When director Jeffrey Reiner read the script for Caprica, the straight-to-video feature that also serves as the pilot episode for the 2010 Sci Fi Channel series and is a prequel to the channel's 2004-2009 remake of the Battlestar Galactica series, he thought of minimalist composer Philip Glass' score for Koyaanisqatsi and also felt that the ethnic family saga needed a melody in the mode of Nino Rota's love theme for The Godfather. These notions, which he mentions in his liner notes to the soundtrack album, obviously also were conveyed to composer Bear McCreary, who had scored Battlestar Galactica, and he has tried to honor them with the music heard here. McCreary indulged his taste for big percussion and employed a variety of ethnic instruments from around the world for Battlestar Galactica, but he has taken a "polar opposite" approach for the city-bound Caprica, employing what is referred to as the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra, which is to say, a batch of Hollywood-based session musicians, in this case a subset of the sometimes giant ensembles put together for film scores, consisting of only 16 violins, three violas, five cellos, and a bass. Here and there, he has brought in his ethnic favorites, including a dudek and a Chinese membrane flute, and the cue "Cybernetic Life Form Node" employs the taiko drum sound so familiar from Battlestar Galactica. But Glass-like short, repetitive string patterns do turn up frequently (without the relentlessness that Glass gives them, however), and McCreary does write plenty of wistful minor-key melodies for the violins in a score that has a distinctively melancholy feel. After all, as Battlestar Galactica fans know, the city of Caprica is as doomed as Sodom and Gomorrah, and for many of the same reasons.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
|Caprica: Pilot, television episode score|