“Ron’s involvement vacillated so there was less consistency and less reliability and, as we shored up his absence, I don’t think the people we had in place to do that were the right people, to be totally frank,” he told Slashfilm. “And I think there were maybe some questionable casting decisions with that one.”

The first of the spinoffs was Caprica, a prequel set 50 years before the events of Battlestar Galactica. Where the BSG reboot series focused on a single mission — humans getting to fabled planet Earth after the Cylons destroyed the Twelve Colonies — Caprica takes a wide approach. Subjects ranged from the effects of capitalism to immigration to advanced technology to religion.

For Eick, this wide range of topics compounded a failure of the new creative to team to live up to Ronald D. Moore’s high-minded approach. “I think there were people trying to emulate when Ron would get really hippie-dippy metaphysical with Battlestar, and then sometimes it’d get a little wobbly,” he said. “When you don’t have his high-wire act ability — which is, let’s say, successful more often than it isn’t — and you’re trying to emulate it, it can become mush really quick. Just like, ‘What are you talking about here?’ So we ran into that buzzsaw.”

The Sci-Fi Channel (now called SyFy) canceled Caprica after ten episodes, not even airing the remaining four filmed. Embarrassing as that failure was, the next prequel did even worse.

Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome takes place during the first Cylon/human war, a few decades before the destruction of the Colonies in Battlestar Galactica. Unlike Caprica, Blood and Chrome did have not just a single focus, but it did have a familiar character, the young William Adama (Edward James Olmos in BSG, Luke Pasqualino in Blood and Chrome). However, Blood and Chrome lasted just one episode before Sci-Fi pulled the plug.

While Eick’s observations make sense, they are a bit ironic given his revelations about the production of the mainline series. In Slashfilm’s retrospective oral history about the final season of BSG, Eick and others reveal the messy process of creating the original hit show. The series started as a two-episode miniseries, presented as a stand-alone on Sci-Fi, but Eick “advised Ron [Moore] — and he had not an iota of resistance — to write it, shoot it, cut it like it’s a pilot. Don’t have any illusions about it.”

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