"Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome" is second spinoff of Syfy series, now on YouTube
Executive producer David Eick explains that 10-part pilot was always meant to run online
Series centers around the early years of Cmdr. William Adama
Actor Luke Pasqualino would be "100%" on board to continue the series
“Battlestar Galactica,” Syfy’s reimagining of the 1978 TV series, stands as one of the most successful sci-fi franchises of the past decade.
Once the critically acclaimed show ended its run in 2009, fan interest in more adventures didn’t waver.
Unfortunately, the first spinoff, “Caprica,” only lasted one season, but another potential series, “Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome,” showed promise.
Now, more than two years since “Caprica” ended, fans are finally able to see the pilot for “Blood and Chrome” on YouTube’s Machinima Network (eight parts have been posted).
CNN spoke to executive producer David Eick and actor Luke Pasqualino (who stars as a younger version of Edward James Olmos’ character, Cmdr. William Adama) about the new series.
CNN: Why Adama?
David Eick: When posed with the opportunity of creating new stories in the “Battlestar Galactica” universe, I chose Adama because he remained the most mystifying character.
There was his relentless hatred of the Cylons, his equally unwavering commitment and loyalty to friendships – even at the point of being at the expense of blood relations. There’s things about Adama that you got hints of in “Battlestar,” but there were a lot of questions that remained unanswered.
CNN: Do you see this as a show that is mostly for “BSG” fans or an entry point for new viewers?
Eick: Once you call it “Battlestar Galactica” in any way, shape or form, you’re quite deliberately attempting to attract fans of the show. One of the regrets that we had about “Caprica” is that we were so intent on carving it out for a new audience that in the marketing of it, we strayed too far away from its lineage. Had we done it over again, I would call it “Battlestar Galactica: Caprica.” At the same time, I firmly believe that if you never saw an episode of “Battlestar,” you could plop right into this thing and completely get it and enjoy it.
CNN: Was this ever seen as a “backdoor pilot,” where it might conceivably end up on TV?
Eick: It always originated as an online series. There was some confusion in the press when Syfy was toying for a period of time, with possibly launching it on-air first. When they went back to the plan of launching it online, there was a backlash, like “Ooh, Syfy doesn’t pick up pilot.” That was ridiculous, as it was never intended to be that.
The deeper answer is that anyone who’s worked with Syfy knows, there’s no such thing as a finite, hardcore game plan when it comes to this stuff. “Caprica” premiered on Blu-Ray, then went on air. The conversation is ongoing, and at a certain point, as a creator you have to step out of it. I don’t think it’s specific to Syfy. It’s the nature of genre storytelling when you have a variety of options to distribute it. At a certain point, as a creator, you’ll go crazy if you worry too much about it.
CNN: Is there a possibility for a season two?
Eick: Like any premiere, we’re waiting for feedback. The context of success and failure is completely alien to me. I don’t know what constitutes a hit. If I had a show on television, I wouldn’t know what constitutes a hit anymore. It keeps changing. I don’t know what the criterion is for success. If it’s met, I suspect we’ll get into a conversation about more of them. If it’s not met, I’m sure this will make a lovely DVD keepsake for someone. I am encouraged by the powers that be that they have very high expectations for this. The buzz about it is extremely strong and loud, and we would not be foolish to get our hopes up to anticipate future storytelling.
CNN: Luke, what was it like stepping into a role created by someone like Edward James Olmos?
Luke Pasqualino: In my eyes, Edward James Olmos set the precedent. He was a great commander as William Adama. He set the bar. As an artist, we’re always looking to test ourselves in that respect. I was very delighted to have this opportunity.
CNN: I heard you watched “Caprica” once you got the role. What else did you do in preparation?
Pasqualino: One of the furthest things from my mind was watching anything Eddie had done as Adama. He’s playing him at a much later stage, and you change so much in 20 years, I think you’re a completely different person. He set the bar. I didn’t want anything that Eddie did to sway my interpretation of the character.
CNN: Were there any adjustments you had to make, knowing this was 100 minutes divided into 10 parts?
Pasqualino: The biggest adjustment I had to make was this was my first test of my American accent, so I had to get that as close to believable as possible. I feel like I did a good job overcoming that one.
It is very suspenseful, and you can get 10 or 12 minutes of wonder before watching the next one.
CNN: Let’s say this gets picked up and they decide to do multiple seasons of it. Is this the kind of role you see doing long-term?
Pasqualino: 100 percent. I don’t think there’s one person who would like to see it get picked up any more than me. I fell in love with the project. I loved the style of work. It was my first leading American role. I had the most amazing time doing it. There is so much more that this young Adama can offer. This is the kind of age period where people start to find themselves. I think Adama needs to experience some highs and lows. I think we’ve only touched the surface of his journey.