20100622

Pioneer One review

Update 20100702: Looks like they've managed to get over US$20,000 in donations. We have some science fiction to look forward to then.

I watched the pilot for the "made for torrent" scifi drama Pioneer One. It's quite short at just over 35 minutes, and it's available for free/percuma/gratis under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike license. You can either watch it via streaming above, or download it from their website. If you like it, do consider donating to them so that more episodes can be made. As of the time I'm writing they've managed to get just over US$10,000 from donations.

SPOILERS AHEAD! As far as the story goes, it is intriguing enough (as befits a science fiction drama): An object descends from space and explodes, raining radiation over Montana. A pair of DHS agents are assigned to investigate. They discover a survivor wearing a flight suit with Soviet insignia. They also discover that he is apparently the child of Soviet cosmonauts who have been living on Mars since the mid-1980s. Decent enough, no? But …

The shaky cam has got to go. If done well it can be a plus but here it does nothing to help tell the story and only served to distract and annoy me.

Also, who are these people? After 35 minutes I don't even know the characters' names! I'm sure they're mentioned at some point in that 35 minutes (I hope) but for the life of me I cannot remember if they did. That tells me that they didn't manage to make me care enough about the characters to remember their names or to listen when they talk. That is not a good thing. I don't know whose fault that is, whether it is the writing, directing, or acting but it needs to be fixed.

For the time being, the story (and the fact that it is legally available for free online) is enough to keep me watching the next few episodes just to see if the show improves. I really hope it does because you can never have too much science fiction.

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