If you haven’t heard the news, last week SyFy cancelled the critically acclaimed Battlestar Galactica prequel series, Caprica, which chronicled the history of the 12 colonies (more specifically, Caprica) and the events that led to the first Cylon war. Although, heavily promoted before the series debuted in January, Caprica never lived up to its hype with audiences and its poor ratings reflected that.
Since the announcement, there has been a misguided fan campaign to keep the series alive with of all things, bombarding the SyFy Offices with apples. You see, this esoteric reference that even the folks at SyFy probably won’t get is in regards to the symbolism of the Cylons’ “original sin” (and an apple appeared regularly in Caprica promotional materials). Clever, right?
Yeah… nobody cares.
I’m going to have to concur with the “Let it Go” sentiment on this one as much as I liked the show and am a fan of BSG, Caprica was a good show but it’s far too cerebral for the franchise considering that there was very little action. Unfortunately, fans expected a shoot-em up because it was a BSG prequel and a lot of viewers just can’t get past the fact that it isn’t that type of show. Revolving it around angst-ridden, teenage girls didn’t help it either.
As is the usual case for when any genre show gets cancelled, the choruses of “the network didn’t promote it well enough,” “switching the night it aired killed it,” and my favorite, “SyFy was greedy and split the season up into two parts to double-dip on on the DVD’s” are being sung by the fans.
As noted, the claim that the show wasn’t promoted well enough simply isn’t true. SyFy promoted the crap out of it before its series debut and the numbers were miserable for season 1.0 as well. It was lucky it got picked up for 1.5.
As far as the change of nights is concerned, it was purely a defensive measure. I wrote a piece about this on last month. Networks (excluding FOX) are taking Friday nights seriously now with their programming. It’s no longer considered a dumping ground for failing shows. That hurts SyFy because they took advantage of that for years. Both Caprica and Stargate: Universe have had awful ratings regardless of the night they have aired.
As far as the split-season is concerned (again, not that they would have mattered), it’s because the 1.5 episodes hadn’t been produced. Doug Drexler (CG supervisor for Caprica) confirmed with us that they had just finished all the post-production work for the season finale on August 28th so the main reason that the season was split was that the episodes weren’t complete.
The issue of the split seasons being taken advantage of by SyFy for DVD revenue comes up all the time as if it actually has some merit. It really doesn’t. Why would SyFy intentionally cut off their nose to spite their face by damaging the series overall by breaking up the continuity of it in order to boost DVD sales for one half of a season? Not only does it not make any sense for the simple reason that SyFy can split up a DVD set into two parts regardless of whether or not the season was actually split up when it aired, but intentionally hurting the continuity and thereby hurting the ratings precludes them from future DVD releases of subsequent seasons.
My point on all of that is that what ANY fan of ANY series wants if they want their show to survive is for “X” network to be as greedy as humanly possible because that means they’ll try to milk the series for as much money as they possibly can and that means they’ll do whatever they can to make sure the series lasts a long time.
The problem was that it couldn’t build an audience because even though it was pretty good, there simply wasn’t enough exciting going on to compel audiences to tune in every week until the last four episodes and all the apples in the world can’t change that.
However, that being said, the series that every fan wants to see, the one revolving around the war with the Cylons and the twelve colonies has been green-lit. The project called Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome will feature a young William Adama and is officially described as such:
“Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome takes place in the 10th year of the first Cylon war. As the battle between humans and their creation, a sentient robotic race, rages across the 12 colonial worlds, a brash rookie viper pilot enters the fray. Ensign William Adama, barely in his 20’s and a recent Academy graduate, finds himself assigned to the newest battlestar in the Colonial fleet… the Galactica. The talented but hot-headed risk-taker soon finds himself leading a dangerous top secret mission that, if successful, will turn the tide of the decade long war in favor of the desperate fleet.”
All things considered, it would be nice if they did a two-hour movie to wrap up Caprica in the future and tie up the loose ends. Or, even better, incorporate it into the B & C pilot like Chris Carter did with Millenium and The Lone Gunmen on The X-Files. In fact, it would seem to be a necessity because there is so much that was going on in Caprica that was the prelude to the first Cylon war and the development of the Cylons self-awareness to begin with that it would seem counter-productive to the franchise if they didn’t.
More fun: Hulu has all 24 episodes of the Original Battlestar Galactica (1978) available absolutely free, here.