This review contains spoilers.
If you haven’t seen them yet, catch up on parts five and six of Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome, here.
If previous Blood and Chrome instalments were an homage to WWII fighter pilot adventures, then parts five and six were a love letter to sci-fi standards. From the Osiris’ deep space kamikaze nuke attack, to crash-landing on that Hoth-like planet and discovering a B-movie monster worthy of The Thing beneath the ice, it was eighteen minutes of energetic sci-fi fun.
We’d left young Bill Adama, Co-Pilot Coker, and Dr Kelly on course to an ice-planet to complete an as-yet unrevealed mission that could define the Human/Cylon war. The Battlestar Osiris drew fire as the away-team made their escape, but fatally so, necessitating Commander Ozar (Jill Teed, in her third incarnation in the BSG universe – the first as the Galactica’s Master-at-Arms Sergeant Hadrian, the second as Col. Sasha Patel, latterly Minster of Defense in Caprica) to sacrifice ship and crew in a blazing suicide attack that took out the Basestar.
Ensign Adama and co. had little time to be shaken by the loss, being trailed as they were by a pack of Bandits. Some rear-gunman action courtesy of Coker saw one off, while Adama’s back-blaster trick did for another, and eventually the Wild Weasel made it to a nail-biting landing on the edge of an icy crevasse (no thanks to Coker’s mate Kirby, who skedaddled off to see his infant son at the first opportunity, leaving his team members unprotected).
We’re halfway through Blood and Chrome now, and throughout, the prequel has proudly flown the flag for action and adventure. It may be light on the religious philosophising of Moore and Eick’s remake, but it’s heavy on the old-fashioned derring-do and boasts more space explosions than you could shake an encrypted tracking device at.
The effects and backdrops remain – as they began – hugely impressive. So concentrated is the action, it’s not hard to see why a full series of Blood and Chrome would be a budget-breaker for Syfy. Yes, every so often the digital seams show and there’s the odd uncanny-looking shot, but overall, the universe is convincingly, and often quite beautifully, recreated.
Part five was so packed with incident that dialogue was kept to a minimum, which turned out to be something of a blessing when stompily delivered lines like Dr Kelly’s “I can pinpoint the location of their transponder using my encrypted tracking device” are in play. On the whole though, the generic and familiar script serves its purpose in moving Adama from one life-threatening situation to another, the prequel’s zap-blast-whoosh pacing barely giving us time to notice Blood and Chrome’s more workaday elements.
Where did we leave our daring space adventurers then? Fighting off nasty cyborg space reptiles (the next step in the Cylon-to-Human ‘evolutionary’ process) in the company of an unhinged technician who knows his way around the carotid artery and, by the looks of next week’s teaser, about to infiltrate a Cylon development facility. Fingers crossed we’re in for some up-close toaster action, and a little more info on exactly what the mysterious Dr Kelly is up to.
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