This review contains spoilers.
If you haven’t seen them yet, parts three and four of Blood and Chrome are available to watch here.
Battlestar executive producer David Eick’s comments this week that Blood and Chrome was designed in homage to 1930s-style movie serials came like a coin dropping into a slot. Because for a story set in a world of AI and intergalactic travel, Blood and Chrome certainly has an early twentieth-century cinematic feel.
Essentially, it’s a WWII movie set in space about a square-jawed young pilot and his crazed rear gunman on a mission into enemy territory. There may be Vipers instead of Spitfires, and “frakking” has taken the place of “damned” as the war epithet of choice, but at its heart, it’s a good old fashioned military movie. That its makers drew structural inspiration from action-heavy movie theatre chapter plays makes perfect sense.
Its short bursts may restrict Blood and Chrome from recreating the sophistication and layered themes of the show it’s laying the groundwork for ex post, but who’s complaining? Raptors! Raiders! Daredevil stunts! It’s all the flyin’ and shootin’ BSG fans missed in noir family soap Caprica, and blimey, is it fun to watch.
Last week’s cliffhanger saw young Adama and co-pilot Coker forced to engage the enemy in a clapped-out, ammunition-light Raptor. Against a gorgeous backdrop of destroyed fuselage and drifting parts, the Galactica ‘milk-run’ boys outsmarted three Cylon raiders, mashing two up in the Archeron’s FTL Drive (a stunt worthy of Starbuck herself).
In the sweaty, post-traumatic moments after the Wild Weasel makes it, two things become clear, one, William Adama is a badass pilot, and two, he’s earned a bit of Coker’s respect. Luke Pasqualino showed some Olmos mettle in the shouty scene during which he reminded his co-pilot of the chain of command. Now that’s a man who one day could lead a rag-tag survivalist fleet of ships post-nuclear apocalypse, I bet you were thinking.
The Wild Weasel’s passenger, former Cylon-engineer Dr Kelly, then issues another set of instructions that takes the trio into a life-threatening situation (Worst. Cargo. Ever.), but not before she and Adama share a few lingering looks. After an imminent Colonial attack is halted, the Raptor is accompanied to the Battlestar Osiris, the next stop in Dr K’s magical mystery tour.
The ghost fleet conceit was wonderfully macabre, and more than a bit thrilling (we were even treated to a little emotional payoff as Coker ran into an old buddy, reported KIA). Concealed in Cylon space, a beautifully rendered collection of presumed-destroyed vessels and their crew awaits the attack signal. For the Osiris, the time for field engagement arrives in tandem with Dr Kelly, who needs a military escort for transportation to her ice planet destination (as handily explained by the surly commander’s Hitchhiker’s Guide-style presentation), somewhere that can’t be reached without attracting the unwelcome attention of a Cylon Basestar.
And where are we left? In true Rocketman style, with another cliff-hanger, as a cloud of Cylon raiders spill out of that Basestar like bats from the Wayne Mansion cave towards our heroes. Will they survive? Tune in next week to find out.
Read Louisa’s review of Blood and Chrome parts one and two, here.
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