BSG: Blood and Chrome (Review)

Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome is a prequel to the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series. It stars Luke Pasqualino, Ben Cotton, and Lili Bordán. Michael Taylor wrote the teleplay from a story by Taylor, David Eick, Bradley Thompson and David Weddle with Jonas Pate as director. Distribution of Blood & Chrome began as a 10-episode online series in conjunction with Machinima.com on November 9, 2012 and also aired as a televised movie on February 10, 2013 on Syfy. DvD and BluRay was released on February 19, 2013.

The show is set in the tenth year of the First Cylon War and follows Lt. William Adama, a young pilot just graduated from the Academy, assigned to one of the most powerful battlestars in the Colonial fleet: the Galactica. The series provides a very brief frame of reference to the events that ensued in the time between the prequel series Caprica, and the basis series Battlestar Galactica.

I was finally able to sit down and watch this movie that aired on SyFy last night. I had been looking forward to this movie for some time now as I am really in love with all things involving the reimagined Battlestar Galactica.I had heard good things of the movie and so I admit my expectations were pretty high going into it. Needless to say I wasn’t disappointed. Though the movie had some flaws in it, the overall movie was well done and is certainly worth a watch by any BSG fan.

The movie follows young William Adama on is first mission after graduating from the Academy. I thought that Pasqualino did a good job of showing us a young cocky fighter jock itching to get into battle. His acting, while not spectacular, was passable enough to give us some insight to what Adam was like in his early days in the military. He is brash in going after what he feels that he deserves, but shows his absolute dedication to the Colonial Fleet throughout the movie, even when times get tough. It reminded me a lot of the core strengths of the elder Adama played by Edward James Olmos of being a beacon of what the Colonial Fleet is supposed to be.

Along the way Adama meets his Raptor copilot Lt. Coker Fasjovik played by Ben Cotton. Cotton provides a needed dose of reality to Adama about the way life is for the fleet and many of the desires of the men and women in it. I thought Cotton did an excellent acting job of bringing depth to his character with his jaded views of the war and pessimistic commentary. The character serves as a balance to the gun-ho Adama.

Lili Bordán as Dr. Beka Kelly and John Pyper-Ferguson as Tech Sergeant Xander Toth round out the major cast of the movie. I thought Bordán’s portrayal of Dr. Kelly was a little flat and not scripted well as her character arc needed to have a lot emotion and passion behind what she was doing and it simply wasn’t there for me. Pyper-Ferguson as the eccentric commando Sgt. Toth on the other hand, was a joy to watch. He also played Tomas Vergis in the short-lived Caprica series and Captain Cole “Stinger” Taylor in the reimagined BSG. You can really feel his love for the series in the portrayal of his characters. The rest of the supporting cast is average to good.

The special effects of the movie are outstanding as I’ve come to expect from the BSG series and it was great to see the old girl (Galactica) back on the screen brand spanking new.  There are a ton of new ships to be seen in the background space shots of the fleets and the raptor has a good older design since this is a prequel to the TV series (though why they got rid of the rear turret on the newer models for the TV series is beyond me). The dog fights are with the Cylons are well done and a particular chase through the wreckage of a destroyed Battlestar was particularly well designed and implemented.

The plot is a pretty straight forward affair with a few twists and turns to make it more exciting. Overall, I thought it was really nice to see how far out the Colonial military thought their strategy and how in-depth and detailed their planning was, even when using a pretty classical military plan to confuse and redirect an enemy force. When I look back on the movie as a whole, it really is impressive how well everyone played out their role in the overall operation in order to make sure it went as designed, even if they didn’t know all of the details of it.

This series was released originally as a web series and then was converted into a movie to air on TV. There is an uncut DVD/Blu-Ray version that has just been released which has all of the swearing restored (frak was left unaltered on the TV movie). I haven’t reviewed the uncut version so I don’ t know if there are any extra scenes included.

Overall I thought this movie was a great addition to the BSG universe.

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