"Blood & Chrome" Explores Origins of "Battlestar Galactica"

The beloved sci-fi series – a reboot of the fondly recalled ‘70s original – unleashes a new adventure, this time set in the early days of William Adama.

By Scott Huver
|  Friday, Feb 15, 2013  |  Updated 3:15 PM PDT
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Luke Pasqualino in "Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome"

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It’s about frackin’ time: “Battlestar Galactica” is back, in prequel form.

The beloved sci-fi series – a reboot of the fondly recalled ‘70s original – at last unleashes a new adventure, this time set in the early days of William Adama and his entry point into the Colonies’ bloody conflict with Cylons. As “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome,” which originally aired as a 10-episode online series last fall, makes its full-length debut on home video, executive producer and co-writer David Eick reveals how the tale took shape, and how the story from the past may lead to new adventures in the future.

“Blood & Chrome” had its initial evolution in the digital world but proved to be just too compelling a story not to do something a little bigger with.

It was designed to be a digital project for possible downloading through your DVD system. When they saw the script, they got very excited and they wanted to have their options available to them to possibly broadcast it on the air first or perhaps a DVD release first and then digital. There were a lot of configurations, but in the end, they decided for other reasons that it was best to stick with the original plan. So that's how it was initially distributed.

What got you and your team creatively excited about telling a story at this point in Bill Adama's life?

It seemed like the best way to give the audience and fans of the other shows a nod to what may have compelled this person to develop the traits that we would later encounter in the original Olmos character. You see in sort of a backwards way how your hero develops some of his habits, some of his beliefs, some of his tendencies, some of his reflexes.

What did you see in your leading man Luke Pasqualino, as far as evoking all the qualities that fans imagine a young Adama would have?

Primarily, our focus was to show distinctions or even contradictions to what we've come to know of the older Adama. ... So we weren't too concerned about creating too many of the personality traits that we associate with the Edward James Olmos as Adama, because we want the audience to ask, ‘Wow. What must have happened to him to make him so different later than he is now?’

It's not the first time that you've done some nods to the original Glen Larson ‘Battlestar Galactica’ series from the ‘70s, but in this case we see some of the Cylon Raider space ships that evoke the original version. Are there any other little cool Easter eggs that the hardcore fans should be looking for?

We went out of our way not to do too much of that because we just didn't want to marginalize the audience for this. We wanted it to be able to stand on its own, with more subtle nods – like references to what we’ll know from ‘Caprica’ is the organized crime family that Adama’s father comes from, the Ha’la’tha. One is Adama's painting the numbers of Cylons killed on the side of his ship, and he's using a little silhouette of the later model of Cylon Raider, which in this chapter of the story hadn’t been invented yet by the Cylons. So how could he know what that would look like? So that's more of a mistake than an Easter egg, but it's funny.

What does it mean to have had a hand in creating such an elaborate mythology, a deep universe and one that the fans just constantly want to get another new piece of?

You can chisel it on your tombstone, I guess. I mean, it's not the kind of thing that you rest your laurels on, I think, because in the end, we came to ‘Battlestar,’ not thinking that we were anything special. And I think if we're going to do anything as good as ‘Battlestar’ again, we'll have to maintain that humility. I really try not to think about what it means in a contemporary sense, but I really think that's probably going to be best answered in another 15, 20 years when it's got some distance behind it and it can kind of find its place in the annals of TV wherever it floats down. I’m sure I’ll be happy. But it's for someone else to determine that. I don't have any objectivity when it comes to that subject.

You mentioned that you'd love to do something like this again. Are you in a take-a-breather mode, or are there some things percolating right now with the future of ‘Battlestar Galactica?’ What's the state of the behind the scenes universe right now?

We're kicking the tires of continuing the ‘Blood & Chrome’ franchise as either a literal continuation, or maybe another chapter in the ‘Battlestar’ mythos. But we're very early into those talks. There's nothing to report yet.

Is there a sequence, either through the story telling or what you were able to accomplish with the visual effects that stands out for you is something that you got especially excited about or proud of once you pulled it off?

This dovetails maybe into the question about Easter eggs, but another nod to people from ‘Galactica’ fanville that also asks some interesting questions is the fact that the Raptor – which is the name of the space craft that our heroes are on for most of the movie – has a tail gun rig so that a co‑pilot can get behind the gun and counter fire. And for fans of ‘Battlestar’ who are watching raptors for five years, they know that there were no guns on raptors, and suddenly, we have this revelation that there used to be, you know. It's a really bitchin’ gun. It's really cool and fun to look at. Anyway, if you’re asking the geek side of me, yes, that's one of my nice moments.

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