Terra Nova

Season 1 Episode 3


Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 03, 2011 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
387 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Jim and Taylor find themselves trying to save the colony from an attacking swarm of pterosaurs. Elisabeth discovers a former boyfriend is also living in Terra Nova and Jim is suspicious that he may have been responsible for her being recruited. Skye and Josh spend more time together as she tries to make him feel more comfortable living in Terra Nova. Reynolds begins to look out for Maddy.


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  • Instinct

    "The Birds" (1963) is one of the best known films from the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock. Personally, not my favorite of the great master, but there is no doubt that it is a work that marked the history of cinema and suspense that still serves as a reference to many other stories I want to tell.

    Was deliberate or not, the truth is that the first reference that came to mind as soon as the third episode of "Terra Nova" began to unfold and I realized that the story paths was preparing to follow the precise " The Birds, "or even any other film in the long list of the genus (in which the animals decide to attack humans without, at least initially, an apparent reason), but especially" The Birds "by the obvious similarities in terms of appearance the animal (or group of animals) who stars attacks. That is to say: been there, seen that. Nothing very original here.

    But comparisons aside, because there is no need to make between a classic of cinema and a number that hardly become memorable, "Instint" episode turns out to be a more respectable than initially imagined it would. It is true that 40 minutes of the episode seemed too compact for everything that happened (the pterosaurs appear / start attacking people / discovers why / people get rid of them) and therefore there is not much room for create some real tension (except the time when kids have to defend themselves when they are refugees in their own home), but the narrative rhythm in conjunction with the consistency of the story itself ended up making the duration of this episode very tolerable 40 minutes and nothing monotonous.

    Or rather, almost 40 minutes and nothing quite tolerable boring ... because if we discount the airtime given to the first triangle of the series, then there is only about half an hour. Since it showed me that the relationship between the patriarchs of the family is Shannon something warm because he had been arrested during a portion of time, but really needed to bring in some guy's past Elizabeth (Shelley Conn), and that was the even if advised to come to Newfoundland to attempt to create disturbances in the family? Why this need to create love triangles in a series of science fiction or fantasy beyond me completely. Yes, there is room for love inside of both genders, of course. Especially because it provides the growth of the characters and the conflicts it generates within them can create interesting lines of argument. But why the radius of the love triangle?! Why is there always someone trying to steal the woman's husband or someone else?! Why is not content with the more realistic normal and the two love stories?! Anyway ...moreless
  • Disappointing -- solutions appear out of thin air.

    I had great hope for this show when it first started. The pilot episode set the stage very nicely for what I thought was going to come: a story basically about human beings on the edge, feeling their way in an unfamiliar and dangerous world. I figured they would be kind of clueless.

    This episode started with something of a mystery to solve. Fair enough. It's the way they arrived at a solution that killed the show. First they see a bunch of birdlike dinosaurs, who then begin to attack. Why? Ask Mr. Science chief...

    Answer I expected: "I don't know. We'll need to study them for a while, things like this could take months." This would set up something I thought could be on ongoing issue, with periodic attacks.

    What we got: "Well, I've only seen one for a few seconds, but I can tell you exactly what they are and why they are attacking. Give me a couple of hours and I can create and synthesize 50 liters of their pheromones so you can lure them away!" Good thing he's both the best biologist AND best chemist in the history of the universe. And good thing this primitive little outpost has science facilities from thousands of years in the future instead of the near-future when it is set.

    Basically, this episode was a bit of build up, then a miracle scientific solution appears out of nowhere to save the day with no further hassle. If the rest of the episodes follow the same pattern--problem solved through rapid miracle science discovery--count me out as a viewer.moreless
  • Oh dear.....

    Well after what i thought to be a really good pilot i was left hugely disopointed by this episode for many reasons..... the special effects were to be honsest really poor, i new that this episode wasnt going to have the big budget that the pilot did but i still expected the creatures to look realistic, the characters were still underdeveloped and we really dont know anything much about them, the subplots were awful i mean considering there were hundreds of flying killers on there way it felt very silly that are charcaters were concerned about guitars and boys, also the jim character is starting to get on my nerves which is never a good thing when you ont like thr leading man(mark benford-flashforward) although jim isnt that bad......yet

    I will stick with terra nova although i really hope next week is better as this show has so much potentialmoreless
  • It's Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, meets Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park.

    Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen, as Hitchcock would say on his show. There are spoilers below.

    Besides the flying reptiles problem, we found that Dr. Shannon was hand picked by her former boyfriend to join Terra Nova. He knew very well that her husband was in jail.

    While there is a little hint of jeolousy with the dad over mom's ex-boyfriend, the teen siblings are developing their own relationships.

    The CG was ok, except for the close ups. At the beginning of the show, they had survival training and was taught "fire is the only thing these creatures understand." They should have lit some torches around camp.

    The solution was a little hurried. There are many types of pheromones not just sex pheromones. They found a way toextract and synthesizeboth male and females sex pheromones and lure them away. Also, they would not fly back. It's kind of like luring salmon up the wrong river hoping that they would not return to their original breeding spot. I guess the flying reptiles die after sex also.moreless
  • The birds are coming...

    After the interesting two-parter pilot episode, we're in for our first stand-alone episode. And it certainly doesn't hold up as well. The problem, for me, is the balancing act of animal versus monster. Just look at Jurassic Park: the dinosaurs were firstly animals, not monsters. Here the Pterosaurs come off just as vicious monsters, trying to wreack havoc among the Terra Nova settlement.Another balance was actually hit pretty well: the show was surprisingly light-hearted at times, and serious at others. I'm all for dark and serious stuff, but it's quite refreshing to see something like this in a modern show, everything is usually so doomy and gloomy and serious.Random thoughts:- I though these flying lizards were like Compsognathus, and nothing too dangerous. Yeah, you can get a few cuts, but to die from them? Especially the guys at the start seemed to have just a few cuts in their faces and nothing fatal. Maybe it was just to keep the rating down and not show too much gore.- Most of the characters got some screen time. Washington is quickly becoming my favourite character.- CGI looked good from afar, bad from close up. I hope they'd use some props instead of all-CGI.- Sixers were nowhere to be found. Thankfully.While this episode wasn't as good as the pilot, it kept me somewhat entertained for the whole 42 minutes, so it wasn't too bad. But I do hope there's something different coming up in the next episodes.moreless
Louis Okada

Louis Okada

Lt. Okuda

Guest Star

Nicholas Cooper

Nicholas Cooper

Robert Stanley

Guest Star

Mikhael Wilder

Mikhael Wilder


Guest Star

Dean Geyer

Dean Geyer

Mark Reynolds

Recurring Role

Peter Lamb

Peter Lamb

Casey Durwin

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions