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Zoe Graystone

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Zoe Graystone is a fictional character in the Caprica television series. Portrayed in several incarnations by Alessandra Torresani,[1] the character becomes the first Cylon created by Daniel Graystone. She is one of the primary characters in the series and a pivotal character in the in-universe history of the Twelve Colonies.

Character arc[edit]

Before 1,942 AE[edit]

Zoe is the teenage daughter of Daniel and Amanda Graystone. She lives in Caprica City with her parents, an industrialist and a doctor. She attends the prep school Athena Academy with her best friend Lacy Rand and boyfriend Ben Stark. Stark converts Zoe to monotheism, a fringe belief in the prevailing polytheism of the colonies.

Daniel is the inventor of Holobands and V-World, an immersive virtual-reality system that links the avatars of participants in an extremely real MMOG environment. Zoe has developed a keen interest in coding avatars and has found a way to imbue a clone of her avatar with an independent consciousness.

The events of Caprica[edit]

Zoe, Rand, and Stark have schemed to abscond to the spiritual home of the Church on neighboring Gemenon, but at the last minute, Rand gets cold feet and doesn't join Zoe and Stark on the train to the spaceport. Although all three have been believers in the monotheist faith, Zoe and Rand seem unaware that Stark is also a member of a terrorist offshoot of the Monad Church, the "Soldiers of the One." Minutes out of the station, Stark declares "the one, true God shall drive out the many!" and detonates a bomb, killing everyone aboard the train, including Zoe and Joseph Adama's wife and daughter, Tamara.

In the aftermath of these events, Rand discovers that Zoe's avatar ("Zoe-A") is still alive. Zoe-A is covered in blood and claims that she felt the original Zoe ("Zoe-O") die. The avatar knows that she is not Zoe-O, but claims independent personhood. Her grief-stricken father Daniel catches Rand, learns of Zoe-A, and uses Rand to help him capture Zoe-A. Daniel's company has a military contract to develop robotic soldiers, and he downloads Zoe-A into a prototype robot body, the U-87, but due to a critical error, he is not sure whether the download succeeded.

Zoe-R, the U-87 with a copy of Zoe's avatar, has become the first Caprican Cylon. During the events of the show, Zoe-R attempts to escape with Rand's help and without tipping off an ever more suspicious Daniel. In the meantime, Zoe-A discovers an avatar of Tamara and explores V-World. Toward the end of the show, Daniel and Amanda become determined to reconnect with their daughter and in "The Shape of Things to Come," a short coda that follows the final episode, it is indicated that Daniel constructs a more durable robot body for her.

Multiple versions[edit]

  • Original Zoe: The human teenaged daughter of Daniel and Amanda Graystone, Zoe was highly skilled in computer technology like her father. "Zoe Original is the 15-year-old girl that's a brat, that's just a spoiled, rich brat that's rebelling against her family, but she believes in the One True God." -Actor Alessandra Torresani[2]
"I don't feel like a copy."

Character Zoe-A played by Actor Alessandra Torresani [3]

  • Zoe-A: Created by the original Zoe as a digital replica of herself. The avatar was made using all the computer data about the original Zoe's life using a sophisticated search engine. The original Zoe also managed to upload her real life experiences via a biofeedback program which gives the avatar a much more authentic personality and self-awareness. When the real Zoe died, the avatar "experienced" her death. After the V-world is created for her, the Zoe avatar gains power as one of the Avenging Angels to rid corruption, and after the STO and Church deaths and apotheosis she calls herself God of the virtual Heaven, which she rends into a volcanic Hell.[4]
  • Zoe-R: the U-87 prototype robot created by Daniel Graystone; technically, the same character as Zoe-A, just in a physical body. This version of Zoe is the first of the colonial Cylons.[4]
  • Messenger Zoe: both the original Zoe and the Avatar Zoe occasionally interact with a strange, calm being that appears in Zoe's own form. It has been confirmed that this being is a "messenger", one of the mysterious spectral apparitions seen by Gaius Baltar and Caprica Six in Battlestar Galactica.[5][6]

Asked whether she saw the various versions of Zoe as different facets of the same character, Toressani stated: "I see them as the same blank palette, and they all have different colors to them. The original Zoe will always only be the original Zoe, the avatar will only be the avatar, and so forth. They're all the same basis, but they're all very different, in their own way....The avatar is based on the Zoe original....They're all equally the same. It's hard to play the avatar when I'm in the robot because that's very weird. No one sees me except for my best friend, so it's hard to play that. You can't imagine being in a room and everyone talking about you, but no one knows that you're there when you're actually really there. When does that ever happen in life? So, that's not hard, but it's weird. It's definitely something different that I've never acted before....She is human, though. She has emotions and a personality. She's not just this droid that walks around....The original Zoe is relatable because she's a teenage brat who is fighting for her own voice to be heard. The avatar is not that easily relatable. It's like a newborn child that's discovering things for the first time. And then, the robot is not relatable to anyone. The only way it would be relatable was if you were living this fake, superficial life and inside you feel like a completely different person. I guess that's somewhat relatable, but it's hard to relate to a 15-year-old girl stuck in a robot's body, when no one knows she's there."[7]


  1. "Alessandra Torresani as Zoe Graystone". SyFy. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  2. "The five faces of Zoe that you'll see in Caprica". SyFy. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
  3. "Pilot Episode". "Caprica Season 1" (January 22, 2010)
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Zoe-A and Zoe-R monikers are given in the "Pilot Episode" original shooting script.
  5. Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series) series developer Ronald D. Moore states in Battlestar Galactica: The Last Frakkin' Special Archived March 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine that the spectral Baltar and Six are "... messenger(s) of a higher power"
  6. "Things We Lock Away". "Caprica Season 1" (October 19, 2010)
  7. As quoted in Christina Radish, "Exclusive Interview: Alessandra Torresani and Magda Apanowicz are the Teens of CAPRICA," IESB (Friday, 05 February 2010).

External links[edit]

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