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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

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Ratings are based on a four star system.
One star means that the commercials are more entertaining than the program.
Two stars watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars is good solid entertainment.
Four stars means you never dreamed television could be this good.

Caprica Caprica has ended. The next installment of the Battlestar Galactica story will be set at a time between the end of Caprica and the start of BSG. I found the last five episodes, which aired back to back on January 4, moderately enjoyable. The ending was more fun than some of the earlier episodes. I still prefer fiction with sympathetic characters. Almost all of the characters in Caprica were either murderers or mass murderers,

The original Battlestar Galactica -- I watched every episode -- was really bad. The special effects were good, some of the characters were enjoyable in a pulpish sort of way, but the level of the writing was on a par with the old movie serials and the knowledge of science on the part of the writers was nonexistent.

In contrast, the new Battlestar Galactica was a high class if low budget show, by turns gripping and annoying. Several critics called it the best show on television. Its strengths were characterization and drama. Its weaknesses were silly astrological names inherited from the original series, a mixture of a few sf elements (fracking, Pyramid) with settings that are obviously present day Earth (parking lots, cigarette lighters). And most of all, the ending was weak. Life in a state of nature is mean, nasty, brutish, and short.

Caprica never caught on to the extent that Battlestar Galactica did -- many episodes had fewer than a million viewers. Here is an episode guide.

Caprica Battlestar Galactica
1. Pilot by Remi Aubuchon and Ronald D. Moore
2. Rebirth by Mark Verheiden
3. Reins of a Waterfall by Michael Angeli
4. Gravedancing by Jane Espenson and Michael Angeli
5. There is Another Sky by Keith Lingenfelter
6. Know Thy Enemy by Patrick Massett, John Zinman, and Matthew B. Roberts
7. The Imperfections of Memory by Matthew B. Roberts
8. Ghosts in the Machine by Michael Taylor
9. End of the Line by Michael Taylor
10. Unvanquished by Ryan Mottesheard
11. Retribution by Patrick Massett and John Zinman
12. Things We Lock Away by Drew Z. Greenberg
13. False Labor by Michael Taylor
14. Blowback by Kevin Murphy
15. The Dirteaters by Matthew B. Roberts
16. The Heavens Will Rise by Patrick Massett and John Zinman
17. Here Be Dragons by Michael Taylor
18. Apotheosis by Kevin Murphy and Jane Espenson

The major writers of Caprica are starting to become familiar names. Ronald D. Moore wrote excellent Star Trek episodes, especially the ending of Deep Space Nine. Jane Espenson won a Hugo Award for her work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and has also written for Deep Space Nine, Firefly, and Warehouse 13. She has recently been hired to write for Torchwood. Mark Verheiden wrote for Smallville, Heroes, and Battlestar Galactica. Michael Taylor wrote many episodes of Star Trek Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Drew Greenberg has written for Buffy, Smallville, and Warehouse 13.

Copyright © 2011 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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