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Caprica’s Timeline March 20, 2010

Posted by Mary W. Matthews in Popular Culture, Television.

I love Caprica. It’s bold, intelligent, and feminist, and it’s unafraid of the Big Questions of life — who is God, what is the nature of consciousness, what is reality?

But . . . Caprica is supposed to be set 58 years before the beginning of Battlestar Galactica. The Cylons will be created to be humanity’s slaves; they will rebel; there will be a terrible war; the Cylons will retreat for a generation, almost forgotten, until they suddenly reappear and almost wipe out their creators.

And yet, Caprica is almost indistinguishable from Battlestar Galactica in terms of hair styles, clothing styles, slang, and level of technological development. It’s basically 2010 with lots of impressive bells and whistles. They have Vipers. They have interstellar travel, and implicitly faster-than-light travel. They have multiple virtual worlds that combine role-playing games with Star Trek‘s holodeck with Tron.

Which is also fine. My motto is contained in the theme song to the late, lamented Mystery Science Theater 3000: “If you wonder how they eat and breathe, / and other science facts, / repeat to yourself, ‘It’s just a show, I should really just relax.’ ”

Nevertheless, I can’t stop thinking about how this is 2010, and how 58 years ago it was 1952. Imagine how different the hair styles were, the clothes, the level of technology, but more important the weltanschauung — the worldview, the value system. Think of how racist the world was in 1952, how misogynistic, how paternalistic, how fearful of the specter of Communism. How terrified that Hiroshima and Nagasaki, then in the recent past, might happen again, only this time the end would be world annihilation.

Every generation has its own fears, its own hopes, its own prejudices, is own angers. Why isn’t Caprica AT LEAST as different from Battlestar Galactica as 1952 is from 2010?



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