, we're just waiting to see if they greenlight it or not. Generally, there’s always a two step process: there's ordering the pilot and then there's ordering the series, but because we're not designing it as a mini – series, I don't know that anybody would even see the pilot if they chose not to go to series with it.
"Tonally, it will be very different," promises Moore. “This is Caprica before the fall. It's a decadent world, but also a world that's going at a very fast pace. It's a prosperous society that hasn’t experienced the devastation of the first Cylon war yet, so this culture has really not been taken down a peg, and their hubris is getting the better of them. It's a go – go society that's teetering on the brink, so it’s not that apocalyptic survival scenario of Galactica. The whole thing is tonally very different." [4]

Development Hell

By 26 April 2006, development of Caprica had stalled and the series was considered to be stuck in "development hell". On 24 March 2007, Moore discussed the status of Caprica with's Laura Miller:

"It's possible [that the series will still happen]. It's been in development at Sci Fi for a while and they haven't picked it up. And I don't know if they're going to pick it up at this point. There's talk of doing it as a TV movie and seeing how that works, as a back-door pilot, much as we did with the "Galactica" miniseries. Right now there's nothing telling me that they're going to move on it anytime soon, so I'm starting to feel that it's going to remain on the development shelf.
"It was a different kind of show. Instead of an action-adventure sci-fi piece, it was more of a prime-time soap, a sci-fi "Dallas." It was about a family, the Adamas, and a company, and it was about the creation of the Cylons 50 years ago. It was not going to be space-based, but set entirely on the planet of Caprica. But it would have sci-fi touches, and it would deal with issues like artificial intelligence and the various schemings and backbitings that you get in the traditional soap opera."[5]

On 18 September 2007, it was reported that with the end of Battlestar Galactica nearing and Moore poised to leave Sci Fi for NBC, Sci Fi executives were considering green-lighting the two-hour pilot for production as a means of keeping Moore with the channel. Contingent on the performance of the television movie "Razor," it was reported that Caprica might also see a release in the form of a direct-to-DVD movie to be simultaneously aired on television [6]. Following the WGA strike, television networks were scrambling to stockpile finished scripts for various productions, placing the finished pilot script for Caprica as a front runner for production.[7]


On 18 March 2008, the Sci Fi Channel officially announced the green-lighting of a two-hour backdoor pilot for Caprica to be produced that Spring. The teaming of Moore, Eick and Aubuchon was confirmed by the press release, the pilot's director, Friday Night Lights veteran Jeffrey Reiner was also announced. [8]

In April of 2008, character breakdowns were issued to casting agents describing Daniel Graystone, Joseph Adams, Amanda Graystone, Sister Clarice Willow, William Adams and Zoe Graystone.[9] On 7 May 2008, Esai Morales and Paula Malcomson were announced in the roles of Joseph Adams and Amanda Graystone,[10] 12 May 2006 Eric Stoltz was announced in the role of Daniel Graystone.[11] On 19 May 2008, TVGuide revealed Polly Walker had been cast as Clarice Willow, describing the character as "one twisted sister."[12]

By Summer 2008, Caprica had begun principal photography, with photos of a Vancouver, British Columbia restaurant dressed as a Caprican-Gemenese cafe appearing online on 18 June 2008. [13]


On December 1, 2008, Sci Fi Channel officially announced that Caprica was picked up for a 20-episode first season. According to the press release, production on additional episodes was to begin Summer 2009 with an expected premiere of early 2010.[14] The following month, on 23 January 2009, veteran Battlestar Galactica writers Michael Taylor and Ryan Mottesheard joined the growing behind-the-scenes staff of Caprica, along with composer Bear McCreary, production designer Richard Hudolin, and VFX supervisor Gary Hutzel. Jane Espenson was also announced as show runner, taking over for Ronald D. Moore following the writing staff's assembly the following February.[15]

The DVD of the two-hour pilot episode was released on 21 April 2009, selling 130,220 units totaling $2,527,570 in its first week in stores. [16] The episode received generally positive reviews, with praising all aspects of the production, despite its "somewhat sluggish start".[17]

On 27 April 2009, E! Entertainment reported that production on Caprica would begin in Vancouver in July 2009 with a "rigorous" eight month shooting schedule.[18] The following day, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Sasha Roiz's supporting role as Sam Adama had been upgraded to series regular. [19]

While the pilot episode was shot primarily on location in Vancouver, production of regular episodes required the construction of new sets. Sets representing the Graystone Estate and the Adama Family's Little Tauron apartment were built on a soundstage, replicating the real locations used previously.[20]

On 24 July 2009, Sci Fi Channel (now Syfy) issued a press release stating Caprica would premiere on 22 January 2010.[21] Two days later at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con, a panel comprised of Executive Producers Ronald D. Moore, David Eick and Jane Espenson as well as Caprica star Esai Morales and Battlestar Galactica star Edward James Olmos discussed the series.[22] At the panel, Espenson discussed her desire to bring "dark humor" to Caprica and the forthcoming television movie The Plan.[23]

Syfy Channel's promotion of the series, featuring star Alessandra Torresani as an "Eve" using provocative "apple and Eve" imagery.

Syfy held press tours promoting its upcoming series, with several reporters visiting the sets of Caprica on 22 October 2009. The tour also included interviews with the cast as well as a glimpse at the practical U-87 Cylon prop.[24] VFX artist Doug Drexler elaborated on the construction of the U-87 prop in his blog saying, "Gary [Hutzel] knew that Caprica would have shots where the proto-Cylon would be deactivated and standing by. It made sense to have a real world version built for those, saving us from having to render and composite the CG version."[25]

By November 2009, difficulties in the production of Caprica became public when Syfy's Mark Stern announced the series' episode order was reduced by one hour. Citing unexpected cost overruns, Stern said "We always knew it would be a challenge to bring it in on budget, and the deeper we got into it, the more we realized that if we [stuck to the budget too closely], it was not going to be satisfying." In order to reduce operating costs, a single episode was cut from the season. Show runner Jane Espenson also stepped down from her position but stayed on the writing staff. Former Desperate Housewives producer Kevin Murphy joined the staff as Executive Producer and show runner following the mid-season break. Stern attributed "creative growing pains associated with any first-year program" to the shakeup.[26]

Other difficulties apparently arose earlier during production of the series' fourth regular episode. In the podcast commentary for the episode "There is Another Sky," David Eick stated that Syfy executives asked for additional visual effects to be added to existing and future episodes. This required the creation of new establishing shots depicting Caprica City and additional monies to be allocated to the series which had hitherto relied on minimal VFX.[27]


Prior to airing regular episodes of Caprica, Syfy released the pilot - edited from its DVD version for content - on Hulu and its own website for streaming. The multi-platform roll out garnered an estimated 1.5 million views before the series even premiered on televison.[28] Shortly thereafter, the two-hour pilot aired on Friday, 22 January on Syfy with additional visual effects and a re-shot sequence taking place at Atlas Arena. The episode was watched by 1.6 million households.[29]

Syfy and television ratings analysts speculated that soft viewership numbers for Caprica were a result of the pilot's mutli-platform release. The following week, however, the first new episode aired on 29 January to even lower ratings, reaching 1.4 million viewers.[30] Despite the series' positive (if guarded) reviews[31], questions quickly arose as to the longevity of Caprica[32]

With mild fluctuations from week to week, Caprica continued to under-perform in ratings. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Syfy VP of Development Mark Stern was bullish about the series' chances for renewal, citing the DVR data as "promising".[33]

Ronald D. Moore noted that the studio gave them a hard time about the ratings all the way through, and attributed the issues with acquiring viewers to the continual changes and hoops they had to go through.[34]

On Friday, 24 March 2010, Caprica finished its first run of ten episodes before its mid-season hiatus. The "mid-season finale" "End of Line" was viewed by 1.1 million households - among the series' lowest-rated episodes to that point.[35] Nearly five months later on 21 July 2010, Syfy announced that Caprica would return to finish out its first season in January 2011.[36] The delay caused both confusion and anger in fans, prompting producer David Eick to question the extended hiatus: "I’ve never understood the network programming rationale... I don’t know why they shut the show down for as long as they did before bringing it back."[37] On 23 July 2010, Ronald D. Moore stated that he "firmly" believed Caprica would receive a second season.[38] However, Moore later admitted that such comments stemmed from his frustration, and belief that, because they had "delivered the goods" by putting Syfy Channel on the map with the Re-imagined Series, they earned the right to a second season for Caprica.[39]

In response fan outcry, Syfy announced on 9 September 2010 that Caprica would return early - on 5 October 2010 - but at a new night (Tuesday) and time (10/9c): "We've been able to successfully re-work our schedule, and are thrilled to bring the show back during what is traditionally Syfy's most-watched time of the year".[40]


Despite Syfy's outward confidence in the series, Caprica returned to fewer viewers than ever; the first new episode in nearly eight months, "Unvanquished," being watched by fewer than 900,000 households.[41] The low ratings immediately prompted further speculation about the series' fate.[42] Theories about the show's imminent cancellation intensified when Syfy announced on 22 October 2010 that it was developing another, more action-oriented Battlestar Galactica prequel series, Blood and Chrome.[43] In an interview with Maureen Ryan, Mark Stern stressed that the development of Blood and Chrome did not mean Caprica would be ending, saying "I don't know the fate of Caprica yet, but, if anything, Blood & Chrome going to series would only be a great opportunity to pair it with something."[44]

Five days after the announcement of Blood and Chrome, Syfy officially cancelled Caprica on 27 October 2010 after pulling episodes beginning with "Blowback" from its schedule (despite advertising to the contrary). Maureen Ryan concluded that "Caprica "began full of promise and boasted a fine cast, but when it returned this fall with new episodes, it remained frustratingly incoherent... The series had some good moments and interesting ideas, but let's hope the Blood & Chrome project contains both thought-provoking concepts and visceral tension. The latter quality was notably lacking in Caprica."[45] Following the announcement, David Eick called the cancellation "unfortunate - though not surprising". [46]

In yet another press release, Syfy later stated that it would burn off the remaining five episodes of Caprica in a marathon set for January 2011. Canada's Space Channel continued airing episodes through 30 November 2010.[47] The DVD release of "Season 1.5" - containing the unaired epiodes - was slated for a 21 December 2010 release.[48]

In a 15 November 2012 interview, David Eick - speaking about the recently premiered Caprica sequel Blood and Chrome elaborated on the series' connection to its predecessor. Along with other elements integrated into the sequel series as "Easter eggs," Eick stated that "We did ask Esai Morales, who played William Adama’s father, to reprise his role, in some capacity, in a future episode."[49]

Plot summary

Caprica takes place 58 years before the Battlestar Galactica miniseries and the Fall of the Twelve Colonies. Conceived as "television's first science-fiction soap opera"[50], the series follows two families - the Graystones and the Adamas - living in the corrupt and decadent Caprican metropolis Caprica City. While the creation of the Cylons and the fall of Colonial society is the background for Caprica, the series was compared by Ronald D. Moore to the nighttime soap Dallas and by David Eick to the film American Beauty and centers more on its characters than science-fiction elements.[51]

The pilot episode establishes Daniel Graystone as the brilliant inventor of the early Cylons, mourning the loss of his teenage daughter, Zoe Graystone, in a terrorist attack. So distraught over Zoe's death, Graystone enlists the help of Joseph Adama, a native-Tauron lawyer with ties to that world's criminal organization, to steal technology that would resurrect both men's daughters. Though the experiment seems to fail, Zoe is in fact reborn inside Graystone's Cylon prototype.

As it progresses, the series inter-cuts between the stories of the Graystones and the Adamas, as well as the terrorist organization - the Soldiers of the One - responsible for Zoe's death, and the Tauron mob - the Ha'la'tha - and the investigators pursuing both entities.

Though Caprica was cancelled during its first season, some connections were established between it and Battlestar Galactica and some character resolution was provided by a five minute epilogue set several years in the series' future.



Season One cast photo, excluding Brian Markinson as Agent Durham.
Jogia was credited as part of the main cast for the pilot only. Roiz and Markinson were both upgraded to series stars for the second episode of the series.


Aborted Second Season

As Caprica was cancelled during the airing of the second half of its first season, what is known about the planned second season comes from the first season finale, "Apotheosis" and its epilogue, "The Shape of Things to Come," and from official statements by the production staff. While canonicity of information contained in such statements is uncertain, and developments in the series Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome may contradict unaired Caprica plans, they represent what the producers considered "to have happened" as of the Caprica cancellation.

"The Shape of Things to Come" was filmed before word of Caprica's cancellation and represented a "sneak preview" of Season 2, set fives years after Season 1.

Statements by showrunner Kevin Murphy in DVD commentaries on Season 1.5 episodes (recorded before the cancellation) reveal a number of Season 2 plot points:

  • Jordan Duram survived the sniper attack and would have left the GDD and become head of a group called the Caprica Legionnaires, dedicated to destroying the Cylons before they rose up and crushed their creators.
  • Zoe-A, in her new skinjob body, would have joined the Caprica Legionnaires, keeping her nature a secret.
  • Zoe would have met one of the Final Five in V-world, providing her with an element needed to create her skinjob body.

On April 29, 2011, Murphy conducted an interview with the online fan publication The Caprica Times, in which he revealed several more details:[62]

  • Flashbacks would have revealed that the Graystones had difficulty overcoming the "uncanny valley" problem when creating Zoe's body, until 3 years after "Apotheosis," when Zoe noticed something strange that she followed through interlocking V-worlds "like the White Rabbit" until she came upon Galen Tyrol fishing at a beach. After Zoe explained who she was and why she was there, he gave her a fishing lure that turned out to be a piece of code crucial in completing her skinjob body.
  • Duram becomes aware of Zoe's nature and keeps quiet in exchange for her assistance.
  • No one in the Battlestar Galactica era is aware that Skinjob Zoe existed because her father went to such pains to keep her secret.
  • Clarice Willow is a wanted terrorist as well as a Cylon rights activist and operator of a church in V-world where Cylons can go when they "power down".
  • Lacy Rand is seen by Capricans as a crazy, "toaster-loving" leader keeping the peace on Gemenon through her loyal Centurions, who follow her because a part of Zoe's "soul" has been imprinted on them.
  • Circumstances force Clarice and Lacy into an "awkward marriage of convenience".
  • Mother - leader of the Monotheist Church - is still alive and interested in returning to power. Daniel Graystone reluctantly allies with her against the Clarice/Lacy coalition, which causes problems between him and Zoe when the latter finds out, as Lacy is her "once and future BFF".
  • Bill Adama grows up angry at being named for his dead older brother.
  • Joseph Adama carries on an extramarital affair with Fidelia Fazekas.
  • Tamara Adama serves as the basis for the Number Eight model and Zoe the basis for the Number Six model. Murphy was unclear on this point, however, and recommended asking Jane Espenson or Michael Taylor for clarification.
    • On May 5, 2011, Espenson confirmed on Twitter that the writers discussed this point, but it was not set in stone.[63].


  1. The two-hour pilot episode was released in advance of the series premiere on 21 April 2009.
  2. Aylott, Chris, "Sky1 secures exclusive UK rights to Battlestar Galactica prequel CAPRICA", 6 August 2008. Retrieved on 9 August 2008.
  3. Ryan, Maureen, "'Caprica' Is Cancelled by Syfy", TV Squad, 27 October 2010. Retrieved on 28 October 2010. (written in English)
  4. Cullen, Ian M., "Ron D. Moore Gives Progress Report For Caprica", Sci Fi Pulse, 6 November 2006. Retrieved on 10 November 2006. (written in English)
  5. Miller, Laura, "The man behind "Battlestar Galactica"",, 24 March 2007, p. 3. Retrieved on 25 April 2007.
  6. Sci Fi Executives Weigh 'Battlestar Galactica' Options (backup available on . (September 18, 2007). Retrieved on September 18, 2007.
  7. SciFi Channel Stockpiling For Writers Strike (backup available on . (September 20, 2007).
  8. Ryan, Maureen, "'Battlestar Galactica' prequel has 'Friday Night Lights' connection", Chicago Tribune, 18 March 2008. Retrieved on 18 March 2008. (written in English)
  9. McDuffee, Keith, "Exclusive: Caprica casting info revealed", Huffpost TV, 3 April 2008. Retrieved on 3 April 2008. (written in English)
  10. Nordy, Kimberly, "'Caprica' one: Morales on board for Sci Fi spinoff", The Hollywood Reporter, 7 May 2008.
  11. "Stoltz in 'Battlestar Galactica' Prequel", Entertainment Weekly, 12 May 2008.
  12. "Caprica Casts Polly Walker as One Twisted Sister", TVGuide, 19 May 2008.
  13. "Hungry for Caprican Food?", The 13th Colony, 18 June 2008.
  14. Frankel, Daniel, "Sci Fi greenlights 'Battlestar' prequel", Variety, 1 December 2008.
  15. Ryan, Maureen, "'Battlestar Galactica' veterans move on to 'Caprica'", Chicago Tribune, 23 January 2009.
  34. Altman, Mark A.; Gross, Edward (2018). So Say We All: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Battlestar Galactica. Tor Books. ISBN 9781250128942, p. 688.
  39. Altman, Mark A.; Gross, Edward (2018). So Say We All: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Battlestar Galactica. Tor Books. ISBN 9781250128942, p. 689.
  62. The Caprica Times Exclusive Interview: Kevin Murphy
  63. Tweet by Jane Espenson