More than one million people are expected to download the pilot episode of Pioneer One, the new indie sci-fi series by filmmakers Josh Bernhard and Bracey Smith which debuted on Bittorent-powered distribution platform VODO last Wednesday, with P2P file-sharing giants such as uTorrent, Limewire and The Pirate Bay also pledging their support. As of this post’s publication, there are over 19,000 seeders for one torrent of the episode.
It’s an exciting vision of how entertainment content will be presented in the future: After all, why spend buckets of money trying to get your show on television when you can circulate it directly among the viewers? Who watches actual television nowadays, anyway?
In an interview with TorrentFreak, show-runner Bernhard made a great observation about how niche shows, though they enjoy high DVD sales and online viewing, cannot sustain themselves on network television:
TV has other priorities than making good TV. You have vocal fanbases whose enthusiasm is ignored, because to networks, their passion isn’t worth more than beating American Idol in the ratings. The fact that TV can’t sustain a show like Firefly, to use a well-known example, with such passionate viewers, shows that something is wrong with how that system works.
Previously, VODO has released other made-for-torrent films such as Bernhard’s The Lionshare, and all of them have reportedly received hundreds of thousands of downloads.
Pioneer One‘s pilot episode’s premise is pretty darn engrossing, and though the production values and cinematography are a bit lacking, it’s a seriously admirable effort for Bernhard and Smith to take on such an epic scope on such an indie budget and distribution plan. Hopefully, a producer out there will realize the potential of torrent-driven “consumption” and throw a little money their way.
The full synopsis of the show reads:
An object from space spreads radiation over North America. Fearing terrorism, U.S. Homeland Security agents are dispatched to investigate and contain the damage. What they discover is a forgotten relic of the old Soviet space program whose return to Earth will have implications for the entire world.
Check out the trailer for Pioneer One (a seven-part series) below, and then head on over to VODO to grab what might be the first legal torrent you’ve ever downloaded!