I’ve just finished Caprica and I’m in mourning. When I was first introduced to Battlestar Galatica I thought it was just another Star Trek competitor. It wasn’t, it isn’t, Star Trek simply doesn’t come anywhere close to the plot lines, character development and epic plot that Battlestar sets out. After I’d finished watching the series back to back I was pretty devastated, and though friends highlighted Caprica to me, I’d heard bad things so stayed away.
After several months of Galactica starvation I decided to try Caprica after all, and I’ll tell you, it doesn’t fail to pull you full throttle back into the Battlestar Galactica world with thrilling excitement. Set before the Cyclon war, Caprica details life on the planet before the uprising and shows the very birth story of robot sentient life itself. And, like Battlestar Galactica, whilst being ‘sci-fi’, the series is so much more. It’s the struggle of parents dealing with the loss of their child. It’s the mafia uprising that’s gripping the streets. It’s the raging war of religious beliefs that shadows only too well the circumstances of our great planet Earth. And, for sci-fi fans, it’s all set with slightly futuristic science to give it a magnificent edge.
I often feel that the great sci-fi series that fail do so simply because they’re marketed wrong. Promoters keen to corner the geek/nerd/fanatic market push series to specific science fiction branded broadcasters without even trying to crack the main stream. The Sarah Connor Chronicles is a great example of this, and after two series of thrilling story was cut completely short, ahead of its time, simply because it truly wasn’t marketed right. Yes, it’s Terminator and obviously sci-fi, but actually, if you watch a few episodes and scratch the service, it was a brilliantly written story about a mother protecting her son which just happened to have a Terminator twist. Caprica probably had even less of the typical science fiction starships, weapons and alien races, and was an elegant mix of parental struggle and political influence set amongst religious wars.
Whilst I can’t do anything to bring these series back, I would encourage promoters to look beyond the sci-fi stereotype and at a wider market of viewers who could discover that sci-fi is not always the spaceships, transporters and lightsabers of Star Wars and Star Trek, but stories of humanity as well. Grey’s Anatomy isn’t just about a hospital, Desperate Housewives is far from what it’s title suggests. And with the future of Blood and Chrome hovering in the balance, I hope that the wider audience have a chance to embrace entertainment which is far more than the genres title makes out.