Webserials... Now with Vitamin C!
I hope, as always, that this week finds you all well.
I've recently investigated a couple of episodes from web-serials that are noteworthy. A few posts ago I was addressing the lameness that was Riese, Sci-Fi's web serial about a deposed princess in a steam-punk world. As far as I can tell the series I watched this week are being made by those without such corporate financial backing, yet are still managing to pull off productions that are far superior to many shows on television today.
I came across the two I'll be going over on a website called Axiom's Edge, which I encourage anyone reading this to check out. It's a sci-fi news blog covering a wide range of topics. They review everything from books, to movies, to webisodes of anything to be found in the genre. In general, I find I agree with their opinions, especially with their review of the Star Wars Prequels, but there are a few disagreements too. For example, they seem to be big supporters of Fringe, which I personally can't stand (sorry Crazypants)... but I digress.
-Oh, and one more thing. I came across their blog because they have an edition available for Kindle, which is where I read it most of the time. So, thank you, Kindle, and definitely check it out.
Okay, so the first series I looked at is called The Black Dawn.
Each episode is part of a larger chapter, and runs about five minutes. The first one centers around a college student, Adam, who finds a creeping, misty blackness covering the sky one morning. Worse, people all around him appear to be dropping dead at random of undefined causes. We spend five minutes watching Adam lose his friend, and realize that he is not only untouched by the wave of death, but is utterly alone.
I only watched the first episode so that I would have as much of a tantalization for the next episode as you will when you watch. I have to say, I'm intrigued. Although clearly a low-budget, and amateur production, The Black Dawn sucked me right in and impressed me with the sincerity of the performances (all two of them). The show managed to get me emotionally involved in Adam's tragic morning within minutes, which isn't something I can say for a lot of professional, big-budget productions out there. The score is pretty cool too!
After I finish this post I'm definitely going to watch more.
The second web serial I looked at was also reviewed on Axiom's Edge, and highly rated by that blog, called Pioneer One.
Pioneer One starts out with an X-Files like feel and progresses from mildly interesting to downright involving. Right about the mid-point of the episode I was considering whether or not to keep watching when the twist hit, and I was sucked right in. The show clocks in at around 30+ minutes and is commercial free, so make sure you alot enough time before getting involved.
Much like The Black Dawn, the show has lower production values than a truly professional production, but at the same time it clearly had more of a budget than 'Dawn. The performances are less noticeably amateur, and the slow reveal of the story is definitely of a caliber above what one finds on television these days. The more I think about it the more I am confident saying that the comparison to the X-Files, the best episodes of the X-Files, is an apt one.
A space capsule crash-lands in Canada after spraying radiation all over Montana, USA. Homeland security is dispatched to investigate this supposed terrorist attack on American soil, only to find that the capsule was occupied by a boy, whose body is riddled with cancer. Things get weirder from there as they find evidence that the capsule was cutting edge cold-war technology, and that it did not, in fact, originate on Earth.
Pioneer One is a good show for those who miss the old X-Files before David Duchovny left the show. It's also impressive considering the entire season was made on view donations after the first episode hit the web. I look forward to seeing where they take it.
You can find the show here or on You Tube. Below is the trailer.
That's all for this week!