At the end of Apotheosis, to conclude Season 1 of Caprica we were treated to a montage of what the future holds for our favorite characters. This was meant to be a tease for what was to come in Season 2, but Syfy abruptly cut the series short, leaving the future to our imaginations. For many fans of Caprica, it’s not enough to have the little peeks we were shown in Apotheosis. Luckily, executive producers Ron Moore, David Eick and show runner Kevin Murphy have shined some light as to what a second season of Caprica might have entailed.
The Shape of Things to Come
A few weeks before Syfy announced that they would not continue Caprica, they held a Digital Press Tour in support of their currently airing and future series. There was a Caprica panel hosted by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Programming for Syfy at the time. Ron Moore and David Eick answered questions from those in attendance. When asked about Season 2, they both spoke passionately about the plan they had laid out in detail for Caprica. Ron Moore had the following to say:
“Well we actually do have the whole sort of creative road map of what the second season is going to be. David and I got together a few months ago and said to the Syfy channel, ‘If we get a second season this is essentially where we want to go with it.’ And we mapped it out in greater detail than I think we ever did in Battlestar Galactica’s run. We said ‘Okay, wait a minute what if we establish these points out on the horizon as a place we’re trying to get to. Now let’s take the audience on a journey from here to there.’ We kind of went through each of the characters and all the major storylines and we were pretty pleased. We said, ‘Oh this is actually a pretty good season and a good story.’ So Syfy agreed and liked it and creatively we’re ready to go. If and when we get the pickup – which I still think we’re going to get and hopefully we get – we’re ready to sit down and actively start breaking episodes.”
A common concern for TV networks is that an audience will feel intimidated jumping into a show that they haven’t been following. For the second season of Caprica this was not a concern. Mark Stern chimed in that the Syfy channel liked the premise for the new season.
“I think one of the things that we liked about the new break that these guys did [...] was that it does pick a point in the story that feels like a fresh start in a some respects. You don’t have to have been steeped in all that mythology from Season 1 to pick it up in Season 2 which we really liked.”
Better than Battlestar Galactica
David Eick touched upon some of the themes that Caprica would explore. He then offered his thoughts on how Season 2 of Caprica was crafted. He suggests that a second season of Caprica would result in a greater impact than Battlestar Galactica did as a result of proper planning.
“Yeah there’s a lot of really compelling ideas involved in connecting the idea of the launch of artificial intelligence into implementation into the culture. What was that about and how did that occur? What kind of emotional tumble did that involve? What kind of societal upheaval was involved in that? For us the second season is all about that. It’s about seeing the strands begin to coalesce and connect into what will become Battlestar Galactica. It is interesting, you know Ron and I did spend more time on this second season discussion than we ever did on Battlestar and it made me think, ‘How good Battlestar might have been if we had actually spent some time thinking about a sequence ahead of time.’”
This is Our Future
The enhanced versions of Unvanquished and Apotheosis from the Caprica: Season 1.5 DVD included commentary by Caprica show runner, Kevin Murphy. On these tracks he gave great insight into what the goals were for Season 1 of Caprica and how they were all leading to a set up for Season 2. He explained that the coda to Apotheosis was a “5 year jump”, giving us a glimpse of what was to come in Caprica’s second season.
“The concept for season two basically is Zoe has chosen to throw her lot in with her parents and with humanity even though she is the mother of this new and burgeoning cylon race. And she’s joined the Caprican Legionnaires and she’s dedicated herself to the destruction of the toasters while hiding the secret that she herself is the first version of a skin job. But it’s not the sophisticated version that we all remember from Battlestar Galactica it’s more like a terminator where there’s a skin-like covering over technology underneath. That, set against the backdrop of the 12 colonies on the brink of war, sort of the waning days of the Weimar Republic, was kind of a jumping off for what Season 2 would entail.”
“A lot of Season 1.5 is designed to segue us to our ultimate goal which was turning Zoe into the first skin job. There was a lot of talk and as you know this is a story that will have to be told in Season 2.”
“I’m a gigantic fan of Brain Markinson who plays Durham who we weren’t able to continue to the end because we had limits as to which actors we could continue. And so I shot him but I took great pains to make sure that I didn’t shoot him dead. The plan is for a second season – if I have anything to do with it – Zoe is going to sign up with the Caprican Legionnaires to basically eradicate cylons and her commanding officer would be Jordan Durham who would no longer be with the GDD but we’ll see how it goes when we get there.”
Can you be Free if you’re Not Real?
“I’ll talk a little bit about what the plan was for Zoe. What we wanted to do was to bring this family back together. That was our essential endgame, to set the stage for Season 2 and get to a point where this young woman can hug her parents. The larger idea is that by the end of Season 1.5 she’s realized that she loves her parents and as difficult as her parents are and as dysfunctional as they are as a family she would rather be a real girl in a real world than be fantasy girl in a fantasy universe.”
The Final Five
“Now through limitations Zoe’s journey is a story that will be told in season 2 (knock wood), because she’s going to have an encounter in V-world where she’s going to buttress up against the final five, who at this point in Battlestar mythology are on a very long journey to the 12 colonies. And what you do during a long journey to keep your brain from atrophying is VR stimulation. So Zoe will be taking a little vision quest through the VR universe and will end up bumping up against one of the final five who will give her some of the pieces that she’s going to need to make the first rudimentary skin job that we see at the end of Apotheosis. That’s one of a number of stories that we really wanted to be able to fit into Season 1.5 but we ended up doing one fewer episode than we originally planned because of scheduling with the Olympics. And it became impossible to shoot anything anywhere in Vancouver. So we ended up having to push some things off to – knock wood – a second season and we left holes where some of those stories will be filled in.”
“So the story of Zoe’s journey through V-world and how she ended up [in Clarice's virtual heaven]… there is a story to it as I mentioned before but it’s a story that we did not have the time to tell in 1.5 but I hope that we get to at some time in the future.”
“This was a definite style adjustment that we were going for, that the mandate internally was – when it comes to cylons – less dancin’ more shootin’. We did make a real effort to butch them up in the second half of the first season.”
A Gift from the One True God
“So here we have Clarice in virtual church. She survived the destruction of her heaven and she now has set herself up as the advocate and protector of cylon rights across the 12 worlds. She now is trying to make an appeal to the new power structure on Gemenon which of course is Lacy and Odin. Much like a lot of events in between the 5 year jump that’s a story that has yet to be told in season 2.”
“And here we have our old friend the goo bath. The story of how they obtained the goo bath technology is through Zoe and it’s a story that will have to wait until season 2. But I did actually rather give it away earlier.”
Mysteries – they Don’t Have Answers
“I have no idea why Zoe is sitting in the virtual church.”
Caprica was destined to be a grand series, built on dramatic overarching themes like war, corruption, betrayal, decay, life and death. The future of humanity began with many choices – Amanda’s choice to love her family, Joseph’s choice to stay true to his roots, Lacy’s choice to believe in her destiny, Sam’s choice to take control, Zoe’s choice to create artificial life, Clarice’s choice to try to destroy life and Daniel’s choice to create the first cylon among many others. Each of these choices brought Caprica to a point where cylons could walk among people. The story of the 12 worlds has just begun, with the preface elegantly scribed like a chapter in the Book of Pythia. Only time will tell if the history of the colonies – the story of Caprica – will be revealed, or lost to the stars like the mysterious 13th colony of Kobol.
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