Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome is everything a prequel should be and creates an exciting chapter that no Battlestar fan should miss. Set during the first Cylon war, Ensign William Adama (Luke Pasqualino) has just graduated from the academy and has been stationed on the Battlestar Galactica. Paired up with his mouthy co-pilot, Coker (Ben Cotton), the two of them are given a routine supply run mission and are ordered to bring Dr. Beka Kelly (Lili Bordán) along for the ride. Whilst in space, Dr. Kelly then gives them their true orders, to rendezvous with a hidden fleet of ghost ships, right in the middle of Cylon territory. This eventually leads them to a mission on Djerba, to find out more about the hidden Cylon experiments that they were conducting on organic life and to find a means to stop the Cylon threat once and for all. Planned as the pilot for the prequel series on Syfy, to then be turned into a series of webisodes, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome is a fantastic addition and an exciting chapter to the Battlestar franchise.
While Blood & Chrome lacks the political intrigue and religious overtones of the remake of Battlestar, it makes up for telling an action packed story in war torn space. It was invigorating to see both the Galactica ship and William Adama, in their prime form, something that was never shown in the remake of Battlestar. There are a few missteps in the 94 minute film, especially with things like a terrible romantic subplot and an enormous amount of clichés. While the script and plotting of the pilot contain elements that could have been handled better, the events and the action that take place in Blood & Chrome lays a solid foundation of what could have been an excellent series, that could have filled the void left behind by Battlestar Galactica and its prequel, Caprica.
The Blu-Ray of Blood & Chrome gives a solid visual display, a fantastic audio presentation and only one decent extra, that make this a decent release. The video comes in an HD 1080p AVC encoded video track that creates a look very different than its predecessor. With many of the components being done in green screen, the glossy visual presentation reminded me more of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, than Battlestar. While it does show some fantastic elements of various ships in their prime, there are a few moments where the CGI is a little dingy, especially the Cython monster they encounter on Djerba. The audio comes in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that is pulse pounding and help sells plenty of the action that takes place in the film. From the intense dog fights to the incredible score, done once again from Battlestar alumni, Bear McCreary, the soundtrack to the film is pure audio bliss. The use of the surround fields for immersion, the LFE distribution for large explosions and overall clarity are done exceptionally well on this audio track. The only extra worth noting is a behind the scenes look at all of the visual effects for Blood & Chrome, that showcases the artists that made the sets and elements possible.
Even though its not perfect, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome presents a chapter that fans have been craving for years. By the time it was over, I could certainly see the potential for the series, but I’m sure that due to the muddled script and the cost of the visual effects, made Syfy execs pass on the opportunity. I’m still glad that this exists and any remote fan of Battlestar should be able to have a fun time with Blood & Chrome. Recommended!