The new web-based show Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome was actually a two-hour pilot commissioned by the Syfy channel for a possible TV series. Sadly, the network decided not to greenlight the show and one has to wonder why because this pilot truly captures the feel of the late Battlestar Galactica.
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome is a prequel to the remake ofBattlestar Galactica but a sequel of sorts to Caprica. It takes place during the oft-mentioned Cylon War that was fought between humanity and the cybernetic Cylons that they created in the Caprica show.
The main character is a young William “Husker” Adama (Luke Pasqualino), an idealistic, eager rookie pilot who is out to win the ten-year war against the Cylons. Seeing Adama as a hotshot, brash pilot is a startling contrast to the grizzled commander we’ve seen in the Battlestar Galactica remake. This presentation is very novel. We’ve could’ve been given a similar Adama who while still young would have many of the older Adama’s traits. But the character is refreshingly shown as being an idealist who by the time he’s commander of the Galactica has grown weary.
After a brief intro that shows various colonial cities across the Twelve Colonies under Cylon attack, Adama is shown excelling at a simulator viper fighter program. Later he’s assigned to the Battlestar Galactica; at this time, the ship isn’t an aging relic but considered one of the best ships in the colonial fleet. Expecting to be given a top-of-the line viper, Adama is disappointed that instead he’s tasked to pilot a rundown, workhorse raptor ship with cynical co-pilot Coker Fasjovik (Ben Cotton). It’s from Coker that we see the older Adama’s characteristics; bitter and disgruntled about the year, Coker is a short-timer who just wants to coast through his remaining few weeks left of service. Naturally, we get a strong feeling that he won’t live long enough to complete his tour but Coker is a likeable character nonetheless. And of course, the two butt heads over their natural differences. Still they have a mutual, grudging admiration for each other.
They are given a mission to transport Dr. Beka Kelly (Lili Bordan), formerly a Graystone Industries employee, who has vital information about the Cylons, to a rendezvous point with a colonial ship. Upon arriving, they discover the ship has been destroyed by Cylons. After destroying some Cylon raiders (styled after the old raiders seen in the original show), they proceed to a set of coordinates and encounter a fleet of supposedly lost and destroyed colonial ships. Once they drop off Kelly, Adama volunteers himself and Coker to transport Kelly to her objective; to meet up with a contingent of marines on a frozen moon deep in Cylon territory.
Blood & Chrome is an exciting and thrilling joy to watch that is engaging and well produced. Each ten-minute segment ends in a nail-biting cliffhanger that leaves one wanting to find out what happens next. True, there are many of the standard war plot devices and characters (the routine mission that goes wildly wrong, grizzled vets, gung ho recruits, etc.) in this web show but they work well. The presentation has a gritty feel that feels exactly like the remake. It also has some nods to Caprica and serves as a solid bridge between the two shows. The special effects and production design are simply superb and top notch.. This isn’t a cheap, digital knock-off. It looks just like it could fit in as a companion piece to the remake. It’s truly amazing considering that Blood & Chrome was actually filmed using digital sets.
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome is so good that one doesn’t mind watching this on a computer or mobile device as opposed to the comfort of a couch and TV. But for those that can wait for traditional viewing methods, the pilot will air complete on Syfy in February and be released on DVD, Blu-ray and download in the same month. Hopefully the reaction to this pilot will be strong enough for the commissioning of at least more web episodes or maybe even a series.