Many “Battlestar Galactica” fans have been searching for signs of intelligent sci-fi drama since that series left the air a year ago.
Now comes “Caprica,” debuting at 9 p.m. Friday on Syfy.
“Caprica” is a prequel, set about 60 years before the events of “Battlestar Galactica.” Set on the planet of Caprica, one more than a little similar to our own, the series focuses on two families at either end of the economic scale, the Greystones and the Adamas.
Daniel Greystone (played by Eric Stoltz) is a computer wizard who is spearheading the search for artificial intelligence. Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) is a well-known defense attorney with ties to organized crime.
A terrorist bombing by religious zealots brings the two men together, as Greystone’s daughter Zoe (Alessandra Torresani) and Adama’s wife and daughter are among the many killed.
Greystone discovers that Zoe was a computer genius in her own right, who had created a life-like duplicate of herself in virtual reality. He convinces Adama to have a piece of technology stolen so that they can attempt to recreate their lost children. This decision eventually leads to the Cylons that plague humanity in the time of “Battlestar Galactica.”
“Caprica” is more than just a prequel. It’s also a saga of how two families cope in the wake of tragedy. It may be too planet-bound for some “Galactica” fans, but it’s a well-constructed drama that many others will enjoy.