Pioneer One (2010) HD

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Pioneer One

A mysterious spaceship has entered Earth's atmosphere. A US Department of Homeland Security investigation has uncovered a live human being in a Soviet space suit in an unstable condition. A note in Russian, found at the crash site, claims the man is the child of cosmonauts living at a base on Mars.

Download Season 1 - All Episodes (720p Matroska)
Download Season 1 - All Episodes (Standard Definition Xvid)

Episode 6: "War of the World"

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Taylor prepares to go to the public with Yuri's story, and everyone discovers the consequences of their actions in the conclusion to Pioneer One's first season.

Pioneer One is a serialized drama produced and distributed online through VODO and the DISCO network. Downloaded almost 2,000,000 times and winner for Best Drama Pilot at the 2010 New York Television Festival, the show is independently produced and financed by viewer donations.

Episode 5: "Sea Change"

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When an unannounced visitor breaks in to the Calgary base with just days left in the Quarantine, tensions are at an all-time high. The fate of Yuri and everyone on Tom Taylor's team is about to be decided.

Episode 4: "Triangular Diplomacy"

As the media begins to question the story about the crashed satellite, Secretary McClellan starts to play hardball with the Russians in pursuit of his own truth. But everything hinges on what Yuri, the frightened boy at the center of it all, might have to say…

Download Episode 4 (720p Matroska)
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Download Episode 4 (Standard Definition Theora)

Episode 3: "Alone in the Night"

Quarantined to the Calgary base for two weeks, Taylor and his team have bought time to get answers from the supposed Martian cosmonaut. But who can get him to talk?

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Download Episode 3 (Mobile/iPhone H.264)

Episode 2: "The Man From Mars"

Mars expert Dr. Zachary Walzer (Jack Haley) fights to prove the validity of the Mars story. Can he convince the government to mount a manned mission to Mars? Agent in charge Tom Taylor (James Rich) faces pressure from both the Canadians and his own superiors, and has to make a call.

Download Episode 2 (720p Matroska)
Download Episode 2 (Standard Definition Xvid)
Download Episode 2 (Mobile/iPhone H.264)

Episode 1: "Earthfall" (Pilot)

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.

Download Episode 1 (720p Matroska)
Download Episode 1 (Standard Definition Xvid)
Download Episode 1 (Mobile/iPhone H.264)

The Pioneer One Team

In late January 2010, writer Josh Bernhard pitched his Untitled Mars Show idea to director Bracey Smith. In February, the pair quit their jobs and got down to work on the pilot episode of Pioneer One, finished by May with a budget of $6000. The enormous response to its release on VODO prompted them to continue producing the first season with viewer-donated support.
The Pioneer One team is based mostly in and around New York, NY. At its core is a group of filmmakers who met at the avant-garde cinema department at Binghamton University in Binghamton, NY. With P1, they've amassed an amazing group of talented performers and crew, all willing to work for free because of their belief in the project.

Pioneer One

  • At 22:04 on 14 Dec 2010

    Episode One: This 35-minute sci-fi pilot revolves around the discovery of an object from space, a lost cosmonaut and the U.S. government’s efforts to contain the situation. The production values are impressive given the low budget, and the scripting, acting and direction are solid. If you enjoyed the slightly talky but eerie Quatermass series, Pioneer One would probably be right up your alley.

  • At 19:42 on 23 Apr 2011

    Here’s a bold statement: episode three of Pioneer One may go down in history as one of the most program-revolutionizing episodes in a series, ever. In this episode we saw a complete gear shift – characters were fleshed out and brought to life in a hitherto unexplored fashion, giving far more depth to the show on the whole. The actors, whether under some adjustment of direction or simply achieving comfort in their roles, seemed to blossom and take a giant step forward towards achieving their potential. In some cases, such potential was revealed where it had previously not been clear. Before I go any further into my review, I must disclose two things. First, this review does contain spoilers, and I will not clearly label them. So if you have not yet watched it, stop reading and stream/download it now – then proceed. Second, unlike with the previous two episodes I was completely sober when watching this third installment. See? No need for an intervention. I have already lauded the character development and acting in this episode, and these elements will comprise the bulk of this review. Why? Because the story was not greatly advanced. Plot took a back seat to “getting to know you”, and this is more or less OK. The end result was an episode that was thoroughly engaging regardless. My only concern is that what plot was advanced seemed to be mostly sub-plot – and I would hate to see the primary storyline diluted by too much flotsam and jetsam. There was nothing inherently bad about these asides and incidentals. However, some struck me hit or miss. Some I am fairly certain will have a major impact on future episodes. Time will tell. One example of such hit or miss storytelling was the puzzling glimpse into Tom Taylor’s personal life. After a cursory and somewhat clumsy conversation between Tom and Dr. Walzer about Walzer’s failed marriage, Tom was suddenly desperate to escape quarantine to go to his rather impatient and mostly unlovable significant other to pop the question. No doubt this was intended to grip us, as it was left a cliffhanger, but it seemed so hastily thrown-together as to feel like a non-sequitur. I found myself not the least bit emotionally involved in the scenario. And while I’m speaking of Tom Taylor, let me state that while your mileage may vary, to me he went from being one of the most, if not the most, likable characters on the show to something of an unsympathetic dick. It’s the only character whose progression, in my opinion, ended up a regression. Case in point: in this episode he delivered the worst pep talk in history to a distraught Jane Campbell when she was doubting her suitability as companion to the stricken “Martian boy”, Yuri. His idea of motivation was to tell her, “Sure, there are tons of people who are better than you. But you’re the one we’re stuck with, m’kay?” Now, I have already pointed out that he seems unprepared and unsure of how to handle the situation in which he’s at the helm. Understandable. Maybe that sequence was intended to underline this. And, while I’m proposing excuses, maybe the whole rush-to-marriage-proposal thing was meant to illustrate how fed up he is with being in charge. Maybe his sudden desperation to escape quarantine was, whatever his ultimate motive for so doing, more or less symbolic of his need to escape the turn his life has suddenly taken. But at this juncture you may be asking yourself, unless you were good enough to watch the episode before reading this review, “Who is Jane?”. She’s a new character brought abruptly onto the scene to help keep Yuri company, and to perhaps elicit from him some intelligible responses to the inevitable onslaught of questioning to which he’ll be subjected when he’s recovered more. In a nutshell, she’s a nurse who’s experienced working with sick kids, and she happens to have a passable grasp of the Russian language. (Though this was never fully illustrated.) She is, quite simply, the most stunning element of the show thus far, and if the preview of episode four is to believed, she will (thankfully) play a much larger role in plot to come. She is well and believably acted, but more importantly, she’s identifiable and you cannot help but relate to her on any of a number of levels. And for my money the best scene in the entire series thus far is her attempt at storytelling, guiding the clearly frightened and suffering Yuri through a little good old-fashioned escapism. It wasn’t not the first time someone reached out to him with a personal touch – more on that in a bit – but it’s the most touching outreach. Combining a simple fairy tale with something I can only describe as interpretive dance (and this is the only time you’ll ever hear me mention interpretive dance in a positive light), she came across as graceful, almost ethereal, and you couldn’t help but fall in love. And, for what it’s worth, it was one of the least choreographed-looking dance sequences I can recall seeing in TV or film. The end result was a totally organic scene. Since we’re on the topic of reaching out to Yuri, let’s discuss the brief but important conversation Dr. Walzer had with the young lad. Walzer veered sharply from his Vizzini-esque path in this episode, becoming someone it’s possible to truly like. During his little chat with Yuri we saw a side of him that’s not yet been highlighted. We were given a chance to better understand what motivates him. And the show is better for having one of its central characters clearly explained. But that’s not the only case of “meet and greet” with already-established players. Remember the guy with the emo haircut? Turns out he’s not so much emo, but actually just a nerd, and a fun nerd, at that. (He never stood a chance at being hip; he was named after Adlai Stevenson.) Why it took three episodes to learn more about him I can only speculate – however, getting to know him brings about another layer of polish and greater chance of immersion to the series. Perhaps it’s coincidental that it was Jane who brought him out of his shell. Then again, maybe not. One last instance of character development, as well as a shining example of acting vastly improved from the previous episode, came in the form of the Canadian liaison, whose acting was stiff and actually distracting in episode two. In this episode, however, we were shown more of his character – a character who continues to assert his importance to Tom verbally, but more or less rolls over when told. And finally, this was brought to life with better-delivered dialog and body language. Hell, he even made a witty remark. A vast improvement. “Vast improvement” is actually the key phrase when it comes to the entirety of episode three. And considering Pioneer One was a solid show to begin with, that’s a feat. As I pointed out in my review of the first two episodes Pioneer One began with much room for growth. It has made good on its promise and grown. I am greatly looking forward to episode four and hope you’ll join me both in watching it when it’s released, and in reading my future reviews of the series.

  • At 16:42 on 15 Mar 2012

    Today we’re revisiting a series that I kinda gushed over last year. Since reviewing the pilot, Pioneer One has since been able to crowdfund five more episodes for six in total, they won the drama category for 2010′s NYTVF (and should’ve won pretty much everything else. Illuminati Brothers? Greg And Donny? Really?), and their first two episodes as of January 2011 received over 1.7 million downloads. So, for the equivalent of an hour-long television pilot, they had more viewers than either of the first two season premieres of Breaking Bad. According to their blog, it sounds like creator Josh Bernhard and director Bracey Smith are tiring of discussion over their novel distribution methods—hint: torrents are effective! I’ll skip that. Let’s talk the show itself. Are you watching it? You should be. You should be talking about it. When people say, “there’s nothing good on the web,” or “you can’t do drama on the web,” you point them directly to this series and you say, “shut up.” With each episode, small revelations, things that on the surface appear mundane, have major and lasting consequences. A single word near the end of Episode 4 (by this time, our running time is deep into TV Miniseries lengths) and with no shocked response, no intense musical cues, everything you thought about the series changes. Political intrigue is shown through devil-in-the-details moments, from using old immigration agreements and laws as ammunition for forcing the Russians into backing down to simply not answering the phone until they’re damn good and ready to buy time. Humanity shown through old clips of a character begging Congress for funding to go to Mars because “it’s the next step,” and the power of simple human contact for someone who may have never felt it before. We talk a big game about the web overtaking TV, about the creative freedom it provides. And while only a semi-full picture of its ratings are known for the first two episodes, less than 1,500 people have watched Pioneer One‘s fourth episode on YouTube, released on October 4th, 2011. You want us to overtake TV? You want to talk about how it can provide something that TV never could or would? Viewers are gonna have to do better than that. We’re going to have to have the balls to bring it up at the water cooler. We’re going to need to be willing to discuss it at least the way we would a Sundance film. We need to take the “just” out of “it’s just on the web.” When someone produces something that at its core stands up against anything on any medium, we as advocates for our particular medium better step up. Not just for a pilot. But continuous. I’m not going to lie — that Pioneer One‘s producers are unable to make this their full time, somewhat lucrative job pisses me off. Doubly so because I’m partly to blame. I forgot about them. I talked it up but I didn’t champion it. It was only through dumb luck talking with Marc a week or two ago that I was reminded about the series. They’ve made it on the summer issue of Moviemaker Magazine. They won best drama pilot in 2010 for NYTVF. I gave it a full on, no-strings-attached win review. What more do you want, a cookie for watching? Fine, I’ll start baking. We want great dramas on the web, ones that are independently made and don’t sink to the lowest common denominator? We only need to get up off our asses and watch and talk about the ones that’re already here to those who don’t necessarily watch series on the web. It’s entirely that simple.


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on July 18, 2011 at 10:09pm

Seriously, no reactions? I am somewhat disappointed.


on July 21, 2011 at 4:29am

See below!


on July 18, 2011 at 2:37am

I like the story so far, I feel it's building toward a great revelation. Can't wait!


on July 12, 2011 at 7:27pm

Is there any Pioneer One artwork that we can use for fan art?

Looking forward to episode 5.


on July 22, 2011 at 11:19pm

I'll talk to our art director!


on August 18, 2011 at 5:15pm


Drop me a line and I'll send you whatever pieces you'd like to use :)

Art Director Pioneer One
(email link on site)


on July 10, 2011 at 1:33am

CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE TO COME OUT! thanks for sharing!


on July 09, 2011 at 2:26am

Is there a problem with the link to D/L ep3 for iPhone? And is ep4 going to be coming to iPhone any time soon?



on July 07, 2011 at 11:24pm

I merely want to point out one or two problems of the general concept here. I really like this show and the whole "funding by the people" idea, but...
Your goal was 60.000$ and it's a LOOOONG way to go (40.000$ was your episode 3 goal! I am surprised you are still shooting). It would have been a better strategy to first raise the money which you needed as a whole and then start to shoot everything at once. I know this would have been problematic since who would donate before he sees some episodes, OK, bad idea . But this big delay which is now coming up makes it easy to surmise that this journey will have a soon ending I am afraid. Not only will the donations drop, you are also creating a suspense level with which episodes 5 and 6 cannot keep up with. What do you think, I really want to have some feedback and discussions here.


on July 21, 2011 at 4:28am

Hi Toomanynames,

I appreciate your thoughts. Our plans and fundraising goals were based on the performance of the pilot from which we raised $35,000 in donations. $20,000 of that was raised in the first two weeks. So the idea that we could raise roughly another $20,000 per episode didn't seem unreasonable. And indeed we did shoot the next 3 episodes simultaneously, but we ended up with less many and less manpower than we expected to have. Hence the extra long delays between releases. Not ideal by long shot, but it was a decision between finishing the show however we could or not making the show at all. We chose to make the show.

But as you surmise, this is not sustainable over the long-term life of the show. Our sights are on getting the last two episodes of the season out there (which finished shooting last month) and then pushing to get it seen in a way we haven't been able to while we've been making it. Our goal will be to find the best way for the show to continue beyond this first season.


on July 04, 2011 at 11:04pm

Undoubtedly one of the best purest sci fi series on or off TV.
Its likely the series is so good because it isn't constranded by the nonesense of Hollywood (just ask Riddley Scott and Sandy Collora).

The story line, while not entirely unique, is still intensely powerful and how its unfolded is extraordinarily (as well as unnervingly) realistic.

The characters are well developed, the acting is stone cold and spot on. James Rich's deadpan "I'd rather be somewhere else" delivery is excellent. The rest of the cast is just as perfect.

The production values are just as good, at times even better, than a big budget sci fi series. Editing, camera work, lighting and all, spot on.

This series should be on TV, preferable on PBS. Some station that would honour the open/public domain nature of the work (I think its public domain no? or Creative Commons?).

The show is addictive, and leaves you hanging at the end of each episode.

Well done lads.


on June 23, 2011 at 5:33am

We just wrapped this past weekend on 5 and 6. Hard to give a release date since money is uncertain (we've only raised half what we needed and all of that went into the production). We respond to questions daily on Twitter and Facebook, and just posted a new video during our last shoot a couple of days ago. We're working as hard as we can to get these last two out and they'll be worth the wait!


on June 23, 2011 at 12:53am

"Hi guys! What is the release date of Episode 5? Up to now I am going here to check it out every next day or so. But It's a bit elaborate to look so often. Are you working in such realtime that you simply cannot give release dates?"

It's been a while and you have yet to respond. Any news?


on June 09, 2011 at 8:10am

Really loving this, intriguing storyline :) keep the good work coming please.

To SZJAV, I have no issues with VLC playing .mkv's at all and I am using 1.1.3. Make sure your codecs are up to date. I use K-lite Codecs, the mega pack, that way I have all the codecs I need and many more I don't.

zefram cochrane

on June 25, 2011 at 3:03am

VLC doesn't need addictional codecs, it has its own built-in set.


on June 01, 2011 at 10:39pm

You are kidding right? Tens of thousands of people watched this with VLC I bet. But maybe update to 1.1.9 and try again.


on June 01, 2011 at 1:17pm

The first four episodes are just great.

A technical issue: I think your .mkv files are somehow corrupted, VLC can not play them.

The error message (perhaps it helps):

VLC media player 1.1.4 The Luggage (revision exported)
Blocked: call to unsetenv("DBUS_ACTIVATION_ADDRESS")
Blocked: call to unsetenv("DBUS_ACTIVATION_BUS_TYPE")
[0x1fc8120] main libvlc: A VLC futtatása az alapértelmezett felülettel. A VLC felület nélküli használatához használja a „cvlc” parancsot.
Blocked: call to setlocale(6, "")
Blocked: call to sigaction(17, 0x7fd00eca0b20, 0x7fd00eca0a80)
m_el[mi_level] == NULL
arrrrrrrrrrrrrg Up cannot escape itself
Warning: call to signal(13, 0x1)
Warning: call to signal(13, 0x1)
Warning: call to srand(1307455685)
Warning: call to rand()
Blocked: call to setlocale(6, "")

(process:15522): Gtk-WARNING **: Locale not supported by C library.
Using the fallback 'C' locale.
Warning: call to signal(13, 0x1)
Warning: call to signal(13, 0x1)
Blocked: call to setlocale(6, "")
m_el[mi_level] == NULL
arrrrrrrrrrrrrg Up cannot escape itself
error while decoding MB 41 6, bytestream (-40)
number of reference frames exceeds max (probably corrupt input), discarding one
number of reference frames exceeds max (probably corrupt input), discarding one
number of reference frames exceeds max (probably corrupt input), discarding one
number of reference frames exceeds max (probably corrupt input), discarding one
number of reference frames exceeds max (probably corrupt input), discarding one
number of reference frames exceeds max (probably corrupt input), discarding one
number of reference frames exceeds max (probably corrupt input), discarding one
number of reference frames exceeds max (probably corrupt input), discarding one
error while decoding MB 61 19, bytestream (-9)
m_el[mi_level] == NULL
arrrrrrrrrrrrrg Up cannot escape itself
[email protected]:~$ cvlc /home/user2/Pioneer.One.S01E02.720p.x264-VODO/Pioneer.One.S01E02.720p.x264-VODO.mkv
VLC media player 1.1.4 The Luggage (revision exported)
Blocked: call to unsetenv("DBUS_ACTIVATION_ADDRESS")
Blocked: call to unsetenv("DBUS_ACTIVATION_BUS_TYPE")
[0x7fa7540033c0] dummy interface: using the dummy interface module...
m_el[mi_level] == NULL
m_el[mi_level] == NULL
arrrrrrrrrrrrrg Up cannot escape itself
arrrrrrrrrrrrrg Up cannot escape itself
error while decoding MB 41 6, bytestream (-40)
number of reference frames exceeds max (probably corrupt input), discarding one
number of reference frames exceeds max (probably corrupt input), discarding one
number of reference frames exceeds max (probably corrupt input), discarding one


on May 29, 2011 at 9:32pm

Hi guys! What is the release date of Episode 5? Up to now I am going here to check it out every next day or so. But It's a bit elaborate to look so often. Are you working in such realtime that you simply cannot give release dates?

zefram cochrane

on May 30, 2011 at 3:43pm

they're still shooting them, so you will have to wait a little.
you can follow @pioneeronetv on twitter if you want real time updates.


on May 30, 2011 at 10:15pm

Thanks, I will take a look!


on May 29, 2011 at 8:53pm

Do the actors themselves not get paid?


on May 26, 2011 at 7:48pm

Can't wait for the 5th episode!


on May 20, 2011 at 11:31pm

Much better than 2 and 3 keep up the good work! The first truly original series I've seen in a while.


on May 20, 2011 at 11:26pm

Now this one was excellent. Much better than episode three keep it up!


on May 17, 2011 at 8:49pm

Hey guys,

Check out our Ustream channel tonight at about 7:30 pm EST to watch us shoot a scene from episode 6.

Waterlife Music

on May 17, 2011 at 12:26am

I am really hooked on this series. Can't wait for the 5th episode!


on May 15, 2011 at 6:50pm

genijalno svaka čast....

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