The Future of PIONEER ONE

TL;DR–A big budget reboot of PIONEER ONE is a real possibility. But we need help proving there’s still an audience which you can help us do by spreading the word by posting with the hashtag ‪#‎morepioneerone‬

Six years ago, Bracey and I did something crazy. Armed with nothing but an idea, some naivete, and an unhealthy amount of coffee, we decided to make a TV show. With no backing and very little idea of what we were getting ourselves into, we used a new crowdfunding platform called Kickstarter to raise $6000 to produce the pilot episode of our sci-fi drama. (And back then, every plea for donations was immediately followed by an explanation of what this newfangled Kickstarter thing was. Those were the days, huh?)

On June 16, 2010, we released the pilot episode of PIONEER ONE through VODO’s BitTorrent network. Frankly, the response was beyond our wildest expectations (and we can dream pretty big). Within two weeks the pilot was downloaded over 2,000,000 times. During the same period, people we had never met from all over the world clicked on our PayPal donation button and gave us $20,000 to make more episodes.

Over the next year and a half, myself, Bracey, and friends old and new went on the wild adventure that was making PIONEER ONE’s first season of 6 full-length episodes. There were times when the going was rough. Whether it was a quadruple hard drive failure the night before release, a head-on collision with a deer during a rainstorm after a late night shoot, or simply running out of money…the thing that kept us going was the knowledge that we had fans who were watching. And waiting.

Since 2011 when we released our last episode, we’ve been looking for ways to continue the show. But we knew we wouldn’t be able to do it as we had before. For over a year, PIONEER ONE became mine and Bracey’s full time job. (More like 17 jobs, actually.) And it was only due to the generous time and commitment of our cast and crew, who did professional work without pay, and calling in every favor we had from friends and family, that allowed us to pull it off. Basically, we’d cashed in all our chips.

And we came to the conclusion that season 2, in the form we had done the first season, just wasn’t feasible. With growing careers and growing families, and no way to compensate our cast and crew for their work, we just didn’t see a way to do it. And, frankly, from the beginning we had planned for the show to broaden its scope in a way that was always beyond what we were capable of on our own.

But this show is stubborn. And so are our fans. And in these last few months, maybe because of renewed interest in Mars or the success of movies like THE MARTIAN and shows like THE AMERICANS, there have been some new developments that represent the best chance we’ve ever had to do more PIONEER ONE.

Really. Best ever. Hand on heart.

In the last few weeks we’ve made exciting additions to our team. A tireless producer in Los Angeles who has been our champion for some time has joined forces with a visionary TV director whose work includes some of the most celebrated episodes of shows like THE 100. They believe strongly that there’s a way to bring PIONEER ONE back in some form, most likely as a big budget reboot. (Though at this stage anything is possible, as discussions are still preliminary.)

But we need you guys. Our efforts will only be bolstered by spreading the word and demonstrating that there is an audience for PIONEER ONE. I can tell you that people are watching and they are listening.

So we’re calling on you. Fans new and old. Using the hashtag #morepioneerone please share the YouTube link to the pilot episode (, the series trailer (, or this little promo clip that we’ve made to commemorate the 6th anniversary of the show.

And finally…I want to say thank you. From the bottom of my heart. For watching the show, for liking the show, for hating the show. For going on this journey with us and keeping the flame alive. I think our best days might just be ahead.

Keep watching the skies.

Josh Bernhard
June 16, 2016
Los Angeles, California




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