After what seems like an eternity of delays, Syfy (AKA Syphilis Channel) has, with almost no warning or fanfare, begun releasing the pilot for the latest Battlestar Galactica spin-off, Blood and Chrome, as a series of webisodes. The first two are already live.
It hasn’t come up much on this blog before, but I am a fan of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, even if I wouldn’t touch the original with a ten foot pole. Well, sort of a fan, anyway. The first three seasons were brilliant, but as an acquaintance of mine aptly put it, “the show collapsed under its own weight in the last season.”
I also watched the short-lived Caprica spin-off. I had mixed feelings on it to say the least, but I’d say I still hold a higher opinion of it than most Galactica fans, and I still believe the pilot was one of the most brilliant pieces of television you’ll ever have the privilege to witness.
As for Blood and Chrome — not a fan of the name, by the way — my feelings are lukewarm at best. The fact is that we already know everything there is to know about the first Cylon War, and I don’t see the need to learn more about it. Plus, the entire cycle of development hell has left little room for hope.
Still, I have far too much franchise loyalty for my own good, so I dutifully sat down to watch the first two ten minute webisodes.
It’s too early to make any firm judgments, but it’s more or less living up to my expectations. And that’s not a good thing.
Every Galactica fan worth their salt is pissed off that they didn’t bring back Nico Cortez of the Razor flashbacks to play the young William Adama, and this first taste of Blood and Chrome proves why. Whereas Cortez brought a hint of Edward James Olmos’ gravitas with a nice twist of youthful vigor, Luke Pasqualino is just… a scrawny pretty boy.
Make no mistake: the character in Blood and Chrome is not Bill Adama. He is, at best, a half-assed Kara Thrace with a penis.
I particularly dislike how they’re going with the cliche of setting him up as some natural-born super pilot. I had the same complaint about Kirk’s portrayal in the JJ Abrams Star Trek
parody movie. He’s a starship captain, not the Chosen One. He’s not Luke Skywalker or Harry fracking Potter.
In general, too, I just think focusing on Adama is a mistake. I love the Old Man as much as anyone, but we already know all we need to know about him. Let some new characters shine. They made the same mistake with Caprica. They had a fantastic story about the rise of the Cylons, and then they torpedoed it by wasting half their time trying to justify the presence of the Adama family.
Still, there are some brief glimmers of hope. The virtual sets turned out a lot better than I expected, and the show as a whole looks great. The space dogfights are as amazing as ever. Bear McReary continues to prove why he’s one of the best soundtrack composers in the business.
I also liked Adama’s co-pilot. Coker, was it? He’s the only character so far who feels like he came out of the BSG universe, as opposed to a book of military fiction cliches. The alcoholism is perhaps laying it on a bit thick, but he feels believable as a grizzled veteran, and he’s a great counterpoint to Adama Lite’s “eager beaver” attitude.
All in all, it’s too early to make any firm judgments about Blood and Chrome. I’m not impressed, but I’ll give it a chance to improve.
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