Sci Fi’s Caprica greenlit; Polly Walker talks science fiction

Polly Walker as Sister Clarice Willow
Polly Walker as Sister Clarice Willow in Caprica. Pic credit: SCI FI/Jeff Weddell

“Caprica” is alive.

The long-simmering SCI FI Channel series has officially been greenlit as the network has ordered 20 hours of the drama including the two-hour pilot, it was announced today by Dave Howe, President, SCI FI.

“Caprica” is the prequel to “Battlestar Galactica” and stars Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Paula Malcomson and Golden Globe nominee Polly Walker.

I had a chance to speak with Polly Walker at the past summer TCA’s about “Caprica” and what appealed about the the sci-fi project for the actress who riveted audiences with her performance as Atia of the Julii in Buno Heller’s short-lived “Rome” for HBO.

Walker told me how the project came to her. “The usual way, you know, via an agent. It seemed, well you only see so much when you read a pilot, but with this there seemed to be so much scope and places I could go.

Walker elaborated about her new role as Sister Clarice Willow. “She’s a very strong character, a woman that is on her own in a sense. She’s not attached to anybody, she has strong convictions and I think and believe that I can do something equally interesting with it.”

Walker also talked about delving into the genre of science fiction.

“I’m sort of new to it, really. I never really watched it apart from, obviously when I got this I started watching ‘Battlestar’ and now I am a complete sort of nerd and will go to conventions…actually I would fly back and forth to Vancouver where Battlestar is shot as well, I would see a few of the actors who I have never met or been introduced to and I would sort of position myself in the lounge so I would watch them. I guess not stalk them, but I mean, I am a huge fan, you know, it is amazing.”

Walker confirmed she had been bitten by the sci-fi bug. “It is to whatever is good. I think you can get bad science fiction – and good science fiction and bad drama. I just think I am committed to doing really interesting good work in whatever sort of world that may be.”

Epic storylines draw Walker, who wrapped “Rome” and starred in “Cane”, another dynastic family drama set in Florida. *I am definitely one to play a strong sort of character who’s got a story to tell and who’s not…that my dilemma is not about what sort of coffee should I drink in the morning. I want to do big meaty juicy stuff, and in these sort of epic stories allow me that opportunity. I don;t want to be bored.”

Walker will appear in “Caprica”, which is set 50 years before “Battlestar Galactica”, the storyline will follow two rival families – the Graystones and the Adamas – as they grow, compete, and thrive in the vibrant world of the 12 Colonies, a society recognizably close to our own.

The two houses clash in action scenes of corporate conspiracy and sexual politics.

“Caprica” passionately reveals the intrigue, political backbiting and family conflict in television’s first science fiction family saga.

Production on the series is slated to begin summer ‘09 in Vancouver for a 2010 premiere.

Sci Fi announced that Jeffrey Reiner (Friday Night Lights) directed the pilot.

“Caprica will build on Battlestar Galactica’s acclaimed legacy of gripping drama and extraordinary characters,” says Dave Howe in making the announcement. “It’s the beginning of a brand new epic saga that will appeal to both new viewers, totally unfamiliar with the Battlestar franchise, as well as existing loyal and passionate Battlestar fans.”

From Sci Fi:

As the series begins, a startling development is about to occur – the creation of the first cybernetic life-form node or “Cylon” – the ability to marry artificial intelligence with mechanical bodies. Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) – father of future Battlestar commander William Adama (Sina Najafi) – a renowned civil liberties lawyer, becomes an opponent of the experiments undertaken by the Graystones (Eric Stoltz), owners of a large computer corporation that is spearheading the development of these living robots: the Cylons.

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