On the vibrant world of Caprica, in a culture recognizably close to our own, two dynamic families – the Graystones and the Adamas – live separately on opposite ends of society until they are brought together by tragedy.
Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz), a computer engineering genius, owns a large corporation that is spearheading the development of artificial intelligence. His unwavering professional pursuits are driven to extreme measures when personal tragedy strikes him and his wife Amanda (Paula Malcomson): their strong-willed daughter Zoe (Alessandra Torresani) dies in a terrorist bombing fueled by an underground religious dogma. Unbeknownst to her parents, the teenager had also been dabbling in these radical teachings, which were secretly propagated by her school’s headmistress, Sister Clarice Willow (Polly Walker).
Also living on Caprica but deeply entrenched in a cultural heritage that sets them apart from the rest of civilization, is the Adama clan. The family is helmed by Joseph Adama (Esai Morales), a renowned criminal defense attorney – with questionable ties and sometimes-devious methods – and father to William (Sina Najafi) and Tamara (Genevieve Beuchner). When Joseph’s wife and daughter perish in the same attack that befell Zoe Graystone, Joseph’s path soon crosses Daniel’s, and the two become united in their grief.
Soon after, Daniel lets Joseph in on a sinister secret: he’s discovered that Zoe, a computer genius in her own right, had been experimenting with perilous virtual reality technology along with her friend Lacy (Magda Apanowicz), and managed the impossible: she created a life-like avatar of herself, a perfect digital copy. Obsessed with the possibility of seeing his daughter once again, and preying on Joseph’s shared emotions, Daniel implores his new confidante to help him make Zoe’s vision a complete reality. Appalled by the ethical implications of recreating a soul, but aching to bring his own daughter back to life, Joseph complies…and the fate of the human race is altered forever.