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TV on DVD: Sci Fi's "Caprica"

When Sci Fi's Battlestar Galactica ended in March, many fans mourned the loss of one of television's most compelling and intelligent series.

Fortunately, the folks at Sci Fi (soon to be renamed Syfy) are giving fans a bit of a belated Easter present today, as the network (via Universal Studios Home Video) releases the 90-minute pilot for Caprica on DVD. Caprica, the prequel to Battlestar Galactica, is set approximately 50-odd years prior to the events in the Battlestar Galactica mini-series and is slated to air as a new series on Syfy beginning next year.

However, rather than force fans of Battlestar Galactica to wait at least eight months to see the next (or is it former?) chapter in the BSG saga, Syfy is giving fans the opportunity to watch the backdoor pilot for the series now.

I've already offered my glowing review on the pilot episode of Caprica here, so I wanted today to take a look at the DVD's assorted extras and bonus features.

In addition to the gorgeous and lush backdoor pilot for Caprica, written by Ronald D. Moore and Remi Aubuchon and directed by Jeffrey Reiner, the single-disc release features a slew of bonus material, including an illuminating commentary track with director Jeffrey Reiner (Friday Night Lights), writer/executive producer Ron Moore, and executive producer David Eick. (I highly urge BSG fans to watch the pilot episode and then rewatch it with the commentary track.)

The Caprica DVD also contains several deleted scenes, including one that sheds some light on a jettisoned (but immensely intriguing) subplot involving Polly Walker's Sister Clarice Willow and Avan Jogia's Ben Stark (which was in the original pilot script) and other scenes featuring Walker and Alessandra Toreson's Zoe Greystone, Toreson and Magda Apanowicz's Lacy Rand, and Esai Morales' Joseph Adama.

There are also video blogs including "What the Frak is Caprica," which looks to explain the genesis and ideas behind the series, "The Director's Process," a fascinating look into the mind of director Jeffrey Reiner, "The V Club," an exploration with actress
Alessandra Toreson into the set of the virtual reality nightclub, and "The Birth of a Cylon," which investigates the physical construction of the Cylon Centurion model seen in the pilot episode. (There's also, rather oddly, an entire episode of Sci Fi's Ghost Hunters included in the extras, which speaks to the channel's efforts at cross-promotion.)

All in all, this is a must-have DVD for any fans of Battlestar Galactica, or indeed for fans of compelling, provocative drama in general. It's an appropriate appetizer for what promises to be a visually and mentally stimulating main course when Syfy launches the series outright in 2010. I have a feeling that, like me, you'll be hungry for more as soon as possible.

The two-hour pilot for Caprica is available today via DVD or digital download. The single-disc DVD is for sale at a suggested retail price of $26.98, but you can order it through the Televisionary shop for only $17.49.

Comments

Prez said…
Thanks for the DVD review, Jace! I'm really looking forward to seeing this and have high hopes for the series!

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