The Best Sci-Fi Series Isn’t On TV, It’s L5 And It’s Online

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L5 is a brand new science fiction web series… but wait don’t let that turn you off to it. I’d be the first to admit that most web-produced content is, to put it kindly, not up to snuff. Outside of The Guild very little of it, particularly in the sci-fi realm, is worth your time. But L5 is different.

L5 begins at what in any other story might be the end. The crew of a deep space exploration vessel returns home after what was supposed to be a 20-year mission and finds planet Earth, apparently, deserted. L5 isn’t just good, it’s better than anything you’ve seen on television since Firefly (ok Battlestar Galactica). Here’s the first episode. Watch. It doesn’t cost anything, what do you have to lose…

This first L5 episode was actually released back in February but for some reason the show’s team only made it available as a torrent, a format which is largely inaccessible to the average, far less tech savvy internet user. They’ve only now gone and made it available in this more easy to use format. Delaying this move probably hasn’t helped them get the word out, but now that it’s here hopefully we can all help really get the ball rolling.

L5 needs your help. It was funded entirely by donations from supporters on Kickstarter. This first episode cost only $15,000 and while not all of the special effects are perfect, they’re pretty good, at least as good as some of the shifty CGI we’ve seen on recent network television misfires like Terra Nova. Terra Nova by the way, cost millions of dollars to produce and all they had to pull off was a few dinosaurs and some foliage. This does far more with far, far less.

More important than the special effects is the story, which in this first episode seems top notch. The acting, which is usually the big achilles heel in these web produced series’, is mostly good and when it’s not, they don’t spend a lot of time on those inferior actors. This is brilliant well done, but there’s a catch…

If you want them to continue the story they’ll need more funding. Forget television. The networks have abandoned science fiction fans. Take matters into your own hands and donate to L5 by going here.


  1. notmeg says:

    The donate link has an extra character, just as a heads up. And it seems like the official site is the best place to donate (just my assumption)

    I’m checking out the first episode now and will let my sci-fi fan friends know about this. I’m a huge fan of independent projects.

    • JT says:

      Weird, donate link works for me. But I repasted it anyway, just in case.

      They’re telling people to donate on Kickstarter, the official site (http://www.l5-series.com/) directs you there as well, so I suspect Kickstarter is the place to go to donate.

  2. Cenny says:

    It was OKAY, not the best sci-fi since firefly either, there were tons of good sci-fi during/after firefly. I can think of 5 of the top of my head, all on SYFY. SG1, SGA, Farscape, Warehouse 13, Eureka, Battlestar Gallactica, and I’m sure the Farscape guy’s new one will be good as well. So, that’s 7, but you get my point….L5 is sub par, and to call it anything else is a delusion, the only saving grace is that what they did with such little money. The acting is complete garbage, just like all the kickstarter projects…..anyone see Pioneer One? A Russian kid crash lands on Earth, turns out he was born and raised on Mars.

    • Cenny says:

      I’d also like to add that the show WILL definitely get funding, and more episodes, but it will drag out, nothing will be resolved by the season finale. The minor-medium success that the show will receive will delude these amateur directors and writers into it, I guarantee it. Also It’s been a few months since the pilot was released and episode 2 is no where in sight.

    • JT says:

      Farscape was before Firefly. I’ll give you BSG but the others? No way.

      I agree that the acting is usually horrible in Kickstarter projects and like I said above SOME of the acting in this is not great… but actually most if it is not bad at all and they did a good job, at least in this first episode, of minimizing the screen time of their worst actors.

  3. I don’t get why something like this can’t be picked up on a TV station and get ‘proper’ or regular funding? It’s not like there is much good on SyFy nowadays, and Space here in Canada has a lot of star trek and stargate reruns throughout the day. One would think a good scifi series with such a small budget (even doubled would be reasonable) could at least fulfill some indie show of the week spot. I have been having hopes for Netflix but until something comes of those hopes (Jericho???) I won’t be signing back up..

    • JT says:

      Networks have made it clear they no longer have any interest in producing real science fiction programming. I mean, we can’t even get a new Star Trek on the air, what hope does anything else have? There’s a strong bias against that type of programming. On the rare occasion someone does manage to get such a show made, it’s instantly cancelled even if it’s successful (Firefly and Terra Nova for example).

      Battlestar Galactica was kind of a last gasp for great sci-fi on TV, and even that was technically cancelled off network TV and shuttled over to SyFy because NBC didn’t have any faith in it. But at least it made it through its full run somewhere.

  4. Networks are dead, the future is independent studio’s that produce what people want to see, not what advertisers want us to watch. Seeing how networks like Fox totally screwed up series like Firefly and refuse to do anything that might affect their commercial partners just shows how out of touch and irrelevant they are becoming!

    I enjoyed the story, I was gripped by the concept and some of the graphics and was looking around to see how I could help contribute funds before the credits started running – something which is very rare for me! Some of the acting could have been improved, but every show has that issue! I look forward to seeing more L5.

  5. Edwardott says:

    This looks brilliant, SyFy or really anybody needs to pick this up.

  6. Will Finson says:

    Here is a little update. Also, the facebook fan page is a great place to discuss L5 and other syfy projects http://vimeo.com/49272393