Oh the Things We Have Seen: First Impressions of Terra Nova

Terra Nova Fox preview


Just after fall schedules are determined at networks' upfront presentations in late May, major networks send the pilots of their new programs to the media. These previews are not for in-depth review, because many pilots are retooled, recast, and reshot before they officially debut, and the final product might be much different. But that doesn't mean we can't share some basic ideas of what to expect!


The Show: Terra Nova on Fox, which will air Mondays at 8pm. starting on September 26. The series has also been picked up by Sky 1 for broadcast in the UK. (Note: We've only seen the first half of the two-hour premiere.)

The Cast: Jason O'Mara, Stephen Lang, Shelley Conn, Landon Liboiron, Naomi Scott, Allison Miller.

Fox's official logline: "Terra Nova follows an ordinary family on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a daring experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149, the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped and overcrowded, with the majority of plant and animal life extinct. The future of mankind is in doubt, and its only hope for survival is in the distant past. When scientists unexpectedly discovered a fracture in time that made it possible to construct a portal into primeval history, the bold notion was born to resettle humanity in the past—a second chance to rebuild civilization and get it right this time."

Early Intel: As soon as Terra Nova was announced, it became the most "OMG, I have to see this" show of the new season. Steven Spielberg is producing, there are dinosaurs, time-travel, and a gillion dollars in special effects... Terra Nova is a monster project. The series has already encountered a few delays, reportedly because it needed more time in post-production for all the computer-generated effects. The average budget for each episode is allegedly a whopping $4 million, with the pilot estimated at $10 million on the low end. In other words, if this thing bombs, half of Fox is getting pink-slipped.

First Thoughts: I watched this thing on a computer screen in standard definition, and even then it was clear that Terra Nova is more ambitious than anything else that's ever aired on television. And you know what? It looks pretty damned good.

What the series has going for it: Dinosaurs. DINOSAURS! But even thought the dinos will take all the headlines, I was more interested in the set (the show is filmed on-location in Australia). The crew has created an amazing, lush pre-global warming world that looks abso-frickin'-lutely gorgeous. Think Avatar meets the final destination of Up. Also a feast for the eyes is the world everyone's trying to escape from, a Blade Runner-esque dystopia. Let's hope the finished product delivers on all this potential. As far as story goes, there was a huge subplot that caught me off guard and could be one of the main attractions of the show. Plus, Stephen Lang is ideal for the lead role.

Room for Improvement: If you're not too preoccupied by the pretty surroundings, you may notice some "what the?" and "why would someone ever do that?" moments. You know, standard blockbuster kind of stuff. But then a dinosaur comes along and makes you forget such qualms. Also, the first hour really, really, really felt like a pilot trying to cover as many bases as it could, offering a broad look at the series instead of focusing on one single storyline.

The Coolest Part of the Early Version: This preview I saw was released to media a bit later than the rest of Fox's pilots, so it's probably fairly close to a final product. But there were some obvious audio post-production glitches and a few CGI shots that looked about a decade old. I'm confident they'll be cleaned up by the premiere though.

Last Word: Terra Nova has a legitimate shot at being absolutely enormous if it can keep its production values up. And with its tropical backdrop, it'll be an hour-long vacation each week. Bring sunscreen and Allosaurus repellent.


Here's Fox's official trailer for the series:


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Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Short Info;

85 Mil years ago falls into Cretaceous Period (145.565.5 mil. years ago, to be exact Santonian period - 83.5 85.8 mil. years ago-) which ends with great cataclysmic event ( not all the dinos died though).



Now few mistakes;

1. They had such tech and they forgot back in that time Dinos was ruling the world?

2. Let's say they moved to an island (back in that time safest place was today's Europe -as a land-, less meat eating giants), couldn't they wipe Dinos out in the island before they colonized there?

3. Future of human lies in 85 mil. years ago? For what? Die with dinos?



I am sure they have got answer for these questions... Let me answer them for you;

1 & 2 = There would be no TV Show so hashhh....

3 = That's another universe, dinos didn't die like this.



Anyway this is a sci-fi so I would say just go with it and enjoy but damn that's FOX!!!! You will fall in love with the show and they will cancel. I don't see much sense to watch FOX Shows. Instead I prefer to wait till the show will finish or be cancelled, later I prefer to buy DVDs and watch all episodes together (:
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Baah, a person who thinks (s)he is wise. You prove my point already cos you don't have capability to think.



Let's forget about every other problem like PARADOX, the event which is gonna wipe out almost all life on the planet (I am not sure you know what I am talking about).



Since they traveled back in time, let's say they created alternative universe and they know life on the planet wouldn't be wiped out by asteroid (in that point if they would see dinos living there, for human kind to live freely, they have to wipe them out themselves) Just let's cut it short and go to the main question;



They got the tech to go back 85 mil years ago in time but they weren't aware of the dinos or / and can't ensure the security of people?



Couldn't find a solution for dinos before sending civilians there? They were in rush? For some reason they could go back only 85 mil years ago and their machine showed BLUE SCREEN and they locked there? They were using microzort winzort 2200?
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And another who thinks who knows it all lol!



They go back yes, but then they have around 85million years before the cataclysmic event. So with the tech they have now, how much would the human evolve in 85million year to stop the event? (which u can find on numerous sites)



They also explained they cant change their current world, since its an alternate world they go to.



Next time before u post something what u think is mayor plotholes, google it lol

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1 word : PARADOX.

There are tons of better ideas that could be used to form a show about trying to save humanity, but of course Spielberg wants to show off the dino's.....So this show is what? Jurassic Park 4?
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nahhh.. just out hunting dinos.. nothing new. And don't like the concept.. "a new start"? So they want to send these peeps back in time to make sure I would not extist?



Nahhh.. a bit of an overkill IMHO
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Definitely going to watch this!!But i hope it doesn't end up having only a ten minute action, like "V" or "falling skies"...
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I have admired Stephen Lang's acting since seeing him on Broadway in A Few Good Men. He was great - what shame that they didn't cast him in the movie instead of Jack Nicholson (who is always Jack Nicholson no matter what part he plays).
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They've obviously never seen that episode of The Simpsons where the defective toaster sends Homer back in time and he changes the past. Or learned anything from Jurassic Park, which showed that humans and dinosaurs can NOT live side-by-side.



Global warming and evolutionary timeline aside, wasn't the oxygen content of the atmosphere different in pre--asteroid collision days? (There'd be plenty of oil, though, since it comes mainly from plant matter. But how are they going to refine it...?)
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I like,I will watch.If I like terra nova if will be drop by Fox.Fox drop Fringe.
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Can you say Sleestak? And what are they going to be using for any kind of petroleum related product, since the dinosaurs that actually were/are the basis for petroleum HAVEN'T DIED OUT YET!
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Maybe it will do ok. No one should fall too deeply in love with the show, for FOX might break your heart.
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Dinosaurs have been done to death!
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The Fox network never fails to highten my amazment. They complain about keeping aging shows around due to rising production costs and yet they think nothing of spending 4 million an episode for Terra Nova. I just hope the show lives up to the hype.
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I'll definitely watch, but let me get this straight; to give man another chance, they're going back in time BEFORE a cataclysmic event that destroys nearly all life on Earth? Hmm, brilliant! Then we'll have people that can record, on rock, the death of all living creatures after the asteroid impact, shortly before dying out themselves!
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I see what did you there.
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What a dumb premise for a story... Who those people thing they are? What makes them so great that they're going to "build a new and better civilization"? The show might work a while because of the special effects but the story will probably be quite dull like "Falling Skies"...



[Sometimes, I like it when I'm wrong! :) ]
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I think the time-travel aspect of the show will be on the back burner. The writers just needed a way to get characters to Lost Island #2. Plane crash out. Time-travel-parallel-universe-machine in.
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I think it's a great concept. Production value will be high, but it many be in a similar place, in terms of cost, as ER when Spielberg worked on that first. However, it's science fiction, and the audience does dwindle down. This was supposed to be out like a year ago. I give it 2-3 seasons max, and by then Fox will have to either order less episodes, or canceled it because of cost.
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Seems cool :D I'll definitely watch it
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falling skies is not a cheesy nonsense.
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Oh, but it is. Im not expecting academy award material here. Just tone the cheesiness down. were not in the 90s anymore. All that stuff has lost its innocence. ill admit it got way better in the end though it still feels like a waste.
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PLEASE dont let this be some cheesy nonsense like falling skies. Please let them tone down the "Stupid Person in a horror movie" situations.
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I definitely like the show's storyline, seems like a cross between Stargate Universe and A Sound of Thunder. Maybe we'll finally get a sci-fi series worth watching, although it's a shame that 20 million years later they'll be facing a much larger cataclysmic event.
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reading this how in the world is earth over populate u mean to tell me their no gay people or people that cant have children in 2149.even tho thats part seems alittle off i will say the show looks very good but i have my doubts about watching it b/c i mean its fox.im still bitter about dark angel season 3 getting taken away for firefly and dollhouse and terminator gettting cancel even though they had some good ratings for a friday.im not sure if i will watch or not.
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I'm sure that by 2149 medicine will have advanced enough to enable anyone to have a child, and also to have reduced the death rate by curing many diseases.
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i didnt even think about that.by 2149 that gay people and people that cant have children probbley found a way to have children with science in this future.thats very intersting.i think i will watch this .
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i also love the part about the diseases being cured by this time.sometimes i think my mind dont catch on as fast as others lol..now that i think about it i can see the world being overpopluate b/c gay ppl and ppl that cant have children have found a way to do this with medicine and medicen has cured almost all diseases whick lower the death rate.why didnt i think of this.i can be so slow sometimes:)sorry:)
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Think of it another way.. It is 2011 and we have hit the 7 billion population mark. We are already overpopulated to the point where people are starving and many have no water, not to mention 2 billion people live without electricity. Now imagine 138 years from now......
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Being a Spielberg production and having the 8pm time slot means it won't be too gritty and raw, which is a shame. Also, 85 millions years ago? T-Rex can't be there; it was one of the last non-avian dinosaurs and lived 67-65.5 mya. And while I don't deny man contributes to global warming, it is certainly a cyclic event, so I wouldn't call the past "pre-global warming". In fact, from Wikipedia: During the later portion of the Cretaceous, from 65 to 100 million years ago, average global temperatures reached their highest level during the last ~200 million years
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Unless some T-Rexies went thru a similar "wormhole thingy" that the humans are using to go back.
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it looks really good but im kind of done with fox now.the only show i watch on fox is fringe and since this maybe fringe last seasons i have no plans of watching anything new.fox leaves a bad taste in my mouth.dark angel had got a season 3 the ratings did drop from 10 mill. to 6mill but fox still gave it a season 3(dark angel ratings are better tahn fringe) but when joss came along with firefly fox had to make a choice dark angel or firefly.they choiced firefly i hate western and firefly only laste one season.thats why i refuse to watch firefly and im bitter at fox for that canceling my dark angel for firefly and dont get me started on dollhouse and termionator the only 2 good shows with decent enough ratings for a friday(why dont netwqork drop the budget to fit the rating).i want to watch terra nova so bad but im gone past considering its fox:(
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This is the next Falling Skies. Lotsa of big names in the mix ,lotsa hype with crappy end product.
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no it won`t be. with a budget double the falling skies you won`t have crappy product :)
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A big budget means nothing. Sure the special effects will be great, but if the story isn't well written, and I already have doubts, then this show will last 1 or 2 seasons tops.
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Man they should of tripled the budget then...
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Awww yes I was hoping this show was going to air at 8 PM now I dont have to miss Two and a half Men, Mike & Molly, and Hawaii Five-0. I'm looking forward to this series, I was surprised that it was shot in Australia FOX must have a hefty bill but I guess anythings poosible when Spielberg's part of the show.
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I'm not nearly intelligent enough to understand any of the science regarding quantum mechanics, space-time continuum, multiverse, etc. All I care about is: Do the dinosaurs look real? Hehe.
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Looks like you and Spielberg will have a blast come Sept 26.
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I'm still trying to wrap my had around the notion of saving humanity by creating a civilization before the last mass extinction...!!!



So we fix our mistakes then die with the dinos...high five for science! Paradox city!



Anyways, still gonna turn my brain off and watch this come September.
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They are traveling back to survive. Not to fix the past.
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@silversurfersgp: yeah, a "little", as in: there is time travel and there are dinosaurs in both shows; but if that's how you compare stuff you'd have to say that fantastic four sounds a little like spiderman because they both are from marvel and they both feature superheroes. xD anyway, i'm looking forward to terra nova, sounds interesting :)
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Sounds a little like the ITV series, "Primeval".
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"In other words, if this thing bombs, half of Fox is getting pink-slipped." I REALLY hope so. Don't get me wrong, I hope this show does well but if it bombs then I hope like Tim said "half of Fox is getting pink-slipped". Those bastards will get what is coming to them for canceling so many great shows over the years without giving them a proper chance to find a audience. Canceling Firefly being their most abominable offense. FRAK FOX!!!
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All I know is at $4 million an episode it better get high ratings or Fox will start sharpening its axe.
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Oh I am absolutely watching this! Sure, other shows haven't lived up to the hype they received before their debut, but I think this one will be amazing. The fall is going to be great!
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as i have said. CAN NOT WAIT
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"with it's tropical backdrop"



Should be "its". I'm not saying that you don't know the difference, Tim, I'm saying I wasn't in such a hurry to know about the Terra Nova pilot that you couldn't have gone for a coffee and then proofread this before posting it.
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shouldn't that be proof-read.
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Nope.



http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/proofread



But even if it had been, I'm a mere commenter (and a non-native, to boot), Tim gets paid for this and he generally does a good job, but I'm sure he appreciates a friendly jab when he slips, just to keep him on his toes.
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Shouldn't you add a question mark at the end of a question?
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Wouldn't it have been simpler to send everybody 65 million years... in the future ? A new Earth, with new species (you can do better than dinosaurs... well I don't know, giant squids ? nasty insects ?) and you won't be bothered by the time-line matters.

Anyway, probabably a really entertaining show to watch !
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The theory is (in real life, not the tv show), in a lot less time than that the Earth will be uninhabitable. Because of how stars expand the Earth's surface will get hotter and we will, in real life, have to move to another planet or risk extinction. So I guess, they want to take real research into consideration, that, or they just want Dinosaurs :D
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Our Sun won't become a Red Giant for another 5 Billion years. That is when it will grow to be about 200 times its current size and engulf the inner planets. Earth's surface will be uninhabbitable for humans in about 400 years at the rate we are dumping carbon into the atmosphere. Once the Ocean's and the Amazon die we are effed up the butt royally. Already dead spots in the Pacific Ocean the size of Manhattan. Thank you US Standard Oil...anyways, this is a show that you watch for the sights not the logic. Time travel into the past is impossible, but the future not so impossible...
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I'd rather have Firefly back!!!! Dinosaurs, please give me a space cowboy any day! Every time I think of FOX I just feel burned! Thanks for letting me rant.

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Not impressed.
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By what? The article? Have you seen the pilot or are you not impressed by critical praise as a rule of thumb?
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I don't think most folks get it. If you go back in time 60 or 80 million years, you can develop a massive civilization that then leaves the planet in PLENTY of time to never affect the time line in any way. All of human civilization has taken place in barely the blink of an eye in the big picture.
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wrong lol...killing a mosquito that had the first strain of malaria would change the future. Moot point as time travel to the past is impossible and breaks every rule in Quantum Mechanics. But you would inevitably change the future by just existing in the past.
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Oh man! I left my Allosaurus repellent 85 million years in the future. I knew I forgot something! Seriously though, this show does have an ambitious premise, but if they pull it off it could be amazing. I will definitely be tuning in for the premier.
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I'll give it a chance but I think the dinosaur thing is gonna be repetitive after a few episodes and people will lose interest. Spielberg might be working on this, but Spielberg hasn't made anything good in years.
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Come on, there was um . . .Transformers . . . no, that sucked, scratch that. Eagle Eye was pretty good . . .yeah your right, it wasn't that good. Cowboys and Aliens had Olivia Wilde in it, so there's that. Damn, alright Heero, you win.
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Hope this is good. Looks promising so far!
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they are actually not really going to change history they already explained that they will be traveling to some kind of parralel universe. i have a feeling that this will be 1 of those shows that you are going to look forward to every week
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I'm gonna try to watch this
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Time travel and dinosaurs makes me want to avoid this trailer so I can be fresh for the 2hour pilot but have one question. Since they aim to change human history, when they jump back do they at least take a big record of all the history that has gone before them which is going to be wiped clean - all the scientific discovers and stuff, all the medicinal cures for all those pesky diseases that killed millions, etc. It would be ashame for all this to be lost.
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