While nowhere near as Frakkin good as their ‘Battlestar Galactica’ reboot, SyFy’s prequel film (originally intended to be the pilot for a new series, which the network passed on) “Blood & Chrome” serves as a welcome reminder that there’s still life in the old ‘man vs. cylon’ template.
As opposed to the previous “Galactica” spin-off, “Caprica”, which chronicled the back-story of the robots inception from the ground, “Blood & Chrome” not only returns to the fight amongst the stars but enthuses the brand with the energy and thrills that the former so tragically lacked. And while the plot, visual effects, and some of the dialogue are a little ho-hum, if not bordering on embarrassing at times, “Blood & Chrome” delivers where it matters most : keeping viewers engaged with the ‘fight against the invading cylon’ storyline, that made up four seasons of the successful “Galactica” reboot.
Taking its cue from J.J Abrams’ “Star Trek” spin-off, “Blood & Chrome” tells the back-story of its brand’s best-known character, William ‘Bill’ Adama (played in “Galactica” by Edward James Olmos, and here by Luke Pasqualino ). Like young Captain Kirk, this Adama is cocky, enthusiastic and about to recognize just how demanding and affecting a mission he has signed up for, when he heads to space to fly fighters against the robot army.
In this two-hour film/pilot, Adama accompanies a kindly, grizzled Han Solo-type named Coker (Ben Cotton) on a transport vessel (he’s rather cheesed to find out he won’t be flying Vipers, as you can imagine) where they’ve been assigned the mission of transporting Dr. Beka Kelly (Lili Bordán) to a spot on the map. Over the course of the two hours, the men learn the truth about the cargo they’ve got onboard, discover a hidden base full of cylon fighting colleagues, and predominantly, crash-land on an ice-planet.
Unlike the pilot for the “Battlestar Galactica” series – it too initially screened as a two-hour telemovie – this isn’t a gripping watch by any means. It lacks the wit, intrigue and originality of the earlier effort, and, some may even argue, has made an erroneous error in the casting of its lead – who looks, sounds and acts nothing like the Adama we know from the earlier series.
Personally, I thought he was effective enough. Having said that, there’s much potential here – lots of intriguing side characters, some good space action and adventure, and some storylines that, with a bit more effort put into them, might really engage – should the thing ever be granted a series (doubtful, at this stage). Guess we’ll see how well it does on disc.
Blu-ray details and extras : Extras on the great looking/sound disc include a few extra minutes of footage (boobs, I believe, seen in a co-ed shower scene were cut from the broadcast version) and about half-an-hour of deleted scenes.
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