Terra Nova Forums

FOX (ended 2011)

Writing Quality

  • Avatar of behemoth100


    [1]Nov 7, 2011
    • member since: 01/23/06
    • level: 3
    • rank: Soup Nazi
    • posts: 84

    I have to say, the level of brainless writing for this show hit a new low with the most recent episode, 'Nightfall'. I hate when shows not only ignore complete common sense so that a story line can exist, but when they completely disregard science for the sake of a story, it completely overloads the accepted level of 'suspended disbelief' the viewer goes in with when watching an episode.

    The EMP pulse frying all electronics that weren't plugged in annoyed me. While EMPs quite easily damage things that are plugged in, my understanding is that without an earthed connection, a disconnected applience is relatively safe from a pulse, as the flow of current is impeded with a complete circuit. Normally an electrical power point plug will connect with a positive and negative terminal providing a complete circuit with 2 points of different potential difference, however objects without a complete circuit are not as susceptible. So the idea of all unplugged circuitry (especially 22nd Century circuitry which you would expect to be at least more advanced and robust as ours) being destroyed by an EMP is just silly.

    But the thing which has caused me to pause this episode in mid watch and post this up is the absolutely preposterous, stupid, ridiculous idea that that 'super computer virtual reality room' would have a manual over ride on the OUTSIDE, where people are free to escape to the surface already, and not on the INSIDE, where people would be trapped. In a real room with such a lock, it would be on both.

    Not only that, but my knowledge of electronic locks (which is not extremely extensive I admit, but as a structural engineer I do have an abundance of common sense and logic), an electronic lock would be held in place by a strong (current induced) magnetic field, such that in the event of a power outage, the magnetic lock would cease operating and the door would not be held in place. With no current, there would be no magnetic coupling and no force holding the door in place: you could just slide it open. I realise that in a bank or such place, it would NOT be designed like this (you wouldnt want vaults opening in the event of a power outage), but a vault is not designed to house people, and as such people would not be placed in danger if it were locked during an outage. But for an inhabitable room its preposterous to think a) it would be designed to still be locked in the event of an outage and b) there would be a release on the outside and not the inside.

    How Fox threw so much money into this show without first at least confirming the credentials and creativity of the writers and design team is absolutely beyond me. Admitedly there are intelligent points in the episode (like the head military guy (I am awful at remembering names) predicting that their one line of defence, the fence, would be useless against large dinosaurs). But to deliberately ignore the most common of all common sense things like an inner release mechanism, or to deliberately misrepresent science (when as a sci fi show thats the one thing they should at least be getting right) is honestly disgusting. That's a harsh word, and I know some people like this show and all the power to you I completely respect your opinion but I don't think its asking to much to watch a science fiction show that doesn't appear to be written by retarded monkeys who haven't even passed basic high school level physics.

    Oh and the teenage angst and cheesy lines makes me want to barf.

    End rant.

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  • Avatar of wwworldclique


    [2]Nov 7, 2011
    • member since: 09/15/07
    • level: 4
    • rank: Thighmaster
    • posts: 32
    What had me shaking my head about the release mechanism was the fact that a six year old would be able to reach or pull it.

    What about the fact that it seems as if every week, characters are casually strolling out into the dangerous wilderness like it's nothing? And yes, the cheesy lines were awful. Just by coincidence, today I was watching someone's reviews of the awful romance in those Star Wars prequels, and a lot of the dialogue was awfully remininscent of the scenes in those movies.
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  • Avatar of Yaspaa


    [3]Nov 8, 2011
    • member since: 02/12/07
    • level: 78
    • rank: MythBuster
    • posts: 1,867
    Unplugged electronics could still be fried, you would have to take special measures to protect them, the overcurrent from the emp would fire up the circuit board and overload it. Even if it didn't get fried, the power is gone so it wouldn't work anyway. I've read differing professional opinions though. There are way worse shows on TV to pull to bits.
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  • Avatar of kanniballl


    [4]Nov 9, 2011
    • member since: 07/02/03
    • level: 18
    • rank: Land Shark
    • posts: 3,312

    EMPs can destroy unplugged tech, especially today's low-voltage small-circuit tech. Older and more-basic tech can survive an EMP if not powered up at the moment

    My understanding is an EMP would cause induction on the circuits and such... and the resulting voltage is high enough to kill the low-voltage tech we have lying around (like cellphones, laptops, etc). But something like an ordinary flashlight would be fine if it wasn't plugged in.

    A simple Faraday cage would solve everything, but it would need to be complete... a hole for a power cable or keyboard cable to go in would be enough to make the cage worthless.

    What I find funny was the "failsafe" they had for just such an occasion wasn't behind a faraday cage "just in case" The SHOULD have said something like "it was bad timing, we were in the middle of using it to make some replacement chips for the comm tower when the EMP went off." Not simply let it sit there that "oops, the device to rebuild chips in case an EMP destroys them all was also destroyed in the EMP"

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  • Avatar of Xaviersx


    [6]Nov 13, 2011
    • member since: 05/25/03
    • level: 11
    • rank: Red Shirted Lt.
    • posts: 533

    I would like to have seen this show hosted on one of the science channels, a step into scripted television, with a background for the science. They'd have to get some talent in for the humanizing aspects, but as far as graphics and science fact, the fiction would be above the bar. Sad that where this came from, it really doesn't rise above the level of Fox.

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  • Avatar of MarkNash1


    [7]Nov 14, 2011
    • member since: 03/31/10
    • level: 5
    • rank: Caveman Lawyer
    • posts: 25

    The big problem with every aspect of this show is that it fails to treat the viewer and the subject with any respect. Abed on Community points out that when characters fail to act as we would its breaks the realism and our connection to what we are viewing.

    Terra Nova is just insulting to a intelligent viewer when characters don't question anything.. which is doubly annoying as we have gleaned that the future is a grim corrupt andbrutaltotalitarian regime, either:

    1) They don't question as that's the only life they know.
    2) They are morons living in an idiot-plot driven world

    and there in is the crux of TN's problem.. you have a way to explain something but you don't bother... its like every episode is stand-alone so character development is total avoided.

    A good example is:In that first episode they walk up to the magic probe and say.. well they say they sent this back and its not in the future therefore this is not our past, so nothing we do here matters.. and that is it.. THATS IT! Thats a massive statement that no one questions or cares about.. at all.. nothing.. not a word. Here are a few they might have asked:

    What is is made of andwhy is it indestructibleand makes it immune every eventuality up to plate-tectonic shifts?
    Surely 85million years is a long time what powers it?
    Why should it survive when in the future all we have from 85m years ago are mineralised bones, flesh and impressions.
    Since we mistrust our government why should we trust that they didn't find it?
    If this is a parallel earth aren't we destroying it like we did our own?
    Is the dinosaur extinction event going to happen here too?

    .. now possibly no-one there knows or cares but the viewer does... throw us a bone for flip-sake.

    Even if that was uninteresting to everyone surely if you ended up in another era you might have a passing interest in seeing the animals that no-else has ever set eyes on.Wouldn'tthey be the first thing you wanted to see?.. and once you got to see some feeding wouldnt you be inspired to find out and see more? but no...

    Likewise no-one is is in the slightest bit interested in how the place works.. we've seen windmills and solar-panels for power.. but surely you'd farm dinosaurs for food? Now i don't want to see a Star Wars like episode of how they do the accounts and have council meetings but some idea of how Nova works as a community would have been a great background... but it seems that Orientation was only for people with non-important jobs (for example farms-hands and doctors have no need to know how Nova works as a community or anything about wildlife or safety)

    I sat down to watch the first episode with a few friends, expecting a funthrill ride of sci-fi and dinosaurs... instead we had an hour of tearingshredsoff a limp rag... by the end we had noted 50-70 plot holes, mistakes and examples of poor storytelling.

    You feel like they blew all the cash on a lovely clean set (which makes everything look so cozy and comfy not escapee and astruggleforexistence) andbalkedat the cost so cut it with safe-as-possible stories hoping for mass-appeal.

    There are grand ideas started in the pilot that get zero flesh and leave you without a solid frame to build on... It feels like they want a blank slate so they can redefine anything when it comes into play.. which is just not natural.. and the ham-fisted way they try to introduce some grand mystery after 3 bland episodes was utterly child like and inept.

    Now i will watch the dumbest action movie and enjoy it if you give me something.. make it a thrill ride and i'll forgive almost anything.. but you break my interest and all i'll do is analyse it to destruction and so far Terra nova is slow paced,unrealisticwithunlikablecharacters, bland effects and no real plot.

    It consitantly displays inept decision making and child-like motives to its characters. The sixers from day 1 look like a cheap alternative to dinosaurs.... you want to deal with issues and conflict.. well with them it costs a lot less than cgi.. sothere'sthat sorted.. and also utterly uncompelling.. imagine Jurassic Park but instead of the one person espionagesub-storythey had amilitaryteam trying toinfiltrateand take the data by force.. it wouldhavesucked massively and distracted from the real issue the bloody nasty monsters on the loose.

    The banishment story was rightly ridiculed.. not a single person thought that banishing anyone from the camp was delivering a disgruntled person with friends and knowledge of the camp to the Sixers.. come on.. a 5 year old could see it not to mention every single review of that episode.

    My fave part of the first episode was finding out that stabbing a rucksack with a huge knife is the best way to check it for weapons/explosives oh and once a violent convict (who you've met for less than 5 minutes, broke out of prison, arrived illegally, with a child and a gun, etc etc) hasapparentlysaved your life trust him wholy and wander off into the woods with him and give him a job with a weapon.

    I could easily have forgive this for a messy start if they had dealt with the issues but they ignored just about everything for 3 episodes with mid 3rd season-like standalone drivel that answered or supportedabsolutelyzero from the opening and could have more or less been from any show, failing to utilize thefertileground of the what little a scenario they created. It was like they had some spare scripts left over from the failed 'Earth 2' series and filmed those instead of writing something new but equally they couldhavebeen episodes of Fringe or any number of shows.

    If you want to reward a viewer.. set something up in episode 1.. then use that reference in episode 2.. then in episode 5 build on it.. let the viewer feel some pride in connecting the dots.. its not hard.. its not like you haven't created a plot outline for the whole season before filming. When every episode is so tightly self contained you see every twist coming.. most people can retain the last 40mins in their memory.. so give us a little credit and set things up.. let them make sense and build on them. Oh and if you think awhinnystereotype teenager isanyone'sidea of acompellingcentral character let them have a quick and nasty death as a lesson that anything can happen in this world.

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