Thursday, 5 May 2011

Message to the Naysayers

I've been doing some thinking recently about the Pioneer One naysayers. This was brought to a head by me finding a hitherto unknown-to-me P1 "fan" community on Orkut. This section is a Brazilian forum for discussing P1. When I joined last week there were already 700 members, and this currently stands at 713. When I saw this I got excited, although none of it was in English. After a few trips to Google Translate, I found however an enormous amount of negative comments, and indeed posting a link to this blog resulted in some negative feedback. Whilst, of course, everyone is entitled to their opinions, I couldn't quite work out why people would spend time returning to a site to slag something off repeatedly. I've seen plenty of online web series that I don't like, and I just stopped watching them (and TV - Heroes season 3 anyone?).

Anyway a lot of this negativity seems to float around two points, the first is that the plot is too slow and/or not Science Fictiony enough. Again, each to their own, but I find the slow plot a plus, and as I've said before, more like a novel than a conventional action packed drama. The second, that it doesn't contain enough SF elements is something the creators have always admitted up front: its just that nobody really listened. P1 is an interesting and relatively rare blend of SF, procedural and political drama, and for some people just don't like their genres blended.

The second criticism is in the quality of the production, pacing, acting etc. I can't find the comment now, but I saw something online that went along the lines of "It's not as good as Lost, is it?" This inane comment got me thinking: how does P1 stand up to Lost when adjusted for budget? I did some back of the envelope calculations regarding the costs involved in Pioneer One comapared to Lost:

Lost's pilot lasted approximately 90 minutes and cost $12 million, thats $133333 per minute of screen time.

P1's pilot was 35 minutes long and cost $6000, that's $171 per minute of screen time.

This makes Lost 780 times more expensive by my calculations.

Now I ask you if you think Lost is 780 times a better show than P1? I would say a resounding no. Now I know I've picked the most expensive pilot of all time (so much so the executive who greenlit it was sacked), but you see my point.

Pioneer One is made by people who stopped talking about how they were going to make it big one day, got off their arses and actually did something.; for this alone they should be supported.


  1. Hear hear! It infuriates me when people compare a high-budget major studio production to a self-financed indie production. P1 is great entertainment value and it seems to be getting better and better as it goes along.

    Incidentally, I find the acting of excellent quality - especially Tom and Sophie. Very well casted.

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  3. Naysayers = cost of doing business. If everyone liked us we'd be doing it wrong. And we can dish it too:

    (Surprised we didn't get any comments about that one!)

    Thanks for the support guys!