Futuristic Movie Month: "Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome" Review

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The adventures of young William Adama in the First Cylon War.
3.5

Rating: UR
Length: 91 minutes
Release Date: Nov. 9, 2012
Directed by: Jonas Pate
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi

"Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome" is a 2012 TV movie by director Jonas Pate. The film is designed as a prequel to the extremely popular "Battlestar Galactica" television reboot and follows a young William Adama. At the beginning of the film, Adama has just joined the fleet as an ensign. Wide-eyed and determined to become a sterling member of humanity's last hope to survive the Cylon menace, Adama is in for an adventure that is darker and more challenging than he ever could have imagined. The young soldier's idealism is tested almost as soon as he is granted his position within the fleet.

While Adama hoped to be assigned to a fighter so he could begin fighting the Cylons and putting his training to use right away, his first assignment is to a lowly freighter. A young Lt. Coker Fasjovic is assigned as his co-pilot and the man is far from eager to have such a young and inexperienced partner. Fasjovic himself is on the verge of retirement and wants nothing more than an uneventful end to his career. The freighter's mission is a simple one, involving the transport of Dr. Becca Kelly, a brilliant civilian scientist. Once the freighter takes off, the crew's human cargo unveils a startling change of plans.

When Dr. Kelly turns out to be on a secret mission that even some of the highest ranking members of the fleet are unaware of, Adama and Fasjovic find the entire weight of humanity rests on their shoulders. The doctor is secretive about the details of her mission at first, but she gradually warms up to the naïve yet earnest Ensign Adama. Unfortunately for all of them, the doctor's mission involves journeying deep into a Cylon controlled territory. Adama is quickly thrown a major curve ball as he is forced to determine whether he is courageous enough to risk his life for a mission he doesn't even have clearance to understand.

"Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome" is a welcome addition to the franchise for most "Battlestar Galactica" fans. While the long-running series featured numerous seasons, the final episodes still left many concepts within the series open to interpretation. This made-for-TV film helps tie up loose ends left by the series and provides a deeper backstory for one of the series' most beloved characters. The movie has received positive reviews from fans and critics alike, earning accolades for its portrayal of the young William Adama.

Luke Pasqualino stars as Adama and brings a refreshingly youthful aspect to the character. Throughout the television series, Adama was portrayed as a somber man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Moments of nostalgia served as a glimpse into his personality before the horrors of war jaded him, but "Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome" is the first true glimpse into his life at the beginning of his career and before his marriage and family. Pasqualino delivers Adama's sense of humor with perfect timing and brilliantly portrays his slow progression to maturity.

Ben Cotton is exemplary as Coker Fasjovik, portraying the cantankerous co-pilot flawlessly. Fasjovik serves as the flat man to Adama's cheerful and optimistic ways, always providing a bit of realistic pessimism at the right moments. He is also the first to see that their mission may not be exactly what it seems, and to recognize that their strange passenger may not be who she claims to be either. Lili Bordán is also notable for her performance as the enigmatic Dr. Kelly, and her presence brings some much needed life to the dark and cruel atmosphere of deep space.

"Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome" is a film that no "Battlestar Galactica" fan should miss. From start to finish, the prequel feels like a missing piece that has fallen into place with the television series. Although this is not the first movie made to accompany the show, it is by far the crown jewel in terms of production values, acting and story. The movie manages to add more detail to the show, but still have the ability to stand on its own.

Due to the fact that "Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome" is a prequel that manages to withhold any major spoilers about the show, it makes an excellent introduction to the world of "Battlestar Galactica." Even separated from its context within the series, this film is an excellent addition to the sci-fi genre. While there are plenty of futuristic technologies and a grand-scale battle between man and machine to satisfy sci-fi purists, the strong focus on character development truly sets this movie apart from the rest.