Syfy Cancels Ron Moore’s Caprica + Moore Talks Trek Technobabble & Nitpickers

The critically acclaimed, but very, very low-rated, sci-fi drama series Caprica, co-created by Star Trek vet Ron Moore, has been canceled by Syfy, the network announced today. Five original episodes remain to be aired but they’ll be pulled from the schedule effective immediately. More details below, plus Ron Moore talks about differentiating Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica.


Goodbye Caprica

Coming less than a week after announcing they have greenlit the backdoor pilot Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome, Syfy has is putting an end to the Battlestar Galactica prequel, Caprica. From the official statement:

 “We appreciate all the support that fans have shown for ‘Caprica’ and are very proud of the producers, cast, writers and the rest of the amazing team that has been committed to this fine series,” said Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Syfy and Co-Head of Content for Universal Cable Productions. “Unfortunately, despite its obvious quality, ‘Caprica’ has not been able to build the audience necessary to justify a second season.”

The network says they plan to run the rest of the episodes in the first quarter of 2011.

While fans of the show will be — understandably — disappointed at this news, Syfy really had no choice. Through last Tuesday (10/19) the series’ first season was averaging a dismal 1.10M viewers and a 0.4/1 A18-49 rating/share. Even worse, the most-recent episode drew a paltry — series-low — 718,000 viewers with 0.3/1 A18-49 rating/share.

The newly greenlit pilot Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome is also a BSG prequel, but set during the first Cylon war, which will up the sci-fi action. However, although described as a “godfather” to the show, Ron Moore is not officially involved in Blood & Chrome.

The more grounded "Caprica" failed to hold its audience – now cancelled by Syfy

Ron Moore on technobabble, nitpickers and more

In other Ron Moore news, Wired has a new interview with the show’s creator where he contrasted his approach on BSG and his long tenure with the Star Trek franchise. Here are some excerpts:

Moore on nitpicky fans:

People made books of Trek just dedicated to continuity errors. There’s The Nitpicker’s Guide [for Next Generation Trekkers ]. They did that on Galactica, too. And at a certain point, I can’t engage in that. I have to sort of accept that a certain margin of error will always occur — there are things we’re going to miss, things we’ll screw up. What’s important is that the characters remain who the characters are, and we have an integrity to the story that we’re telling. Let the fans enjoy themselves picking it apart later

Moore on Star Trek tech:

My experience in Star Trek taught me that technobabble could just swamp the drama in a show. Especially in a space opera, where you’re on ships in space and dealing with technical things, technobabble becomes a crutch to get into and out of situations. It just leaches all the drama away. The audience doesn’t know what the hell you’re talking about, and you’re making it up anyway. You make up a problem with the Enterprise warp drive, and then you solve it with a made-up problem, too

Much more from Moore on Trek and BSG at

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Well, as I recall, there have been references made by Trek writers, more broadly, to “filler” episodes in Trek series, and so nothing that comes out of this is really new.

“I have to sort of accept that a certain margin of error will always occur — there are things we’re going to miss, things we’ll screw up.”

Is THAT his excuse for Galactica’s total lack of continuity? Glowing sex spines my ass.

Well thats it for Caprica then.

No surprise there with the awful ratings.

I liked the show though. A bit tedious in places and certainly dragged out in parts, but still deep and thoughtful sci-fi.

Will Blood and Chrome be affected by this?

Too bad. At its peak, BSG was a cultural landmark–very possibly, the best show on television at that time–but it took what turned out to be a drastically wrong creative turn at the end of its third season from which the show never recovered. Michael Taylor is a talented writer, but I don’t hold out much hope for the prequel series without Ron Moore’s involvement. “Sci-Fy” will doubtless insist on running the franchise legacy into the ground (much as Paramount did with Trek), but it would really be best at this point to let a great experiment in literate, grounded space opera pass into television history.

The guy who showed us Captain Kirk’s ultimate paradise fantasy to be chopping wood, cooking eggs, riding horses and revisiting a “new” lost love instead of his son’s mother, and then used a non-sensical time-travel device to have an excuse bring Kirk and Picard together just to throw Kirk off a bridge to make Picard feel better about his lost brother and nephew tells tus that the important thing is to be true to the characters?

He’s not completely untalented, but he is completely an arrogant douche sometimes.

@3. Battle-scarred Sciatica

I agree with all your points on Caprica….

Will miss the characters.

Oh, goody — now SyFy has the spare coin to do Sharktopus II: The Sharktopussening. Be still, my beating heart.

Stop the crap, Ron… be nice to TREK for once

I’m thinking “Blood and Chrome” is in the works because Sci-Fi already had this cancellation in mind. I just hope B&C has a little more rock ’em-sock ’em Cyclon vs. Human action and less of the tedious stuff. A space opera can be exciting AND thought-provoking at the same time. Just think Empire Strikes Back meets ST:TNG and you’re set.

I think Syfy had this planned all along and split the season into many many fragments so that fans who tried to hang on couldn’t. They couldn’t get back into the slow flow of the show, thus driving away more potential viewers and tanking the ratings even lower. From the first few episodes where the ratings were not as anticipated, I believe Syfy put into place a plan to bulldoze the show and replace it with more action. In their mind, fans of sci-fi don’t like to have to think too hard and would rather see ‘splosions and blood, pew pew pew, and Caprica was too cerebral….hey that sounds vaguely familiar…something like, I dunno’ a mid to late 60’s sci-fi show that ran on NBC that NBC tried to kill off…all that is missing here is a letter campaign by fans to keep the show alive.

Now Syfy has more program slots to fill with wrasslin’…they know folks who watch the wrasslin’ don’t have to think too much about the action they are lookin’ at.;) RIP Caprica…I liked the show, but Syfy made it hard for me to catch it with all the chop chop chop…oh, the chopping! the endless chopping of vegetables that never get eaten!

Absolutely LOVED BSG all the way through to completion, but glad Caprica is gone, and will not watch Blood and Chrome. BSG said it all. Time to put a period on the end of that sentence.

I wonder if enough interested fans voiced their opinion (a la the original Star Trek and Family Guy) if there’d be potential for Caprica to be brought back. There’s clearly some BIG GAPS that need to be filled in. Any thoughts?

3.. A bit tedious? The show was audience repellent, even on SyFy where audiences seem willing to sit through anything (the aforementioned “Sharktopus”).

@2: One goof is a “total lack of continuity”? Boy, just wait until UESPA hears about this! I mean Space Central. I mean Space Command. I mean the Star Service. I mean Starfleet. They’ll be more surprised than the time they heard about that duplicate of Earth–uh, I mean, than the time they heard about that giant space amoeba, because a duplicate Earth is a textbook case of Hodgkin’s Law of Parallel Planetary Development. They’ll probably send out a crew of Vulcanians, I mean VULCANS, to investigate.

Well, anyway… go to hell, Poor Literacy is Cool Channel. You blew it. I’m sure that soon, you’ll be able to convert to a 24-hour wrestling network and you can finally pop the champagne.

Sorry Caprica, but you stunk. What was that show about anyway?

Oh, and Ron slams Trek a lot, but the last season of BSG was just not very good.

Caprica was an interesting concept, but, honestly, it was too far a departure from BSG. It would be like STAR TREK spinning off BABYLON 5 instead of TNG. Suddenly we are given these characters and expected to care about them and some religious struggle.

Oh, well…Goodbye Caprica. I loved watching the show but it was slow at times.

But I feel no pain for this. Considering he wrote ST: Generations, which I consider Kirk’s death to be not canon and the real Kirk is still in the Nexus, and that movie is 80% Technobabble 15% Data being annoying, and 5% Picard living his fantasy and getting Kirk killed, anything Moore writes can get cancelled and I wouldn’t care and anything he says can go get sucked in a black hole.

Earlier this year, my wife and I watched BSG on DVD from beginning to end in about two months and we were blown away by the quality of the show. I purposely avoided reading anything on line about the show so I wasn’t swayed by others’ opinions and I didn’t want to risk spoilers. BSG has replaced TNG as my favorite scifi series because the writing, acting, directing, and production was top notch. The characters and their relationships were interesting, fun, disturbing, and enthralling. I look forward to Blood and Chrome.

What is the glaring problem with BSG that some refer to??

#17… wow. have you not heard of DEEP SPACE NINE????

@ 19: They are probably referring to that fact that most fans found the ending to be unsatisfying. Guess some viewers didn’t realize that when you let your expectations get too high, you are guaranteed to be disappointed. You are lucky that you got to watch it all the way through with no extra time like season breaks during which to get your hopes too high. It’s like some viewers expected the final episode to be something akin to a religious experience.

I really liked “Battlestar Galactica”. And I like the majority of Star Trek. BSG was so different that it was more interesting to watch as opposed to “Stargate” which I had tried to get into a few times but couldn’t because of the similarities to Trek. I was reminded of Star Trek. BSG, on the other hand, was something completely different, but still very compelling. It was nothing like Trek. If I want to watch Star Trek, I’ll watch Star Trek.

I haven’t seen “Caprica” but plan on watching them on dvd one day.

I’m probably the only guy who mostly liked Generations – moreso than any of the other TNG films.

Anyone who thinks Ron Moore doesn’t love Star Trek really needs to listen to his audio commentary on the new blu ray for The Search For Spock. The man was raised on Trek and its still a big part of his life.

Curse of the Stoltz.

Ron Moore, please forget about remaking Wild Wild West and bring Trek back to TV! (Hey, a guy can dream…)

(shrug) it was just as bad as the Event, good news that it’s off the air.


I agree. No more BSG related stuff (no matter how glossy/spacey/battley-battley).

Although I enjoyed most of Caprica, BSG did say it all. Leave it at that.

Ron Moore should certainly be nicer to that which has got him this far.

His head may possibly be disappearing up his wormhole. Better watch out Ron, it might ruin your lovely hairdo.

Sad thing is Tuesdays episode was the best one in a long time.
Oh and they knew it was cancelled Tuesday b/c there was no “next week” preview at the end of the episode.

Ron doesn’t have anything to do with the Adama show thing whatever. But, we’ll see if that ever gets made.

I’m a big fan of battlestar galactica…The original show…you know..the one with lorne green? the other galactica shows and spinoffs are galacticrap!

There, I said it.

and yes I also liked generations.

“Very, very low ratings”. Are you sure that they weren’t very, very, very low? LOL!

Technobabble = lazy writing. Which Mr. Moore and all his cohorts on TNG were guilty of. And why TOS, which indulged in very little of it, will always be regarded as the superior series.

Man…this sucks a show like this gets canceled and crap like “Undercovers” stays on TV…really what crap this is…

Why all the hating on Ron Moore?

He is one of my favourite writers and an inspiration to me :) He did some awesome stuff for Trek. Lest we forget, this is the guys who made the Klingons more then just “Stereotypical Angry Alien Antagonists”

#32 – Your kidding right? TOS is full of Treknobabble! Sure Ron has used it but Im sure he’s said before that a lot of the writers had to use it and were made a hinderence by it. – I just dont see the appeal in TOS, poor acting, poor scripts and whether the fault of NBC or not, No Budget!


Of course some of the acting was off and the budget was low, but poor scripts? Uh… nah. No. I’m gonna disagree on that. Quite a few of the scripts were top-notch, and daring for 60’s television—much like the Twilight Zone. Ah, if only Serling could have written a Trek episode…

Ron Moore Is a great writer but I think he is being a bit unfair to Trek and it’s technobabble.

He did great stuff on TNG as well as DS9.

Hell Ron Moore also co wrote one of the best StarTrek movies, First Contact.

But I understand he had the most fun on DS9 and I think given that showed, bust I also still think he did great stuff on TNG.

Ron Moore is a fav of mine.

Moore’s problem is that he does not know how to write good scifi. All he does is good character drama set in space (aptly called “space opera”).

How could Caprica ever build an audience when SyFy was splitting the shows and changing the days it was shown. You could not tell what day or what time it was showing? I never knew when it was on and could not set up any kind of recording time. I don’t live with SyFy the only channel. Especially when there are shows like Sharktopus being shown. (spits on ground).

Never saw “Caprica” (don’t live in the US) but looking forward for a Blu-Ray release of Season 1.
Too bad it was canceled.

I always thought of Ronald D. Moore as the best Trek writer (at least of all the Spin-Offs and Spin-Off movies).

BSG was good – it started awesome but it wasn’t like that to the end.

I think the greatest stuff hed did was his involvement in the first Season of the stunning HBO mystery show “Carnivale”.

BTW I also love the flawed “Generations” at some point as I was younger it was my favorite Trek film of them all.
Nowadays I still really love it but prefer “The Undiscovered Country” and “First Contact”.

Wow I never knew Ron Moore was the new Braga or Berman- quit whipping him. He got a show made and on the air for 4 years- no small feat.

I loved Caprica- I’m sorry to see it go. If it were on showtime or hbo it would be the next “it show” . It dealt with great parts/ emotions of the human condition.

I think it may have been one of those PVRd shows (recorded and watched later)

Re BSG a few episodes went “clunk” but all in all it was a great show- BSG never aired the equivalent to “Spock’s Brain”

I’m looking forward to Blood and Chrome. Great title

Morover I think Caprica did what the original Trek did so well.
It deals with social issues in a different reality and time.
It was set in a more grounded reality though.
I think that what turned most people off.
I hope Blood and Chrome doesnt get too dumbed down.

I wonder what syfy will air next Tuesday- that horrible Highlander movie made a few years ago? ughh

Can’t say I didn’t see this coming.
Caprica seemed to be all about unrealized potential; the meandering storyline seemed to be more about people standing around smoking and being unlikable more than anything else.
A shame too, because there was a great cast there, and it was an intriguing idea.

I also agree with some of the above posts in that BSG really felt like a complete story that told the story it had to tell (the resolution was really spot-on and there was no where else to go). Many prequels in general seem to suffer from this problem; taking a thin idea and trying to spread it over a TV series (or three whole movies AND a cartoon series, as was the case with all of the messy Star Wars’ prequels/Clone Wars crap).

As interesting as the “Blood and Chrome” Cylon War 1 idea was, I really think they ought to put it to bed for now. And if they do decide to resurrect it someday, remember the lesson of Caprica; do it as a TV movie or miniseries (with the action nice and condensed) instead of trying to stretch 2 hours of material into another 4 year show. I think it was why “Razor” worked so well; BSG fans wanted a longer glimpse into the Pegasus’ back story, but we didn’t need a Pegasus TV series!

Eh – saw this coming a mile away. It was sooooo slooooooow moving, tedious and focused entirely too much on characters that I had absolutely zero interest in (Clarice and Amanda). I was hoping the Amanda character AND the Clarice character would be killed off in the season finale. Imagine my disappointment when they both survived.

Frankly, the religious crap was lame, boring and held zero interest for me. I understand it’s component in the Cylon culture, but it didn’t need to be front and center each and every episode.

This show felt like a thinly disguised Oxygen mini-series.


Looking forward to Blood and Chrome!

As much as I liked the show I will admit that they could have told the story in a 4 hour miniseries and had more success. Now that its been canceled I’m hoping that the last episode doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, or at the very least I hope it ends with a mild cliffhanger.

So, know your technobabble and what it means. Don’t just make stuff up, don’t make up dialogue. Make up concepts. LCARS, pads, tricorders, hyposprey. need I say more? Technobabble is bad thing if the writing and the writer are bad.

good riddance, Caprica, they took all the boring melodramatic parts of BSG, jettisoned the exciting space stuff, and expected people to be enthralled. it would be like saying, oh, lets make a CSI where there are no cases to solve, just the team sitting around talking about their feelings and relationships. Stupid.

This Blood and Chrome thing sounds promising but am I mistaken or is one of the show runners a former stargate producer? If so, then you can count me out, already.

Not to be a hater, but I’m glad Caprica is gone. Watching it was like being stuck under a concrete overpass during a nonstop rainstorm–gray, bland, boring, and trapped. Not a pleasant viewing experience, even with the adorable Alessandra Torresani to look at.

I’d go with Olmos: If you’re going to do more BSG, show us what happens to the colonials on this Earth. Do the Cylons come back? Does Starbuck show up and say oops, wrong planet again? Or go back and show us the original humans and their Cylons, leading up to the Five leaving Earth for the colonies.

The religious stuff was too heavy handed from the beginning, but it got worse. I love religious stuff in SF–the Dune series are great for religion and philosophy, for example–but not when it’s slapped in your face this way, and not only bluntly but poorly done.

There’s just nothing interesting (to me, and apparently most of the viewing audience) about watching how the Cylons became Cylons when, in fact, we know the Big Five were already around, and nearly identical Cylons existed on old earth, so…who cares about Caprica’s Cylons?

Ron Moore, like anybody, is going to foul up on writing now and again. When you are working on a weekly series, sometimes you’re going to screw up. For every bad episode he wrote, I can name a good one he wrote. When Deep Space 9 first started it took me a while to get into it. But it eventually won me over. Like anything else, it needed time to develop, especially since it was so different to anything that was done in Star Trek up to that point. It added a new dimension to Star Trek, and Ron Moore was responsible for a lot of that.

The technobabble never bothered me. It’s science fiction, it’s not supposed to be real. But the technobabble made it seemed realistic. I know when someone has a technical question for Rick Sternbach, he’ll explain it in a post in such a way that you think you can go out to the garage and build one yourself. I always liked that about Star Trek. It’s still sci-fi, but sci-fi built on realistic concepts.

I was (am) a huge Battlestar Galactica fan. But, Craprica never caught on with me. I watched the pilot episode and really disliked it. Characters I don’t care about…situations I don’t care about…etc.

But, I gave it the benfit of the doubt and watched the first few episodes that aired. It was the same story, though. Not a single likeable character. Nothing going on that I was remotely interested in or passionate about. I stopped watching after that.

Blood and Chrome…? Interesting.

I think Ron Moore’s BSG was genius, especially in the first two seasons. The second two were less so, but overall I found the conclusion very satisfying.

As 24th Century Trek moved along, the technobabble became an increasing problem, see the 7th season of TNG and a hefty chunk of Voyager. Moore was on Voyager’s writing staff for what? two minutes? That’s because he had a problem with the writing. His criticism of Treknobabble is nothing new, and quite frankly I agree with him. I haven’t watched DS9 in awhile, but I remember very little technobabble in that series, in which he exercised a lot more control.

I liked Caprica but I guess you can partially blame me for the ratings. I found it was easier to follow when I DVR’ed a bunch of episodes and watched them back to back. It did move slowly.

I am excited about Blood and Chrome but I am concerned about the fact that Moore is not involved. Wrong or Right, I believe he was the reason for nuBSG’s superb quality.