BLOG Blood And Chrome: Galactica Battles On

I was a big fan of the 2004 Ronald D Moore remake of Battlestar Galactica. I remember watching the late ‘70s disco version and enjoying it as a kid, and when I heard that Moore was going to bring the show back with a more serious, post-9/11 feel my interest was grabbed. When I finally got my hands on the DVD release of the mini-series/back door pilot I was an instant fan.

That mini-series still rates as one of my favourite sci-fi mini-series’ ever and is something that’ll happily watch anytime I have a spare three hours. The show proper is up there with the best of recent sci-fi TV too. It was a show that was doing “dark and gritty” before “dark and gritty” became the new big thing. It was a show that garnered a lot of main stream attention; critics raved about it and, like Lost, it became a sci-fi show which was loved by people who weren’t fans of sci-fi, while still being embraced by geeks too. It had a fantastic cast, a lot of action and some really dark storylines. Sure, it lost its way a little here and there and the final season was divisive. Some say it never recovered from the writer’s strike; some say it got to end on its own terms – I can still to this day have discussions long into the night with friends about the various plusses and minuses of the finale. But at its height Battlestar Galactica was must-watch sci-fi TV for a lot of people.

When the show ended there was talk of a possible spin-off show. There’d been talk of a prequel show since before the re-imagined show ended; a show which would take us back to before the birth of the Cylons, some 60 years before the Galactica set out on her epic journey. And it happened, we were blessed with Caprica. It was pimped as the first sci-fi soap opera and was to tell the tale of the origins of the Cylons and the man who invented them. I liked Caprica, it was certainly very different to its parent show and was an interesting experiment in sci-fi TV. I do wish it had had more time to find its feet properly. Alas Caprica was deemed too slow and boring, too radically different from BSG, and it lost viewers a bit too quickly for SyFy’s comfort. The show didn’t last long and was cancelled after just one 19-episode season.

But that wasn’t the end of Battlestar Galactic as a TV franchise. Rumours started of yet another prequel show to be set after Caprica. A show which would bring us the adventures of a young William Adama during the first Cylon war. This second spin-off would be a return to the more gritty, action-packed aspects of the 2004 show. There were many ups and downs for this prospective new project. Titled Battlestar Galactica: Blood And Chrome, it was to start life as a two-hour pilot, then became a one-off TV movie and was finally repackaged as a possible web series.

But then all news disappeared and little was heard of the show. Some thought it had been quietly dumped until a trailer was suddenly released on the internet in November. After initially being excited about the possibility of a Cylon war based show I must admit I had all but forgotten about the show after so long with little news, I was very pleasantly surprised by the action-packed trailer.

The show had ended up being made as a series of webisodes, featuring Luke Pasqualino – best know for playing Freddy in Skins – in the main role and, as expected it tells the tale of a young William Adama’s first mission after being assigned as a rookie pilot to the worlds famous Battlestar Galactica.

If you haven’t seen them then I recommend you check the series out; the whole run has now been shown on the Machinima site’s YouTube channel this past December and the first part is here, along with links to the rest of the show’s webisodes. I really enjoyed it; I’ve never seen such an action-packed web-based series before. It’s an interesting view of a young guts and glory Adama as we see his expectations of war come up against secret agendas, propaganda and the brutal reality of fighting a robot foe who want the complete extermination of the human race. There’s drama a -plenty in each of the ten (approximately) ten minute segments. I can’t wait to see it in all its full length movie glory. And it will be shown as a movie. Blood And Chrome will air on SyFy in the US as a feature length movie in early 2013 and be released for the home market in February of 2013. No news as of yet whether it’ll air on SyFy over here.

Will this be the final glimpse of William Adama and the worlds of the twelve colonies? If Blood and Chrome gets enough viewers or sells well enough on DVD/Blu-ray will there be more? Who knows? Personally I hope so, there aren’t nearly enough shows with spaceships on our TVs anymore. I miss the spaceships and the Galactica universe certain has lots.

But if this is the last we seen from the Battlestar Galactica universe then I’d say it’s definitely going out on a high and I’m okay with that.

Oh. And let’s not forget the outside chance of Bryan Singer actually getting his much touted Battlestar Galactica movie project off the ground. I’m sure that’s going to be announced any day now…

Steven Ellis