Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Visit to Terra Nova (Review of 2 Hour Premiere) Spoilers

It is safe to say that this show was the most anticipated show of the fall 2011 season and would it live up to all the hype?


The story is pretty basic.  A dying Earth is sending selected people back in time to start the human race again.  85 million years back in the world of dinosaurs, this new colony of people will have to survive not only their new world but other unforeseen events. The dying world has strict population control and the Shannon family is found guilty of having one too many children.  The father, Jim Shannon (Jason O’Mara) is put in prison. A couple of years later his wife, Doctor Elizabeth Shannon, is chosen to be one of the people sent back in time to re-start the human race.  She is allowed to bring her daughter and son but would have to leave her other “illegal” daughter and her husband behind.  Jim breaks out of jail, rescues the young daughter, Zoe and is re-united with his family just in time for them to travel back in time to their new world. 

The new life seems appealing but it is far from paradise.  A break off group of people, sent in an earlier group (the 6th Pilgrimage) appears to have their own agenda and are at odds with the main settlement.  This along with some strange markings on the rocks point to a more sinister plot involving the sixes (the rebel off shoot group), the leader’s missing son and other hidden agendas.

This series will have a strong family theme and since it is a network show, will carry a certain amount of stereotypical characters and plots.  We have the man who must redeem himself for past actions, a haunted leader who has secrets, a rebellious teenager at odds with his father and so on.

What stands out for me in this series so far is the effects and awe of the whole thing.  We have all seen movie dinosaurs so that is not as powerful as it could have been.  They are certainly going to be a factor in the same way the dinosaurs were in Land of the Lost.  They are all over the place and will steer stories all the time.  Still, the freshness of the colony and the new life they must live is interesting to see, especially when they merge their present day technology.

This series is very much like Britain’s failed show of 2010, Outcasts.  There we had a distant planet with survivors of Earth coming there to re-start.  An existing force on the planet and an off shoot group are causing headaches for the colonists.  The leader has secrets and is haunted by his dead children.  Lots of similarities

We have many reasons to keep watching.  The symbols on the rocks, the sixes plan and no doubt new groups of people coming in will create interest for quite some time.  We know we are going to see Josh develop a relationship with Sky only to have his previous girlfriend show up in the next pilgrimage to stir up the drama.  I am more interested in how the colonists adapt to the new world. 

One big question I had was how can people be sent back in time and not affect their current world?  The idea that this is a separate time stream is a good answer but there appears to be more to it from the sixes point of view.    

So this series looks to be a winner in my books but the ratings were not as good as Fox had hoped. Still, I am here to stay in Terra Nova for the time being.

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