Pioneer Productions is one of the UK's most successful independent production companies. We have an outstanding reputation for producing innovative, high quality, popular programmes for both the UK and US markets, with industry leading expertise in science and history. Our investment in nurturing creative and editorial skills means the company continues to attract the leading on- and off-screen talent. Our passion is to tell factual stories in new and exciting ways.
Pioneer Productions is prolific across a broad range of programme genres including history, science, drama-docs, engineering and adventure. The company has made over 700 hours of programming, sold in over 60 countries worldwide. Our critically-acclaimed productions have attracted both high audience viewing figures as well as many prestigious awards. Pioneer's clients include Discovery Channel, PBS, National Geographic Channel, History, ABC, TLC, Discovery Canada, WGBH, WNET, Discovery Europe, Travel Channel, HGTV, and in the UK, Channel 4, Channel 5, the BBC, and ITV.
Pioneer Productions has been at the forefront of factual innovations. In the 90s it led the charge into filming the impossible; capturing some of the most extreme weather on our planet in series such as Raging Planet, developing the use of special effects sequences to see inside the human and animal bodies in series such In The Womb, creating pure CGI films such as Journey to the Edge of the Universe and combining life-like CGI into dramas and drama-docs such as The Unsinkable Titanic and Hindenburg.
Our recent output ranges from fully dramatised specials like Bloody Queens, an innovative ‘chamber drama’, through high-end science such as How The Universe Works (now in series 5), to adventure and popular science - “Your Face Says It All”.
Pioneer's many awards include numerous Medals - it is the only independent company to win the coveted Best Science film at the Banff TV festival. Pioneer has also won the Grand Award - at the New York Television Festival, a UK Indie award, a Sony award, Cine Golden Eagles, and other prizes in France, Italy, US and Greece. Our shows have also won prestigious awards at the Emmys and the Royal Television Society.
Jonathan joined Pioneer Productions as Chief Executive Officer in August 2015, after 20 years at Wall to Wall Media in a variety of senior roles.
Jonathan started his TV career as a journalist on BBC's flagship daily show Nationwide before abandoning current affairs for Pop TV, as producer of Britain's most celebrated rock show The Tube. After two award-winning classical music series with Dudley Moore, he produced a wide range of arts programmes in the 1990s before joining Wall to Wall. Jonathan oversaw a wide range of programming for all the major UK broadcasters and for American and International channels such as Arte, Discovery, France Televisions, HBO, History, NDR and National Geographic. He executive produced Man on Wire which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 81st Annual Oscars, the BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Film and over 30 other International awards. Other awards and nominations for productions he has produced or executive produced include: Broadcast Award, International Emmy, Gold Medal at New York Film Festival, Post Montreux Winner, Royal Television Society Programme Awards, Royal Television Society Education Awards and Ohio State Award.
With a career spanning twenty years, Thomas joined Pioneer in 2016 from UK indie, Arrow Media where he served as Executive Producer. At Arrow Thomas produced over 75 hours of programming across science, history, current affairs and factual entertainment. His credits include hit series Animal Fight Night for National Geographic Wild; Investigation Discovery US’ highest rating returning series, See No Evil and latest hit American Monster; Kevin’s Supersize Salvage for Channel 4, and the revelatory Bletchley Park: Code-Breaking’s Forgotten Genius doc for BBC 2 and Smithsonian Channel. Thomas was Producer/Director on Raw TV’s Locked Up Abroad franchise for National Geographic and Channel 5; Blink Films’ Gladiator: The True Story for Channel 5, Smithsonian and BBCWW; and Flashback TV’s critically acclaimed doc Tony Robinson & The Blitz Witch for Channel 4, amongst others.
“It’s a very exciting time for Pioneer. There are more opportunities than ever for specialist factual, for new ideas, and new twists on classic subjects and genres.”
Head of Development
Karen joined the company in January 2015 to lead its development department and broaden its factual output, bringing with her 15 years experience of developing original content for international audiences. She started her career at the BBC, where she spent six years producing and directing a range of documentaries and original formats. She was previously Head of Development at Zig Zag Productions, where she developed non-fiction content for the US and UK markets. Karen has also held roles at WAGTV, Zodiak, Love Productions and Discovery Channel.
ScienceGround-breaking science from the first moments of life to the outer reaches of the universe
DocumentaryDocumentaries from history to houses, weird weather to ultimate engineering
DramaDramatised documentaries that make factual subjects come to life
Fast TurnaroundEyewitness testimony, heat of the moment footage and essential analysis, fast…