My favorite sci-fi shows of all time, #6: Caprica

We have another show that takes place in the Futurama here. (We’re almost done, folks!) Right up until I typed the title, I wasn’t sure what would be #6 and which would be #5 (which you’ll get tomorrow). Caprica is the prequel to Battlestar: Galactica (and you’re a fool if you don’t think that’s on the list), in which it tells the story of how the Cylons were created in the first place. It tackles topics like terrorism and religion — usually difficult to discuss in any kind of detail in a sci-fi setting — extremely well.

My favorite character: Zoe Graystone (played by Alessandra Torresani) is a teenage girl who doesn’t get along with her parents — but is also a computer genius. In one of the show’s earlier twists, she ends up becoming the first Cylon. A fantastic and well designed character, especially because she occasionally faces her avatar, who is somehow the same as and different from the original Zoe.

My favorite secondary character: Baxter Sarno (played by Patton Oswalt). He plays a sleazy talk show host, but a genuinely entertaining and insightful one. I was really impressed by somebody who, prior to this, I’d only seen in stand-up. There is a depth to him as an actor that I never realized.

I have to mention James Marsters here too (as Barnabas Greeley); if you’ve only seen Buffy/Angel, you’ve done yourself a disservice. He is a very, very different character here.

My favorite moment: The first time Zoe Graystone and Tamara Adama meet; a great confrontation between two strong female leads.

Why it’s here: The second best original series SyFy ever produced.

Why it’s not higher: Because it ended too early. I have no idea why SyFy decided to only show 1 and a half seasons. It’s still among the most beloved shows in the network’s history. Worse, the “solution” to the huge gap which still remained between this show and BSG was to show “the season that might have been” in super fast flashes. I almost would have preferred not to know.


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