.the ramblings of a radman.

L5 – a crowd-funded pilot episode for a sci-fi series

I’m a sucker for science fiction. I have been since childhood. I grew up staring at the TV with lightsabers  humming and lasers blasts caroming around trash compactors all day long. I loved Battlestar Galactica, despite its incredibly cheesy everything. As I got older, I continued to check out every sci-fi show I could, despite the fact that most of them were canceled before they were able to truly flourish. Most simply couldn’t garner enough viewers to justify the gargantuan budgets necessary to create alien worlds and/or technology. The ’90s were the worst for me. Show after show just vanished from the air just as I grew attached to the characters or story. This practice continued into the new millennium, though with less frequency, as studios stopped risking budgets on sci-fi as a general rule and the Sci-Fi channel became a haven for science fiction to survive.

Thankfully, Netflix provides me with a large source of science fiction that I missed the first time around (Farscape, Babylon 5, Sliders) and has allowed me to re-experience some of my favorites (Stargate, Firefly) without any delay between episodes. However, I’m still looking out for that next great series that runs for 5 to 10 years and enthralls me throughout. But, with studios unwilling to spend the money necessary to create high quality series, some sci-fi creators are seeking new ways to fund their projects.

And now we have reached the entire reason for this post. Today I came across a short film/pilot for a science fiction series that was made entirely using crowdsourced funding with a budget of $15,000. The result is pretty spectacular, though some might be put off by less-than-stellar performances and B-grade special effects. It certainly reminds me of some of my favorite sci-fi novels, in which a great mystery is investigated by a small few individuals. I highly recommend checking it out. I’ll certainly be looking forward to it.

It’s supposed to be available at VODO, but I haven’t been able to get the site to load all day. But it’s being freely distributed via BitTorrent, as well. You can find it via EZTV here.

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1 Comment

  1. Tom Gardiner

    Great review about a great show that puts the real focus on the story.  I agree with you that it reminds me of many a favorite scifi novel. (Rendevous With Rama comes to mind as one of many)

    The VODO issue might just be one of traffic as L5’s downloads have surpassed the 1 million mark already.  When I tried the link you posted it didn’t work the first time, or even after 2 refreshes, but then the 3rd refresh brought it up.

    I think it’s important to stress to potential downloaders/viewers just how important donating something to this project is.  If everyone who downloaded it had given just a single dollar the producers would have enough money now to make 66 episodes on the same budget as the first!  I gave them $10 because I really want to see where the story goes.

    Your review is very similar to the one I did on my newly formed, single-post blog http://scifisingularity.wordpress.com/ where I express the same concerns and joys about the production.  I’m glad this one’s getting attention and maybe we can start getting true scifi entertainment through this method, but we have to get people to donate.  Heck, even 25 cents would help!

    Thanks for the review! (And, no, I’m not affiliated with the filmmakers in any way, I’m just a huge geek and fan of their effort)