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New Battlestar Galactica Spin-off Series Announced 473

Posted by samzenpus
from the baby-boomer dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Sci-Fi Channel's hit series Battlestar Galactica may soon be joined by a 50-year-prior prequel series, called Caprica. To be co-exec produced by Ron Moore and David Eick, the new series will follow the tale of the creation of the Cylons."
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New Battlestar Galactica Spin-off Series Announced

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  • Prequel? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Thursday April 27, 2006 @12:05AM (#15209934) Journal
    Don't we write stories from the beginning anymore?
  • by voss (52565) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @12:08AM (#15209947)
    You know adama wont die but thats about it.

    Also regarding the prequel issue, lots of movies come about
    world war II and are quite good despite people knowing
    how world war II turned out they still seem to have good plots.

  • Steadicam? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pipingguy (566974) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @12:14AM (#15209969) Homepage

    Will this one also feature the "edgy", trendy, subtly shaky camera work designed to give that "gritty, real-world" feel? Sheesh, it's overdone and hackneyed already. I think there's even software now that can take perfectly-filmed stuff and shakify it "for artistic effect".
  • by Rydia (556444) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @12:15AM (#15209973)
    So, after finally getting around to watching "Tooth and Claw" (Doctor Who 28x2), I am reminded of Gregg Easterbrook's discussion of (someone's, I forget whose) theory of the sci-fi "idiot plot," a plot which can only carry on forward motion if everyone involved is an idiot. BSG has been full of them, especially of late, with fantastic "should we ask him if he still has that bomb we know was ours yet is the only one unaccounted for? Naaaaaah."-related activities.

    Why do I mention Doctor Who? Because it, quite simply, is not that. Star Trek (at least TNG) likewise rarely ran into this problem, so it's not just an american thing. But why do we buy into these plots? They're ridiculous on their face, yet we keep watching more sci-fi full of them. Are we that impressed by apocalyptic stories and high technology that we ignore the whole reason we're watching the show?

    I just don't get it.
  • by prakslash (681585) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @12:23AM (#15210005)

    What is it with Hollywood's fascination with prequels anyway?

    First there was Star Wars with Eps I-III, then there was Star Trek with Enterprise and the new proposed movie on when Kirk/Spock were in the Academy. And, now this.

    I feel doing prequels is a bad idea and will never produce great entertainment.

    There are three main reasons:

    (1) Future is Known: Since the audience already knows what will happen to the characters in the future based on earlier movies, there is never that subconscious element of suprise. For example, no matter how much the main characters are in jeopardy, we know they will survive to justify their existence later in history. Writers basically paint themselves in a corner since they are bounded by the events that are supposed to come later.

    (2) Risk to Established Canon: Sometimes the writers try to inject novelty by doing things that meses up the canon. They introduce things that no longer justifies what was established in the earlier movies. This leaves a bad taste in the audience's mouth because it invalidates everything they have come to believe. For example, the appearance of Borg on Star Trek Enterprise before the time of Kirk.

    (3) Anachronistic Special Effects: Since prequels get made with special-effects technology that has evolved much beyond when the earlier movies were made, we end up seeing special effects and the general look of the movie not being in line with what we would expect how things would look in the past. For example, some of the consoles and user interface screens used by the cast in Star Trek Enterprise looked more advanced than the ones on Star Trek : DS9. This anachronistic anomaly again leaves a bad taste in the audience's mouths.

    I feel Hollywood should abandon this fad of making prequels and just start making more novel sequels where what they can do is only limited by a good writer's imagination.

  • Too Adama-Centric? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xdc (8753) * on Thursday April 27, 2006 @12:41AM (#15210068) Journal

    The article [zap2it.com] is rather scant on details, but includes this information:

    "Caprica" will be set more than 50 years prior to the events of "Battlestar Galactica" and focus on the lives of two families -- the Adamas (ancestors of future Galactica commander William) and the Graystones. Humankind's Twelve Colonies are at peace and on the verge of a technological breakthrough: the first Cylon.

    As "Battlestar Galactica" is about a lot more than space battles, "Caprica" will be as much family drama as sci-fi tale.

    I have mixed feelings about this spin-off. On the one hand, I have become more or less addicted to Battlestar Galactica and want something to tide me over until the third season starts. On the other hand, the plot of Caprica, as presented in this write-up, strikes me as cheesy. Is this a family feud? With billions of people in the twelve colonies, why does the Adama family need a central role in the new show? (Isn't one series enough? Was there a pre-William Adama back story in the original show or in Hatch's books? Being a BSG fan of only recent vintage, I don't know. This just reminds me of the 130-year McFly-Tannen conflict in Back to the Future.)

    Battlestar Galactica is a riveting show. Hopefully its creators will achieve similar success with Caprica.

  • First Cylon! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 27, 2006 @01:18AM (#15210188)
    I'm most excited about meeting the first Cylon. In the series, the Cylons a sophisticated belief structure and a strange confidence in those beliefs (although we know they sometimes change their minds). We get to see a little of how Cylon society is structured in the second season, but there are a lot of unanswered questions. How did an artificial intelligence creat a monotheistic belief system? How did it come to believe anything at all? Why do Cylons believe they're God's chosen species?

    In the director's commentary for the first-season episode "You Can't Go Home Again," Moore and Eick say that they think the key to a great BG episode is to give away secrets. There's a lot of secrets left.
  • I actually read something in a magazine a few months ago, and basically the reason Sci-Fi does the monster of the week movies is because they're so low budget but still bring in advertising. They cost under a million dollars a piece to make, and they run them a few times and probably break even pretty fast. I guess that's basically the bread and butter of Sci-Fi, it's version of "reality TV".
  • I was hoping for... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DarkEdgeX (212110) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @02:14AM (#15210365) Journal
    ..."Battlestar Pegasus". Basically a way to leapfrog back and forth and continue the story at a faster pace (or, they could split the ships up from time to time). But this might be interesting.
  • by happyemoticon (543015) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @02:26AM (#15210399) Homepage

    Women can make good pilots, biologically [wired.com].

    "In absolute terms, they have weaker bones. But relative to the demands put on them, they may be stronger than men," he said. "They adapt to loading in a very similar way that men do, and may even have a slight advantage that is related to estrogen."

    Of course, brute strength does provide you with some advantage, but I'm pretty sure withstanding G forces is more about power/mass ratio than absolute power. I've noticed that smaller people tend to have the advantage there as well.

    I had trouble with Starbuck's character at first, but nowadays she's pretty believable. My suspension of disbelief as far as her piloting skills is not threatened, though in some of the last episodes of the second season I thought her responses and inner turmoil were a bit overplayed.

    And as far as that ship being a soap opera. It seems pretty reasonable to me. I mean, there were love tetrahedrons in my college dorm, and that was on a much smaller scale without the looming threat of humanity's doom. And as Wally said on the Dilbert animated series, post-apocalyptic dystopias lower girls' standards by leaps and bounds.

  • by MichaelPenne (605299) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @03:30AM (#15210554) Homepage
    As "Battlestar Galactica" is about a lot more than space battles, "Caprica" will be as much family drama as sci-fi tale.

    It is just me, or isn't there enough family drama on TV? Why can't we have more Space Battles??? I mean with quad dual cores for less than the cost of a compact car and the effects shipping as presets in most 3D packages, why not a space battle every show? At least 50/50?

    Hmm, maybe a Spacebattles.com channel?

  • Re:Prequel? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 27, 2006 @04:37AM (#15210645)
    It'd be interesting if they did kill off all the Adama line in the prequel. It'd certainly add fuel to the speculation that Adama's a cylon...
  • by pandaba (38513) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @05:59AM (#15210804)
    I really hate plots dependent upon idiots. They're so bloody banal and completely unbelievable.

    Was reading this alt-history book about a completely useless and improbable war. Apparently there was this relatively evil empire barely beaten in a long war, and then a new, much more evil leader takes over the evil empire and manages to convince the leading powers to just give him entire countries, even when the other powers could have easily crushed him. Then he joins forces with another equally evil leader and surprises these idiots by launching lots of invasions. Then the other evil leader is shocked when the evil empire turns on him too. What a bunch of bloody idiots! Not to mention yet another set of evil idiots who picked a fight with a country twenty times their size, though that country was somehow surprised by the attack even though they could read all the encrypted transmissions. "World War II" was complete drivel and a pointless sequel to that fair-to-middling book called, imaginatively enough, "World War I". Can't remember who wrote it but, with the flatness of the plot and characters, it was probably Turtledove.

    So I gave up on that crap and started watching a movie about some imaginary American president who never read the newspapers but somehow managed to start a war against some minor country on the basis of lies even a child could see through, after he was caught napping by a bunch of barely competent terrorists. Of course, to advance the plot, the minor country had nothing to do with the terrorists, and was ruled by some incompetent moustachioed kitten-eating dictator straight out of central casting, circa 1915. I think the director just wanted to draw the audience in with some big explosions with a villain so laughably evil that everyone would just hiss at him and ignore the huge plot holes.

    Anyways, there was also this really pointless subplot involving some idiot who used to run some horse organization who, after being fired, was put in charge of emergency systems or something, and then he managed to sit twiddling his thumbs while some city was utterly destroyed. Not sure what the point of showing this idiot was other than maybe the director has some bug up his ass about global warming and wanted to make a point using a sledgehammer.

    The film's plot was so completely dependent upon idiots that I left the movie early and have no idea how it ended. Feel free to post spoilers here.

    So, yeah, there's no relvance to these idiot plots. Wish writers would stop using them and stop relying on special effects, banal good/evil imagery, and absolutely stupid characters to get their points across.
  • Re:Don't hurt BSG (Score:2, Interesting)

    by WilliamSChips (793741) <full.infinity@g m a i l . c om> on Thursday April 27, 2006 @06:15AM (#15210832) Journal
    even the Sci-fi sucks for not picking up Firefly
    I'm pretty sure that's Fox's fault, not Sci-Fi's. Sci-Fi would be willing to buy, but I don't think Fox was willing to sell.
  • by rufty_tufty (888596) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @06:51AM (#15210905) Homepage
    Thinking back to the miniseries, the schematic the guy in the space station had for the cylons were the centurions we knew from the 1978 series.
    Does this mean the new series will have to go back to men in suits to maintain that canon? Or will there be new CGI-tastic cylons that are supposedly created for more mundane tasks that humans origonally used them for?
    i.e. this show will be set before the cylons split off and created the centurions?
  • by The Spie (206914) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @07:23AM (#15210962) Homepage
    What is it with the unoriginal ship names...

    ST:TNG has a pegasus, and an episode named after it
    SG1/Atlantis has an entire pegasus galaxy

    Therefore BSG had to have a pegasus!

    Uh, hello? The original BSG had a Battlestar Pegasus, and its Admiral Kane was played by Lloyd Bridges (thus providing karmic balance: Katee Sackoff > Dirk Benedict, but Lloyd Bridges >> a PMSed Ensign Ro). Therefore, TNG and Stargate ripped off BSG. This is something that only a slight amount of research could have informed you of.

    Those who don't research their history are doomed to end up looking like a fool on /..

  • by Subrafta (848399) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @09:10AM (#15211400)
    I'm still waiting for the book before Genesis on the origin of God, It should make quite the prequel.
    It's called The Last Question, and it's a great read.

    http://infohost.nmt.edu/~mlindsey/asimov/question. htm [nmt.edu] (the story)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Question [wikipedia.org] (about the story)

  • Re:First Cylon! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Fastolfe (1470) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @10:36AM (#15212074)
    I really hope this element gets some treatment in the prequel.

    For example, what if it turns out that the early Cylons were unsafe machines, or made judgements that were too cold and treated walking-toasters and biological humans equally? Maybe the people tried to fix this by introducing a form of the Three Laws of Robotics by impressing the Cylons with a human religion: biological humans are "chosen", follow God's rules, etc.

    So after the war, they sulk about how they're not biological, and then they have a eureka moment and figure out how to evolve themselves to be biological humans too. Maybe then they could claim to be God's children too and finally be at peace with their beliefs.

    Of course, I'm just pulling this out of my ass, but there's a lot of possibilities here that would make for a very entertaining story.
  • by hanshotfirst (851936) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @02:02PM (#15214337)
    Really, the episodes that have something to do with the main story are good (perhaps great), but the random episodes pretty much feel like "terrorist of the week" (you know, that thing we all hate Enterprise for, only substitute "alien" with "terrorist").

    I think part of the craft of the writing of the show is the at-the-time-seemingly-random-event ("terrorist of the week") which several episodes later (or a whole season later) comes back up and reveals its tie-in to the main storyline. Best example: The nuclear warhead. Another strong example: The first episode with Zarek's rebellion definitely seemed like an isolated terrorist-of-the-week episode at the time, but it turns out those events were crucial to his involvement in the rest of the plot later, culminating in Baltar's election.

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