“Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome,” a highly anticipated sci-fi show that follows young military pilot Ensign William Adama (played by Luke Pasqualino) on an important mission during the first Cylon War, launched Friday morning online with two episodes (seen below) on Machinima. The YouTube channel, which earlier launched a couple of Halo Web series and made a splash in 2011 with Mortal Kombat: Legacy, may not have been the medium that “Battlestar” fans expected, but it has always been the show’s destination.
“The challenge initially from the network to me was ‘Can you come up with an idea that would serve an online distribution platform?’ X-Box, Netflix — I can’t remember the actual venues and outlets,” said executive producer David Eick.
“The catch was they wanted a concept that would serve this 10-episode structure that could later be cut into a movie. It was a little perplexing,” he added. “The complication that occurred was that the network saw how good the script was and wanted to maintain the option to air it as a traditional network pilot. What became public perception was that we were doing a pilot for Syfy channel. Then when Syfy ultimately decided that it was so cool and so tailor-made for exactly the kind of experiment that we initially planned, that came off as ‘Oh, Syfy made a “Battlestar” pilot but they’re punting it and not gonna air it.’ And that’s just not how it came down at all — it just went right back to the original plan.”
Despite the “unfortunate rap” that followed the series as it developed and was cast, production continued. So with the platform(s) decided, and a structure loosely set, the initial ideas and concepts for the story needed to be hammered out. Eick had ideas, but at the time was working on other shows, including “Caprica,” the short-lived “Battlestar Galactica” prequel.
“I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting if we were to take a page from the ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ notion, which is to go back to those 1930s and ’40s movie serials that were designed to be short stories broken into chapters, to serialize an entire three-act story,” Eick said. “And that’s where I started to think about a mission. What if you had young Adama and you told the story of a key mission that cast in stone his point of view about the Cylons; that fed into the kind of mythological morass that he instills into the ‘Battlestar’ family. Because I’m stupid when it comes to things like what history we’ve set forth and things that we’d already nailed down [in ‘Battlestar Galactica’], I finally got to talking to my go-to guys, Bradley Thompson, David Weddle and Michael Taylor. They said, ‘No, David, it can’t be [Sol] Tigh. They haven’t met yet.”
So, new characters and situations will surround and inform Adama in “Blood and Chrome,” including developing a friendship/working relationship with a war-weary co-pilot, Coker — played by Ben Cotton. We’ll learn more about him and the mission as the series progresses. The release schedule is to post new episodes every Friday, leading up to the finale on Nov. 30. The two-hour uncut version is slated to premiere on Syfy in February 2013, and the Blu-ray will be released Feb. 19.
— Jevon Phillips
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