Monday, 28 February 2011

New Twitter

There is now a Twitter account attached to this blog, which I'll use to tweet each new post, if that's the way you like to do things:!/p1fansite

Friday, 25 February 2011

Exclusive Interview with Josh Bernhard

I'm very pleased to present an interview from Josh Bernhard, co-creator of Pioneer One. The last question contains some mild spoilers.

P1FS: First of all thanks for agreeing to do this interview.

JB: Sure! One of the things we were most looking forward to with doing this show was being able to have a dialogue with our viewers.

P1FS: The show ticks all the boxes for me: mystery, geekiness, retro-technology. Your approach of making the show available for free and funded from various sources is very brave; are you meeting your targets? Have you had to rethink your approach at all?

JB: Thanks, though I'm not sure I'd call it bravery! We wanted to tell this story, took stock of what resources and opportunities we had, and decided this was a way we could make it happen. And we constantly rethinking our approach. Not necessarily from the bottom up, but definitely recalibrating. Six months ago we thought we might be somewhere different by now, and six months before that we thought something else entirely. We've exceeded some of our target goals and fallen short on some others. But after the first two releases we have a much better idea of how to use our resources most effectively, and that's affecting how we're moving forward.

P1FS: I heard in an interview recently that you see more of an affinity with TV shows like the Green Wing [JB: West Wing I think we had mentioned, GW is the hospital show yeah?][P1FS: Yes, I'm going to quote Homer Simpson here: "Doh!"] and I think 24 than with the usual suspects like the X-Files and Fringe. How happy are you with the label of 'Science Fiction', with all the baggage that this brings?

JB: I have absolutely no problem with being labeled science fiction, it's just not the first label I'd slap on the package. And that's not dithering, because I think to do so would create false expectations of what the show is going to be. We just want to make sure that "Mars" and "space" are not all somebody hears before they stop listening, because the premise, while a little high concept, is really more of a launching point for the drama. I'd describe it more as a piece of speculative fiction, but people give me funny looks when I call it that so I decided to shut up!

That said, both Bracey and I have pretty strong credentials in the sci-fi department, and we're making a show that we would want to see ourselves.

P1FS: The pacing of Pioneer One seems to me to be very like a novel. Are there any particular authors or novels that have influenced Pioneer One?

JB: Thanks, that's one of the things I like about it too. Our show has a serial narrative and is more of a slow burn, and it builds to something that I think will be very satisfying.

P1FS: The central concept of the show is a really great one, how did you come by that idea? Did you decide you wanted to make a web series and get the idea, or the other way round?

JB: This is probably the question I'm worst at answering! I can't say for certain, but those who know me well have pointed out my long-standing interest in both the space program and Cold War history, so I guess it was natural that's where my head would end up.

The story came first, and this was the best way to tell it. If I thought it would work better as a one-off, we would have made it as a movie instead.

P1FS: The soundtrack to the show is beautiful. Can you tell us more about it?

JB: Thanks for asking about that! This is really a question for Bracey to answer, since wrote the signature pieces himself and is overseeing the rest of the score. We have a few composers (Felix Bird, Josh Cipolla, and Mike Sweeney) working on different sections but Bracey is very concerned with creating distinct melodies and themes that will recur throughout the show.

P1FS: There are a bunch of other web only TV series, but it seems to me that Pioneer One has been by far the most successful to date. What's your secret?

JB: That's very flattering, what gives you that impression? I guess it depends on by what measure you judge. The only thing I can say is that from the beginning we've thought of the show we're making not as a web show but as a TV show that appears primarily on the web. It might be a semantic distinction, but that's the mindset we're operating with.

The biggest boon for us in terms of exposure has probably been our distribution through VODO and our association with their DISCO Distribution Coalition. Part of what I meant earlier when I said we took stock of our resources was that we knew we had a venue to get the show out there through our relationship with VODO, which started when they distributed a movie I wrote and directed called The Lionshare. [P1FS note: hope to do a post on this in the future.]

P1FS: How are episodes 3 and 4 shaping up? Can you tell us something exclusive about the upcoming episode?


JB: Episodes 3 and 4 are both in stages of near-completion, which is why the gap between these two releases will be short. The next episode is called "Alone in the Night" and we'll be spending a lot of time with Yuri, our supposed Martian cosmonaut. Episode 4 is titled "Triangular Diplomacy" and will give us a perspective on the events of the story from the outside world.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Spoiler round up

I have posted some spoilers in the spoiler section.

I've set up a separate section for these for people who want to avoid them, but I'll always post a link on the main blog.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Q & A with Screening in NYC

I neglected/forgot to post about the screening of episode 1 in New York last night, perhaps because I was jealous that I was unable to go (I live in the UK). The blog here covers the evening here in an update towards the bottom of the post. It looked like a great event and I recommend you have a read of it.

Apparently there is some P1 fan fiction out there; if anyone can lead me to this I'll post a link.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Zachary Walzer ≈ Robert Zubrin

I have just come across this interesting titbit here. Zachary Walzer seems to be very much like a real life person Robert Zubrin. Apparently not happy with only being the lead advocate for the human settlement of Mars, he also invented three-player chess. I bet he's an interesting dinner party guest.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Another interview

Another interesting interview with Josh Bernhard here.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

What do these numbers mean?

This is worse than Lost! The final scene of episode 1 shows a lone old computer (anyone know what make it is?) at Baikonur Cosmodrome showing the following output. I've had a look at the numbers and all I can make any sense of are the bottom numbers which are clearly the grid coordinates for Calgary (the region of Nose Hill Park to be precise). This suggests to me the current location of the shuttle and it is still sending some sort of signal.

Does anyone have any idea what the other numbers might signify? Put theories in the comments, anything welcome.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Friday, 11 February 2011

Approximate episode 3 and 4 release dates announced.

The mysterious entity behind the Facebook page for Pioneer One has mentioned in a thread that the release dates of episodes 3 and 4 will be March, exact dates TBA. There are also a ton of pics in their album. You can look at them here, I think you'll need a Facebook account though.

UPDATE: New information has come to light you can see here.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Another Easter Egg

I just found another easter egg; this is from the original version of episode 1 where you see Zachary's office. There's a close up pan across his board and this is clearly visible. I think Commies from Mars is a much better name than Pioneer One (joking). What's interesting is that this is absent from the refix version with the new actor.

The state of the Russian space program

The BBC news site has a timely piece about the current state of Russian space flight, with a bit about Mars towards the end.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Episode 1 Easter Egg

I was rewatching episode 1 and realised the camera zooms in on this cartoon right near the beginning. This is the best quality I could get. The asteroid's thought bubble reads:

"Aha Puny life on Earth! You can't stop me now! Your time is up! Mu-ha-ha-ha-haaa!!"

and the caption reads:

"But what the asteroid hadn't counted on was the plucky courage and dogged tenacity of one young man. Albert Snipe asteroid hunter."

I assumed it was thematically linked to the show but now I've typed it out I'm not so sure. Maybe it's a hint at what's to come?

Monday, 7 February 2011

Some 'spoilers'

I've posted some things gleaned from the video blogs about future episodes in the Spoiler section.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Episodes and some interesting Video Blogs

You can find the episodes here, but also a number of video blogs from the creators and actors showing some 'behind the scenes' stuff, along with at least one actor who presumably will be appearing in episode 3.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

About us

This is a fan site about the web-only Science Fiction series Pioneer One. Pioneer One is freely available to watch on the net and is funded entirely through donations.

You can watch and donate here.

About the show:

A mysterious spaceship enters Earth's atmosphere, spreading radiation over hundreds of miles of rural Montana. Officials are quick to bring up the possibility of a terrorist attack, specifically the detonation of a dirty bomb, but an investigation of the debris in Canada uncovers a live human being in a Soviet space suit in an unstable condition. A note handwritten in Russian found at the crash site says that the man is the child of cosmonauts living at a base on Mars.

If that doesn't sound interesting to you then move along.

Episode 1

This is a place holder for a synopsis of Episode 1

Interview with creators of Pioneer One

A very informative in depth interview with Josh Bernhard and Bracey Smith, the creators of Pioneer One here.

First Post


I'm planning this to be a fan site about the internet only Science Fiction series Pioneer One. As far as I can see there aren't any fan sites yet, so we'll see how this goes.