David Eick sets the record straight on Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome

News Louisa Mellor 15 Nov 2012 - 10:18

Battlestar executive producer David Eick talks at length about new prequel Blood and Chrome...

The good folk over at Collider have posted a lengthy and revealing interview with Battlestar Galactica executive producer David Eick, in which he discusses bringing web series prequel Blood and Chrome to production, its relationship to Caprica, the role of the Cylons, Ron D. Moore not being involved, Adama's character, future Battlestar stories and more. 

We realise you're busy people, so have cherry-picked some of the interview's salient parts below, but you can read it in full, here.

On the “failed pilot” headlines:

This was originally developed as an online project. I feel like there’s a certain record to set straight, which was a little bit frustrating to me, a few months ago, when I saw the headlines that the Blood & Chrome project had somehow been rejected, or was a failed pilot, or wasn’t going to make it on the air. It was never intended to be a traditional pilot, so to speak, such that Syfy not picking it up in a traditional manner to an episodic series was some kind of a rejection or failure. It was always developed, at least from my point of view, as a project for an online environment. It was something that we built as a ten-part serial, kind of in the style of the 1930′s style movie serials, where you have ten minutes of story and a cliffhanger, followed by ten minutes of story and a cliffhanger. And then, after ten of those episodes, it would all resolve itself in a pre-act structure, as a whole movie. […] But, it was never any kind of rejection or failure that it didn’t wind up as another Syfy pilot.

On future Blood and Chrome stories:  

[…] we’ve hatched a next mission for what the next leg of this character study would involve, should we be fortunate enough to go forward.  It’s very organic evolution of where we leave the characters, at the end of this story, and what we would pursue as our next tale.  I’m very hopeful and optimistic that we’ll be doing that soon. 

On how the team achieved Blood and Chrome's digital effects:

The reason we were able to achieve that, and I’m not bragging, but just giving a reasonable assessment of what’s different, is that we’ve spent the last 10 years since the first Battlestar mini-series that we did in 2003, building this assembly of artists, experts, engineers and geniuses, who have nothing but love for the product. We don’t use a visual effects house. We don’t go outside the boundaries of our own four-wall in-house unit where we handcraft these shots.  By doing that, and by combining that expertise and those artists with old-fashioned, ancient, in-camera filmmaking techniques, we have the craftsman with the know-how to employ. We were able to create digital environments that are completely arresting, totally real and tactile and immersive, and yet never require us to leave that green screen stage.  And when I say old fashioned techniques, I mean diffusion, darkness, shadow, snow storms, and things that don’t cost anything except your ingenuity. Because of those factors, we’ve been able to create something that feels completely different from the Battlestar that people may have seen, three and four years ago, but that nevertheless retains a certain echo of what we had done, so the fans feel like they’re still immersed in that same universe.

On why Ronald D. Moore wasn’t involved in Blood and Chrome:

There’s no story, honestly. You’d have to ask Ron that question. I believe he got wrapped up in another deal when this idea was hatched. He was at Sony. You’d have to ask him about that. I don’t know all the details, but there is no dramatic or exciting answer to that question. He was just busy doing other stuff, and we’ve been able to proceed forward. 

On what prompted him to create Blood and Chrome:

BLOOD AND CHROME SPOILER WARNING

I was on an airplane, thinking about the character of William Adama and the fact that we had seen him depicted as a very stoic, strong and very uncompromisingly anti-Cylon admiral and commander in Battlestar Galactica. And then, we saw him as a child, really being exposed to an alternate kind of immoral world on the show Caprica. So, I thought it might be interesting for an audience to see what that character might have been like when he was Lee Adama’s age.  Where did this hatred of Cylons come from? Why was this man that we will later meet, as Edward James Olmos in Battlestar Galactica, so uniformly and uncomprisingly committed to the utter eradication and disillusion of this race of robot people? Where did that come from?  Was it because he was a prisoner of war?  Was it because he was involved in some horrible conflict?  He wants to incinerate them, but why? And the more I thought about it, the more I finally came up with an answer that I thought was emotionally driven. For me, it seemed like maybe the most interesting answer might be that it was because of a broken heart, and that it came from a very personal place where he’d been betrayed by someone he loved, and that through that experience came to feel that the Cylons were an unforgivable race of creatures responsible for our genocide and for attacking us, so they needed to be gotten rid of. But beyond that, there was something much more deep and personal driving him, and that was the nucleus of the genesis of it.

SPOILER WARNING ENDS 

On nods to Battlestar and Caprica in Blood and Chrome:

We’ve gone to great lengths, with Blood & Chrome, to not be cute about too many nods and winks to characters from Battlestar and Caprica. At one point, there was a discussion about having young William Adama in the hangar deck, bump into some young school teacher who is getting a tour of the Battlestar Galactica, and she would introduce herself as Laura, but we didn’t want to be that cute. I don’t want to be that literal with it. If we’re going to do stuff like that, we’ll save that kind of thing for later. There are a number of little Easter-egging nods to the Battlestar faithful, that anyone watching the DVD’s or seeing this online will be able to recognize. But, we did ask Esai Morales, who played William Adama’s father, to reprise his role, in some capacity, in a future episode. 

Read our review of the first two online instalments of Blood and Chrome, here.

Collider

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Having seen the first twenty minutes or so, initial impressions are that we're in safe hands. I am a little surprised that Ron D. Moore won't be involved, but maybe that isn't an entirely bad thing. I'm a huge fan of his work, but he has done a lot of Galactica, and is busy with Outlander anyway. I'm happy enough to see a fresh crew for the Cylon War; especially since what I've seen so far has been encouraging*.

* CAVEAT : I really miss giant feckoff space battles. My opinion may be impaired.

I miss read and thought the title was David Icke, I thought it would be a discussion about how the lizard people are behind it all.

Ouch!

> Why was this man that we will later meet, as Edward James Olmos in Battlestar Galactica, so uniformly and uncomprisingly committed to the utter eradication and disillusion of this race of robot people?

Did we watch the same shows? In the BSG I watched, *all* the Colonials want to see the Cylons wiped out, and Adama stands out by actually displaying some degree of regret over how the Cylons were treated. "It's not enough to survive. One must be worthy of survival", he says.

I look at all these comments and feel a little disconnected. It's been 7 months since the last comment, right around the time the "web-i-sodes " got their launch on the internet. What a HUGE waste it was not to have SyFy pick this show up. I believe the network has lost all credibility and ignored their fan base 100%. Yes, it probably was a little expensive to make such a great show, but that's what makes it great! I can only hope some network realizes the impact of this great show and takes on the task of picking it up and putting it in a weekly time slot. Sad to say though, I feel as I write this, these words only fall on deaf ears at best.

they could sugar coat it any way they want. this is why blood and chrome wasn't picked up... CAPRICA. We left BSG as a dramatic action packed space opera. yeah there was religion and non space stuff. but at the end of the day it was all balanced out. good beginning. middle. and end. then here comes Caprica... god this god that. allah akbar this allah akbar that... v world this and about 1 hour combined of centurian action... that's it. every thing else was god this v world that.

so yea it was canceled because it was beyond FAIL.

So after witnessing that cylon attack on the colonies of a show no network wanted to pick it up. they say it was mainly made for internet. and yes maybe at one point. but im sure they had strong desires for it to go network.

but long story short. caprica failed the franchise.

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