In unfortunate news for Caprica fans, the drama-heavy prequel to the acclaimed Battlestar Galactica series has officially been axed by network SyFy.
Worse still, the final 5 episodes of the season have been pulled from the lineup, and will not air until 2011. The network released the following statement, citing the lackluster ratings as the reason for its cancellation;
“We appreciate all the support that fans have shown for Caprica and are very proud of the producers, cast, writers and the rest of the amazing team that has been committed to this fine series. Unfortunately, despite its obvious quality, ‘Caprica’ has not been able to build the audience necessary to justify a second season.”
The series premiered earlier this year to average ratings before taking its summer break after 9 episodes. It returned this past spring to low viewership, only pulling in a 0.4 rating (or roughly 900,000 viewers) before its inevitable demise.
Caprica was set nearly 60 years before the events of Battlestar Galactica, in a time before the robotic Cylon race rose to power. The series starred Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Polly Walker and Alessandra Torresani. Ronald D. Moore, David Eick (who will helm the new Blood & Chrome series) and Jane Espenson served as its producers.
As someone who watched both Battlestar Galactica and Caprica, this news comes with great disappointment. While ratings weren’t expected to be great, the series felt like it needed some time to not only find its audience, but for its expansive plot and characters to develop. The new Battlestar canon has always been more morose than your average viewing for entertainment- delving deep into the darkness of characters while surrounding them with intergalactic warfare and hardship. Being set before ‘the war’, Caprica was always going to have a tough time with today’s A.D.D. stricken viewers and its patience with developing the very beginning of the story proved to be its untimely downfall.
With that said, it would have been an interesting connection between the two series, seeing the eventual rise of what would become the Cylon race had potential to be epic storytelling. Its religious overtones and their clash with the hyper development of technology and science through the series was as eerily captivating as it was controversially parallel to topics familiar in today’s society- something creator Ronald Moore has been specifically good at doing. It is unfortunate that this potential has been cut short, but the hope is that the final five episodes will give patient viewers some form of closure.
The question remaining after Caprica, how will Blood & Chrome take this news into its production? Will the team behind it learn from Caprica’s shortcomings to alter the course of their new series?