BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD & CHROME
The immediate effect of Blood & Chrome in the opening scenes is seeing various pieces of fanservice play out. We meet the young Commander Adama and this is a considerable surprise while Edward James Olmoss essayal of the role was tightly controlled and closed off, driven by dignity and duty, Luke Pasqualinos incarnation could not be more the opposite a rookie just out of academy brimming over at the edges with ego and his own cocksure belief in himself as a hotshot pilot and ladies man, which is immediately contrasted to the jaded flightweary crew aboard the Galactica. The immediate arc this sets up is wondering how this kid is going to transform into the closed off but ultimately wisely Olmos. The other appealing piece we see is the opening on a standard space battle, which is another of the modern space battles that Battlestar Galactica 2003-9 did so well but played out with the old style Cylon Raiders from the 1978-9 tv series. Being made for the web and not constrained by tv, Blood & Chrome can also be much more of an adult series, showing some nudity in the unisex shower scenes and featuring more adult language.
As one gets in to Blood & Chrome, it begins to impress in all manner of ways and quickly becomes the best of the Battlestar Galactica film spinoffs. It returns to the space warfare aspects that were missing from Caprica and features much subterfuge creeping in and around space and attacking Cylon bases, all driven by the nature of the mystery mission they are on. It reminds one of just how impressive Battlestar Galacticas space war scenes were, how innovative they were in doing something different with the standard Star Wars dogfight. The film comes to dramatic bursting point with these the flight through the wreckage of the Acheron; the Osiriss jump to a Cylon-surrounded planet and suicide run towards a Cylon basestar; the intensive flight down into the atmosphere of Djerba pursued by Cylon ships and subsequent crashlanding. It gives the show an intensely exciting pace. The only letdown is the eventual revelation of what the mission was all about and the double-crosses that come after that point, which seem decidedly underwhelming in regard to what they have been built up into.
What one is thankful that Blood & Chrome is not is Star Trek (2009) that similarly went back and revisited the familiar characters in their younger days and featured the scenes where they first step aboard the classic starship. One of the big pieces of improbability about Star Trek was its turning James T. Kirk from a rookie into a full starship captain within the space of about 48 hours. Thankfully, Blood & Chrome does not go down the same route and invests much more time and believability in its characters. Luke Pasqualino is clearly cast to look good with the ladies and is not bad in the role. However, the best acting comes from Ben Cotton as his No 2, a role that comes with a cynicism that takes you aback and which Cotton does an exceptional job in playing out into a multi-layered character. I would certainly be more than interested to watch a full Blood & Chrome series, if not more web series adventures of these characters.
The original Battlestar Galactica films, all episodes of the original series re-edited for theatrical release, are:- Battlestar Galactica (1978), Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack (1979) and Conquest of the Earth (1981).