Caprica by Carole Segal/Sci Fi Caprica by Carole Segal/Sci Fi

"The end of humanity has a beginning."

So goes the not-so-cheery tagline for Caprica, the Battlestar Galactica prequel. The two-hour TV movie about the pre-apocalypse may or may not be a backdoor pilot to a new series, according to Sci Fi Channel's president, Dave Howe.

Caprica stars Esai Morales as Joseph Adama (father of BSG's Admiral William Adama) and Eric Stoltz as Daniel Graystone, who meet when their daughters are killed in the same terrorist bombing. The trouble/fun starts when Graystone, who is an entrepreneurial inventor (a la Bill Gates) decides to bring back the dead girls as robots. Paula Malcomson ( Deadwood) has joined the cast as Stoltz's successful surgeon wife, and Polly Walker ( Rome) plays the headmistress of a school that secretly teaches monotheism. Walker admitted that she was not a fan of science fiction in general before she was cast in Caprica. "I am a foster child of [the genre]," she said. "I watched all of Battlestar Galactica on DVD. "And now," she said with some resignation, "I'm a huge nerd."

Interestingly, even though the movie clearly takes place in the future, it has a 1950s look, in which men wear suits and hats, for example. "We made a choice for it to feel retro," said producer Ron Moore. "Even though it's a completely different world [than BSG], we are looking back," he said. Fans will probably be sad to learn that, other than the presence of a young William Adama, the new movie will not contain any winky references to the BSG mythology. " Caprica is a different animal," said Moore.

Are the cloned daughters the first Cylons? While the question wasn't answered directly at Sunday's Sci Fi session, it sure seems so. "This series is about our lack of control of technology," said Remi Aubuchon, Caprica's writer and co-executive producer, "how we take for granted the service class around us."

Sci Fi prez Howe says he'll see the completed movie next week, and then decide whether or not to order up a series. - Mickey O'Connor