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, and in the UK the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
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 Factual
Peter Collins joined Pioneer in May 2018 in the newly created role of Head of Factual. Prior to this he was Head of Specialist Factual at STV Productions, where he devised and executive produced a number of ambitious projects including Britain’s Polar Bear Cub for Channel 4, Lucy Worsley’s Fireworks for a Tudor Queen for BBC4 and Tree of the Year for Channel 4. He also exec produced the BBC2/Smithsonian access series Britain’s Biggest Warship. Before starting at STV, Peter was Head of Development and part of the senior management team at Oxford Scientific Films for five years, where he created a number of high-rating factual series including Animal Odd Couples for BBC1, Secret Life of…strand for ITV and The Queen’s Garden for ITV.
Peter started out his working life as a botanist at Kew Gardens, before heading to the BBC Science Unit, where he cut his teeth on shows including Oceans and Planet Dinosaur.
Senior Development Producer
Sarah joined Pioneer from the BBC in 2011, moving into the Pioneer development department in 2012. Since then Sarah has developed numerous UK and international factual commissions for Pioneer including; Ocean Autopsy for BBC4, Your Face Says It All for Channel 4, Animals After Dark for Channel 5 and Cradle to Grave for National Geographic. Sarah started her career in advertising, moving into television after being accepted onto the BBC’s prestigious talent pool.
Since joining Pioneer in 2010, Helen has worked on a wide range of productions from fast turnaround documentaries to feature length docudramas. Since 2019, she has worked as Production Executive across all of Pioneer’s programming which has recently included commissions for Discovery Science, National Geographic, BBC Four and Red Bull. Helen has a background in Biological Science and started her TV career as a studio runner for CBeebies!