Holy Frak — Watching the First Seven Episodes of Caprica pt.1: Characters

So, I’ll start with a confession—I didn’t watch Battlestar Galactica. I can justify it by saying that it started while I was in college and didn’t get Syfy (then Sci-Fi) and no one was putting it the, um, internal sharing network. And then when I got my own place I still didn’t have Syfy. By the time Hulu came around, it was really too late. By the time I realized it was something I should watch, I decided that I should wait until it’s over and do what I did with Buffy—watch the whole series in one glorious sweep. (Buffy took about 7 months.)

I’ve reserved BSG from the library, but so far no dice. It says it shipped 28 days ago. I should probably check on the status. In the meantime, I decided to watch Caprica and see if I found it interesting.

I preface my thoughts this way because I’m sure there’s a lot more I could know about the ‘verse. And I’m really looking forward to learning it, once the DVDs arrive.

***SPOILERS AHEAD FOR EPISODES 1-7***

I was going to write about the episodes, but then I found myself thinking more about the characters & plot lines and decided to start there first.

Zoe Graystone

I don’t know if she’s actually the main character. I like that this is a real ensemble cast and we don’t see Zoe for whole periods. I prefer her as an avatar/robot to her as a real girl, I gotta admit it. But I think my dislike of the character has everything to do with the story and nothing to do with the actress and how she plays it.

Perhaps it’s because the character is the same kind of know-it-all that I was as a teen and am afraid I still am. The times when I like her the best are the times when she’s the most vulnerable, when you know that she wants to reach out to someone from inside that metal body. Those are really the only times I feel sympathy for or with her character. It didn’t help that in the first episode we got overloaded with her teen angst. That made a lasting impression.

Also, one of the few things I (think I) know about BSG is that Cylon = evil. And Zoe is a Cylon.

Daniel Graystone

This was a whole different holy frak moment for me. After watching “There is Another Sky” I was raving about it to a friend who mentioned that she really liked Eric Stoltz. I decided to see what else he’d played and was shocked to realize he was the boy in John Hughes’s Some Kind of Wonderful. Since I was born in the mid-80s, I didn’t see it until the mid-90s…but when I did I admit I totally crushed on him for a while. Which is why now it’s weird to see him as the dad.

As Daniel Graystone, I like him but again I don’t feel much sympathy for or with. I’m interested in his problems, I’d like to see how he solves them, but I don’t find myself identifying with him in the process. I think if his lab exploded & he died, I probably wouldn’t miss him. BUT I appreciate his role in the plot and how he moves things along. And I do find myself anticipating whatever eureka moment he’s going to have which will help him replicate the Cylon.

Joseph Adama

I love the Adama family storyline. I’m not sure why Joseph Adama appeals to me so much more than Daniel Graystone—he’s not a good man, but he’s a very interesting one. Since the first episode, I’ve been trying to figure out just how “good” or not he is…and I think the answer is that he’s neither good nor bad, but thoroughly human.

We’ve seen him order cold-blooded killings & then change his mind, or try to bribe judges and find out it doesn’t always work the way you want it to. I love watching him try to find Tamara, though I’m worried for him about what will happen once he does.

I’m also fascinated by Tauron culture. Was it explored in BSG? I want to see the tattoo Joseph got in “There is Another Sky.”

Tamara Adama

We don’t yet know too much about her, but I think I already prefer her to Zoe. Sure, she’s got a little angst, but hers seems to all be post *omg I’m not alive but I am alive in this digital way (like Zoe in the Cylon). And that’s understandable, I’d be scared s**tless if I woke up and discovered I was only alive in this virtual way.

Lots of potential here.

Amanda Graystone

I want to like Amanda Graystone & find her interesting. But I suffer from the same disinterest that I feel with Zoe. I’m not uninterested, I’m just disconnected emotionally. Call it the “Graystone malaise.”

Sam Adama

I like the Adama storyline and I like Sam in particular. His work in “Gravedancing” was fantastic. Loved him opposite Amanda and then the way he toyed with Joseph after the job was called off. I like the complexity of his relationship with Joseph & Will. He’s there to parent his nephew when Joseph’s still in shock, but his view of being a man & a Tauron is a bit different from Joseph’s.

Sam seems to be the only completely sane main character. He’s grounded (for now), practical, and tries to take care of the people he loves. Also a stone cold (and efficient) killer…as we saw in the great sex/assassination/Joseph-is-sad sequence in the pilot.

I also think he’s a great example of a gay character on tv—he’s a character and he’s gay. It’s not a central part of defining him and his life and yet it is a central part of him and his life in that he’s married to a man and family is very important to Taurons. But he’s not playing to stereotypes, he’s not evil, he’s not overly-good, he’s just entirely human. They did a great job of introducing it in a way that shows it’s not a big deal to the culture or the family or the show. Like many other people watching it, I actually had to go back and listen to the conversation again before I was sure he was talking about flirting with guys.

And, let’s not kid ourselves, Sam Adama Sasha Roiz is fantastic eye-candy. 😉

Sister Clarice

Sister Clarice freaks me out. I feel like a cat whenever she comes on screen. I swear my skin prickles and my back arches. This is a good thing but it also makes it hard to watch scenes she’s in. I love to hate and fear her because I know she’s going to bring about something bad— probably when she finally gets ahold of Zoe.

She’s like what Senator Palpatine could have been (and sometimes was) in the Star Wars prequels. You want to yell at all the other characters not to trust her, to tell them she’s got an agenda, but you know you can’t and so you just watch and wait.

Barnabas

James Marsters? Really? After Buffy & Torchwood, you’d think I’d easily recognize him, but his real American accent (vs. the fake ones in the other two shows) and his somewhat older appearance (part makeup, part reality, it seems) made him hard to spot even though I knew it was him.

He’s not really a good bad guy yet because he’s not really a fleshed-out bad guy (unlike Sister Clarice). But the character has potential and the actor has follow-through.

Lacy?

Nothing to say whatsoever. Sorry.

So that’s my take on the characters from the first 7 episodes. I’ve been catching up on them for the last few weeks via Hulu. From now on, I guess I have to wait until they come on (and then go to Hulu) to see what happens. I’m going to be writing some thoughts about the episodes, but that’ll have to be a different post.

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