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Exclusive: Caprica casting info revealed

by Keith McDuffee, posted Apr 3rd 2008 10:15PM
Now that we got the confirmed greenlight for the Battlestar Galactica spin-off series, Caprica, of course we can expect to see more details of the series trickle in. Just today, for example, sources have provided us with casting information for the series. Cool stuff!

Anyone familiar with the details of the show knows that Caprica will center around two families, the Graystones and the Adamas, and the goings on leading up to the Cylons as we see them on the show now. Now we can get a sense of what the characters on the show will look like and perhaps make our own wishlist of who we'd like to see in the roles. I warn you that there are what to some will consider SPOILERS ahead.

(I put my own comments in bold below)

[DANIEL GRAYSTONE] In his early 40s, a spectacularly wealthy computer engineer / designer, Daniel is married to Amanda and the father of Zoe -- but his extensive business interests leave him little time for his child, whom he still sees as a little girl in pink shoes. Busy trying to design an intelligent robot, Daniel is devastated when Zoe is killed in a suicide bombing, and has no idea that his daughter had a complex, very secret life. After learning that his own wizardry with computer technology was exceeded by his own child, who found a way to upload her personality into an online avatar, Daniel realizes that with a little stolen technology, and with a little intellectual elbow grease, he can create a robotic version of his dead daughter -- and in doing so, he creates the first Cylon...SERIES REGULAR - SUBMIT ALL ETHNICITIES.

As I never followed the original BSG series, I wonder if what Graystone creates is meant to have any resemblance to a human other than being a biped. I can't imagine he'd make his late Zoe look like a Centurion.

[JOSEPH ADAMS] In his 40s, he is a Tauron, an off-worlder who has emigrated to Caprica; his hair is already starting to go iron-grey and his entire demeanor is that of someone who's already put on more miles than most men his age. There's a gravitas to Joseph, an intelligence, and a strong sense of someone you wouldn't want as your enemy. He has risen above the traditional Caprican prejudice against Taurons, and has become a powerful, influential defense attorney, with powerful ties to the Tauron crime underworld. His wife and daughter are killed in the same blast that takes out Zoe, and he bonds with the much-wealthier Daniel in a common grief. A man who has done a few crooked things in his life (largely in order to use his position to protect his fellow Taurons), Joseph reluctantly agrees to assist Daniel in his grief-fueled efforts to create robotic versions of both their children -- but after stealing vital technology from a Tauron computer developer, Joseph is ethically appalled by the robot version of his dead Tamara, and repents his actions. Left with a 9 year old son to care for, Joseph reaches out to young William, revealing to him that his last name is really Adama...SERIES REGULAR - SUBMIT ALL ETHNICITIES. HOWEVER, PREFER LATINO.

At first I thought the "Adams" was a typo, but it seems this was an alias Joseph used at some point. It's no wonder why the Cylons have such an interest in Bill Adama, seeing as his own father was quite instrumental in assisting with their creation.

[AMANDA GRAYSTONE] In her late 30s, Daniel's wife, she is a successful surgeon with a volatile streak to her, who has married well and dearly loves her daughter. Devastated after the death of her daughter Zoe, Amanda turns for consolation, not to her husband but to an ex-lover, Tomas Vergis, a Tauron who is one of her husband's competitors. Furious with herself for having cheated on her husband, Amanda in fact is something of a double agent, plucking information about Vergis' intellectual property from his blabbing mouth and taking it home to Daniel to use as he sees fit...SERIES REGULAR - SUBMIT ALL ETHNICITIES.

You'll note that Tomas Vergis isn't a casting choice here. Either he's already cast or he's an extremely minor role.

[SISTER CLARICE WILLOW] In her mid 30s to 50s, dressed in the traditional clerical robes of an Athenian High Priestess, Sister Clarice is the headmistress of the Athena Academy, a private religious school, where Zoe, Lacy and Ben are all enrolled. A gracious, eloquent, thoughtful woman who grew up in a slum and has seen it all, she's elegant and sophisticated -- and utterly duplicitous. In fact, she is a closet monotheist, and has taken the best and brightest of her students and shared her own (illegal, closeted) beliefs with them -- only to see her efforts literally explode in her students' faces...SERIES REGULAR - SUBMIT ALL ETHNICITIES.

This sounds like a role that's going to require quite a lot of depth. Very interesting with the whole "closeted monotheist" thing, as it shows such beliefs didn't just come from the sentient minds of Cylons alone.

[ZOE GRAYSTONE / ZOE-A / ZOE-R] 16 going on 40 (18 TO PLAY 16), with severe hair and makeup, Zoe is the daughter of Daniel and Amanda Graystone, and she's a girl with many secrets. A computer genius like her father, she has found a way to enliven a holographic avatar of herself, by uploading all her memories and DNA into the hologram, thus creating her online twin, Zoe-A. A closet monotheist in the polytheistic culture of Caprica, and obliged to perform her religion in private, she tries to leave the planet with her boyfriend, Ben, only to be killed when Ben suicide-bombs them both into oblivion. But Zoe-A is left behind, a baffled, grieving digital duplicate of the real, flesh and blood Zoe. With the collaboration of Daniel and Joseph, Zoe-A is downloaded into a robotic brain, thus becoming the first Cylon: Zoe-R...SERIES REGULAR - SUBMIT ALL ETHNICITIES.

Now this is an awesome twist. I wonder what happened to Zoe-B through Zoe-Q.

[WILLIAM ADAMS] 9 years old, Latino, Joseph's sole surviving child, William is inward and withdrawn in the best of times, and grows more taciturn after the death of his mother and sister. Barely aware of his father, whose work kept him away from the family, William is a stoical Tauron who keeps his deepest thoughts to himself and rarely smiles. Promised a closer relationship by Joseph, he is taken aside, taught the basics of his Tauron heritage, and told that his Tauron name is William Adama...7 / 13 SERIES REGULAR -TO PLAY EDWARD JAMES OLMOS AT 9 YEARS OLD.

Big shoes to fill for a 9 year old.

[BEN STARK / BEN-A] 16 years old (18 TO PLAY 16), with close-cropped hair, Ben has an intensity to him, a sense of a kid who's gone someplace far away and may not be coming back. Zoe's boyfriend, he is a fanatical monotheist; he introduced her and Lacy to his cult, and induced them both to flee Caprica with him. But Ben is a little crazy, and he's fleeing Caprica in a different way than he promised: by blowing up their train with a suicide bomb. He later is revealed to have his own uploaded avatar, an on-line twin named Ben-A, whom only Sister Clarice can contact...7 / 13 SERIES REGULAR - SUBMIT ALL ETHNICITIES.

Well, there you have it. I also got a look at the sides (portions of scripts for auditioners to read), but I'd be killed for showing any of that. To be honest, no notable actors come to mind to play these roles, but I'm clearly not thinking too thoroughly about it. I'd love to hear any thoughts you have other than "they should all be relative unknowns" (even though I pretty much agree with that statement, since it will keep the show's cost down.)

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God, this sounds dreadful. Dynasty-in-Space.

And an individual working alone making sentient androids in a secret basement workshop is soooo eighties. Noonien Soong, anyone?

May 31 2008 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't think we've seen any of these Cylons in BSG; the casting choices are listed as 'submit all ethnicities'.

Of course their bodies may have changed, so they could be the same characters downloaded to new bodies, but I think these Cylons are prototype models whose intelligences don't survive to become any of the twelve final models. Otherwise they'd have some real explaining to do in the last few BSG episodes - and that would be a pretty hefty deus ex machina for even a show full of machines.

April 29 2008 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hmm, very interesting.

My only point of contention is what you said about the Cylons interest in William Adama.

A critical bit of information about the Cylons is that they're ignorant about their true origins. This is why some of the Significant Seven want to find the Final Five, as they believe the Five hold the key to answering their great question.

And also, does anyone think, factoring in what we know about Caprica, that the basestar hybrid could be Zoe Graystone in some form? She's the evolutionary bridge from Centurion to humanoid Cylon. Could she also be the Cylon Eve?

April 29 2008 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think it may be rather interesting if Zoe Graystone is played by the actress who plays the Cylon Hybrid in the basestars (i.e. not the old dude in Razor!). As she's the "first Cylon" it'd tie in that she could 'control' all the others, therefore when the Cylons kick off in the 1st War, they go about making copies of her to run things. Indeed, it could be that Zoe becomes the Cylon God, supplanting the God that already seems to be secretly worshipped in this series by the monotheists.

April 23 2008 at 8:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ben = Leoben?

April 21 2008 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow, just imagine. The whole war and billions of lives lost over a futuristic game of World of Warcraft. Worst-case scenario would be that the BSG universe is just an online game adding legitimacy to Leoben's claim that Adam is a cylon and the passage, "all of this has happened before and all will happen again.
I doubt it though. Just musing.

April 11 2008 at 4:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brian Hourigan

I think they are going to dwell on the first Cylon War, the start of the series will be the creation of the cylons, maybe then progress to the Cylon War

April 10 2008 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Almost looks like Zoe-A and Ben-A may be what set the stage regarding the 'fundamental differences' between the "Significant Seven" and the "Final Five" cylons... And Sister Clarice Willow: clerical robes = Opera House referential?

April 10 2008 at 2:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm going into this with an open mind. People constantly confuse great science fiction with space opera like Star War and Star Trek, but some of the geatest episodes of all the Star Trek series were those that concentrated solely on the characters and less on the tehnology. If Ron Moore sticks with this series, and he has said he might not be involved with the day-to-day running of the series if its picked up, it has potential to be something special. His description of the series as being a science fiction Dallas is questionable, but I will definitely watch the 2-hour pilot.

April 05 2008 at 12:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let's see, we have the potential Cylons in the making...

1. Ben is a male with homicidal tendencies who doesn't listen to others. First guess here is Cavil, but I am betting on Five.

2. Zoe is a female with a rebellious spirit. This is probably Six.

Other guesses:

Daniel Greystone is Simon.

Joseph Adams does not get uploaded.

Amanda Greystone is Eight.

Sister Clarice is Three.

I'll bet that most or all of the main characters presented here end up being the various models - other than the Five - we see on BSG. Notice how a lot of the technological development that leads to the Cylons is technology stolen from other scientists. This implies parallel development of the same technology by multiple, separate humans. The models we have seen in BSG did not all come from the same, single source of development. Thus, they will always argue and disagree on policy, as seen in BSG.

The original AIs weren't machines that became self-aware (a la Terminators), but human avatars that became self-aware. This provides the driving motivation behind the Cylons. And BSG is the story of their quest to become human, and return home to their kind. They try hybrids, they try skin jobs and finally succeed with Athena - if we can create life with humans, then we must be alive, too.

April 05 2008 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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