Caprica (TV series)

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Caprica. Remi Aubuchon, Ronald D. Moore, creators. One season 2010-11, 18/19 episodes (with the Pilot a double episode), showing 22 Jan. 2010.. [1] SyFy network, now on DVD. Reviewed by Michael J. Klein, SFRA Review #295 (Winter 2011): 22-24.

Prequel to second Battlestar Galactica TV series. Logline on IMDb: "Two families, the Graystones and the Adamas, live together on a peaceful planet known as Caprica, where a startling breakthrough in artificial intelligence brings about unforeseen consequences," so see for an origin story for the Cylons,[2] and, more generally for for AI and recreational VR (virtual reality).[3]

The Wikipedia synopsis for the Pilot notes the death of Zoe Graystone in a terrorist bombing and the importance for the human species and for Cylons of that death.

Struggling to come to terms with the loss of their child, Daniel [Graystone] discovers that Zoe had created a sentient digital avatar of herself that exists in a teenage virtual reality nightclub, accessed via a Holoband. Meanwhile, Amanda is approached by Agent Jordan Duram, a Global Defense Department officer investigating the case, but she initially rejects his assertion that Zoe was involved with the terrorists. Daniel also reaches out to another bereaved parent, Joseph Adama, an influential lawyer with family ties to the Tauron Ha'la'tha crime syndicate. He offers to create a clone of Joseph's daughter Tamara, and wife too, in exchange for the theft of a processor from one of Graystone's competitors, Tomas Vergis. Joseph agrees and the stolen MCP chip allows Daniel to complete a robot prototype called a Cylon, a machine of considerable strength and agility. Daniel then attempts to resurrect his daughter Zoe by downloading her into the Cylon's artificial body, but the experiment seems to result in the loss of the avatar data. Later, after a demonstration of the modified Zoe-Cylon's combat skills, Daniel's company is given a major contract by the Caprican government to mass produce Cylons for military use. Although the prototype Cylon is not designed to be sentient, it now possesses a unique AI, and no-one is aware that Zoe's avatar survives, except for Lacy, who Zoe calls from the lab.

In his review, Klein expands on what at least should be a shocking sequence involving a parent and child, in robotic and cybernetic — and highly biological and material — interaction: "[...] when Daniel begins to suspect that Zoe's avatar still exists within the Cylon shell, he starts torturing the machine. As a last resort, he sets fire to the Cylon. While this will not damage the machine body, it scares Zoe, who was almost killed in a fire at a young age. Daniel knows this; that's why he chooses this form of torture to force Zoe to reveal herself to him" (Klein 23).[4]

RDE, Initial Compiler, 12Jan19