How Caprica differs from Battlestar, and how it's the same

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

The Plan is in the can, and Caprica is officially getting underway. Those were among the revelations made by Battlestar Galactica executive producer Ronald D. Moore as he spoke about upcoming spinoff projects.

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan is an original movie written by Jane Espenson and directed by series regular Edward James Olmos. Caprica, meanwhile, is an upcoming SCI FI Channel prequel series starring Esai Morales and Eric Stoltz and executive-produced by Moore, David Eick and Remi Aubuchon. A 20-episode first season will likely premiere in 2010. Moore spoke to reporters about The Plan and Caprica during a Jan. 21 conference call. Following are edited excerpts of that conversation.

What's happening with Caprica?

Moore: Caprica is getting underway. We're putting the writers' room together as we speak. It's very exciting. It's a very different challenge. It's a very different show. I think there's a sense of "Well, Battlestar has set a very high bar." That makes everybody have to bring their A game, and I think that's the spirit in which we're approaching Caprica.

For you, is Caprica an opportunity to stay in the Battlestar Galactica universe while at the same time pushing a creative restart button?

Moore: Yeah, well, ... I don't know if it's reset, but it's certainly a way of capturing the energy of the first season, of "Well, what is the show? Let's figure out how we tell stories here. Who are these characters? What's it about? How are we going to tease the audience? Where are we going to take the show?" So there's this sense of exploration, there's this sense of uncharted territory. And that's exciting, and that's scary. It's scary to have to get one of these things off the ground and hope that it's all going to work out and that people will like it, especially when you know that everyone is going to compare it to Battlestar. But that's kind of the reason why we're in the business, is to take on those challenges.

Knowing that you had Caprica on the horizon, did you hold back at all on wrapping up the Cylon mythology in Battlestar Galactica in order to give fans an incentive to tune in to the new show? Or does Battlestar Galactica settle it for everyone?

Moore: Galactica is going to pretty much settle it. Caprica will be about how the people on the colonies developed the Cylons. And that has its own story to tell about how that came about. But in terms of the larger mysteries and mythologies and hows and the whys and how everything lays out on Galactica, we set out to answer as many of the questions that we could by the end of the show, and that's what we did. We didn't hold anything in reserve and say, "Oh, well, we'll deal with this over in Caprica."

What's happening with The Plan?

Moore: The Plan is in the can, although I haven't seen the cut yet. The filming has been completed, and we have a lot of post-production work to do. I don't know what the street date is on it. I haven't heard that. But it's done, and I'm looking forward to seeing it.