Review: The ice of the Battlestar Galactica – Blood & Chrome Blu-ray

Blood & Chrome is the story of Bill Adama’s first missions aboard Galactica.

At the beginning of his career, he’s around for a major turning point in the war, and it builds a major part of his future characterization.

That was the beauty of the series when watching it online. Knowing where Adama is going through Razor and BSG itself, it’s really easy to see that character here, and imagine his progression through those stories.

Not all of the rest of the characters are entirely likable, but that’s part of the charm of Battlestar Galactica, and despite the rough edges on pretty much everyone, the parts are well performed.

The real shine of the series, however, comes in on the visuals, which fall on par with, and in some places surpass, the Battlestar Galactica series in both style and quality. The hand-held-but-not-shaky camera style is here, and the dark silence of space with hints of hulking things is in abundance. The first thing to note is that this very much feels like the BSG universe we know from the main show, rather than the one we know from the more heavy-handed and slower Caprica, despite being a sort of cross-section of the worlds. This is the part of the back-story that is most interesting. Personally, I would be ecstatic if I learned a new series would be made in this setting, something that would expand this story and Razor.

The Blu-ray really showcases these visuals well, and knowing that every scene in the show was done on green-screen just makes everything all the more impressive. I was concerned that the higher visual fidelity of the Blu-ray would show some of the green seams, but there was really only one scene that looked less impressive on my television that it did watching on my computer over the last few months. The ice-cave snake-monster attack looks a little janky. The snake is not as well painted as it could be, and it makes the scene just a little silly, but that’s only a small, nearly insignificant action sequence, and the beauty of the rest of the film, from the interior Galactica shots to the space combat to the adventures on the snow-world, all looks fantastic.

The Blu-ray is also packaged with several special features, as one would expect. There is a feature on the special effects, which show off a lot of the stuff behind the curtain of the show, and makes even more impressive the great feats that they were able to pull off with green-screens, as well as how tough it must have been for the actors, considering they never got a real set to act upon. More than that though, the feature does a good job of showing the pure enthusiasm that everyone working on the show has for it, and how much of a BSG fan they all are. It was really a labor of love for many of them.

There are also 11 deleted scenes which add up to about another half-hour of material in the story, including another entire mission for our protagonists, a “snowball run” that has Bill taking out a pair of Cylon SAMs in a very arrogant way, of course. It actually is his most arrogant moment, and is the one time that his skill and arrogance almost backfire, putting his and Coker’s lives in real danger. It would have been a nice bit of character development to leave in. We also get a bit more from Toth, a character who was left a bit underdeveloped in the series itself. It seems there was more planned for him, which was left on the cutting room floor.

In the end, this Blu-ray is the best way to enjoy one of the best BSG stories ever made, and a disc every Battlestar Galactica fan needs on their shelf.

Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chromeis out on Blu-ray now.