Technology is what might help the Cylons win, but it also is bringing those dastardly robots back bigger and badder than ever.
Syfy has given the thumbs up to “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome” for a two-hour backdoor pilot movie spearheaded by “Battlestar Galactica” executive producer David Eick, and marking the return of popular BSG writers Bradley Thompson, David Weddle and Michael Taylor to the franchise.
The show was originally designed to be a 10-episode, 10-minute length web series. However, it has since evolved into a television project, which takes place 40 years before “Battlestar Galactica,” and features the first Cylon War. It will be shot completely with virtual sets and backdrops, much like “Sanctuary” is now for Syfy. The crew will use scans of the “Battlestar” set made just before the sets were dismantled a couple years ago in Vancouver.
Having more “Battlestar Galactica” is great. However, it may actually be bad news for “Caprica” fans. That show, the first “Battlestar” prequel, has struggled in the ratings from the start. The idea to push forward with “Blood & Chrome” first came to light earlier this year, which some believed was a reaction by Syfy to how non-action sequences found in “Caprica” was just not drawing the audience the network had hoped.
If that is true, then it’s likely Syfy may be trying to continue the franchise in a different way — one that is telling backstory, but at the same time, adding action and special effects again. That means “Caprica” would be on its way out.
There had been tremendous hope that Syfy would allow “Caprica” time to grow and evolve, while looking to bring in new viewers. However, the back half of Season 1 has been frustrating for the network, especially as it loses a large portion of its “Stargate: Universe” lead-in — a show itself struggling in the ratings.
But not all hope is lost. It is possible for Syfy to maintain both series at the same time, although it may create some viewer confusion in terms of timelines and the such. And both shows will have to make every effort to make sure they don’t step on each other, especially in terms of continuity. Those two factors alone support the belief that “Blood & Chrome” will replace “Caprica” on the schedule even more.
Jane Espenson, an executive producer of “Caprica” who was the showrunner for the first 10 episodes, praised the “Blood & Chrome” pickup.
“Syfy picking up [the] BSG prequel ‘Blood & Chrome’ is a very good thing,” Espenson said on her Twitter account. “The parts of the franchise [‘Caprica’ and ‘Blood & Chrome’] bolster each other.”
The show will feature Ensign William Adama, a recent academy graduate, who gets assigned to the Galactica. It’s not clear if Syfy is looking to bring back Nico Cortez, who played the younger Adama in the “Battlestar Galactica” telemovie “Razor.” Cortez has since appeared in NBC’s “Chuck” and is set to appear as “Jo’s Dad” in the Syfy series “Eureka,” so it does seem like he’s available.
The greenlight of a pilot doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a series. Ratings, of course, will dictate if fans will get to see more of “Blood & Chrome,” or if it will just be a short chapter in the overall experience.
“While maintaining the themes of politics, social propaganda, and the timeless question, What does it mean to be human? ‘Blood & Chrome’ will also return us to the authentic, relentless depiction of combat and the agony and ecstasy of human-Cylon war, which was the hallmark of ‘Battlestar Galactica’s’ early seasons,” Eick said in a release.
Ronald D. Moore, the showrunner and developed of the modern “Battlestar Galactica” concept, will not have a direct role in the new series.
Syfy is expected to also make a decision about the fate of “Caprica” in the next two weeks.