Across the Universe: 'Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome'
Prequel to TV show comes to Blu-ray after premiering on web
By DonKaye_ParallelUniverse Feb 20, 2013 12:36PM
"Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome" is a prequel film to the modern TV reimagining of "Battlestar Galactica," which enjoyed a devoted cult following, critical acclaim and a healthy run on the Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy) from 2003 to 2009. "Blood & Chrome" follows the less-than-spectacular reception afforded "Caprica," a series that delved into the earliest roots of the human-Cylon conflict and lasted just one season, eschewing that show's more soap opera-style dramatics for the military action and intrigue that were at the core of the main series.
The film was originally proposed as the pilot for a new program, but when Syfy passed, it was reconfigured as first a Web series and then a stand-alone movie. But then a hybrid idea was hatched: "Blood & Chrome" was broken up into 10 webisodes that began surfacing online last November, leading to the movie's premiere on Syfy on Feb. 10 and the arrival of an unrated version on Blu-ray/DVD this week (Feb. 19).
"It did impact us creatively," says executive producer David Eick, in a phone interview, about the film's unusual distribution. "To the extent that it started as something that was designed to be for the Web, you know, as a digital project for digital outlet. And at a certain point midway through the process, the network ... saw the material and they thought they wanted the option to air it themselves, either first or alongside DVD as a tangential platform. So there were a bunch of discussions that were outside my pay grade, but it did impact creative in terms of how we broke up acts and how we structured the story and that kind of thing."
"Blood & Chrome" follows William Adama (Luke Pasqualino), a young pilot assigned to the Galactica, the newest battlestar in the fleet belonging to the Twelve Colonies. The movie is set during the 10th year of the First Cylon War, decades before the series itself, as the artificially created Cylons continue to strike at their former human masters.
The headstrong, cocky Adama and his co-pilot, the weary Coker (Ben Cotton), are sent on what first seems like a routine mission, but soon find themselves on an adventure that involves a Cylon ambush, hidden Colonial ships and an enigmatic engineer (Beka Kelly) with a secret agenda of her own. By the end of it, Adama's own core principles are tested and we begin to see the origins of the battle-hardened, cynical Adama who commands the Galactica years later and leads the last remnants of humanity in their quest for the legendary planet Earth.
For Eick, who has been involved with every iteration of "Galactica" since it was rebooted, there was a deliberate choice with "Blood & Chrome" to pivot away from the planet-bound melodramatics of "Caprica" and get back to space. "That was my impulse," concurs Eick. "I loved 'Caprica' and worked extremely hard on it. But I missed some of the more visceral aspects of 'Battlestar' and I just thought that because this was going to be more experimental initially -- because it was going to be distributed like a movie serial -- that was sort of what motivated my story to be much more popcorny than 'Battlestar' and much more action-packed than 'Caprica.'"
Eick also relished the chance to explore the backstory of Adama -- played so brilliantly by Edward James Olmos in the series and seen as a child in "Caprica" -- and find out just how he developed into the commanding yet remote presence who so skillfully led the survivors of the human race against the Cylons.
"What was compelling about that story was that I didn't know what it was," says the executive producer. "It was interesting to start to ask the questions. Unless he came out of the womb as this hardened, stoic, sort of emotionally distant creature, those things which tend to reflect damage must have been born someplace. It would be interesting to meet him as a young man, a kind of happy-go-lucky Luke Skywalker young kid and really start to wonder, 'Jesus, what must be down the road for this guy that he's going to come out the other end the way he did?'"
Had "Blood & Chrome" been picked up as a series, Eick believes that, parallel to Adama's own character arc, the show would have begun to evolve toward the "dramatically darker" tone of "Battlestar Galactica" itself. "I think it probably would have gotten into themes having to do with Adama's family," muses Eick. "We also did a lot of planning for bringing Coker's family into the show and introducing other characters and different locations and beginning to really create the tapestry of characters that is another hallmark of 'Battlestar.'"
That, of course, leads to the question of what happens next in the "Battlestar Galactica" universe: more webisodes, another film or possibly more? "We're in the earliest stages of those discussions," reveals Eick. "There's nothing for certain yet, so we'll see. Digital distribution is all a very new business, so I think there's a lot of bureaucracy that has to figure itself out, and it takes a little more time than just your traditional TV movie. So, we'll see, hopefully."
"Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome" is out now on Blu-ray and DVD.
showtimes & tickets
Search by location, title, or genre:
top box office
More box office news