Sci-Fi Channel Picks Up Battlestar Galactica Prequel ‘Caprica’

The Sci-Fi Channel has opted to pick up the Battlestar Galactica prequel, ‘Caprica’, as a 20-hour series, including the 2-hour pilot. The pilot was originally planned as a movie and has already been shot, and fans eager to see it are now going to have to wait until the 2010 debut of the series.  Production doesn’t start until next year.

Here’s a description of the show, from the press release:

Set 50 years before “Battlestar Galactica,” “Caprica” follows two rival families — the Graystones and the Adamas — as they grow, compete, and thrive in the vibrant world of the 12 Colonies, a society recognizably close to our own.  Enmeshed in the burgeoning technology of artificial intelligence and robotics that will eventually lead to the creation of the Cylons, the two houses go toe-to-toe blending action with corporate conspiracy and sexual politics. “Caprica” will deliver all of the passion, intrigue, political backbiting and family conflict in television’s first science fiction family saga. As the series begins, a startling development is about to occur — the creation of the first cybernetic life-form node or “Cylon” — the ability to marry artificial intelligence with mechanical bodies. Joseph Adama (Morales)  — father of future “Battlestar” commander William Adama (Najafi) — a renowned civil liberties lawyer, becomes an opponent of the experiments undertaken by the Graystones (Stoltz), owners of a large computer corporation that is spearheading the development of these living robots: the Cylons.

A lot of fans have been critical of the pilot after seeing previews, however, blasting it as a boring family drama with a thin veil of sci-fi. It does appear to be far less dark than Battlestar Galactica, which may very well attract new fans but alienate those who like the current dynamic and don’t want to see it changed.  You can see the promo trailer at the Sci Fi Channel website.