Originally destined to be a web series, Blood and Chrome was upgraded by SyFy to a full 2 hour miniseries and series pilot… before being demoted back to a web series. After much confusion about whether it woukd ever be show, it has finally gotten all of the various airings inherent in an episodic and has become available in full on the intertubes.
Set at the obvious point for a prequel, Blood and Chrome follows the first assignment of hot-shot young Ensign William Adama. It is appropriate here to place a warning for Battlestar fans – the show relies heavily on many well worn storytelling paths. Expect lower levels of that intelligence and human realism that Battlestar and Caprica pulled off so well. One example is the resident ace pilot slot now filled by Ensign Adama – the character displays none of the complexity, of the tortured, religious, arftfully skilled and yet self-destructive Kara Thrace. Another example is that we see Adama teamed with a war-weary veteran “a few months from retiring”. At some point a dying soldier even shares a picture of his wife with a comrade. That sort of cliche.
Warnings for die-hard fans aside, this is still a good piece of sci-fi, with enough clever moments, and more than enough epic death defying battles to satiate any geek’s appetite. The pace is frenetic and some of the visuals simply superb.
We are even left wondering what could have been had the SyFy channel picked it up for a series. At various points it shows its bloodline as being that of a truly great sci-fi series and hints of the epicness that it held at its core. Certainly towards the end, you are left with a more complex Adama (a very central character in the original, for any Battlestar virgins around here) than you started with. There are glimpses of where the writers were heading for and how the show could have done amazing things with so much more material and scope available, than was available with the original. This is not to mention the immense amount that was being achieved in Blood and Chrome, with its hybrid CGI/physical sets and stunning digital visuals.
The whole 90 minutes is theoretically now up for viewing, over at Machinma Prime for most parts of the world. However as our readers pointed out (thanks kevin_watters, and apologies for not picking this up ourselves) this excludes Australians. Thankfully we of course know a couple of tricks, so here are direct links that avoid all that regional discrimination business.
Atomic has also heard reports about Torrents and Usenet files that avoid ads and splitting the video into five parts – but we’ll leave that to each person. An ‘uncut and uncensored’ version will air in February 2013 and be available for digital download or Blu-Ray. But hey, it’s the holiday season – if the urge takes you, why not just watch it now? If you are a fan you can always enjoy it again later.