TV Review: “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome” – Space Battles Galore but Not Much More

Written by Guest January 08, 2013

Blood and chrome

“All this has happened before…”

Fans of the re-imagined “Battlestar Galactica” series have had a mixed relationship with anything beyond its core series. The webisodes were never a hit, the TV movie “Razor” was never liked until the second movie “The Plan” made it seem like a masterpiece in comparison, and the prequel series “Caprica” polarized the fanbase. That being said, the core series and its familiar, gritty setting of the ongoing war between humanity and the ruthless Cylon robots is still engaging to its rabid fanbase.

“Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome” is a spin-off movie that brings us back to hardened space battles as opposed to the philosophical musings of “Caprica”. It will be aired in its entirety as a TV movie on SyFy, but at present, it exists solely as a Machinima webseries. After the unceremonious cancellation of “Caprica”, SyFy has shown that it still holds an interest in Ronald D. Moore’s “Battlestar Galactica” universe.

“Blood & Chrome” takes place between “Caprica” and “Battlestar Galactica” during the Cylon War. It stars William Adama played by Luke Pasqualino from “Skins”, bringing a younger version of the character Edward James Olmos portrayed to life. In supporting roles to Adama’s first mission are Ben Cotton (“Stargate Atlantis”), Lili Bordán (“The River”) and John Pyper-Ferguson (“Caprica”). The unfamiliar cast helps set “Blood & Chrome” in a different era, while the familiar set pieces anchor it in the already established universe. The acting is not up to par with the performances brought previously in the franchise by Mary McDonnell or Eric Stoltz but it is far from bad.

The series/TV movie follows William Adama on his first mission on the Battlestar Galactica, essentially an aircraft carrier in space. He is a young, hot-headed rookie who resembles Tom Cruise in “Top Gun” more than anything else. Adama goes on a secret mission to a Cylon base with the hopes of ending the war. This allows many intense space battles to take place yet the stakes do not feel that high, as it is clear that Adama survives to be the lead of the original series that takes place decades later.

Cylon's are back, but they are much less sexier than Tricia Helfer.

Cylon’s are back, but they are much less sexy than Tricia Helfer.

“… and will happen again, but with more space battles”

The action scenes and special effects are well-implemented in creating a satisfyingly familiar atmosphere. However, one of the reasons why “Battlestar Galactica” was a hit was because it had something for everyone. If you were not a fan of action scenes or science fiction, you could at least relish in the character development. “Blood & Chrome” provides the flashiness of the action of the original series but none of the philosophical plotting and mysticism that added to it.

It is hard for the non-initiated to get into this world with “Blood & Chrome”. “Caprica” and “Battlestar” both spent a long time establishing the science fiction world of the Twelve Colonies whereas “Blood & Chrome” just hops into the Viper jet and begins shooting. This allows “Blood & Chrome” to be a fun bite of sci-fi candy that it is for already established fans, but it is a shallow experience for the unfamiliar.

Despite its familiarity and lack of depth, “Blood & Chrome” is a welcome addition to the “Battlestar Galactica” franchise through its well-developed action scenes and effects. It shows that there are still stories to tell in this universe. The writers have already penned out another “mission” in this period. Be it another series or movie is yet to be determined. “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome” is not a misstep, especially compared to “The Plan”, but it does not live up to the original series. It is a fun adventure that satisfies the thirst for more Cylon-warfare.

My Rating: 7/10

 

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