Caprica City

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A panoramic view of Caprica City, before the Fall.

Caprica City is the capital city of the planet Caprica and The Twelve Colonies of Kobol. The city is itself divided into a number of smaller districts and neighborhoods before its destruction by the Cylons in the Fall of the Twelve Colonies.

History

Caprica City before the Fall.

Caprica City - colloquially "C-City" - is a major metropolitan area and the capital city of the planet Caprica before the integration of the Twelve Worlds under a single government. Following that integration, Caprica City is the home to the Twelve Colonies' government offices, including the Office of the President and those of his cabinet (TRS: Miniseries,, "Epiphanies", "The Plan", CAP: Pilot).

In the years leading up to the Cylon War, Caprica City is a center of scientific discovery in which holoband technology is created and the first Cylons are developed. Despite its wealthy and progressive society, Caprica City is scorned by groups such as the Soldiers of the One for the decadence and moral decay demonstrated within in its limits and is targeted by terrorist attacks (CAP: "Pilot", "Gravedancing", "Know Thy Enemy", "End of Line", "Unvanquished", "Things We Lock Away", "False Labor").

In the virtual world, Caprica City is the template for New Cap City, an illegally hacked game in which holoband users indulge in sex, drugs and gangster-style violence. New Cap City perfectly duplicates Caprica City, even integrating current events into its matrix, though with a gritty, film noir style (CAP: "There is Another Sky"). The virtual construct is later destroyed and re-created as an idyllic woodland setting (CAP: "The Dirteaters").

...after the Fall.

During the Cylon War, Caprica City is attacked by Cylon forces. Centurions and domestic Cylons utilize mobile war machines to attack the city and its population from the ground, while basestars and Raiders attack from the air (Blood and Chrome).

Caprica City is once again a target during the second Cylon attack. First eliminating the city's electrical grid and starting numerous fire storms, the Cylons ultimately destroy Caprica City with multiple independently targeted missiles and a 50-megaton nuclear detonation launched from orbit. The result is the total destruction of Caprica City (TRS: Miniseries, "The Plan").

Geography

The planet Gemenon seen from downtown Caprica City.

Before the Fall, Caprica City is a thriving urban center, a home to trade, industry, entertainment, and Colonial Military installations and spaceports. The city is located between the Caprican Bay and a range of hills, covering a wide expanse of land, divided by a number of waterways (TRS: Miniseries, Night 1, "Daybreak, Part I", "The Plan"; CAP: "Pilot", "Rebirth", "Know Thy Enemy", "End of Line").

The skyline of Caprica City is distinguished by a number of prominent skyscrapers, with ultramodern glass and metal architecture intermingled with older, brick and stone buildings. The city is also populated by a number of statues bearing the likenesses of the Lords of Kobol (TRS: Miniseries, "Daybreak, Parts I & II", "The Plan"; CAP: Pilot, "Gravedancing").

At night, the city is illuminated by numerous neon lights and animated billboards. During optimal conditions, Caprica's twin world Gemenon can be seen from within the city limits from the naked eye (TRS: Miniseries, "Daybreak, Parts I & II", "The Plan"; CAP: Pilot, "Know Thy Enemy", "The Imperfections of Memory", "Retribution").

Caprica City skyline, 1x13.jpgCaprica morning rain, 1x11.jpgCaprica City Center.jpg

  • Various locales and weather conditions in Caprica City, before its destruction by the Cylons.

Caprica City vista.jpgCaprica City sunset.jpgCaprica City storm, 1x11.jpg

Landmarks

Parks & Recreation

Caprica City features a number of municipal parks, shopping promenades and a worlds famous pyramid stadium.

Apollo Park

Main article: Apollo Park
Apollo Park during the Maglev memorial ceremony.

Apollo Park is a large amphitheater and recreation area located above street-level, surrounded by cafes, landscaped with trees and a grassy area. Apollo Park is distinguished by a large statue of the God Apollo (CAP: "Rebirth").

Fifty-eight years before the Fall of the Twelve Colonies, Apollo park hosts the memorial service for the victims of the bombing of MLMT train #23 (CAP: "Rebirth").

Atlas Arena

Main article: Atlas Arena
Atlas Arena during game time.

Atlas Arena is the home court of the Caprica City Buccaneers pyramid team. Owned by wealthy industrialist Daniel Graystone, the stadium hosts teams from many of the Twelve Worlds, including the Gemenon Twins and the Tauron Bulls, as well as the Pyramid Worlds Championships games. Able to accommodate more than 30,000 fans, Atlas Arena stands in downtown Caprica City - along one of its waterways - and features a large statue of Atlas himself (CAP: "Pilot", "Rebirth", "Unvanquished").

The arena becomes a target for suicide bombers associated with the Soldiers of the One terrorist cult (CAP: "Unvanquished"). The attackers are repelled by a squadron of Marine Cyber Combat Units, saving thousands of Capricans anda galvanizing Colonial support for Cylons (CAP: "Apotheosis").

The Riverwalk

The Riverwalk section of Caprica City.

The Riverwalk section of Caprica City is an open-air promenade and park area. Landscaped with fountains and large reflecting pools, as well as playground equipment for families with children, the Riverwalk also features a large bazaar with vendors and other amenities (TRS: Miniseries, "Epiphanies", "Daybreak, Parts I & II", "The Plan").

The Riverwalk is frequented by members of all strata of Colonial life, from laborers and businessmen to luminaries such as the famous Doctor Gaius Baltar. Apparently near to both the Colonial Government offices as well as her Caprica City apartment, future President of the Colonies Laura Roslin also visits the Riverwalk section on several occasions (TRS: "Epiphanies", "Daybreak, Part I").

It is at the Riverwalk section that undercover Cylon agent "Caprica-Six" meets with her contact, setting into motion the attack on the Twelve Worlds (TRS: Miniseries, "The Plan").

Orpheus Park

Orpheus Park is another large public park in Caprica City, this one located outside the downtown area. Distinguished by a network of jogging paths, large wooded areas and open fields providing mountain vistas, Orpheus Park is used as a clandestine meeting place for GDD agent Jordan Duram and his confidential informant, Amanda Graystone, during their attempt to bring down the STO cell controlled by Clarice Willow (CAP: "False Labor", "Blowback", "The Heavens Will Rise", "Apotheosis").

Industry

Graystone Industries Campus

Main article: Graystone Industries
The campus and headquarters of Graystone Industries.

The sprawling campus of Graystone Industries - the Caprica-based technology company owned by industrialist, scientist, and capitalist Daniel Graystone - is located near the waterfront of Caprica City. Spread throughout several modern buildings dominated by a pentagonal tower, Graystone Industries' campus houses labs, offices, boardrooms, landing pads for aircraft and a "big, beautiful" gym, complete with boxing ring. It is at its Caprica City campus that the company pioneers such technology as the holoband and the U-87 Cyber Combat Unit - the prototypical Cylon (CAP: "Pilot", "Rebirth", "The Reins of a Waterfall", "There is Another Sky", "Know Thy Enemy", "Things We Lock Away", "The Heavens Will Rise").

Neighborhoods

Little Tauron

Main article: Little Tauron
Little Tauron located in Downtown Caprica City.

Among Caprica City's more diverse locations is Little Tauron, an ethnic enclave home to a sizable population of Tauron immigrants. Within the neighborhood, residents often speak the Tauron language and own and operate shops catering to Tauron cultural needs, including grocery stores, butchers and printing shops (CAP: "Pilot", "Rebirth", "The Imperfections of Memory"). Despite the family residences and peace of the neighborhood, members of the Ha'la'tha crime syndicate are widely known operate in relative comfort within the confines of Little Tauron, walking the streets with near impunity and operating out of the backroom of Connie's Place restaurant (CAP: "Rebirth", "The Reins of a Waterfall"). Prior to the first Cylon War, Little Tauron is home to Joseph Adama where he resides with his young son, future Battlestar Galactica commander William Adama. The area is considered "downtown" Caprica City (CAP: "Pilot").

Residential Areas

The luxurious Graystone Estate.

Like any major metropolitan area, Caprica City provides a wealth of residential areas of varying economy for its citizens, from high density suburban housing to luxurious seaside and lakeside homes (TRS: Miniseries, "Daybreak, Part I", CAP: "Pilot", "Rebirth", "The Reins of a Waterfall"). Away from the urban sprawl and skyscrapers of downtown Caprica, families lived in tract housing and middle-class neighborhoods, with trash pickup provided by the city (CAP: "Rebirth").

Some of the most lavish homes in Caprica City belonged to the brightest minds of Caprican society, the seaside estate of Doctors Daniel and Amanda Graystone being among the most opulent of its time - featuring a tennis court, multiple bedrooms, a robotic butler named Serge, and a private lab where Graystone conducted Defense Department work on the premises (CAP: "Pilot").

Schools in the area included Athena Academy, a private institute devoted to the teachings of the Goddess Athena as wells public schools like Wilson Elementary School, Promethia High School and Apollo University (CAP: "Pilot", "Rebirth").

Entertainment

Caprica City boasted nightlife as well.

Caprica City boasted a number of attractions for tourists and residents. Among them were Pyramid games at Atlas Arena, the city's many parks and gardens, as well as the Caprica City Museum of Contemporary Art (CAP: "The Imperfections of Memory"). The Caprican Art Museum also displayed unique artifacts from Kobol (CAP: "Know Thy Enemy").

Nightlife in Caprica City offered adult entertainment in the form of elaborate strip clubs and bars like Skybar (TRS: "Daybreak, Part II", "False Labor"). Hot spots like the Dive Bar also catered to residents seeking recreation in the form of chemical substances, serving as a bar and opium den (CAP: "Rebirth", "The Imperfections of Memory").

In the Virtual World, Caprica City was represented by a darker, more subversive counterpart, New Cap City - an action adventure game accessible through illegal holoband hacks (CAP: "There Is Another Sky").

Retail

Caprica City boasted a great many retail storefronts and venues.

Technology retailers included Emptor Electronics, where one could buy holobands (CAP: "Know Thy Enemy").

Government

Caprica City Hall.
Global Defense Dept., Caprica City Bureau.

Following the first Cylon War, Caprica City was home to the Government of the Twelve Worlds, with the offices of the President, Richard Adar, and his cabinet just a short walk from the city's Riverwalk section (TRS: Miniseries, "Epiphanies"). Military installations were also present in Caprica City, including spaceports shuttling Colonial officers to various points in the Twelve Worlds including the Scorpion Fleet Shipyards (TRS: "Razor"). The Colonial Defense Mainframe was also accessible from government buildings within Caprica City (TRS: "Six Degrees of Separation", "Epiphanies"). Caprica City Police was charged with keeping the city safe, with patrolmen on the streets in the Riverwalk and Little Tauron sections as well as stations all over the city - including one on Gore Street near Caprica City's harbor (TRS: "Daybreak, Part I", CAP: "Rebirth").

Before being elected President of the Colonies, Richard Adar was Mayor of Caprica City (TRS: Miniseries, "Daybreak, Part I").

Prior to the initial Cylon conflict, Caprica's Global Defense Department held a Caprica City bureau and the Caprican Defense Department held offices for former Defense Minister Val Chambers and his successor Joan Leyte (CAP: "The Reins of a Waterfall", "Pilot"). Caprica City Hall was located downtown (CAP: "Pilot)".

Transportation

Main article: Metropolitan Levitation Mass Transit
The Maglev train speeds through Caprica City.

Mass transit in Caprica City before the Fall was carried out a number of ways including city buses, taxi cabs and the Metropolitan Levitation Mass Transit system, or MLMT train (CAP: "Pilot", "Ghosts in the Machine"). Operating both below ground and on elevated platforms, the MagLev train provided public transport to destinations all over Caprica City, including Atlas Arena and the city's spaceports (CAP: "Pilot", "Unvanquished", "Apotheosis"). 58 years before the Fall, MLMT train number 23 was the target of fanatical monotheist terror group Soldiers of the One in a devastating bombing. In the days following the tragic event, a Memorial Walk was created, dedicated to those who lost their lives aboard the train and the system was eventually rebuilt (CAP: "Rebirth", "The Imperfections of Memory").

Sea-going and space-going vessels docked at Caprica's harbor.

Caprica's waterways were also traveled, with ships and ferries crossing the Caprican Bay and landing at the city's docks which provided harbor for both ocean-going vessels and their space-going counterparts (including Colonial Heavy liners). The Pantheon Bridge also provided transit across the Caprican Bay as well as providing vehicle access to the Caprica Inter-Colonial Spaceport which offered off-world flights to locations such as Gemenon, Picon, and Tauron (CAP: "End of Line", "Retribution").

Caprica City also maintained expressways, though they were sometimes prone to congestion (CAP: "Gravedancing").

Notes

The original look of Caprica City from the Miniseries.
The retconned appearance for "Daybreak, Part I" and Caprica.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada stands in for Caprica City throughout Battlestar Galactica and Caprica, augmented by set dressings and digital matte paintings and set extensions. For its initial appearance in the 2003 Miniseries, Caprica was created as a series of computer-generated establishing shots by Zoic Studios; these establishing shots were later reused throughout the series, most prominently in "Epiphanies" and "Razor". For the series finale, however, a new digital model of Caprica City was unveiled, featuring far more detailed vistas that more closely matched the Vancouver practical locations. This new model, appearing in "Daybreak, Part I" and "Daybreak, Part II" as well as "The Plan" and finally throughout Caprica, serves as a sort of retcon for the previous incarnation of the city.

According to Caprica location scouts Anand Kanna and Scott Firth, "Vancouver is a very modern city - lots of sea-foam glass and steel and high-rises. And that's the scope of what the planet Caprica is. It's a forward-thinking society and very modern... In Vancouver, there's an area called Coal Harbour, which is very modern. That was perfect for establishing Caprica City itself, the steel and glass look of downtown Caprica and its really modern-looking buildings. And then there's another area of town in the series, and it's called Little Tauron, which is a little bit backwards. It's more of the run-down, '40s feel. So we would go to Chinatown for that." [1]

Behind the scenes

Locations for Caprica City

  • Apollo Park:
Apollo Park was shot on location at the Jack Poole Plaza atop the Vancouver Convention Centre [2], the location was augmented by a digital matte painting and set extensions. Photos of the set and filming of scenes for "Rebirth" appeared on the photo sharing website Flickr in July, 2009 [3].
  • Atlas Arena:
According to BSG and Caprica visual effects supervisor Doug Drexler, Atlas Arena was based upon the architectural designs of Santiago Calatrava, "We decided that it’s architectural inspiration would come from renowned architect Calatrava. This ties nicely to the the Cylon Resurrection Ship from BSG, also Calatrava inspired. Atlas stadium was built by modeling maestro Pierre Drolet." [4]
Atlas Arena in the pilot episode of Caprica was shot at the General Motors Place in downtown Vancouver, home rink of the Vancouver Canucks. These scenes were later reshot on the Caprica sound stages for the aired version of the episode and all other subsequent episodes featuring Atlas Arena.
  • The Riverwalk:
The Riverwalk complex and garden was actually the campus of Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Graystone Industries:
The unaired "extended" version of the Caprica pilot episode featured an entirely different matte painting of Graystone Industries, depicting the installation as a much smaller location apparently some distance from downtown Caprica City. A new, expanded version of the complex was created for the aired version, situating Graystone Industries among the skyscrapers of the city.
  • Little Tauron:
Little Tauron featured a very prominent visual reference to the real world with the famous Pike Place Market sign from Seattle, Washington appearing in the digital matte painting of the location. [5] In the pilot episode of Caprica, Joseph Adama's Little Tauron apartment was shot in Vancouver's Waterfall Building, the same location used for Kara Thrace's Delphi apartment building, though in subsequent episodes, the apartment was a sound stage set.
  • Caprica City Hall:
The Vancouver Public Library stood in for the Caprica City Hall exterior in the pilot episode of Caprica, though an establishing shot in the aired version showed a computer-generated vista. The interior was shot at Simon Fraser University. [6]
  • MLMT Train:
The MLMT train station appearing in the Caprica pilot was in reality the Granville Station, an underground SkyTrain station in Vancouver. [7] For the production, Vancouver signage was changed to represent Caprica and the SkyTrain itself was replaced with a digital model, though an H&M advertisement managed to sneak into the scene. [8]
  • Pantheon Bridge:
The Pantheon Bridge was in reality the Burrard Bridge in Vancouver. The Caprica Inter-Colonial Spaceport was filmed at Simon Fraser University in Surrey. [9]

References