Okay, that headline might be a little unfair, but my brain tends to chafe whenever it founds out that something was shot entirely on green screen soundstages, with backgrounds added in later via computer wizardry. Very few pieces of entertainment get this right, and that’s often only if you have a soft spot for Max Fleischer’s old Superman cartoons. The teaser-trailer for Syfy’s new “Battlestar Galactica” spin-off, “Blood & Chrome,” which stealthily premiered at WonderCon last weekend, certainly looks like it might utilize this technique to greater effect than George Lucas’ so-ugly-because-they’re-so-pretty Star Wars prequels. Then again, everything moves by too fast, making the backgrounds nearly impossible to see. Save for that opening shot, whose hinkiness is clearly being washed-out in post.
The idea of using stills from the earlier show to fill in all that green is the most troubling aspect, but if that’s the only way “Blood & Chrome” gets to exist, then anything is fair play. But some of the best moments on BSG are just two people walking and talking through the ship’s labyrinthine corridors, because they were really walking and talking through at least one real corridor. That just won’t be possible here.
The pilfering of questionable ideas doesn’t stop there, as the trailer uses Trent Reznor’s and Karen O’s cover of “Immigrant Song” from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (or, from The Muppets if you want to get cheeky). It’s an obviously effective song in its own right, but did they have to mimick even the editing style of the aforementioned trailers? Assuming the video below hasn’t been pulled like so many others, check it out below (or, go to IO9 , who has had an unembeddable version up since Tuesday):
It definitely looks more engaging than Syfy’s previous attempt to milk the BSG franchise for all its worth. I’ve yet to take the plunge into “Caprica” and that’s mostly because I just finished “Battlestar.” I still need time to decompress. But, really, besides the naked first Ann Veal on all of the marketing materials, the premise doesn’t do much for me. On the other hand, a show about Bill “Husker” Adama in the days of the First Cylon War sounds pretty damn fun. Sadly, there’s still no word on when the pilot episode will appear, or even if the series will be broadcast on the network or be only available online. Frankly, I’ll probably watch it online (legally) days after the episodes initially air/upload, no matter what they do.
Entertainment Weekly is reporting that “Blood & Chrome” will indeed be a web series rather than a Syfy original joint, but that the pilot will air on the network at a still unspecified future date. So… yay?
Before I forget, in my cruising for a suitable video, I stumbled across concept art for possible Cylons in “Blood & Chrome” that might even be more intriguing than the above teaser:
Obviously, this is before the frakkin’ toasters perfected the design with Caprica Six:
So say we all?
Rob Payne also writes the comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his ware can be purchased here (if you’re into that sort of thing). He finds it oddly appropriate that Syfy would be so lazy to rip-off both CGI backgrounds and its title from Starz’s “Spartacus: Blood and Sand.”