"Battlestar Galactica" is the franchise that will not die. The original television series in the 1970s was cancelled because of the cost of production. It was then revived for a short-lived budget-crunched version named "Galactica 80," which brought the rag-tag fleet of star voyagers to the Earth and less special effects. The franchise was kept alive throughout the 1980s and 1990s by way of comic books and novels.
2003 saw the launch of the rebooted version of "Battlestar Galactica." After a mini-series, the television show went on for four seasons. It also spawned two TV movies and several web series. "Caprica" premiered in 2009, proving once again audiences just couldn't get enough of this sci-fi phenomenon. Unfortunately, the show ended abruptly after two seasons.
"Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome" once again proves you can't keep a good show down. Originally filmed to be the pilot for a new SyFy Channel series, it was decided to split it up into 10 parts and aired on Machinima.com as a web series. The entire pilot has now been reassembled and made available on Blu-ray and DVD in an "Unrated Edition."
Young William Adama graduates from the Academy in the tenth year of the First Cylon War. He's appointed to serve aboard the Colonial Fleet's newest battlestar, the Galactica. His first assignment is as a pilot for a Raptor transport ship. Adama, his co-pilot Coker, and former Graystone Industries employee Dr. Beka Kelly are sent on a secret mission that will take them deep into Cylon territory.
I refer to "Blood and Chrome" as the "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" of the epic "BSG" franchise. It takes place between "Caprica" and the 2003 series. Just like "The Clone Wars," there's a surprise tie to the rebooted series as well. As R2-D2 and C-3PO do for those particular films, we have a certain character that ties the different eras together here.
Director Jonas Pate takes series creators Michael Taylor and David Eick's script and successfully drops us back into the world of "Battlestar Galactica." Pate has a history working within the universe, having helmed episodes of both "Battlestar Galactica" and "Caprica." This helps give "Blood and Chrome" a familiar look that matches that of the earlier shows.
The audio and video high-definition transfers give us a clear picture and highlight a brilliant score by Bear McCreary. Exceptional clarity does make the lens flare and blurred masking of some of the green screen shots more evident. However, for a television show it looks phenomenal.
There are a couple lengthy special features included in the Blu-ray edition of "Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome." A 23-minute featurette entitled "'Blood & Chrome:' Visual Effects" takes us behind-the-scenes of the production. 13 deleted and extended scenes clock in at 29 minutes and show us what ended up on the cutting room floor.
"Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome" is another essential piece to the franchise puzzle for fans. It will satisfy their taste for more of this intriguing and complex universe and its characters. As a big enthusiast of all the shows myself, I look forward to more movies like this in the future.