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Imagine: You're in the CAPRICA Writers' Room What would YOU do the series at this stage?

#1 User is offline   obsolete toaster Icon

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 12:50 AM

I had an interesting thought that came about by my own (somewhat recent, and surprising to admit) mixed feelings toward the sum of Caprica as a whole thus far.
My topic is:
You are a writer on the show (or a producer; someone with clout to make change). The first handful of episodes are complete; the ratings are in the crapper. What changes would YOU suggest or implement if you had some control over the series?

For me?

* I would do less meandering/navel gazing, and more quick, self-contained episodes that have some resolution in and of themselves (while continuing arcs in the 'background' of each episode; reaching a head a little quicker as well). Arcs are fine, but occasional self-contained episodes are nice, too!

* Rush production on the Cylon soldiers ASAP. Let's face it; people LOVE Cylons and they want to see them NOW (not in a hypothetical second season). :cylonnono:

* Less V-World stuff. Frankly, it bores me, and really tests my patience with all of that Bugsy Malone bulls**t.

* I'd like to see Cylons introduced into everyday life as well; personal, 'home model' Cylons (like the 'robot in every kitchen' that the '50s promised) that essentially become slaves for upper-class folks.

* Bring Tamara into another Cylon 'body' too; maybe a 'home-model' where she is pressed into servitude for a rich family (that'd be interesting; given how spirited Tamara was in the pilot). She could be the first 'rebel Cylon'; not Zoe. Zoe may be the first sentient one, but the idea for rebellion could come from Tamara; as she has the essence of a tough, spirited Tauron kid in her.

* More decisiveness in the "Get Thee to Gemenon" plot; just WHO is the 'family' waiting for them? Show Gemenon while you're at it, too!

* Make Greystone and Virgis hostile co-creator/patent-owners of the Cylons. Would love to see these two egotists forced to work together by government regulation.

* And for drama's sake (and nothing personal on my part against the character), I'd kill off Amanda. It'd make Daniel even MORE of an obsessive, manic personality and could present great opportunities for the character to really become unethical (without the 'moral compass' of a wife to keep him relatively grounded).

* Start to shape Joseph Adama into the 'brilliant legal mind' we heard about in BSG's time; show his REAL legal acumen, and not him 'winning' a mob-bought case. Have him write that damn book soon. Maybe he will be the one who tries to stop introduction of Cylons into everyday life (see my above line about 'domestic Cylons').

* And, as Grunt suggested, a little more action wouldn't exactly hurt at this point. Real action, though; not more of that VR crappola! :cylonnono: I know, it's not 'that kind of show', but come on. It's TV, and it needs ratings points, guys! Sad economic reality.

* And lastly? If the show IS in imminent danger of cancelation (as I believe it is) do a make-or-break, end-run miniseries to wrap it all up in bold, dramatic strokes (that is what I really wanted for the show in the first place; I always felt the idea of a weekly show was a tad ill-conceived, to be honest). :cylonnono:

Those are some of my changes I would like to see if I were a Caprica showrunner.

What would yours be?
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#2 User is offline   Larry G Icon

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:18 AM

I pretty much agree with everything you said. They need to introduce the Cylons into Caprican society first, plus I don't want the society degrading too quickly. I like the idea of v-world, they just need use it a bit better than they have.

They should normalize Athena Academy, just a bit. It being a hotbed of the STO is a bit absurd in totality.

If they're gonna this as a soap, they need to stand back, and do an overall story plan for each character and for the overall scope of the project. BOTH in the event of a cancellation, which I don't want to happen, and for the overall series in general. The storyline is taking way too many twists and turns, that is quite reminiscent of laughable daytime soaps such as Days of Our Lives or even Passions. Sometimes I expect a witch and her tiny midget friend to pop up any second, lol.

For example if the Joseph/Tamara storyline ends as it did, it was a waste, same with the Vworld NewCapCity drama, although paradoxically, the scenes in the nightclub with the cabaret actor were a highpoint drama wise for me. But there was no substance for those scenes, or very little. It almost seemed as if, some said earlier, drama for the sake of drama.

We're gonna need action in this story too. BsG fans are the target audience. As much as I like a good soap, I think people are a bit put off by the over heavy soap-opera pace of things, although personally I don't mind. I personally love it, especially the eye candy of Zoe, lol. But we're gonna need perhaps space battles, even if it's an internal colonial Caprican-Tauron conflict or with Gemenon. And, don't just hint around if you're gonna do quasi-lesbian, suggestive ambiguous scenes between Amanda and Sister Clarice, lets see some kissing. :P However personally I'd much rather see a Zoe/Lacy pairing. Ratings people. Any publicity for the show at this point is GOOD publicity if it brings the numbers in.

Ok I've lost my train of thought, haha. Personally, I think what OT said is right on the money. I'd also like to add I want to see some more colonial culture, what are the planets like. Maybe an entire episode or arc set on Tauron. What about the lesser known planets? Picon seems a bit too much a clone of Caprica.

Maybe an "explanation" of the colonial ethnic groups. We see Chinese writing in Caprica City. Where does it originate in the BsG universe? I'd like to see things like that explored, just because I'm a geek. I do realize the main reason is simply because they filmed in Vancouver's Chinatown. :P But the geek in me, wants to see this explored dramatically.
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Posted 09 April 2010 - 01:49 PM

I loved your bit about the witch and the dwarf!! That was hilarious! What soap did that? I forgot, but it was funny as hell. :lol: :cylonclap:
And I agree with you that we need to see more intercolonial culture as well. For my money, they could've just as easily made a show called "The Colonies", with plots and stories from the different worlds all intertwining.

Speaking of witches, the 'haze of evil ambiguity' surrounding "moustache-twirling" Sister Clarice (metaphorically speaking, of course) is really getting dull; make the character do something firm and decisive or drop her. Frankly, I think Barnabus filled her role better than she did (no wonder he tried to off her)! You could lose her, and keep Barnabus as head of the STO and leave it at that. And while I admire Ron Moore's ambition to make a science fiction adult soap opera akin to "Dallas" in space, there is probably a reason that style of nighttime soap went out of vogue over 20 years ago; the audience got tired of being strung along for plodding, soap-style histrionics every week ("Who Shot Tomas VIrgis?"). Maybe it wasn't such a good idea, after all? We'll see...

Rethink and retool some of it, and they might be able to save it. Many shows have come back from the brink of death by massively refitting themselves. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't; but at this stage (with such dismal ratings; not even a full ratings point at times), I don't think Caprica has much to lose. :cylonnono:
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Posted 09 April 2010 - 08:35 PM

Just don't do re-re-re-re-scripting EVERYTHING... like the new Knight Rider (Hate to say it, but EPIC FAIL there)
"All base ships are now in range to attack the colonies."
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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:29 AM

View PostCylon-Knight, on 09 April 2010 - 08:35 PM, said:

Just don't do re-re-re-re-scripting EVERYTHING... like the new Knight Rider (Hate to say it, but EPIC FAIL there)

Not to worry, my chrome brother. :cylonnono:
What I meant was, re-tooling from this point in the story forward; not ret-conning (not changing anything already established; that's insulting to the audience's intelligence IMO). :cylonnono: But I really think Caprica needs a nip and a tuck soon if it's going to make it. :unsure:

And yes about the new Knight Rider; they forgot to add the missing ingredient called 'fun!'
And as silly as the old KR was at times, it was most certainly fun. :cylonclap:
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Posted 10 April 2010 - 07:43 AM

Yes, and TOS BSG had that too both with Boxy, Muffit - and at certain times Starbuck/Apollo. Even when the worlds have been blowed up there can still be some FUN! (a lil bit) :)

Caprica had a few moments that were funny. You gotta admit, little Willy Adama chucking a rock at some punk's head was a hoot! *WHAM*
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Posted 10 April 2010 - 09:10 AM

View PostCylon-Knight, on 10 April 2010 - 07:43 AM, said:

Yes, and TOS BSG had that too both with Boxy, Muffit - and at certain times Starbuck/Apollo. Even when the worlds have been blowed up there can still be some FUN! (a lil bit) :)

Caprica had a few moments that were funny. You gotta admit, little Willy Adama chucking a rock at some punk's head was a hoot! *WHAM*

That was one of my favorite moments in the show; you REALLY saw the future "take-no-crap" Admiral Adama emerge in that scene!
More like that, please! :cylonclap:

Like I've said before, overall Caprica is a good show. It's just a little frustrating when it clearly has the potential to be a great show, but is underachieving (going soap instead of epic).
I like it, but with the quality behind (and in front of) the cameras? I should be LOVING it, that's all.

As for TOS BSG? Agreed; if it weren't for that show, we wouldn't be here on this site today! :thumbsup:
Yes, it's silly and dated at times, but there is still something there to be sure. Very entertaining; I think I saw the pilot five or so times at the movies when I was a kid, and the series was my first brush with 'must-see-TV!'
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Posted 10 April 2010 - 07:32 PM

Yeah, it is a bit dated in effects and lingo or whatever... BUT, I think it is a lot like BONAZA (not that Mr. Greene was in both and "he was the reason", but that did help both shows), no, both shows just went right in to the characters and the plot. There was very little fluff or filler for the lack of plot. I recently re-watched The Saga of Star World and it really pulls you in right away - even with the 'dated' type of storytelling from 1978. (As in, someone is going to get shot, pan away - bang - then show a girl screaming... lots of implied harm - VS. - "today" where someone is going to get shot, you the viewer travel along in "bullet vision" go in the person, bounce off a bone tear guts, etc. etc. then go out the other side and make a nice big ol' splat on the wall. Is the "today way" REALLY advancing the plot, or just effects for effects sake?)

I think your rewrite would be right on the money - getting the characters "toned" to who they are, and what they should be doing. It all needs focus. I read/heard George Lucas say that in some Star Wars deal, he was all for making huge sets/places/whatever, but he wasn't going to dwell on them since they put so much cash into them... they were there just to support the story. I think that is a great example of the the type of focus Caprica could use to be even better than it is now.
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Posted 11 April 2010 - 12:49 AM

Saga of a Star World works either as pilot movie or feature film; I know, I've seen it as BOTH!
It does pull you in right away, and this unfamiliar world feels second nature by the end of the first hour, rather like the original Star Wars did (and please; don't get me started on Lucas' stupid lawsuit from back then... that was groundless IMO, and apparently the judge agreed with me). :glare:

I also second your opinion that Caprica really needs to focus (something Saga of a Star World did right off). Right now the plot (hell, the series) feels diffused and scattered. It's easy to understand why even my own wife (who loves BSG) dropped off of the bandwagon. Pare down the plot, maybe kill off a character or two (Amanda and Clarice would be obvious candidates for me, sad to say), and keep the drama in a constant state of forward momentum; no more of this meandering, soap-style bulls**t. It was an interesting experiment (and I love the character over action emphasis), but a little deliberate action and adventure might pick up those sagging ratings a bit, you know? And just because the focus is on character doesn't mean the characters themselves can't be decisive, either. Way too much hand-wringing and navel-gazing on this show, sad to say.

I'd like to see the series continue, but it NEEDS modification desperately, as it is far from 'must-see TV' at this point. :cylonnono:

And CK, I totally hear you on the 'less-is-more' school of graphic violence. IMO, implied does the same job, and leaves the worst to your imagination (Hitchcock believed it with Psycho and Rear Window, as did Spielberg with JAWS; watch the first few shark attacks... you barely see anything, and yet they are utterly terrifying). Less truly IS more. Modern audiences don't use their imaginations enough these days primarily because they don't NEED to visualize any great horrors since the filmmakers deprive them of the opportunity to do so! :cylonnono:
What the imagination can conjure is always scarier than what can be shown with latex and red corn syrup...
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Posted 11 April 2010 - 09:53 AM

Firstly and mainly, I'd try to turn around the Adama arcs (both Jospeh's and Tamara's, since they'll presumably be separate now). They desperately need to go somewhere soon. I'd like things to go back to the original concept of Joseph being Daniel's rival. I also like the idea of Tamara starting the Cylon rebellion, but as of right now, I don't see how that could happen (not saying it won't or shouldn't be done; just that I don't know how).

Next, I'd give more attention to Zoe and Lacey. They're the best parts of the show, IMO.

Otherwise, I'd pretty much keep things as they are. But, unfortunately, it seems I am once again alone in my feelings on this. :(

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* More decisiveness in the "Get Thee to Gemenon" plot; just WHO is the 'family' waiting for them? Show Gemenon while you're at it, too!


I agree.
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Posted 11 April 2010 - 09:57 AM

No you're not alone, EE; I think Lacey is a criminally underused character. Her interaction with Zoe-A is the very HEART of the show (the ultimate collision and fate of human and artificial intelligence).

One more thing on my 'laundry list'; more Zoe and Lacey! Stat. Good call, EE. :cylonclap:
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Posted 11 April 2010 - 09:59 AM

I think there should be more about the actual U-87 too... it is a prototype machine too... going to need some work, parts, all that. Can't just run like an "in production for 20 years" product.
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Posted 11 April 2010 - 10:00 AM

I meant I seem to be alone in feeling that the show is largely on the right track.

Quote

I think there should be more about the actual U-87 too... it is a prototype machine too... going to need some work, parts, all that. Can't just run like an "in production for 20 years" product.


Hmm, techno stuff has never been a focus with BSG, and I'm not sure it would add much. Ironically, Caprica is a show about people, not technology.
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Posted 11 April 2010 - 03:48 PM

Yeah, but the focus of the show is Zoe-A... who now is part of the robot. If her body fails... show over. Even though it is some military machine it still is just a machine - and being a prototype it doesn't have all the bugs worked out. To ignore all that would make no sense.
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Posted 11 April 2010 - 05:40 PM

I agree with CK that some effort has to be made to illustrate this new tech (the U-87), as this is the genesis of it all.

And sorry I misunderstood, EE; I thought you'd meant that you were alone in your opinion that the show needs to highlight Lacey more (on that point, I very much agree). I misread what you meant about the show being on the right path. My bad... :blush:

And while I agree that Caprica is primarily about people and not technology, I think Caprica as a 'genesis show' needs to at least let us understand what we're talking about credibly.
Remember, some of the best science fiction is not about technology, but rather about how technology impacts people (that's from Isaac Asimov, not me; wish I could say it were). But he also said that the science should sound reasonably valid to make the fiction all the more realistic (ditto that to Caprica; I agree with CK). It's not enough to say the U-87 can do this and that, blah, blah, blah... We (the audience) need to know at least a little about what makes it tick to make it 'real' to us.
I'm NOT advocating Star Trek NG style technobabble ("the multi-phasic plasma injector relay inhibitors are out of synch", etc), but just enough scientific 'nuggets' to make it feel credible, that's all.

Maybe hire a robotics expert from JPL or MIT as a consultant on the show? Just my thoughts on the matter.
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Posted 11 April 2010 - 08:56 PM

Exactly. Like in Back to the Future… you learn about the Flux Capacitor (the how) - and later Mr. Fusion since the power issue would have been a stumbling issue that would really negate the entire plot as it would have a major loop hole to the savvy viewer. The story works with that “high level” attention to technology.

We don’t need to see the U-87 have the oil changed or how it calculates range to target per whatever weapon it is using... and blah blah blah. But it if was damaged in that van escape and say the right hand isn’t working anymore then it just can’t “magically” be working again when they are leaving Caprica for another Colony. Since Zoe-A is part of the U-87 it has to also “stay real” to keep the story grounded.
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Posted 11 April 2010 - 10:47 PM

View PostCylon-Knight, on 11 April 2010 - 08:56 PM, said:

Exactly. Like in Back to the Future… you learn about the Flux Capacitor (the how) - and later Mr. Fusion since the power issue would have been a stumbling issue that would really negate the entire plot as it would have a major loop hole to the savvy viewer. The story works with that “high level” attention to technology.

We don’t need to see the U-87 have the oil changed or how it calculates range to target per whatever weapon it is using... and blah blah blah. But it if was damaged in that van escape and say the right hand isn’t working anymore then it just can’t “magically” be working again when they are leaving Caprica for another Colony. Since Zoe-A is part of the U-87 it has to also “stay real” to keep the story grounded.

Spoken like a true toaster! :cylonclap: :lol:

Keep the science real enough to fool us, but not to smother us.
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Posted 11 April 2010 - 11:26 PM

Yeah, untill the story needs something to get from point A to R... then science is out the window! *bye bye now* and just make up stuff. :adama-pancarte001:
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Posted 14 April 2010 - 10:33 AM

Quote

Yeah, but the focus of the show is Zoe-A... who now is part of the robot. If her body fails... show over. Even though it is some military machine it still is just a machine - and being a prototype it doesn't have all the bugs worked out. To ignore all that would make no sense.


Well, if they focused on her reaction, it might work. It'd be sorta like a plot of a human character having an illness, I guess.

Quote

Remember, some of the best science fiction is not about technology, but rather about how technology impacts people (that's from Isaac Asimov, not me; wish I could say it were). But he also said that the science should sound reasonably valid to make the fiction all the more realistic (ditto that to Caprica; I agree with CK). It's not enough to say the U-87 can do this and that, blah, blah, blah... We (the audience) need to know at least a little about what makes it tick to make it 'real' to us.
I'm NOT advocating Star Trek NG style technobabble ("the multi-phasic plasma injector relay inhibitors are out of synch", etc), but just enough scientific 'nuggets' to make it feel credible, that's all.


Okay, why is Caprica different from BSG in this manner? Because you used to praise BSG for never bothering to explain FTL or anything else.

I'm not saying the show shouldn't have any technobabble or explanations, but I am saying that I'm not sure it needs them.
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Posted 14 April 2010 - 04:13 PM

But BSG is after the fact (the Cylon creation, rebellion, etc); Caprica is about the beginning of it all. It's like when the telephone was first invented, I'm sure there were lots of directions and instructions to the average Joe on how they work. Sixty years later, no one cared and pretty much everyone knew how to use one. That was how I saw it.

Caprica is about the very genesis of the Cylons; it'd be nice to just have an inkling (and just an inkling; we the audience don't need to be experts, I agree) of how they worked and such; to understand the problem at the root of it. By the era of BSG, it is no longer important. That's all I meant. Besides, they sure spent enough time talking about V-world and how that worked with it's 'jump-through-the-hoops' time-waster games (which honestly, I couldn't give two fraks about). :cylonnono:
Just think the Cylons' origin story deserves more; a few intriguing revelations would be nice! :cylonclap:

And I still praise BSG for not overdoing the technobabble. :cylonclap:
But Caprica is a show that is about a society soon to be undertaking a fundamental technological shift; it'd be cool to understand the nuts and bolts of it a little better (no TNG tech-speeches, just a few nuggets for us science nerds :lol: ).
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