[EDITOR'S NOTE: It is the policy of Republibot to showcase Fan Films and the Fan Film Community without actually critiquing the films themselves. It's unfair to judge amateur episodes by the standards of TV and Movies, or even in relation to each other. Fan Films are products of love and some fanaticism, and saying "This ain't as good as that one where someone drives over that Jar Jar gets hit by a car" misses the point.
HOWEVER: there are now several *Original* web series running, and while these share the basic production methods of Fan Films, they are very clearly *not* Fan Films. We *will* be reviewing these, but obviously we're going to be using a sliding scale, the nature of which we'll be making up as we go along.]
The new web series ‘Pioneer One’ is interesting for two reasons: The pilot 35 minute episode coast only $6,000.00 and was funded by donations to the micro financing web site Kickstarter.com. The second reason is it has an intriguing premise.
The episode starts with a CGI shot of Earth from high orbit, a cloudless North America is seen at night with its ribbons of light marking the cities and towns of the US and Canada. As the Earth grows larger we hear a voice over talking about 'pivot points' in history. How most are born of war where people speak of how the world was before and after the war. Other pivot points are like man landing on the Moon, the voice states they were not thinking of these things and they just did what they thought was right.
A shot of a spiral staircase with the sounds of an unseen person walking down the steps a graphic identifies the location as Goldstone Observatory: Sky Sweeper Astrological Survey. Note the error in the name 'astrological' instead of 'astronomical.' An older man enters a work area and we hear what appear to be two grad students - boy and girl - yammering about resumes. Off screen we hear the older man say “That’s weird.” The male student states that is one of the things you do not want to hear at an observatory.
After being called over to a work station the older man and the two students determine that an unknown manmade object is approaching Earth from deep space.
Now, normally I would continue my play by play but this time I am not going too. I want people to watch this series. It’s free to download and there are streaming options. It is no secret that the object turns out to be an old Soviet spacecraft and the pilot turns out to be a young man that claims to have been born on Mars and a survivor of a secret Soviet Mars mission.
I want people to watch this series so as to encourage this new medium of web-based TV shows and movies. With a small budget the producers here have created a science fiction story that is both smart and believable. The cost of the first episode is probably less than what SyFy spends on catering on shows like Warehouse 13 and Eureka.
Those of us that wish to see good intelligent science fiction must support quality concepts like ‘Pioneer One’ if not with money than at lest with showing our interest by viewing the show.
Links to downloading and view Pioneer One:
Link to Kickstarter.com