Tonight marks the season premiere of the anxiously awaited Caprica, the Battlestar Galactica spinoff-prequel. We’ve got a list of reasons why everyone should watch. Still skeptical? BSG had a completely singular vision: gritty, intimate (if not claustrophobic), filled with messy emotions that felt miles away from the Star Treks and SeaQuests of yesteryear — not easy viewing, but a great show. But we know that spinoffs (especially prequels) can be a tough sell.

Syfy’s release schedule for Caprica might have further confused potential fans. Tonight’s pilot episode was actually released on DVD last April, and it’s been available on Hulu for the last few weeks, too. (It’s still there, too, at least until tomorrow.) I’m guessing that most BSG fans have therefore already seen the premiere, and I’d love to hear what other people thought.

So far, I’m onboard. Caprica manages to fit all the depth and intelligence of BSG into more realistic (but still fantastical) surroundings. There’s the same brain-teasingly intelligent treatment of lofty topics (religion, politics, technology), plus a topical treatment of issues like racial diversity in a multicultural society and the moral implications of social networking. Lest this sound like a philosophical screed, Caprica also features robots and gangsters. The cast is great, and in the pilot at least, the show feels like the perfect balance of heavy sci-fi with more realistic family drama.

Still, that balance could always be the show’s downfall: Caprica could end up being too science-fictiony for franchise newcomers and too, well, normal for BSG fans. (There’s also a key character in Caprica who’s dangerously close to becoming the Jake Lloyd of the BSG franchise.) What do you think, viewers? Does the show have a chance of breaking the Prequel Curse? Are you excited by the show’s mix of family, politics, teen angst, and science-fiction? Or do you think Caprica will collapse in on itself like a dying star?

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Battlestar Galactica
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