The SCI FI Channel has greenlit the Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica. The network has already produced a two-hour backdoor pilot, and plans are to air the show in early 2010, with production set to begin around the middle of next year.
Caprica stars Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Paula Malcomson and Polly Walker, and will be set 50 years prior to “Galactica’s” seminal attack on human civilization by those dreaded ‘droids the Cylons. Family-drama-themed series will focus on the Earthlike planet of Caprica as two rival families deal with, among other topical issues, the broader implications of their society’s emerging artificial intelligence technology sector.
” ‘Battlestar Galactica’ was absolutely our flagship show. It put us on the map and helped transform the perception of the network,” said Sci Fi prexy Dave Howe, noting that the cabler hopes to draw a broader audience to a series it sees as more compelling family drama than “space opera.”
“We want people to come to this who have never heard of ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ ” he added. “I think, because (‘Galactica’s’) backdrop was space and spaceships, there was a barrier to entry for some viewers. ‘Caprica’ has none of that. It’s an intense family drama set on an Earthlike planet, in the near future, speaking to a lot of the ethical dilemmas that we as a human race are going to have to face very shortly.”
The decision to wait until 2010 was made to give the producers time to regroup the core of the ‘Galactica‘ writing staff, says SCI FI programming executive Mark Stern:
“One of the other things we have going for is, this is one of the first shows we’ve done in conjunction with our new cable studio,” Stern added. “There will be a lot of coordination between the studio and the network, not just on production, but how the series is launched, as well.”
The final 10 episodes of the fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica begin airing on January 16th, culminating with the series finale on March 20th. A two-hour movie adaptation, Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, is slated to air in early summer.