It took me a while to get into the modern Battlestar Galactica show. I only made it toward the end of Season 3 and got to enjoy the intrigue and drama of Season 4 (actually, to be honest, I was only watching for my favorite character, Gaius Baltar). I also followed the prequel series Caprica from start to finish, but didn’t get as much out of it. A nice character study, but I kept waiting for bigger developments.
Fortunately, there’s more of Galactica in the latest prequel, Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome.
This ten-part series follows the early career of William Adama (Luke Pasqualino), a natural Viper pilot who’s ready to get involved in the war against the Cylons. However, his attitude and his family’s criminal past land him on a less stellar assignment and partnered with a bitter veteran named Coker (Ben Cotton). Their assignment soon turns deadly when they have to ferry a covert operative (Lili Bordán) into enemy space, putting Adama’s flying skills to the test and getting a glimpse at the Cylons’ radical changes.
I like young Adama a lot as a character. It’s easy to see him as the core of the seasoned admiral he’ll one day become: a headstrong fighter and deeply compassionate, forever trying to atone for his family’s ties to the Ha’la’tha. And because he’s so idealistic, it makes perfect sense to pair him up with the world-weary Coker, who just wants out of the war and fears for his life when Adama’s at the controls. Rounding out their dynamic is the reserved scientist Beka Kelly, who has her own agenda and seems to have a positive link to Adama (though, this being the gritty world of Galactica, it’s hard to have those pure relationships without a few brutal twists and tests).
Much like Forward Unto Dawn is a good prequel webseries for Halo 4, Blood and Chrome sets up a lot of the conventions that we set in Galactica. It feels like any other episode of the show, but with an inexperienced Adama and a more straightforward conflict between the Colonies and the Cylons. It’s nice to see beautiful-looking space battles again and the Cylon encounters on the frozen planet are both eerily familiar and wonderfully new. My only real complaint is the twist about Dr. Kelly’s motives; it’s not the twist itself, but the reasons behind her actions. But beyond that single moment in the finale, the rest of the series is a thrilling ride into Adama’s past and the First Cylon War that BSG fans will not want to miss.
Bibliography: Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome. Created by Michael Taylor and David Eick. Directed by Jonas Pate. Written by Michael Taylor, David Eick, Bradley Thompson, and David Weddle. Perf. Luke Pasqualino, Ben Cotton, Lili Bordán. Universal Cable Productions (studio). Machinima.com; Syfy (channel). Original broadcast: November 9, 2012 – December 7, 2012. Rebroadcast: February 10, 2013.