Fox’s ‘Terra Nova’ Review

by on September 28, 2011

in Entertainment, tv reviews

'Terra Nova' promo poster

It’s 2149 and we’ve trashed the planet.  What’s new.  That’s not a big stretch really.  But the tone in Fox’s Terra Nova is set early and quick.  There are population control laws, there’s a devastated planet where the government sends people to another time in the past to live poison free.  To start over for humanity.

Jim Shannon (Jason O’Mara) is in prison for violating the population laws and beating up cops.  Then his wife, Elizabeth (Shelley Conn) helps him in a big break out that takes place and requires exquisite timing on his part as his family has been selected to go to Terra Nova.

All this in the first 15 minutes.  But done well enough to not feel rushed or pushed upon the viewer.

But as Shannon’s family is selected to go back to Terra Nova, the prison break is timed to such a degree that Shannon gets out with his family.  And suddenly, they’re on Terra Nova.

Stephen Lang at TERRA NOVA WonderCon 2011 P4037389.jpg

Terra Nova is a community enclosed by a large fence and run by a snarly, seasoned veteran of a man called Nathaniel Taylor, played by Stephen Lang.  And I think he’s the perfect man for this role.

And therein lies the tale of this TV series, in the prehistoric land of Terra Nova.

The land of Terra Nova is multi-faceted.  There turns out to be three entities out there.

There’s the colony itself, a shoot-off colony formed by another group called the sixers and one other entity, the son of Nat Taylor, who apparently disappeared many years ago, but leaves strange symbols on canyon walls.  Some kind of clue about Terra Nova itself.

The sixers came in the sixth group of refugees, and apparently they had some kind of agenda.

Then there are the dinosaurs of Terra Nova.  There are veggie-sauruses, dinosaurs with razor sharp tails, a very huge moon and various other Jurassic Park-like things.

Yes, I said it.  Jurassic Park.  It’s hard not to compare this show to that movie franchise.  It’s set the bar for any movie with dinosaurs in it.

Then there’s Josh Shannon (Landon Liboiron), the brash, arrogant and daring son.  And though he’s just left behind a girlfriend, he’s found himself attached to Taylor’s daughter, who’s a daring young girl who tempts him to travel outside the big fence that keeps the dinosaurs away from the colony.

The two-hour premiere of Terra Nova touched on many details for us to follow throughout the upcoming season.  Maybe too many details.  Some of the details we learned about in the first two hours could have been doled out over a season, but instead, we got everything up-front.

I’m not complaining about that.  I think it’s great to see everything that’s in-store for us, but, unless there’s much more we don’t know about, I think it would have been great to have some surprise plot-lines.  I’m sure there will be, but I feel like we’ve seen the major plot points.

All in all, I have to say that I was originally disinterested in the premise of the show, but the story was done well enough to make it an engaging experience.

I’ll be tuning in again.  I’ll see if Terra Nova keeps me interested.

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