Caprica (Pilot)

CapricaZoe Graystone is a typical teenager, excelling in the art of making her parents’ lives hell – and in keeping secrets from them. Her father is Daniel Graystone, a multi-billionaire technology magnate whose big breakthrough, holo-bands, have put him on top of the world; Zoe has also inherited her father’s genius, creating and programming essentially a perfect copy of herself in a virtual world, another Zoe with the personality, likes, dislikes and foibles of herself. But she’s managed to keep this from her father, as well as her involvement with a movement toward monotheism…and her plans to run away from home. During her flight from Caprica, Zoe discovers – too late – that one of her fellow believers in a single, all-powerful god is a suicide bomber.

In the wake of the tragedy, Daniel Graystone has a chance meeting with a lawyer named William Adams. A native of the planet Tauron, Adams isn’t that happy with his lot in life; despite being a moderately successful lawyer, he too often finds himself running “errands” for the Guatrau, a Tauron crime lord and power broker, including bailing the Guatrau’s more “hands-on” errand boys out of legal trouble. Adams lost his wife and daughter to the suicide bombing, and left to raise his son William alone. This gives Adams and Graystone some unlikely common ground, and they become fast friends, though Adams is hardly a power attorney and wonders what his unimaginably rich new friend really has in mind.

Graystone discovers Zoe’s friend Lacy – who, at the last minute, elected not to try to run away with Zoe and never boarded the transport – interacting with the virtual Zoe, and is surprised as the complexity and accuracy of the simulation of his daughter. Having hit a dead-end in his own artificial intelligence work for a major defense contract, Graystone decides to base a new AI on Zoe’s simulation. But there’s one further snag: he’ll need the central processor developed by a competing company on Tauron to pull it off.

And this is where Graystone’s new friend comes in. With the technology of Caprica virtually under his thumb, it’s no problem for Graystone to find out about Adams’ tenuous underworld connections. He asks Adams to use his contacts to arrange for the theft of the needed processor; in return, the Guatrau asks Adams for a “favor” that could have serious repercussions for all involved. At the end of the day, Graystone and the Guatrau get what they want. When Graystone tries to thank Adams by introducing him to a simulation of Adams’ late daughter, their cameraderie comes to a very swift end. The simulation of Adams’ daughter is a traumatized, tortured soul who seems to know that she isn’t real. Adams decides that power over mortality is meant for no one but the gods, and bids Graystone farewell. Adams promises his son William that they will make a new start, beginning with a return to their family’s original Tauron name: Adama.

Graystone shrugs off Adams’ departure and downloads Zoe’s artificial consciousness into a cybernetic body. The download doesn’t work, and in his hubris, Graystone failed to back up the artificial Zoe. He’s left with nothing, and has no choice but to reprogram the stolen processor and use it as the core of a cyborg for a Ministry of Defense demonstration. That test run goes spectacularly well – the same cybernetic body into which Graystone attempted to download Zoe proves to be a powerful mechanical warrior, securing Graystone’s contract and his future…and setting his world on a course for its destruction.

Download this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by Remi Aubuchon & Ronald D. Moore
directed by Jeffrey Reiner
music by Bear McCreary

Cast: Eric Stoltz (Daniel Graystone), Esai Morales (Joseph Adama), Paula Malcomson (Amanda Graystone), Alessandra Toreson (Zoe Graystone), Magda Apanowicz (Lacy Rand), Avan Jogia (Ben Stark), Polly Walker (Sister Clarice Willow), Sasha Roiz (Sam Adama), Brian Markinson (Jordan Duram), William B. Davis (Minister Chambers), Sina Najafi (William Adama), Jorge Montesi (The Guatrau), Hiro Kanagawa (Cyrus Xander), Genevieve Buechner (Tamara Adams), Anna Galvin (Shannon Adams), Katie Keating (Prefect Caston), Veena Sood (Secretary of Defense Joan Leyte), Karen Austin (Ruth), Nancy Kerr (Prosecutor), Terence Kelly (Mayor), Angela Moore (Judge), Josh Byer (Defendant), Vicky Lambert (Hecate), Jim Thomson (voice of Serge), Jared Keeso (Rod Jenkins), Kathryn Schellenberg (Dancer), Maiko Miyauchi (Dancer), Daina Ashbee (Dancer), Adrienne Chan (Dancer), Salma Allam (Dancers), Kirsten Wicklund (Dancer), Shawn Stewart (Dancer), Donald Sales (Dancer), Paul Becker (Dancer), Cara Long (V Club patron), Jay Devery (V Club patron), Keita Parker (V Club patron), Chelsea Darden (V Club patron), Megan Sehn (V Club patron), Chantal Ayre (V Club patron), Michelle Andrew (V Club patron), Eva Hartkoff (V Club patron)

Notes: Caprica takes place 58 years before the fall of Capirca as depicted in the Battlestar Galactica miniseries. Young William Adams would grow up to be Galactica’s Admiral William Adama, and his father Joseph wrote the legal texts that Lee Adama studied when he decided to change careers from career military to attorney. As with the re-imagined Galactica, Caprica assumes that the earliest Cylons resembled the “chrome suit” Cylons from the original 1970s incarnation of Battlestar Galactica. “Cylon” is revealed to be an acronym for “Cybernetic Lifeform Node”. Guest star William B. Davis is best-known in SF TV circles for his long-running recurring role as the X-Files’ sinister Cigarette Smoking Man. Esai Morales appeared alongside Edward James Olmos, who starred in Battlestar Galactica as the adult William Adama, in the acclaimed TV series American Family, as well as the 1995 film My Family. The premiere date assigned to this synopsis is that of the Caprica pilot movie’s 2009 DVD release date, several months prior to its broadcast premiere in 2010.

LogBook entry by Earl Green