An Ode to ‘Terra Nova’

Posted: September 24, 2012 in TV Shows
Tags: , ,

If you aren’t familiar with it, Terra Nova was a short lived show that aired last year on Fox. It initially took place in the year 2149 and followed the Shannon family – Jim, Elisabeth, Zoe, Josh, and Maddy – as they travelled back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

Yeah, I know how that sounds. But it was actually a pretty interesting concept. You see, the Earth was incredibly polluted and some people were given the chance to travel back in time in order to start again. This was the “terra nova” – the new Earth. Sure, they had dinosaurs to deal with, but they also had fresh air, lots of food, and plenty of space to live. With the right precautions, these people could start a new life.

The first season aired with 12 episodes before it was cut short. Did it deserve it? Probably. I’m sure it was an expensive show to shoot, with all the CGI dinosaurs and whatnot. A lot of critics called it out for having boring characters and cheesy dialogue.

I honestly didn’t notice. For me, the dinosaurs were incredible. No expense was spared in that department, or with the sets. I thought all of the acting was great, and I felt connected to most of the characters – even some of the shady ones, which is always a good thing. (And at least the actor of one of my favorite characters is showing up on Glee this year!) The plot kept me guessing, and there were some great themes and morals to be learned by the end of the season finale.

So, is this another Firefly on our hands? I wouldn’t quite go that far. I don’t think it had the same appeal, and I don’t think it’ll have the same cult following in a few years either. But it had promise that was cut short, and at least that connection can’t be denied.

I wish Terra Nova hadn’t been cancelled. After the initial plotline for the first season, there were a number of directions the show could have gone in. It was part dystopian future and part science-fiction. You had outside dangers (the dinosaurs, the jungles) and inside dangers (the people who lived there). With the future connected to this past time, any sort of danger could slip through and cause havoc.

But, alas, the show is over and done with now. You can catch it on Netflix if you’re interested. I recommend it, and the season finale didn’t leave you with too much of a cliff hanger so you won’t feel unsatisfied with the ending.

So, without Terra Nova, I’ve chosen another show to take its place. Revolution. It’s also set in a dystopian future and is labeled as science-fiction as well. This follows another family, but they don’t go back in time. Instead, they live in a future where technology doesn’t function and the world is ruled by militias and warlords. It’s an all-too plausible future, and I always enjoy shows like that. There are no dinosaurs, but I suppose – in this particular world – that’s probably a good thing.

Revolution comes on NBC at 10 PM on Mondays. Will you be watching?

  1. EM Castellan says:

    I admit, I didn’t like Terra Nova. I love good writing in a TV show and this one definitely lacked in that department. I watched the pilot of Revolution and although I enjoyed it, I did also find it quite predictable. I’m hoping it will get more daring in the next few episodes. It actually reminded me not of Terra Nova but of Jericho, which also got cancelled after two seasons. Did you use to watch that one?

    • Karen Rought says:

      The writing on Terra Nova was one of its weaker points, so I definitely can’t hold that against you. I’m excited for Revolution. I completely agree that it was totally predictable, but I think the writing will become more intricate as the season and series moves forward. There are some big names attached to it of people who have proven themselves over and over again, so I have high hopes – for better or for worse.

      I haven’t seen Jericho yet, but it’s already in my Netflix queue, so I definitely plan on watching it!

  2. ddog13 says:

    Terra Nova was on FOX…shows get piloted there a lot, and then after a season, they disappear. The longest show I remember being on FOX was House. Revolution is choppy in most aspects, but I’ll give it time to gain momentum. This post came out at the right time, with Revolution just coming out. TV is on a lot of our minds. Haha

  3. Julie Glover says:

    I’m always a little worried about starting a series when it premieres. My watching a series can give it the kiss of death (Jericho, Pushing Up Daisies, No Ordinary Family, etc.). I am curious, however, about Revolution and Vegas (Quaid & Chiklis? That’s tempting). Meanwhile, I watched CASTLE last night. A guilty pleasure indeed!

  4. We got this in NZ this year. I missed it. Of course, that’s what DVD’s are for… 🙂

  5. I thought Terra Nova died a premature death too. Was it amazing? No. Was it better than a lot of shows that continue to air? Yes – in my opinion anyway. I think that had it been given a little more time and attention, it could have become something really great.

    Like you, I’m switching my attention to Revolution. I’m a little worried that it will turn into a LOST knock-off, but I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt for now. After all, it has sword fighting 🙂

    • Karen Rought says:

      I know, isn’t the sword fighting one of the best parts about the show already!? I haven’t made my way through all of Lost yet, but it still feels similar to it for me. Not that I think that’s bad – there are worse things in life to be than a Lost knock-off!

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