Terra Nova: How Do You Like Them Apples?

In the Shannon Family Olympics, brainy middle sister Maddy has a firm lock on the silver medal. She's the Lisa of this pre-historic Simpsons gang, a friendless walking textbook whose encyclopedic knowledge is simultaneously endearing and annoying. She's like a Judy Moody who never outgrew her childhood detective phase, and last night she put her knowledge of rocks to good use in a good old-fashioned mystery!

"Proof" offered Maddy a whopper of a mystery that the adults were too busy to solve: one of her science idols, a brave explorer named Horton (whose stylist also worked with many of the world's finest classical musicians), returned to Terra Nova after a six-month expedition, but something just wasn't right about him. Time for Judy Maddy to crack the case!

Maddy's suspicions arose when her internship as a rock sorter put her in really uncomfortably close quarters with the scientist: Just when I thought this Afterschool Special was going to tackle the issue of inappropriate touching, Maddy arrived at the conclusion that Horton might not be who he said he was. Why? Because Horton couldn't remember some joke he wrote a million years ago or recall the name of the equally famous partner he quested with. Most kids would chalk that up to early onset dementia and proceed by swapping Horton's dentures with old board game pieces, but not Maddy. She was committed to putting this rascal away.

Her investigation inspired her to run a DNA test with the lab's DNA-Bot3000, comparing the so-called Horton's saliva (lifted from a cup that he just left on a counter for some lower-class citizen to clean up—scientists can be such jerks!) with saliva she collected from a letter the "real" Horton allegedly wrote to her in response to fan mail she sent him many years prior. The DNA test came back a match, but Maddy guessed that the potentially fake Horton (spoiler alert: he really was a fake) was actually the real Horton's former research assistant and mailed the letter out with his own spit on the real Horton's behalf. Then she formulated Fake Horton's motive for taking over Real Horton's life: He was upset over Real Horton not appreciating him and taking credit for his work. So Fake Horton killed Real Horton and assumed his identity, complete with a face transplant, so he could never be recognized again for his own work but instead build the legacy of the man he was jealous of in the first place? Look, some of Encyclopedia Brown's villains didn't make much sense either.

Maddy's suspicions were confirmed when Fake Horton tied her up and tried to kill her with a spider. Maddy didn't even think to sing the "Spider Song," and it nearly cost her her life. But Jim saved the day by singing the "Spider Song" punching Horton so hard he was launched into the air! Talk about a close call (where was soldier Mark in all of this?). Overall, I'd give this story a D-minus for a few reasons, including 1.) Fake Horton was actually doing good things for the colony, like giving them fresh apples, but Maddy was so set on crushing the man's dreams that she had him—and all the scientific brilliance that could really have helped the colony—put away. Way to stop the progress of science, traitor! And 2.) The moral of the story was summed up by Jim when he imparted this bit of fatherly wisdom on his daughter: "You trusted your gut even when all the evidence was against you. I'm proud of you." Take that sage-like advice, Maddy, and use it in your pursuit of scientific truth! Evidence is for pussy scientists! But in the end, Maddy got her apple and looked at it in deep thought with a wry smile, knowing that she defeated a poseur scientist. It was a good day, even though she almost got herself killed and had to be rescued by her dad. And that concludes my book report on Maddy Moody and the Composer Who Became a Fake Scientist.

But Maddy wasn't the only teen in trouble on Monday. Mira called in Josh's favor, the one promised her a few weeks ago in exchange for bringing Kara back to the past. It turned out the Sixers' camp was overrun by illness, and she needed some meds to keep the jungle rebellion going strong. Those meds? Property of Elisabeth Shannon, M.D.! Now, I've stolen from my mom before, and it really wasn't that hard. You just take what you need ($5 for some Sweettarts and Street Fighter II at 7-11, in my case) and leave everything else exactly how you found it. But Josh didn't do that. It's Josh, after all.

Josh had mom's access card duplicated by Boylan and broke into the Infirmary, shattering a window instead of, I don't know, stealing the front door key at the same time as he stole the access card? In for a penny, in for a pound, Josh. And since when did access cards not include rights to the front door? The last thing Terra Novans need is a pocketful of keys. Ever get chased by a Nykosaur and fall down and land on your keys? Ouch.

Josh skipped to phase two of the first-known "World's Dumbest Criminals" footage, and tried to open the med cabinet with the access card. But the card didn't work, meaning all that time we spent talking about access cards was a complete waste of time for everyone except the person in charge of the "access cards" page on the Terra Nova wiki. (Sample entry: "Access cards on Terra Nova suck. Like the show's access hatches.") Josh's next idea was to shoot open the med cabinet with his Sonic Shooter Rifle, which blasted him into the wall in unintentionally comical fashion. When Jim later investigated the crime scene, he stopped just short of saying whoever did this is lucky to have the cognitive capacity to tie their own shoes. Josh was like the original this guy!

Josh eventually admitted to stealing the meds when Elisabeth said one of her patients would die without some of the juice. When pressed for answers with all the force of a mom coddling a newborn baby, Josh sold out Boylan, who told Jim the truth: Mira can talk to the future! Jim and Taylor exchanged stories about their sons, and Taylor told Jim that if all Jim has to worry about with Josh is that he's breaking into medical facilities and making agreements with murderous rival factions, he shouldn't be complaining. If that wasn't the perfect window for Jim to slowly back out of the room and let Taylor deal with his own father-son problems, I don't know what is.

After a few stronger episodes of Terra Nova, "Proof" pushed the series back into birdosaurs and memory-erasing virus territory thanks to its WHO CARES plot about one scientist posing as another scientist. There was no building on last week's introduction of Taylor's son Lucas, which would have been nice since he's obviously an integral part of the season-long story. At least we got some momentum out of Josh ratting out Boylan, which led to Taylor and Jim learning more secrets about Mira. Come on, Terra Nova. You only have five episodes left! Make 'em count!

Notes:
– If this show is supposed to be set in the past, why is Jim Shannon catching computer-generated fish from the 1980s? The CGI is getting more and more atrocious.

– Did Zoe lose a tooth!? She is so adorable. Gold medal-winning Shannon kid, and it's not even close! Also, I think her idea that Horton was a vampire would have made a much better story.

– Okay, someone defend this. Josh showed up at the Sixers camp and demanded "more than assurance" that Kara will be on the next pilgrimage. Mira turned a dial, and up popped a hologram of Kara from 2149. So... was Kara just sitting there next to the time-traveling hologram machine in the future? And why does everyone on this show trust horny teenagers with HUGE secrets?

... A zinger from Taylor: "The last thing you see alive will be my face." Burn! Taylor's fight with the Komodo dragon was also pretty cool and probably very embarrassing for Stephen Lang. One day his grandchildren will ask him about Terra Nova and he'll just make them watch Avatar again. It's also nice to see that Terra Nova's writers did their zoological research by watching Discovery Channel's Life.

... What was up with that HUGE Ice Age Christmas promo? It took up like half the screen!


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

Comments (58)
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It's a show that could be so much more if they just cut the strings form the person looking over the writers shoulders. It's WAY to disney for a setting of 85 million years in the past. I hope they give it a second season and a chance to become more. Sadly it will probably end up like Stargate Universe which was said to have the opposite problem.
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People still watch this show?
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I figured that either Kara had been contacted beforehand and been told to get ready or that it was faked and he wasn't really talking with Kara. And without the rift one has to wonder how they're sending the signals. Are they bouncing the signal off a blackhole or are they (more likely) passing it through a wormhole?



Although there's only five episodes left, the last is suppose to be two-hours so it could be more like only four episodes left. And while the ratings are still good, I don't think the ratings have been impressive enough to get the show another season. So once those episodes air that could be it for Terra Nova.
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This show is making ' The Event " look pretty good right now.

Last week, I watched a few eps of Land of the Lost.....found it to be way more entertaining.
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Where are the Dinos????????????
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I couldn't stop laughing at the fact Maddy was sharing her wild speculations about Horton with Zoe. It honestly felt like the writers couldn't come up with any method for Maddy to voice her suspicions other than to share them with her 5 year old, apparently vampire obsessed sister. I'm not sure if this show is hilariously bad enough for me to continue watching. I miss The Event. At least it was entertaining.
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Why is this FAMILYshow so hated? People who didnt even WATCH come here inthe comments and rant about it. Is it envy cause of its big budget and other , good shows had to be axed? Thats not TN fault, isnt it? I enjoyed this episode, actually I think this was the best episode so far. You ll see: all the crap so far - just hickups, this show is getting pretty good. Your so loved OUAT was way more boring this week than this one.
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You're right... I really am envious of its budget. Or rather, I'm envious of the way the TV's producers, directors, and writers were able to fool Fox into giving them all this money that they apparently used to fill their Swiss Bank accounts with. I mean, $4 million dollars per episode and not a thing to show for it-- not the weapon design ($40 Nerf guns) nor the wardrobe (courtesy of American Apparel/ Land's End/Abercrombie and Fitch), or the writing (let's rip off Aliens/ The Birds/ previous sci-fi shows and movies this week!).



Hmmm, ask the network to give me and my fellow colleagues a guzillion dollars for a TV show and not actually use it? Who wouldn't be envious of that, LOL!
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The only good thing about this show is Taylor ! Not even the dino are good anymore, wait... where the hell are the dinos??!!?

Jezzzz... the Shananannigans family (what ever) scare even the dinos!

T-rex "oh boy, I can't watch this, fuc@# this sh#$, I'm out of here.. I'm becoming a vegetarian!!!" LOL



END THIS SHOW PLEASE, GIVE ALL THIS MONEY FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN WRITE !!!!!
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The main thing I hate about the dinos is that they are that peculiar brand of Hollywood monster/threat which is only around when the writers need the drama and suddenly not there at all when it's not convenient. So our characters are able to wander around a dino-infested jungle pretty much like it's a walk in the park when it suits them and in deadly danger when they step a foot outside the camp when the writers sense a lull in the pacing. Consistency is all.
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Thank you wwworldclique
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Tim, you forgot to mention how stupid it is that in a world where a teenager can do a DNA test, they found a dead body (the real scientist) and could not identify him.

Also, in the same world where DNA tests are a breeze and it's easy to change appearances, being the trip to Terra Nova so desirable by all, shouldn't it be prudent to test all the people that go in the pilgramages?
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Plus, what did they do with this murdering fake scientist? Kill him? Is he also wandering about outside, having been banished? They made such a big deal of someone being banished previously, but suddenly it's pretty much a daily occurence, it seems!
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If Fake Horton was...well...fake, then why the hell the DNA-Bot3000 showed on its screen, as result, a DNA match for HORTON,KEN? I also loved when Jim looked through the broken lab window, and seriously, in his best cop voice, announced:"They came in through the window". Brilliant work, Sherlock! Ah, when I think about "The Event" ending a few months ago, I would be without my dose of dumb TV, but, man, this Terra Nova shit makes that look like "Lost". I have an idea: why not kill off the Shannons, and make Taylor the star of his own SyFy movie: "Taylor Vs.MegaMegalodon Komodo". They already got the CGI down to a T!!! The Komodo fight and that fish will make the Asylum guys green with envy!Taylor is the biggest badass since Jango Fett,bro!!!
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The only good thing about this show is Taylor ! Not even the dino are good anymore, wait... where the hell are the dinos??!!?

Jezzzz... the Shananannigans family (what ever) scare even the dinos!



END THIS SHOW PLEASE, GIVE ALL THIS MONEY FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN WRITE !!!!!
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Well, did you notice, Douglas, that the dinos have been replaced with "larger versions" of current animals. So instead of dinos we're getting giant-sized marlins and giant-sized komodo dragons, roflmao!!!
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OK Terra Nova .. you're probably not getting a season 2, so stop showing this procedural crap to the poor sods that stuck with you up until this episode and get to the crux.
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I wouldn't be that harsh. Amnesia virus and horny birds episodes were much worse. Of course, the case of the week (scientist identity theft) was not good but at least we didn't loose our time with irrelevant teenagers-in-love storylines and for once both Maddy and Josh took part of the main storylines (scientist and sixers).

I think we should start listing WTF ridiculous moments for this show. This ep brang his share with the scary CGIed fish and the staring contest between Taylor and the Kamodo.
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I didn't watch this episode but it sounds awful. I can't belive they didn't pick up where they left off last week (with Taylor's son). I'm done with this show
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"Proof" was actually one of the better episodes of the season, but again we saw a lot of that type of bad writing where the writers time and time again throw out details, logic, and characterization to force a plot along.



1. Why would a 16 year old confide in her 6 year old sister about a very complicated problem of whether a man is a fraud or not? Why not run this by her soldier boyfriend? Oh, that's right-- she needs to confide in her kid sister, so that the "villain" can see them interacting all the time and make a plan to use the 6 year old as bait to entrap the 16 year old.



2. Why are there paper handwritten letters on a show where the environment is completely digitalized, and the characters come from a digitalized future? Oh, that's right-- so Maddy can run a DNA test!



Writers, come on! Come on, dudes!
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I have to agree with the fish. Most of the CGI has been decent but that looked like something from a bad (is there any other?) SY-FY movie. For a show that was originally announcing "astounding" special effects that was probably the worst...so far. I like the show but the interpersonal stuff has to stop and the real conflict between the Novans and the Sixers had better start soon or it certainly won't make it to another season.
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Sadly this show hasn't improved, but I still have to watch it because it's the only science fiction on television besides Fringe as far as I'm aware and Fringe has a boring setting. I wish it would get cancelled and a new space-based science fiction series would replace it (one that Spielberg has nothing to do with)
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This is not science fiction ... There! Now you don't have to watch the show any more. You're welcome :-)
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FOX need to axe this series.
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...you know what i wish..................THAT THIS PIECE OF CRAP IS TAKEN OF MY TV!!!!!!!!
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What is that flushing sound???????? Oh yeah......$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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i don't like the series, but i don't hate it eather..it is ok some moments...!!

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Is this stupid show still on TV. I gave up after ep 2.

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Kudos to the guy who sold FOX CGI for a load of money and then got away delivering this.
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Terra Nova (FOX) Ratings 7,06 2,3(demo) -11,5%
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Anybody knows what the ratings are? How come the episodes are soooo boring? Is it because there are like a dozen executive producers?
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I've given up on this show -- it's far too campy and Disney to even fathom the idea of taking seriously. I've said over and over again how they could actualy make the show interesting, but it's far too late.
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i think the same thing happened with Stargate Universe
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Stargate Universe was trillion times better than this garbage.
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P.S. I think that the biggest problem here is Lost. and Terra Nova is just a 85 gazillion old island.
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After the second episode I asked myself, where did all the production money go? and after the second episode I stopped with TN. Then I saw the other episodes and let's face it: with some elements from Lost the show improved, but we are still far from what everyone was expecting . There are still 5 episodes to the end of the first season, I'll stick with it for the seme reason I'm still wacthing TWD, I want to see the end (maybe something will change), but I have some complaining to do:

1. For what they spent all the money?

2. writers (if we can call them such) came from where (2149?!?)? my 5 years old cousin would tell a better story with dinosaurs.

And now more importan tthings :

- Shannon's family does not seem a family, very bad acting.

- The Sixers are funny from every angle you look at them.

- Taylor and his soldiers. soldiers?!? omg



final thoughts

friends from FOX please read this comment : if you need someone to do the CGI, I have nothing to do until Christmas, if you need give me a call.
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People still watch this show??
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yup, cause its so bad ,i watch it and laugh. Actually this was pretty good ep for bad Terra nova standards. so bad that scientist wasn't monster :D it may be cool if he were infected by smart terra nova bug controlling him :D
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Yes. I live in hope each week that it will get better - and each week I'm terminally disappointed. I think my patience will probably give out very shortly. At this point I'm only still watching for the dinos. When they turn up. And even they're getting appalling. That fish was wincingly bad CGI.
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Apparently so haha, its rather bland and mainstream but still a time killer if your bored. Cheers my friend.
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I think they just wanted us to realize that Kara is a hottie and give us a reason to keep watching until she gets there! I think this show could have been much better if they kept a constant storyline going in not only Terra Nova, strictly between Lucas, Avatar guy, Papa Shannon, and the Sixers, and then with the 2149 world. They keep referencing it but we really don't know or care about it at all.
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nuh-uh, Tim, you're making it up... I don't believe you... There's no way that's an episode... I've stopped watching it after that god-awful amnesia episode but what you described makes Keeping Up With The Kardashians sound like Citizen Kane...
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Problem with terra nova, for me, everybody looks fake. The whole family, they look more like a bunch of people who are acting like they are in a family. Elisabeth, i think she would pass more as a cousin to these kids than being their mother, and jim seems like the type who belongs to a modeling parade and if not, playing james bond saving the day but definitely not playing family. The sixers are another weird case, looking like a bunch of kids playing in the jungle and wearing war paint in their faces with Mira at the top always carrying her mean look on her face and out of all the people you have to wonder why did they choose her to play that position. Commander taylor and his little soldier squads looks also ridiculous. Taylor, they may portray him or continue to say how tough he is but this scrawny little old man looks like he come straight out of G.I. joe flick.

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+1. The "fakeness" of the family was really obvious last night. I don't know why, but it really came across in the last scene when Josh confesses to the theft. All I saw were a bunch of pretty catalogue models standing around pretending to be a family.
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"where was soldier Mark in all of this?"

my thoughts exactly! this is why you have a hunky boyfriend, to work on conspiracy theories with!!

the moment that her little sis went missing she should have grabbed her guy and had him open a can of whoop-ass

i get it you a teenager and you don't talk to your parents, but seriously girl confide in ur bf
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The reason why Reynolds was nowhere to be seen was plot contrivance. The writers had Maddy confide in Zoe, so they could have Horton see them interacting all the time and then come up with a scheme to use Zoe as "bait."
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This episode was so badly written. The only thing that's redeeming this show are its production values thanks to what I can presume is an excessive budget (even then, it's somewhat lacking). But the writers need to get their acts together. Case in point, how convenient was it that somehow that guy gave his daughter a secret safety word in case she got in trouble? (any of the writers ever heard of Deus Ex Machina and how it should be avoided with a 10ft poll?) What was the point of the story arc in the ep about the exiled prisoner? Why are they dealing so much with human interactions in a show where the only thing it has going for it is the uniqueness of the setting amongst dinosaurs? Why aren't we seeing more interactions between the humans of the colony and the local flora and fauna.



I'm so close to giving up but the show has so much potential. Just the setting and the premise is so unique but why aren't the writers capitalizing on this? It feels like everything that is happening on the show could be taking place in any other universe. I don't understand why they don't use the premise to their advantage.
More+
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This was the second missed opportunity for the show to comment on how humans can't help but EF up the planet. First they set up home in the breeding ground of the flying dinosaurs, thus trashing the ecosystem of one species, now they've transplanted bugs in the hope they will eat the fungus destroying the apple crop. 50 years later it will probably turn out that these bugs eat everything else too and the humans will have destroyed another ecosystem.



Why, oh why, are humans incapable of not trashing the planet? And how are these supposedly brilliant scientists not able to see the error of their past ways and correct mistakes?
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The only feeling I got from this show was jailbait. The teenie bopper is the most attractive girl on the show, and she looks 15. And I don't know what the point of the show was other than filler before they pick a plot. Overall, I just feel like a perv for watching this show. I think I'm done.
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I'm still a fan of this show, but I have to admit this was a bad episode. The CGI was horrid (didn't they push back a fall debut to work on the CGI?). There was very little movement in the over all story line. For the most part I was pretty bored. I wish they would get on with Lucas' story and get the show moving a little more.
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I'm pot committed to Terra Nova. I want to see it succeed, but these story lines seem so weak. I was really hoping this series would give us great new adventures and push the boundaries of this genre, but it has failed with some pretty lame acting and underwhelming graphic effects. I'm in to the end with dying hope.
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Josh after seeing his bruises:

"I should've stayed at Degrassi"



whatever company Terra Nova uses for CGI, they need to be fired.. Primeval has better graphics and they barely have a budget..
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This show is so bad but I just can't stop watching for some reason....
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already stopped... u can do it too :)
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How? :P
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