Caprica pilot

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
This article or section has been marked for cleanup and revision.
Should there be a need to discuss the merits of the claim, discuss them on the talk page.
Caprica pilot
"Caprica pilot"
An episode of the Caprica Series
Episode No. Season 1, Episode 1
Writer(s) Remi Aubuchon
Ronald D. Moore
Story by
Director Jeffrey Reiner
Assistant Director
Special guest(s)
Production No. 101
Nielsen Rating 0.4[1]
US airdate USA January 22, 2010[2]
CAN airdate CAN January 22, 2010
UK airdate UK February 2, 2010
DVD release 21 April 2009
Population {{{population}}} survivors
Additional Info Series pilot
Full Credits
Episode Chronology
Previous Next
The Plan
(Chronological: None. The beginning of the story)
Caprica pilot Rebirth
Related Information
Official Summary
R&D SkitView
[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
Related Media
Photo Gallery @ BW Media
Promotional Materials
Online Purchasing
Amazon: Standard Definition | High Definition
iTunes: USA | Canada | UK

In the wake of a tragedy experienced by the Adama and Graystone families, a scientific breakthrough is about to occur—the invention of the Cylons.
Note: This episode is the two-hour pilot for the Caprica TV series, the spin-off of the Re-imagined Series produced by Remi Aubuchon, Ronald D. Moore, David Eick for the Syfy Channel. It was released on DVD prior to being aired on television.

Plot summary


  • 58 years before the Fall of the Twelve Colonies, young people are engaged in group sex, fist fights, shootings, wild dancing, all to the beat of loud party music--this is the V-Club. From a balcony, Zoe Graystone watches a girl below, next to the stage. The girl appears to be a perfect copy of Zoe. Ben Stark and Lacy Rand join Zoe on the balcony and deplore the hedonism and depravity happening around them, but promise that she, the girl below, will change it all.
  • On the dance floor, the music grows subdued. A muscled man displays a knife to the audience, and a dancer emerges on stage, her face shifting from human to monster and back in the strobe lights. While this is happening, another girl is dragged to the stage, to the sound of the audience chanting "Kill, kill, kill!" The muscled man brings the knife down and kills the girl, all to cheering from the audience. At that moment, the copy of Zoe looks terrified and suddenly vanishes.
  • On the balcony, Ben promises Zoe that eventually the copy will be perfect, because Zoe is perfect. They kiss while Lacy stares.
  • In the real world, Zoe continues to immerse herself in the V-Club experience via a holoband, until Prefect Caston opens the bathroom stall and discovers her.
  • Outside the Athena Academy in Caprica City, Zoe, Ben, and Lacy meet again and talk about running away to Gemenon. They finish by pledging themselves to the "one true god."

Act One

  • On the grounds of their waterfront home, Daniel and Amanda Graystone play tennis while their robot butler, Serge, watches. They are interrupted by a call from the Academy about Zoe.
  • In the kitchen, the three Graystones fight about Zoe's behavior, Daniel's "dirty science," and life in the Graystone family. Tensions escalate until a comment about marrying into money pushes Amanda over the edge, and she slaps Zoe.
  • Zoe retreats to her room and the privacy of the holoband. She hurries to a secret room in the V-Club and meets her copy. The two sit and talk about the horror of the human sacrifice, and how the audience knew what they were doing and drew strength from the experience. Zoe promises that her copy will help to change these attitudes among people, both here and on the outside.
  • Amanda wordlessly drops Zoe off in front of the Academy. The instant Amanda drives away, Zoe and her two friends leave, heading for a maglev subway station.
  • In front of the three of them on an escalator, Shannon Adams and her daughter Tamara talk on the phone with Joseph Adams, demanding that he come home in time to be at Willie's birthday party. Despite a court appointment, Joseph promises to be there.
  • At the last moment, Lacy backs out, despite promises of a new family and a new life on Gemenon. She watches the Lev leave the station.
  • On the train, Tamara tells her mother about someone she was forced to deal with for insulting her Tauron heritage. While this is happening, Zoe types out a message on a computer sheet forgiving her mother, then sends it.
  • She looks at Ben, who seems very nervous and distracted. He apologizes, stands up, and opens his jacket to reveal a bomb strapped to his torso. He announces, "The one true god shall drive out the many," and detonates the bomb. The train is consumed in the fireball. The sound of the explosion is heard by Joseph. He and the pedestrians around him are frozen by the sight of smoke rising into the street.

Act Two

  • Two weeks later, both Daniel and Joseph attend a briefing at Caprica City Hall where GDD agent Jordan Durham announces that evidence points to the involvement of the monotheistic terrorist organization Soldiers of the One in the bombing. Outside the meeting, Daniel and Joseph introduce themselves to each other and decide to grab coffee in a nearby cafe.
  • At Athena Academy, Sister Clarice Willow, the headmistress of the Academy, discusses the recent events with a grieving Lacy. When Lacy mentions that Zoe was extremely gifted with computers, Clarice suggests that Lacy attempt to find any of Zoe's programming work as a way of reconnecting with her.
  • Amanda continues to grieve for her daughter when Lacy arrives at their home, asking if she could spend time alone in Zoe's room. Amanda tells Serge to give Lacy access to the house.
  • After sitting for hours in the cafe smoking and drinking coffee, Daniel and Joseph leave, but not before Daniel invites Joseph and Willie to his court side seats of the latest Buccaneers pyramid game.
  • In Zoe's room, Lacy finds a computer sheet, and types in an infinity symbol and code before entering the V-Club. Entering their private cathedral through a door with an infinity symbol, Lacy finds Zoe's avatar covered in blood as a result of a biofeedback protocol installed by Zoe.

Act Three

  • Though Lacy is skeptical of the Zoe avatar, they continue to talk and eventually reconcile.
  • Daniel enters the room to find Lacy, who quickly exits and leaves the computer sheet. Daniel picks the sheet up but does not know the code.
  • Joseph represents a Ha'la'tha criminal at a bail hearing. With a look from Joseph, the judge overrules the prosecutor's objections and grants bail. Sam Adama, the brother of Joseph and an enforcer for the Ha'la'tha, meets Joseph outside the courthouse and gives him cubits for the bail and for the judge's bribe.
  • Though Sam wishes to use the Ha'la'tha to find those responsible for the train bombing, Joseph refuses and asks Sam to let him grieve.
  • At Graystone Industries headquaters, Daniel and Cyrus Xander watch as their latest robot prototype, the U-87, fails at its latest combat exercise. Cyrus notes that media coverage on the project has become increasingly unfavorable considering the time delays and cost overruns. He has heard rumors that the government is considering canceling its contract with Graystone in favor of the Vergis Corporation.
  • Joseph picks up Willie from school and tells him of Daniel's offer to see the C-Bucs play. Willie seems less than enthused, and remarks that Joseph has never spent much time with him.
  • Daniel is able to crack the encryption protocol on Zoe's computer sheet and enters the V-Club. He receives a call from Cyrus, who informs him that Tomas Vergis is on Caprica and has apparently developed a meta-cognitive processor, which gives him a huge advantage in acquiring the U-87 contract.
  • Reentering the V-Club, Daniel spots Zoe's avatar in the crowd and gives chase, but is unable to follow her through the infinity symbol door.

Act Four

  • Shannon's mother, Ruth, tries to convince Joseph to take Willie to Tauron in order to discover his roots, but Joseph refuses.
  • Agent Durham meets Amanda at her office and attempts to question her about Zoe. He informs her that Zoe is considered a suspect in the bombing and shows Amanda the message to her sent by Zoe shortly before the explosion.
  • Lacy returns to the Graystone residence and is allowed in by Serge, but Daniel confronts her and demands she take him to see Zoe, to which she complies.
  • Joseph meets the Guatrau, head of the Ha'la'tha, in a public park. The Guatrau asks Joseph to deliver a warning to the Caprican Minister of Defense, Val Chambers, but Joseph asks for time to consider the proposal.
  • Lacy and Daniel enter the V-Club to find Zoe in the cathedral. Daniel insists that she is nothing more than a copy, but Zoe tries to convince him otherwise. As the two embrace, Daniel copies Zoe onto a flash drive and forces Lacy to leave the house, telling Serge to ban her from reentering.

Act Five

  • At Athena Academy, Agent Durham questions Lacy in front of Sister Clarice. Lacy denies knowing of Ben and Zoe's involvement with the STO or the train bombing and storms out. When Durham asks how many practicing monotheists attend Athena Academy, Willow refuses to answer.
  • At the pyramid game in Atlas Arena, Joseph mentions that he forgot that Daniel owns the C-Bucs. After leaving Willie with the players in the locker room, Daniel and Joseph speak about their daughters.
  • Arriving at Daniel's home, Serge shows Willie to the game room, while Joseph follows Daniel to his lab. Daniel asks Joseph to indulge him as he creates Joseph's avatar, and both of them enter V-World.
  • Walking into an empty room, Daniel introduces Joseph to Zoe, with Joseph staring at her incredulously. Ripping off his holoband, Joseph is horrified, yet Daniel makes him a deal: use his connections with the Ha'la'tha to steal Vergis's meta-cognitive processor, and he will use Zoe's program to create avatars of Tamara and possibly Shannon.

Act Six

  • With Sam's help, the Guatrau agrees to help Joseph obtain the meta-cognitive processor in exchange for Joseph delivering the message to Minister Chambers.
  • Though Joseph delivers the message, he is harshly rebuked by Chambers, who shows deep-seated racism towards Taurons. Later that night, Sam enters Chambers' bedroom and stabs him in the chest, killing him.

Act Seven

  • Lacy admits to Sister Clarice that she, Zoe and Ben were involved with the STO. However, Clarice draws an infinity symbol with water on a table, indicating to Lacy that she is also an STO member.
  • Joseph delivers the meta-cognitive processor to Daniel, who agrees to show him the avatar of Tamara he has created. Though Joseph is overjoyed at seeing his daughter, Tamara is terrified, not knowing where she is or why she can't feel her heart beating.
  • Horrified, Joseph leaves V-World and angrily denounces Graystone's plans, abruptly leaving the house.

Act Eight

  • Daniel enters V-World to speak with Zoe. However, she expresses concern over returning to Caprica, arguing that it is not her home and that Zoe planned to leave for Gemenon because she had found God. However, Daniel ignores her concerns and places her avatar in the U-87.
  • Initially, the experiment seems to work, with the U-87 calling Graystone "daddy" and talking a few steps forward. However, the program soon becomes corrupted and the robot crashes to the ground. Though Daniel reenters V-World, Zoe is nowhere to be found.
  • At home, Joseph tells William that they are going to start their relationship over. He mentions how Willie was named after his grandfather, and that he changed their last name after he immigrated to Caprica; their true family name is Adama.
  • At the Graystone campus, Daniel gathers with Caprican government and military officials watch the latest U-87 demonstration. In contrast to previous tests, the robot demonstrates significant intelligence and deadly efficient combat skills. Visibly impressed, Minister Joan Leyte asks Daniel what the machine is called. He tells her it is a Cybernetic Life-form Node, or Cylon.
  • Alone in a diagnostic room, the U-87 accesses a communication terminal and calls Lacy. Inside the machine, Zoe's avatar still exists, and she asks Lacy for her help.


  • In the script, Joseph Adama insists that Daniel Graystone delete the Tamara avatar. This does not happen in the aired pilot and is later contradicted in "Reins of a Waterfall".
  • In the stadium scene, the shot where fans are throwing food and drinks at the Caprica Buccaneers contains a small goof. If you look at the stadium rafters, a Canadian and an American flag can be seen. The stadium scenes were shot at General Motors Place in downtown Vancouver, home rink of the Vancouver Canucks. Also of note, the Pre-Cylon War Buccaneers team colors of blue, green, and white are the colors of the current Canucks uniforms.
  • It is worth noting that Joseph Adama doesn't use his lucky cigarette lighter at any point during the pilot.
  • The infinity symbol used by the STO is the same as that used by the Cylons during the funeral in "Islanded in a Stream of Stars".
  • It is genetically all but impossible for a blonde (Amanda) and a redhead (Daniel) to have a brunette daughter.

Differences between the DVD and TV Cut

  • Several establishing shots of Caprica were redone or added for the TV version of the pilot, giving the planet a more exotic and futuristic look. In addition, the backgrounds of some exterior scenes were digitally altered with CG imagery. Specific CGI changes include:
    • At the beginning, Caprica is shown in space beside its twin planet Gemenon.
    • The background of the Caprica City street in which Joseph Adama loses his cell phone connection in his last conversation with his wife, and subsequently sees the smoke from the maglev train bombing, is altered to include colorful banners and advertising displays.
    • There is an establishing shot of a municipal building prior to the scene in which the Mayor and Jordan Durham discuss the official response to the bombing.
    • The Graystone Industries building was heavily redesigned.
  • In the V-Club scenes, several shots of people having sex, as well as shots of naked and topless women, were removed for the TV version. The scene were Daniel is accosted by a topless woman was reshot with the extra wearing a bra.
  • Some scene transitions are slightly different in the TV version due to the insertion of commercial breaks. For example, on the DVD, after the explosion, the scene cross-fades to a shot of Daniel Graystone mourning in his house. In the TV version, there is a cut to black after the explosion, which leads to a commercial break; after the break, there is an establishing shot of the Graystone mansion, and then a slightly different shot of Graystone inside.
  • When Daniel Graystone confronts Zoe's avatar, she states that the human brain consists of about 100 terabytes of information, instead of the 300 megabytes that were mentioned in the DVD version.
  • The scene at the Pyramid game was completely reshot with the characters watching from box seats high above the field. This also offers the very first glimpse of a professional Pyramid match.


  • Several technologies seen in the pilot, including the computer sheet and the holoband, are absent in Battlestar Galactica. Given that both of these technologies seem to utilize wireless computer networks, it is likely that they were banned as a result of the Cylon War and the Cylons' ability to infiltrate networks.
  • The existence of the monotheistic cult and the Soldiers of the One confirms that monotheism was not unique to the Cylons, an idea hinted at in "He That Believeth in Me" with the revelation of Baltar's cult. It is likely then, though unconfirmed, that the Cylons derived their religion from the Soldiers of the One. This is supported by the use of the infinity symbol both by the STO and the Cylons during the funeral in "Islanded in a Stream of Stars".
  • Sister Clarice's use of the infinity symbol during her meeting with Lacy parallels the use of the early Christian Ichthys, or "Jesus Fish," which it also visually resembles. The Ichthys would be drawn in the ground to establish solidarity between two Christians in secret.
  • The fact that Caprica shares its orbit with Gemenon retroactively explains the enormous over-representation Capricans and Gemenese have in the Fleet.


Answered Questions

  • Will Zoe's consciousness in the U-87 emerge more frequently or less frequently as time goes on? (Answer)
  • Will Tamara Adama's avatar be downloaded into a Cylon brain, or will Graystone delete it, considering that Adama knows the Guatrau personally and socially to the point of being on first name terms with him? (Partial Answer)
    • On that note, did Graystone create an avatar for Shannon Adama as well? If so, how will Joseph, Sam and William react? (Answer)
  • Will Joseph Adama invest in a holoband for himself and William, or does he consider the entire network, and possibly networks in general, to be abominations? Is this the origin of William's phobia about integrated computer networks as depicted on Battlestar Galactica? (Partial Answer)
  • If there isn't a single flower on the entire surface of Tauron, what kind of crops do they grow?
  • Why did Zoe and Ben decide to go to Gemenon to escape religious persecution? Is there an enclave of the Soldiers of the One on Gemenon? (Partial Answer)
  • Where and how did Ben Stark obtain the G-4? Was his suicide bombing authorized? (Partial Answer)
  • In what way was Zoe's avatar supposed to bring about change and how exactly was it to do this? (Answer)
  • Is there any significance to the fact that Caprica's twin world was never previously seen? Is this planet Tauron or any of the other Colonies? (Partial Answer)

Unanswered Questions

Adama Family

  • Why did Joseph and Sam Adama go to such great lengths to keep their family's past a secret from William and Tamara? Could it have something to do with how their father, William the First, died?

Colonial Culture

  • Will the murder of Defense Minister Val Chambers lead to greater discrimination and reprisals against Taurons?
  • Will holoband technology be banned along with artificial intelligence due to the Cylon War, or will it still exist at the time of the Fall?


  • How long will it take for the U-87 to go into mass production and enter military service as the Cylon Centurion Model 0005?
    • Also, why is the production model designated the 0005, instead of remaining the U-87?
    • On a related note, why do all of the 0005s have masculine voices instead of keeping the distinctly feminine voice of the U-87, which sounds suspiciously like Zoe's?
  • What connection, if any, does Zoe-A have to the Significant Eight?

Official Statements

From "What the Frak is Caprica?" - Video Blog #1

Caprica, at it's heart, is really the story of the creation of the Cylons, and how the Cylons were developed initially. So, it's really the beginning of the end.
The reason that Ron [Moore] and I chose this particular time and place, and Caprica, is—it's right at the brink of the Caprica society's fall. Its starting to disintegrate and fall apart, and making themselves somewhat vulnerable to what eventually will be the rise of the Cylons.
Great thing about this show is that it's not your usual "Beam me up, Scotty", laser-tag fare, but more centered on a realistic depiction of what our culture would be like if we colonized another planet.
It's a domesticated drama that has severe overtones into the whole galaxy. These people who we're documentaring (sic) in this show some of them control puppet strings, you know, because it's money and power, and greed.
Caprica is not an action-adventure series. Caprica takes place before the war. Caprica is about a peaceful society. Caprica is about people going about their daily lives and not seeing how the seeds of their own destruction are all around them.
  • Aubuchon discusses bringing in a different audience with this outing:
What Ron [Moore] and I really wanted to make sure we did was bring to a different audience the same philosophy that Battlestar Galactica which is, that by watching something that's out of our time, we can start to think about our time.

Noteworthy Dialogue

  • Joseph discussing his family past with Willie:
Joseph Adama: I want you to know who you are. We come from a long, proud line of Tauron peasants who knew how to work the land and still stand proud. You're named after your grandfather. Did I ever tell you that?
Willie Adama: Nope.
Joseph Adama: William. He was killed during the Tauron uprising. Our last name isn't Adams. I changed it after I arrived here on Caprica. Our family name is Adama. Adama. And it's a good, honorable Tauron name.
  • The Cylon prototype after having destroyed all targets during an exercise:
Cylon prototype: All targets neutralized. Program completed by your command.
  • After having watched the live-fire demonstration of Graystone Enterprise's military robot:
Joan Leyte: What'd you call it?
Daniel Graystone: A cybernetic life-form node. A Cylon, Minister.
Joan Leyte : Hmm. Cylon. Interesting.


In the pilot, Avan Jogia is credited as part of the principal cast. He becomes a guest star in his future appearances. On the other hand, Sasha Roiz and Brian Markinson, who are both credited as guest stars in the pilot, join the principal cast in the first regular episode of the series.

Guest cast

Prior to the release of the pilot, many names were given in the cast. Of those not confirmed in the credits are the following and if they do appear, would be categorized uncredited:

Michelle Andrew is credited in the pilot, but as "V-Club Patron" and not as "Lap Dancer".[3] Roger R. Cross portrayed Tomas Vergis, but his scenes were all cut and the part has been recast for future appearances.


  1. Seidman, Robert (29 March 2010). “Caprica” Nielsen Ratings for “End Of the Line” (Mid-Season Finale) (backup available on . Retrieved on 23 October 2010.
  2. "SYFY ANNOUNCES PREMIERE DATE FOR CAPRICA", 24 July 2009. Retrieved on 25 July 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 This information comes from the Caprica entry on IMDb. It may or may not be accurate, as IMDb has no apparent fact checking facilities. We provide this information as a service to fans who may be looking for it, and we make no claim as to either its accuracy or unverifiable lack thereof.