The new series Caprica is a prequel/spin-off of Syfy Channel's previous critical darling, Battlestar Galactica. Set sixty years before the events of BSG, the show focuses on the lives of the power players of Caprica City who influence and eventually change the course of the entire human race. What is different about this show, along with the entire Battlestar Galactica franchise, is that unlike other science fiction dramas, they include prominent gay characters, and unlike present-day life on earth, no one even bats an eye when two men kiss one another.
Battlestar Galactica has a history of prominently featuring gay characters, whether it's Lieutenant Felix Gaeta, who had a relationship with a fellow male lieutenant on Galactica or Helena Cain, Captain of the Pegasus ship, who in the BSG movie, Razor, was revealed to have an intimate affair with Number Six, a female Cylon. It was refreshing that these characters weren't "token" gays in any way, and weren't put there just to keep GLAAD satisfied -- they actually played critical roles in the Galactica universe, and whether you sleep with men or women is really an insignificant concern when the fate of the human race rests in your hands.
One of Caprica's main characters, Sam Adama (played by Sasha Roiz, above), is part of an organized crime unit on Caprica (think Jetsons meets Sopranos), and though he kills people in cold blood and strikes fear into the hearts of many of Caprica City's residents, at the end of the day he comes home to his husband. Mark Stern, the Vice President of Original Programming at Syfy, said, "It was very interesting to me to take what is traditionally a very heterosexual role in an organization that we think of as being extremely homophobic, and put a gay character in that world in a very normalized way." He also said that there would be two gay characters on Caprica, the other one yet to be revealed. Though life on Caprica is far from utopian, the way the Capricans handle homosexuality and how it's a "non-issue" for them is certainly something us earthlings could learn from.
Caprica airs Fridays at 9pm on Syfy.
-- CHRISTOPHER RUDOLPH
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