Pioneer One, which won Best Drama at the 2010 New York Television Festival, is the first viewer-supported made-for-torrent-downloading series to air on the world wide web. In fairness, I only watched the first episode because some friends of mine were involved in creating it, and I did not have high hopes. However, the pilot episode completely hooked me. I immediately downloaded episode 2, and cannot wait for episodes 3 through 6, which are currently in production. So far, the first two episodes of the show have been downloaded nearly 2 million times!
Here is a synopsis of the pilot episode from vodo.net: "An object in the sky spreads radiation over North America. Fearing terrorism, U.S. Homeland Security agents are dispatched to investigate and contain the damage. What they discover will have drastic implications."
I found the story to be creative and surprising. It holds true to the sci-fi genre as a show that tests the limits of what may or may not be possible, yet falls into the category of somewhat plausible, if you're willing to let your imagination go just a little bit. A preview of some key topics that might interest sci-fi buffs: Mars, Soviet Union, Cosmonauts...
For more information, visit Pioneer One's facebook page, or this fan-created blog.
The Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is located at 126 Crosby Street in SoHo.
The Q & A session with writer Josh Bernhard and director Bracey Smith, following tonight's screening, was very interesting and informative. The screening drew a sizable crowd and filled the cafe. It was also attended by a majority of the show's actors, who sat in the audience and were available to ask and respond to questions, and many of whom mingled with fans after the show.
I learned that the creators consider the genre of the show to be more "science-faction" than science fiction (a term I believe they said was coined by a fan), because the audience will probably never see any "little green men" in the series. Four episodes have been shot so far, with six total episodes planned for the first season. Expect the next two episodes, 3 & 4, to come out sometime around mid to late March. Unlike some other competing shows, Josh told us that there is a strong, complete plot idea for how the story will unfold, and 5 total seasons have been planned to round out the full story. One girl in the audience asked whether two of the main characters, Tom Taylor and Sofie Larson (played by James Rich and Alexandra Blatt), will ever get together romantically, but the creators were mum.
Some other fun facts I learned were that there is already fan fiction out in cyberspace, and that some fans have even taken it upon themselves to translate the show into various languages, approximately 20 so far. Download subtitled versions of the show here.
Left: Bracey Smith
Right: Josh Bernhard
Right: Josh Bernhard
Actors James Rich ("Tom Taylor") and Guy Wegener ("Vernon") listen intently to the Q & A session.