Terra Nova (TV Series 2011) Poster


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Good concept, but needs more original thinking
aadams27 September 2011
The whole family thing has the wrong feel for the situation. It's like they just moved there from Orange County. The teens are petulant babies. I doubt that would be the case if they had really just left an overpopulated, dangerously polluted world run by a harshly militaristic government. Why can't there be some original thinking about how people might behave in such a precarious situation with an uncertain future, dinosaur threats, and a competing population. Maybe this is a world where teens use their capable brains in new and interesting ways, rather than as trite selfish brats who need babysitting. I doubt that teens would act like that if they were in this situation. Yes, it's good to have varying levels of behavior; not everyone has to be brilliant or saintly. But behavior is influenced by situation and it should bring unique fears, force some creativity, plus there is an obvious ability to have impact in such a small population. What are the relevant issues in this world and how do they impact the inhabitants?
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Terra Nova ... slow start but gaining speed
das_leichsi1 December 2011
Okay folks,

I get it that for most of you high and mighty reviewers Terra Nova seems to be dumb. but I honestly do not feel this way.

People complaining about some holes and everything is just ridiculous with a series that is sending people 80million years in the past. come on people, give them a chance. (if anyone is going to mention the asteroid again I'm going to scream ... 16 million years until impact you geniuses out there. that's enough for a thousand civilizations to rise and fall so stop whining and use your oh soo awesome brains)

so let me tell you that yes, the first 4 episodes a rather drama heavy with long character plots to get to know them. and yes, the CGI is not the best on the market. but that did not keep me from Doctor Who or LEX and it's sure as hell not going to keep me from anything else.

I really love the direction of the later episodes when the meta plot gets going and we get a broader picture of what is wrong with Terra Nova, Commander Taylor and the Sixers.

The acting still ranges between average and sometimes very good. episode 9 had a nice Stephen Lang moment.

give the show a try, maybe jump in the later episodes and forget about the CGI.

suspend the disbelief and just enjoy it. it's better than most of the other crap out there, and you can watch it with the whole family.

and dammit, it has Dinosaurs!
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Well, SOMEONE Had to Like It...
joliefille4113 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I've watched five or so episodes of Terra Nova thus far, and I think it is quite good, definitely not the drivel that one would believe from scrolling through the first couple of pages of reviews on IMDb. Calling something "family friendly" doesn't really offend my sensibilities- why can't families have shows that are appropriate for all members to watch? True, the gore and body-count in the series is noticeably lower than we have be trained to expect from any offering that features dinosaurs, but I never finish an episode and say, "Gee, I wish more characters had died and exposed their shredded flesh on camera to preserve my sense of realism this time!"

Obviously, the graphics and scenery are really well done, as one would expect from all the hype surrounding the large-budget production. The dinosaurs are better than anything I've seen on television, and I admire the care and planning that has been put into the futuristic trappings.

The cast and characters are generally well-done. Jason O'Mara and Shelley Conn have great chemistry and I have enjoyed watching their characters rekindle their relationship. I will agree that two of the children: the youngest daughter and the eldest son, are grating and pointless. The daughter seems to mainly have existed as a plot point in the pilot: to give the family a reason to escape to Terra Nova and ratchet up the stakes while still building sympathy for the parents. After that, she's just too cutesy-wootsy and tends to get in the way. The son is the dreaded "worst offender" of the show. I think that probably without him, a lot more people wouldn't have so much to complain about. Every single storyline for him is a mess of clichés, from "son is inexplicably always angry with father" to "son is horny and will do stupid things for a hot chick" to "son is a moron and really deserves to die, but he is a main character, so we will kill someone else to teach him a Very Important Lesson." The middle daughter is much more tolerable and her storyline is (dare I say it?) sweet. In that manner, I find it kind of refreshing to mash up family-friendliness with sci-fi stuff. How often in dinosaur flicks do you get to have "sweet" (not ooky-gooky, just tender) moments between characters? Not that often. Stephen Lang and Christine Adams as opposing leaders of Terra Nova and the Sixers are probably the strongest performers of the lot.

Overall, the stories have been pretty good, and never what I would consider to be offensively unwatchable. It's not LOST, but geeze, why should anything else try to be LOST? LOST was LOST and this is Terra Nova, and it is good at what it is. It's interesting and exciting and entertaining. The b-plots can tread on tired ground, as I have mentioned above, but the a-plots are solid.

Overall, Terra Nova does what it aims to do well. Sort of a loose contemporary spin on Lost in Space, but with dinosaurs. If you don't like those kinds of shows, guess what? You won't like this. And that's okay, but that doesn't mean that Terra Nova is badly done by any means.
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Give it a chance
Cheetham00711 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
No Terra Nova is not as good as Jurassic Park, but did anyone really expect it be be?

I believe that people are too quick to write Terra Nova off. Even great sci-fi shows such as Falling Skies, BattleStar Galactica and Stargate first come under negative reviews and yet went on to become successful. The acting and choice of actors has also come under criticism and yet no one would enjoy watching a series about a whole military base fighting the odd dinosaur and killing all enemies. The civilian element, much like the colonial fleet in Battlestar, helps to cause trouble within Terra Nova (ie the sixer spy). The human element is crucial to ALL sci-fi's -surely people must realise this? If not i recommend watching a different genre (Preferably a war film)

About the CGI used in Terra Nova. What can u expect from a TV Series? The big films may be able to get the best CGI but for a TV series it is incredibly harder (And has caused shows like Stargate to be cancelled). Is the CGI so bad? No, not compared to some current shows broadcast on SciFi.

Overall i believe People need to give Terra Nova a chance, especially as the story is now getting deeper. If, After this season, the plot hasn't improved, then criticise Terra Nova and get out your DVD of Jurassic Park.
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Family falls into time plot holes
dean-888-29388527 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The show starts out in the future where humans due to "greed and ignorance" have destroyed Earth's environment. The rich live in domed cities (Logan's Run) to protect them from the bad air and the overpopulated poor. The main family, the Shannons, consist of two parents and their 3 children, the third being illegal. Since the planet (America) is overpopulate, families are only allowed 2 children. The police come in to search for this law infraction and the dad ends up getting arrested for fighting with the police. We find out later that the family would have only gotten a fine. Plot Hole: If there is such a strict law, then they probably would take the child and euthanize it, not just a small payable fine. If it was just a fine, the family would have just paid the fine earlier, because the mother has a very well paying job. It is her job qualifications that allows her to be selected to go to Terra Nova (without her husband) and not have to worry about winning a lottery selection.

Since the Earth is dying, scientist accidentally find a crack in the time/space continuum that allows them to go back in time millions of years. This is apparently a one way trip. We also find out that there is a probe sent, but never found, which leads scientist to believe that whatever they do in the past won't affect the current time line. It isn't explained how they know how far back the crack in time goes, since they can't find evidence left back in time. They also don't explain how they can communicate with whatever is sent back. Plot Hole: if they can't confirm that they are actually sending things back in time, how do they know they aren't disintegrating whatever they send through the event horizon? Obvious Future Spoiler: The probe has been found, which is why they know that they can affect the future from the past and why the "Sixers" were sent.

The Shannon family breaks out Dad from a "maximum security" prison with a simple laser cutter and not much else. Dad breaks into the "maximum security" time travel center using stuff left out in the open crowded train station by the family. Dad brings illegal daughter in a backpack and family goes through time crack. So many 'deus ex machina' moments in that sequence. Where was the illegal child being held during the 2 years Dad was in prison? If everyone is given provision when they get to the camp, then why do individuals bring backpacks with them? This is a science/military expedition, everyone would probably be issued clothes and other things and only allowed a few personal items.

Plot Hole: We also learn from the leader of Terra Nova camp that the difference between one person stepping into the time crack and the next is months. Yet, when 200 people go through, they all appear on the same day, not delayed. Did they improve the process and just leave that part out? Also, you hear announcements about more oxygen in the air and how much brighter the sun will be when they go back in time. There is no mention of how everyone in the current barely visible sun time line will require major amounts of sunscreen when they encounter clear skies and a blazing sun.

After everything is straightened out with the stowaway Dad and child, we get into the predictable plots. Teenagers living on their own who spend the after work hours (apparently the writers never worked on a farm) jumping the fence to go drink moonshine at the only restricted area near the camp. The group of teens enter a restricted area and get into trouble.

The family is clichéd out the wazzu. The boy teenager hates the Dad for going to jail for 2 years, which according to him is a very long time. Future Obvious Spoiler : The girl teenager is a science geek who will later figure out the drawings on some rocks left by the missing son of the camp leader. The illegal youngest child is inquisitive and calmly goes and feeds a brontosaurus, having never seen any animals in her short 5 year life. And the most that the Dad and Mom show for emotion is a little hand holding. They've been apart for two years!

Since there has to be more than every day life problems on Terra Nova, there are the "Sixers". The "Sixers" were sent in the 6th wave of time traveling pioneers by some unknown group determined to change the past, to control the future. In the end, you are given the feeling that the "Sixers" are good guys, while the camp leader is a bad guy.

The biggest plot hole is the mass extinction event of the dinosaurs. What is the point of creating a new civilization that could be possibly wiped out when the dinosaurs go belly up?

So far the show has been predictable and at times boring. I am sure most will find it entertaining enough to continue watching the series.
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There's nothing 'nova' in here...
Jacowboy28 September 2011
Season premiere was pretty bad. Mind you the production values are quite decent with good FX and costumes and whatnot. However...

The Story? Boriiiiiing. It started very good, in a dystopian future, which seemed pretty interesting even if not the most original of settings... But it only declines from there. At the end of it all, we're in a "family drama", a very cliché one incidentally, with dinosaurs.... so yeah.

The plot is dumb. Typical dumb characters that do dumb things because there needs to happen something to fill the time of the show. The characters are dull, completely un-original, their dialogue is often cringe-inducing, and sadly, the actors that portray them don't seem to be very inspired.

It's fine to have laser guns and dinosaurs and retro-sci-fi stuff, but give us an intelligent story please. I don't want to watch another show about the estranged dad, the angsty son, the nerdy daughter, the innocent child, the worried mom, the hot girl-friend and the over-confident military guy... There seems to be only rehashed stereotype characters in this show... ugh! To be honest, this seems like a waste... it looks expensive enough, but I was expecting something less dumb. Seriously, I wanted to slap every last one of the characters silly. And then the writers...

Let's hope it picks up and quickly, but something tells me it's not going to. I'm already dreading the 'family drama of the week' pace, with a little bit of mystery to try and seem like an interesting show.

Oh well, at least we still have Fringe, we sci-fi buffs...
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Looks like this clay model broke it's mold
brandondrums20 December 2011
At first, like most folks, I was excited about this show based on the trailer, concept etc. I watched the first few episodes and realized it's a rather conservative, formulaic show clearly designed to be a family drama that was safe enough for children to watch with their parents and of a topical arrangement tolerable for most modern parents.

However, the show has developed immensely in the final few episodes of the first season. The majority of the episodes were drab, capsulated pieces of neutral television programming. However, what has developed in the last few episodes leads me to believe that this show has tremendous potential. Main Characters die, big things happen, the plot twists and thickens and the action picks up quite a bit. I still can't call the plot original at all, it's Avatar/Jurassic Park/Earth 2/Lost/Stargate all the way but who cares? Firefly was just a show based on Han Solo, The Wire is just the Sopranos over again and Law & Order...well need I say more?

In just 3 or 4 episodes, this went from a show I caught on Hulu because I couldn't sleep to a show that's now at the top of my list. Too bad they waited until the very end of the season to make the show worth while, there's a whole lotta boring episodes to sit through to get to the good stuff, that could alienate a lot of potential viewers.

Time will tell.
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Terra Nova is great for families, give it a chance to mature
scottrobinson621029 December 2011
Terra Nova is a great show! Fox should be commended for producing a truly family-friendly series, a brave thing to do these days. Terra Nova and The Middle are about the only family- friendly shows on TV right now. Everyone else puts in sexual scenes or incidents that degrade the characters, distract from the story and jar family viewers for no reason. As Bill Cosby said, "It's like someone put red pepper flakes in the Jell-O pudding." Terra Nova doesn't do that, but still packs enough excitement to keep jaded teens interested.

(Full disclosure: I joined IMDb just so I could post this review. I'm not a big network TV fan but was lured back to network TV to check out a fairy tale show on a different network, which promised to have a "Narnia" feel to it. Alas, it has been disappointing because it has extramarital sex in every episode (Hollywood promoting its favorite fairy tale: casual sex with no emotional damage, or venereal diseases, or pregnancies.) But that got me watching network TV again, and I'd heard about Terra Nova so I checked it out. I was pleasantly surprised - and hooked.)

Four reasons why I really enjoy the show:

1. It features a functional family who are civil with each other instead of snarky and sarcastic (rare on TV, since sarcasm is a cheap way to create conflict and laughs). The family members engage in no extramarital anything. It is extremely refreshing. My teen and 5th-grader can watch it and I don't have to hide their eyes (except for some dinosaur-on-human scenes early on). The father of the family and the Commander of the colony are strong father figures, even honorable. Admittedly, this means the writers have to resort to implausible situations (like all the blackmail) to generate conflict and interesting story lines, but that's better than having to endure another parade of atrocious role models just because that makes it easy for writers to generate conflict and drama. Give Terra Nova time to learn how to generate exciting story lines without all the tawdry, cliché techniques other shows employ. Bravo, Spielberg, et al!

2. The show portrays the Cretaceous period very realistically (speaking as a lifelong dinosaur fan and a geologist). The dinosaurs aren't an invincible scourge that bullets can't stop; they don't lurk behind every tree waiting to pounce; instead, the Cretaceous is like the Serengeti - both have big animals that are dangerous if you get too close, but they can be subdued or avoided with the right approach or hardware. I like it that big animals show up only now and then, as big animals really would. Big dinos should be rare, since it takes a lot of food to maintain the big ones. Someday that nearby Brachiosaurus herd can camp around the colony; that would bring in some dinos that really could snap their fence in two without trying, and the brachs would attract the really big predators that everyone wants to see.

3. The sets are detailed and lavish. Somebody had to BUILD this colony in Australia; it's not CG! That alone makes it a pleasure to watch - it's more believable than CG. Their futuristic technology is well-designed and plausible; it forms a natural and interesting backdrop to the story. They use it, but it doesn't get in the way. Refreshing (but probably expensive).

4. Scientists, doctors, and engineers have positive roles in every episode (along with the soldiers and cops). Science or medicine helps the colony in every episode; it's vital to Terra Nova's survival. This is great because we need to inspire kids to enter scientific careers, so we can keep innovating at a rate that will be competitive with China and India now that those countries each graduate more scientists and engineers than the total of all U.S. college graduates!

Apparently the show didn't live up to the hopes of some sci-fi fans (judging by the early reviews in this series), but it is clean, positive entertainment and that's brave for Fox to offer (and they're the only ones doing it this season). Bravo for them! As to the complaint that it is unoriginal and relies on cliché plot lines and dialogue, that is true; but everything has been done before, so calling it "unoriginal" is a very unoriginal criticism. I admit the show is predictable, but I don't mind that; I've watched enough sci-fi shows in 45 years to be able to predict all of them. I watch the show for the realistic rendering of dinosaurs and the positive family role models. I say give them time; their writers deserve a chance to learn how to make the show more believable. Meanwhile, the show has enough dinosaurs and cool technology to keep kids and teens (and at least one geologist) interested.
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After 3 episodes- I'm done with it
mrsfixit12 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
After watching the awful pilot, I decided to give this 2 more episodes to give it a chance. I did, and it still stinks. I'm done with this drivel.

I am a lifelong scifi fan, and had high hopes for this series. It had the potential to be a lot better than it is had Spielberg spent the money for decent scriptwriters.

This is first and foremost a "family drama" and oh, there's some dinosaurs. The emphasis is on only one family, and their petty day to day problems. The problem is, this family is not only *not* interesting, they're downright annoying- they're grind your teeth and roll your eyes annoying and watching them for an hour is almost as bad as having a root canal.

In a dying overpopulated world with a limit of 2 children per couple, Doctor Mom and Officer Dad decide to pop out another child, despite the law. Their actions were stupid, selfish, and self-centered- not to mention illegal. This made me immediately dislike them.

So family winds up in Terra Nova, where angry rebellious teen son never misses an opportunity to vent his angst on Dad. This got old half an hour into the pilot.

Teen son immediately hooks up with the hottest chick there, and instead of going to class to learn about the place and things that might actually save his life, he, hot chick and their friends venture right out into man-eating creature infested jungle to get drunk and fool around. Have you not seen this cliché before in every bad horror movie ever made? And of course the dinosaurs appear to be un-killable, as no amount of rounds fired at them has any effect, just like horror flick villains who keep getting up after they've been shot 200 times. Cliché. Cliché, cliché....

There is brainy older sister, and cloyingly adorable little 5 year old Zoe, who is so cutesy and needy I feel like I need an insulin injection every time she is in a scene so I don't go into diabetic shock.

Mommy and Daddy haven't seen each other for 2 years, and naturally want to do what people do when they've been apart, and of course needy little Zoe is always there to spoil the moment because she needs a hug, she needs to sleep in their bed, she needs a glass of water, she needs a story read to her... hey- parents- teach this brat what NO means, you'll be doing her a favor. I was really hoping these kids would all get eaten by now- no such luck.

Now we have Officer Dad who is jealous of Doctor Mom's ex-boyfriend, who has shown up at the compound, and of course Dad is acting like a jealous 16 year old douchebag instead of a grown man who has more important things to think about- like not becoming lunch for something big, hungry, and bullet-proof.

All the major characters in this show have about as much depth as a piece of toilet paper.

People compare this to "Lost" a lot. Lost was far more interesting, with better characters. The story did not revolve around the same characters every episode. The day to day effort to survive, and the flora and fauna in this world gets little coverage at all. Maybe that's because the alleged script writers might have to do some *research* to make things scientifically plausible? This is more like "Jersey Shore meets Jurassic Park" complete with stupid, whiny, annoying people you want to strangle.

If you want to watch dinosaurs- watch BBC's "Primeval". Now that's a fun ride, with great story lines and characters, and good CGI.

If you want to watch good end of the world survival shows- catch "Jericho" from 2006, or BBC's "Survivors" from 2008.

I won't be tuning in for the next episode, I'd rather wash the kitchen floor or do laundry.
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Under-rated back in time action adventure well worth a second season
charmainemorgan25 February 2017
Reading other comments it seems increasingly difficult to please critics. Fortunately i watched this series on Netflix before reading any comments. The entire concept of going back in time requires a stretch of the imagination and raises a host of questions. Great special effects and the odd twist and turn are thrown into this action adventure movie as people from a bleak future fight dinosaurs and others who threaten them in the past. After 13 episodes i was left wanting to see more.
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A very average show
bcope7527 September 2011
I was pretty excited for this show when I first saw the previews/trailers/etc. I got it on iTunes today and I'm a bit disappointed.

This show is really just your typical, clichéd family drama with some futuristic guns and a few dinosaurs. The acting is just decent and the story is actually pretty boring. The characters are all very one dimensional, boring, etc. The computer effects are sub par, which is a disappointment since they are used so often.

In short, it's just you're typical, PC Fox show. I don't know how many more of these they're going to make before they die away as a company.
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Jurassic Park this is not, nor is it the new LOST
cadillac2026 September 2011
When I heard Spielberg was exec producing a show about dinosaurs, I half expected Jurassic Park: The Series. All the makings are here. Same for LOST, the two things that this show will inevitably be compared to. It shoots for the mystery and stranded feel of LOST, while throwing in the dinosaurs and the family dynamic of Jurassic Park. Sadly, this is neither, but something in between just shy of the quality of both.

For those unaware of the story, we are taken to the future first, where Earth has become an overpopulated, uninhabitable mess. To solve this problem, for a reason yet to be explained, humanity decides to time warp back 85 million years ago, where they can live in peace and harmony with dinosaurs. Or, as the first episode would like us to believe, can run and scream in terror as carnivorous dinosaurs keep people penned in their little colony and out of the jungle. The focus of the show is the Shannon family, new pilgrims to the colony who quickly learn what's what around Terra Nova. Of course, the most entertaining and interesting character is Stephen Lang, who plays a friendlier version of his character from Avatar. After all, who can't get enough gruff, military commander Stephen Lang.

For the most part, Terra Nova is entertaining, interesting, yet wholly disposable television. It has the Spielbergian touches and is somewhat reminiscent of early 2000, late 90's sci-fi TV. Where those similar aspects in LOST were unfolded in a slow burn to let things sink in for the viewer, or where our introduction to the danger of the dino's in Jurassic Park was slowly brought forth, here it's thrown at you in force. Not for a while, as we have to get acquainted with our main characters, but dangerous thunder lizards are soon enough thrown our way. The carnage shown is a bit surprising considering it's basic TV, yet there are no known deaths, just a few strong, gory moments (depending on your definition of gory) here and there. The dinosaurs themselves are less than desirable. Whereas Jurassic Park, which essentially perfected dinosaurs with a mix of practical and cg effects, had pleasing dinosaurs, here they seem a bit awkward and out of place. Almost completely cg, these dinosaurs look about 5 or 6 years old in the cg department. It would appear that the budget for creating the dinosaurs was less than sufficient, which sadly translates into poorly animated dino's.

Now, it's not all bad. Again, Stephen Lang is entertaining here as the military commander of the colony. The show also presents an interesting plot which I suspect could become more interesting as the season goes on. And while a show like LOST should have ended at probably it's fourth season, Terra Nova has life in it. Sadly, if it doesn't get better than the pilot, than I can't say we will see a season 2. And FOX is quite famous for canceling shows. Maybe the power of Steven Spielberg will save the show. Who knows. I'll ride it for as long as I can, I suppose. But for a pilot, the show was disappointing. What should have been a titanic, impressive two hours turned into a lackluster event with a lack of dinosaur action (and what is up with those names? Slasher? really? We couldn't go with real dinosaurs like velociraptors, compy's, or T- rex's?), turns out to shoot for the moon but only get so far as our atmosphere.
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A great escape with great effects and good character development
sherkerr4 March 2012
This is a great series and I looked forward to watching it each and every week. The fresh new approach to the old science fiction genre was refreshing and the character development was stellar. The interaction between the characters keep your interest and the plot twist make it interesting. I hope the series is continued. The series balanced the dangers of the prehistoric jungle with the criminal element. The power struggle between the future powers as well as the father and son communication gap gave great depth to the story. I didn't find any slow parts to the episodes or any stories unrelated to the plot line in any significant way. This is kind of a Jurrasic Park meets Lost feel that I like a lot. Check this series out and don't let negative reviews cloud your judgment.
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If you don't like it, then don't watch it.
thomascasey8726 December 2011
I consider myself a movie buff, and I don't wander into the realm of TV very often. But when I herd about Terra Nova I was so interested I counted the days until it aired, and because I work full time and am a full time student, I subscribed to Hulu just to watch this one show. Once I saw the pilot I was hooked, have watched every episode at least twice. I love this show to me it has everything: its got some drama, some action, some mystery. OK so the CGI isn't top of the line, did you really expect it to be? I don't care what the budget is this is a show on cable! The Dinosaurs look great! maybe not perfect but great. You may say the acting is horrible or that the characters would be more intelligent, look at the world they come from, Humans in 2149 have given up, the Earth is depleted, the atmosphere is unbreathable. As the time goes by the characters almost seem to wake up, its almost like they were just husks in 2149 and Terra Nova forces them to sort of flesh out. As the plot continues the show its self fleshes out, This is a big show with a big idea, you can't expect it all to come together in the pilot. In my opinion this show got better every episode and WHEN the second season comes out it will continue to get better and better. The more I learn about Terra Nova the more I want to learn to me this show was like a drug and if that isn't the goal of a TV show tell me what is, if you don't like it thats fine go and watch something else.
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A dull, trudging parade of clichés
crothman27 September 2011
You've seen Terra Nova before, in dozens of science fiction shows and movies. There is really not a single original moment in the entire show and, alas, it doesn't seem to realize this.

The setup is a society that's on an ecological disaster (like "Blade Runner"), where a family is sent back into the past (with dinosaurs like "Jurrasic Park") to form a colony (like "Earth 2"). The family consists of a heroic father, a smart mother, an angsty son, a genius daughter (like Lisa Simpson) and a younger, cloyingly cute younger daughter. None have the depth of a cardboard cutout.

Storywise, it's a mess. There is never a moment when you can't predict accurately what will happen next. It's not even difficult to do so: when the doctor is treating an accident victim, you know she's going to say "stay with me."

It also makes no sense. People say one thing about the world, then act as though the situation is completely the opposite. The setup is ludicrous (a colony has houses like that?).

Ultimately, this is third-rate science fiction that's about as entertaining as watching a turned-off television. It may be worth it if you create a drinking game of "name the cliché," but you wouldn't make it over a half hour before passing out in a drunken stupor.

There is bad, there is terrible, and then there's Terra Nova.
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Paint By Numbers TV
mrjordan27 September 2011
This is below B movie crap with a big budget. You can see right through the marketing of this...

"Hey, let's get a cute, touching family to appeal to the 21 and over women demographic, some action scenes to please the over 21 males, a teenage hunk to appeal to teen girls, and cute teen girls to appeal to teenage boys.

Wait... a teenage boy who doesn't get along with his father. YES!!!!

Now let's mix in a "LOST"-like plot with DINOSAURS to appeal to little boys. We've got EVERY market here. Oh wait, what about the seniors? Oh, don't worry, we'll find some older character in the next episode to please them.

High fives all around! Great marketing!

Lousy show.
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brandonsullivan9127 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
A liberal serving of cheese whiz is applied to this show. It is so corny and fueled by uncreative cut and paste action cliché. We as humans messed up the earth (yet again in the sci-fi world) and are in need of time travel to the stone age to save us. Some gimmicks are used over and over. For instance the show uses the "newness" of an: orange, the moon shining, and clouds floating, etc...we get it the world is so jacked up an orange is a special treat. You don't have to mention everything in Terra Nova as being so different from the polluted future world. The old "wandering into trouble for no reason" gag was also used a couple times. The youngest child wanders from the house to feed a long neck dino and scares the parents. Elsewhere a group is trapped in a car being attacked by dinos and a chick freaks out and decides to flee and hence gets sliced up badly (but doesn't die?). Nothing in the show really makes sense or feels like it would really happen. The two parents show up and within a few days the mom is a top medical adviser and the husband is placed on lead security. If Terra Nova really has problems with sabotage wouldn't there be a slightly more rigorous process applied before privileged info is given out to brand new people??? The CGI makes the show look like it could be Jurassic Park 6, not good but not terrible, just a cheap movie. The bottom line is I don't feel like I'm in a prehistoric world. Go plant a tree, read a book, go to bed early, but don't waste your time on Terra Nova.
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Special FX for the guns are bad
kizzmyash27 September 2011
So the 2 hour premiere has a few scenes with the humans fighting dinosaurs. Apparently, the dinosaurs are bullet proof because they wouldn't take ANY damage! All you saw was a ricochet effect off them, and in some cases they were using a 50 caliber gun mounted on a transport vehicle. This wasn't a plot point or anything so it comes off as very lazy special effects. This then leaves the problem, if the guns don't hurt the dinosaurs, why would you take a weapon out to defend yourself from them if it doesn't work? I mean they had about 6 guys shooting one and it eventually turned and ran. I can see maybe they wanted to tone down the blood and death a bit in the pilot but it came off as a major flaw.
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Terra Nova... Mostly a rip-off and yet watchable!
pastorkevin-964-36509126 September 2011
Terra Nova wasn't horrible. It was derivative and a bit clichéd. For example, the troubled relationship between estranged and reunited father and son has been done to death, but the worst part was that it seemed to have borrowed heavily from two BBC series - Outcasts and Primeval.

That being said, the plot offered some good elements...who are the sixers, what is their story and where will that take us? There's plenty of room for plot and sub-plot and many ways to go with it, so I refuse to write the show off just yet.

Ultimately, it wasn't badly acted and did overcome the huge problem of telling everyone the back story without either confusing us by introducing too many characters or story lines. It offered us something for the future of the series without being over complex.

Jason O'Mara is a decent lead and by now, quite a recognizable face. His wife is played by Shelley Conn, who is well known to British TV audiences but making her debut in a US series. Stephen Lang first appeared to be playing a similar character to his role in 'Avatar' but later softened and we saw a sympathetic side not seen in his work in that blockbuster movie.

The lead characters were watchable but we didn't see much of Christine Adams who is the leader of the 'sixers,' and who we must assume will figure more prominently as the series goes on.

All in all, although this was in part clichéd and somewhat derivative, it has the potential to be more than that, and probably deserves a few weeks of viewing before we decide whether the show has a future.
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Unoriginal, cliché, predictable, been done many times before (you get the idea) Warning: Spoilers
Spoiler (or maybe not...)

(Approaches the kitchen drawer and pulls out a knife) oh, I'm sorry, I was in the middle of cutting myself after watching the first episode. Every character, every line, and every plot in this show is so unoriginal. "Rebellious" son, angry at his father for abandoning him and his family decides to do his own thing and hang out with teens his age who put themselves in danger, the daughter is a responsible smarta** who's well-read and condescends anybody who doesn't know what the hell she's talking about, the younger daughter is curious about the world around her and plays the part of an annoyingly "cute" and innocent little girl, the mother is Fox's version of Dr. Grey from Grey's Anatomy, the father is every protagonist in every shooter movie. I don't even watch a lot of movies and I could play the first episode out even before its segments aired.

Here are some cliché moments. I could easily watch the episode and pull 20 more, but I don't feel like wasting any more of my time looking back and watching this recycled garbage. So I included four cliché moments in the first episode:

1) "Did we make the right decision in moving out here?" (Mother discussing with the father whether they made the right decision in moving to the new world)

2)(Son purchases a fruit in the new world and doesn't know how to eat it, an "attractive" girl watches from a distance laughing, she confidently busts the fruit in two, and they introduce themselves to each other)

3)("Attractive" girl takes her clothes off and reveals a bikini so she can jump off a cliff and into a pool of water down below while the son stands there hypnotized at how "good-looking" she is) and she responds to his gaze with, "what are you just going to stand there and watch?"

4)"Take the wheel!" (Old man tells father to "take the wheel" while he plays hero with his gun)

I think what happens is that shows like these which take from earlier works in film and television eventually find an identity of their own and create original content as the series moves into future seasons because the amount of content and ideas they can borrow is finite, but then again I'm not sure, I look at how many seasons "Two and a Half Men" produced and they're still going strong with the predictable and oblivious characters they have on there.
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Fail. Are you kidding or what?
NanoFrog27 September 2011
Another senseless, excessively violent fantasy from producers who think we are all stupid. At least the hype machine is working, even if this series, I predict, will fail completely. From the plastic modified football uniforms to the extremely tired dinosaur fantasies, there is nothing real, realistic or promising in this new series. From the really stiff acting, terrible lighting and over-crowded effects and fake habitats, everything about this series if transparent phoniness. Given the really promising and outstanding series that Fox has dumped for no good reason, there is no reason to rejoice at this over-hyped and absurd story. I found the first episode unwatchable. There is nothing in the generic and cheaply shod cast to inspire interest or caring. The cast seems empty of talent, stiff and unbelievable. A good story introduces characters the viewer can car about. The now generic partially-shaved men in their silly costumes with their predictable dialog was boring from the first minute. Why viewers have given this a rating above 1 is beyond me. Perhaps the viewers voting here are children, as children seem to love anything with dinosaurs. yet the show disrespects children and is saturated with so much mindless violence that I regret even watching the few minutes of this turkey I could take before turning off my TV and going outside to the real world. Fail. In my view, completely.
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Joined Just To Register My Utter Disgust
peterclik20 October 2011
As a qualifier to what I'm about to say, I really wanted to like this show. Honestly, the science fiction genre always commands a great deal of latitude with me. Normally I will overlook the occasional bout of predictability, even certain production fails or FX faux-pas, remaining ever optimistic that things will all pan out in the end. Add the names and backing behind Terra Nova and I truly assumed great things would be forthcoming. So I've forced myself to watch every episode.

Having said that...

This show insults the intelligence of any sci fi fan. Actually, it insults the intelligence of my 7 year old boy. It is easily the largest bag full of character/story arc clichés I've seen since I forced myself through a few 'Leave It To Beaver' episodes when I was 12 and sent home from school sick with the flu. The show is crap, 100%. And sorry folks, but the FX are also just... completely... awful. Barney the Dinosaur looks more realistic than some of that CG work. Just awful. Of course I can easily expect a network to be found guilty of such ineptitude in creative decision making, but I just can't believe that Steven Spielberg would lend his name or studio to this brand of nonsense.

I really would like to go mental here, explaining in many paragraphs, the many levels of FAIL this show is responsible for, but now that I think about it - what's the point? Anyone with a palette for good TV, sci fi or not - will watch 5 minutes of 1 episode of this sugary sap and instantly know what kind of horse manure it is. Hell, I can't even describe the show as predictable or mundane - even though it certainly is all of that and more. The show can only be properly described in one word... HORRIBLE.

If my IQ were under 60, or perhaps if I was 6 years old, this might be slightly entertaining, maybe. On second thought, nope, it would still suck.

I can only feel sorry for the actors, in that I felt Jason O'Mara had some acting chops (Life On Mars US), and Steven Lang ... well... Steven Lang has tenure and street cred IMO. But having said that, the acting, even from the stars, it is SO terribly over the top and just ...well... cheapish. I mean, really, really, cheapish, in a 70's Charlie's Angels/original Star Trek pilot episode kinda way. Speaking of the original Star Trek, all of the fight scenes I've had the displeasure of watching in Terra Nova are eerily reminiscent of the cheesy, over-the-top Captain Kirk vs. *insert Alien here* fights everyone on planet Earth has had enough of. I can only assume that the actors looked at these horrid scripts and decided to save their skills for REAL writing.

I honestly wonder why a studio/network would waste so much time, effort, and money on what amounts to a poor and seemingly hurried mash up of Swiss Family Robinson + Dinotopia. There are so many original story ideas floating around these days, SO many talented young writers and producers who would much better serve the attention of Steven Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment. Those up-and-comers deserve a platform like network TV to showcase quality material and serve the future of their creative talents. The folks writing and producing Terra Nova? These folks aren't investing 1% of talent to the show. Sorry but this show deserves nothing but to be canceled, as quickly as possible, in the hopes that someone at Fox will grow a clue and seek out proper writers and producers the next time around. It's just a big colossal waste of time for everyone, from the producers and actors right down the line to the viewers - such as myself - who gave it every chance to succeed.

One question though, how does this creative drivel garner a 7 out of 10 rating here at IMDb? Has the viewing public been that dumbed down? I haven't checked other reviews r.e. Terra Nova yet, but I truly hope that I don't see too many "it's a good show" comments or I swear I will lose all hope in humanity.

Shame on whatever genius it was who made the final decision to let schlock writing like this get picked from the trash bin and produced. Shame.
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Where is the trust?
demented_baboon11 October 2011
There are many reasons to despise Terra Nova: the stilted acting, the listless story lines, the half-conceived clichés, the lack of personality, character, depth. But the thing that makes Terra Nova unwatchable for me is simply the dialogue, the direct, passive, plodding dialogue that says what it means and means what it says. Where is the rhetoric or the implication or the humor? A computer could have written this show with more humanity, art, and soul.

The dialogue is a symptom of the same disease that pervades the whole show. Faithlessness. The creators have no faith in their audience. It must seem pointless to dazzle us with their wit since they obviously think that we're witless.
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Earth2/Outcasts meets Primevel with dull characters
candlemansa27 September 2011
A combination of 'Earth 2/Outcasts' meets 'Primevel' is the best way to describe the double opening of Terra Nova. The difference with Terra Nova is that it isn't another planet they go to but another version of a prehistoric Earth existing in another time slip stream but that explanation is thrown in so blaze you might miss it but it does account for not caring if they change the past and affect their own future cause it won't be theirs. What bugged me about Terra Nova is its focus on one particular family. Remember the awful '2012' disaster film with despite the fact the world is blowing up around them this one American family stay together to survive all odds, apply it to this on a slightly less cataclysmic scale. If the series continues to focus on this family it will quickly loose its appeal, we are talking about a colony, lets start meeting new more interesting characters rather then the white picket fence dream one of the writers is obviously aspiring to. Throw in Dinosaurs and its reminiscent of 'Primevel'. There is conflict amongst some of the colonists who have broken away like in 'Outcasts' but as yet the mystery behind it with such blah characters doesn't make you care. I like the premise but like Earth2 it could fall easily into the cutesy category rather than good science fiction. It does hold your attention and the possibilities are great but as with so many new series the writing and characterization just isn't great and unless it improves even with Star Treks Brannon Braga and Steven Spielberg attached it won't make a second series.
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K_S_ONeill27 September 2011
The unwanted love child of Stargate and Dinotopia. Really awful. Bad acting, bad ideas to start with. Unrealistic reactions to what should have been pretty straightforward scenes. I was quite sad, I was hoping for another Battlestar Galactica or Firefly.

Part of the problem here is the setting and militaristic tropes. Without giving anything away that's not in the previews, there are a lot of chaps (and girls) in black outfits with laser guns! Yay. And lots of exposition in the mode of the Commander making speeches to the throngs. Yay. Really, Stargate meets Dinotopia. Did anyone want that? I didn't want that. One gets the feeling this was "sci-fi" from the beginning, never really science fiction, put together by focus groups and off the shelf ideas, not by a real writer. The unexamined science fiction is not worth watching.

Oh well, at least we can hope it won't be around long.
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