Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Battlestar Galactica returns to SyFy Channel

For years SciFi Friday was a fixture in my life as I always made an effort to watch or tape (wow talking about VCRs just sounds so out dated now) Ronald Moore's BATTLESTAR GALACTICA series on the SciFi Channel (now SyFy Channel).  The show started with a three-hour miniseries in 2003 and was than picked up for a four season run wrapping up in 2009.  The premise is that humans had fought a previous war with their  robotic servants, known as Cylons, who had rebelled against them.  The war ended with a truce where the robots were exiled to their own area of space and the humans kept control of their home planets known as the "Twelve Colonies."  The show, which is based on Glen Larson's 1978 television series of the same name, begins with the Cylons breaking their truce with a devastating ambush that wipes out most of the humans except for a ragtag fleet of survivors led by their last warship, the Battlestar Galactica, under the control of Commander William Adama, that flees the carnage and looks for the original home of their ancestors, Earth.

Since BattleStar Galactica concluded its run on the SyFy Channel many of us fans had been hoping for a sequel television series that would bring back the excitement of the futuristic robotic villains and sleek starfighters that put the show on TIME MAGAZINE'S "100 Best TV Shows of ALL-TIME" list.  Well guess what folks, BattleStar Galactica is coming back to the SyFy Channel ... not as a sequel but rather as a prequel.   The SyFy Channel will broadcast a pilot it developed, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, as a two-hour movie on Sunday, February 10, 2013 @ 9 pm E.T.

According to the SyFy Channel:
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (a prequel to the critically acclaimed hit series, Battlestar Galactica) takes place in the midst of the First Cylon war. As the battle between humans and their creation, the sentient robotic Cylons, rages across the 12 colonial worlds, a young, talented fighter pilot, William Adama (Luke Pasqualino), finds himself assigned to one of the most powerful battlestars in the Colonial fleet: the Galactica. Full of ambition and in pursuit of the intense action that the Cylon war promises, Adama quickly finds himself at odds with his co-pilot, the battle-weary officer Coker (Ben Cotton). With only 47 days left in his tour of duty, Coker desires an end to battle just as much as Adama craves the start of it. Though they clash at first, the two men forge an unlikely bond when a routine escort mission with an enigmatic passenger (Lili Bordan) turns dangerous and becomes a pivotal one for the desperate fleet.
Can't wait until February 10th to catch Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome on the SyFy Channel well guess what you are in luck because the pilot has also been posted on youtube as ten mini-episodes! 

Episode 1: Ensign William Adama finds himself assigned to the newest Battlestar in the colonial fleet

Episode 2: William Adama's rookie mission aboard the Galactica quickly turns lethal as his small crew pilots their Raptor through Cylon territory

Episodes 3&4: Adama, Coker, and Dr. Kelly battle enemy Raiders and make a shocking discovery deep in Cylon space

Episodes 5&6: Adama dogfights Raiders while the Battlestar Osiris tries to hold off a Cylon Basestar.

Episodes 7&8: Adama, Coker, and Becca take shelter on a snow planet, but they aren't alone as Cylons attack their defenses.

Episodes 9&10: Secrets are revealed! 

Unfortunately, as of now it looks as if the two-hour pilot may be the end of the line for Blood & Chrome and there won't be an ongoing tv or web series following it ... but you never know if the rating are good enough on February 10 who knows if it might get picked up for a series or they could make another straight to DVD movie like they did with Battlestar Galactica: Razor. So if you want to see more Battlestar Galactica on TV it wouldn't hurt to tune in to the SyFy Channel broadcast!

In addition to Blood & Chrome being broadcast on cable and via the Internet, an unrated version of the film will also be sold on DVD & Bluray starting on February 19, 2013.  You can pre-order the video at the SyFy online store or Amazon.com

I really enjoyed watching the web-series of Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome.  It has some great space battles and close-up portrayals of Cylons that any science fiction aficionado will appreciate.  The best part for me though was how the story delved into the transformation of Cylons from their creation in the short-lived tv drama Caprica (which was more soap opera than space opera) to the battle machines and organic human duplicates they transform into in the 2003 mini-series and the following TV seasons.  Seeing the Cylons experimenting to create cyborg monsters was a stunning insight and story arc.  Than seeing Cylon Centuarians that look like in-between models of the ones we are familiar with from classic 1978 show and the ones from the rebooted television series was exciting.  I was really geeked though to be given a glimpse of one the first Cylon/Human duplicate that was not perfect but rather a first try of attempting to evolve from a sentient machine to an organic-based life form.  I really felt that Blood & Chrome did a better job of going into the transformation of Cylons in the Battlestar Galactica tv show than the series itself had done itself with its goofy story line of survivors from another timeline joining with them to promote their evolution.

While the special effects were tremendous, the only down side of the film was its over reliance on green screens.  There are a lot of flashes and light effects that distract from the sequences on the screen.  I believe these are meant to enhance the illusion of there being real things before your eyes because otherwise it would be more obvious that so much of the scenery is computer generated.  The original sets from Battlestar Galactica were dismantled and essentially the whole world of Blood & Chrome is portrayed via actors in front of green screens.  While this isn't a fatal flaw, the film would have been nicer if some more funds had been invested in set designs and modeling. I also didn't like the co-pilot Coker character who I felt was just a little too whiny for a military guy.

All in all though I though Blood & Chrome was GREAT and would really like to see it expanded on in the future whether that be through a cable television series, web-broadcasts, DVDs, or maybe even video games.

No comments:

Post a Comment