Terra Nova: Is the New FOX Series Worth Watching?

Terra Nova Tv seriesThis evening, FOX finally unveils their new science-fiction dramatic series, Terra Nova. It was supposed to launch last season but was delayed because they needed more time to produce the special effects. Will it be worth the wait?

Terra Nova initially takes place in the 22nd century. Earth has been over-developed and is overcrowded. It’s decided that mankind’s one chance for survival is to make use of a newly discovered fracture in time and try to colonize pre-historic Earth. A limited number of people are permitted to be part of the project but the Shannon family makes the cut. Unfortunately, all is not as perfect in paradise as it seems. The cast includes Jason O’Mara, Shelley Conn, Landon Liboiron, Allison Miller, Naomi Scott, Alana Mansour, Stephen Lang, and Christine Adams.

So, is this new TV show worth your time? Here’s what the critics are saying about Terra Nova:

LA Times: “The story remains focused on the family and, through its members, the community, which will no doubt broaden to include all manner of people to keep things interesting. For all its excellent green-screen usage, Terra Nova is remarkably old-fashioned, rejecting the angst and existentialism of Lost to tell the exquisitely American story of colonists, strangers in a strange land come not so much to conquer as to flee, a familiar tale rendered here ferociously and gorgeously new once more.”

Boston Globe: “Maybe it should have been a movie. By the end of tonight’s epic two-hour premiere, at 8 on Channel 25, I’d seen enough people running from CGI dinosaurs to last me another few years. The Terra Nova pilot isn’t exactly a boring piece of TV action-adventure, but I also had no strong desire to return. It feels like it ought to be a one-off.”

NY Times: “Is Fox’s Terra Nova, with Steven Spielberg’s name at the top of its long list of executive producers, the best of a generally unremarkable bunch of new network shows this fall? Possibly, though to make that argument you need to work around the fact that it’s without doubt the squarest, most old-fashioned series to hit television since — well, since Mr. Spielberg’s Falling Skies on TNT this year.” …

“Mr. O’Mara, who acquitted himself well amid the gradual disintegration of Life on Mars, and Mr. Lang are more than adequate action heroes, and the British actress Shelley Conn brings a sexy, spunky intelligence to the role of the doctor mother, Elisabeth. The question is what they’ll be given to do going forward, beyond generic relationship material, domestic comedy and the occasional action set piece. The closing scene of the pilot — the Shannons, arm in arm, gazing up at a huge full moon out of E.T. — doesn’t necessarily bode well.”

Chicago Tribune: “It’s a giant do-over, but can humanity not screw things up again? And can the long list of Terra Nova producers, which includes Steven Spielberg and Brannon Braga, not screw up a story that starts out so promising in the two-hour series premiere, called ‘Genesis?'”

“I sure hope so, because Terra Nova has great potential to be a thought-provoking sci-fi series. They’ll need to walk a fine line, though, because it could also become a sappy disappointment filled with standard Spielberg tropes.”

USA Today: “It seems as if the writers have never seen another family series; if they had, they’d realize how tired every line and situation they’ve imposed on the Shannons is. The son’s squabbles with Dad; the daughter’s failure to realize she’s pretty; the group hug that makes everything all right — it’s enough to make your eyes cross.”

“Luckily for Terra Nova, fans of the genre are often at least temporarily willing to overlook bad writing and performances if the battles are exciting and special effects convincing, and they are. That should buy the show time to improve.”

What do you think? Will you be watching Terra Nova? If you’ve already seen it, do you think it’ll last long enough to be renewed for a second season or just cancelled?

Canceled and renewed TV show

27 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Jim Davis says

    You rarely see a Dinosaur, people run around at night in the jungle and rarely encounter anything more than a cold. Everybody argues about stupid stuff and to make matters worse there’s a spy in their midst. The writing is juvenile and it’s just plain boorrring! Stopped watching by episode 2 1/2. I say 2 1/2 because I fell asleep before the end of the thire episode. Enough already!

    • Josh says

      Nonsense. If you haven’t even watched three full episodes how can you make any claims about what the show has or its potential?

      Nobody is forcing you to watch it and compared to most of the garbage on TV these days, it is nice to have some light sci fi.

      Raging against something you won’t even wach is a waste of your time and makes you and the others like you look like you have nothing better to do.

      What would you prefer? More garbage like American Idol and the Apprentice?

      We got very little sci fi these days and Terra Nova is a nice Monday night diversion. No show is universally liked and you should move onto to something YOU like instead of focusing on what others are watching.

  2. lisa Breckman says

    Well i think its just a tease, slowly its going to build up and BOOM it will be filled with Action. Its design looks cool and with a fresh take on what things look like at Terra Nova.
    Its going to be a hit why wouldn’t it be. Location looks fab, cast look great,look who is making it on IMDB (internet movie data base) more Emmy winners than you can poke a stick at. that many creative people working on a session can not be wrong.


  3. Croga says

    Was too cliche, the emotional scenes seemed so fake, communistic organization of society which doesn’t actually reflect reality – or at least doesn’t reflect the future of mankind is about to evolve into – freedom, felt claustrophobic (if that makes sense)… probably would be better if the story was about group of revolutionaries fighting for freedom from the oppressors or something

    • Josh says

      Doesn’t reflect reality????? Its freaking sci fi, laserbrain.

      Sheesh. And it is more a military dictatorship than communism.

  4. Aaron says

    First off, the dad has to break out of a maximum security prison. Than break into to a maximun security facility, in the first part off the story. He has a Laser pen that seams usefully, if only to cut the cup. Where is all this tech tools when it comes to cutting those big stupid weeds. You can’t tell me it wouldn’t have been usefull. Oh but the dumb criminal has a laser knife, and the lead has to use a big metal blade thats barely sharp enough to cut through, let alone hack at the WEEDS. Inconsistant, in science. I mean if the moon was that close to the earth. The seas would be so violent the the weather would change every couple of hours. Becides the fact that when every body came through the port hole, it was minutes to them ON BOTH SIDES OF THE PORTHOLE. Yet when the first men came through it was minutes to to them, and 119 days ffom the first man to the second. Really, come on. What you thought that we qould be dazzeled by the CG dinos so much that we wouldn’t even notice. And last but not least, it took an extra year to do the CG dinos so they look real. But the scene where they are looking down upon the colony looks like bad green screen, and the slasher dinos scene looked like it was straight out of the 90’s horror films. But im a sucker for timetravle shows, so i’ll watch a couple of more before I make my final judgement.

    • Josh says

      Simple economics. Lasers use power, Knives don’t and they have limited resources. A laser would also be harder to control for such a purpose and damage the wall. It ain’t starwars.

      Fixating on how “real” a fantasy show is, misses the point completely. If you want realism go out side or watch the news.

      Also, just because you have crappy TV, don’t blame it on the show. It looked great on the iTunes HD version and IT WAS FREE. That’s right. When it first came out, the two hour premier was completely free but I am sure the picky petes will find something to complain about there too.

  5. Why says

    Was a bit disappointed, perhaps I was expecting too much. Not the most realistic about the kids, if they want to go into dino world, they take their chances of becoming a snack. Forget about the ever timely rescue, that doesn’t happen in real life.
    The compound isn’t the most secure either, what’s to keep Dino from stepping over the fence and squashing them? Time fraction and alternative time-stream?
    I’ll give it a couple more weeks to get better.

  6. Kat says

    The hate for this show is baffling. I liked the show and even if the family felt a little generic, I think that in this genre, that should actually work for the show. You could feel like this is your family, or they’re like people you do know, put in this fantastical situation. And the first ten minutes of the show, or so, were wonderful… you could feel the desperation of the future world and the struggle the family went through to get to the one place they felt they had hope. Then throw in some dinosaurs, and lush landscapes, and you’ve got something that’s definitely watchable.

  7. Bizzle says

    There has been on episode and people are slagging it off already calling for it to be cancelled??? Come on ffs give it chance! I am yet to watch it but it looks truly awesome

  8. kevin says

    I didn’t watch it, Beacuse it doesn’t make sence..if they can time travel ..why on earth go back to the time during dinos ?? why not go back to 2011 and live there ? with electricty and other modern technology ? And why take walkie talkies, guns and cars ( how they gonna get gas, ammo and batteries when there supply runs out) And wouldn’t they change history by taking all that stuff back in time ?? and like hte guy above .. why dont bullets kill dinos ?? they kill everything else..except superman, vampires and crappy fox shows they get to replace the only good one they had in awhile… Human Target..

    • Cee J. says

      It’s funny cause all the reasons that you didn’t watch it was answered in the episode. Guess the show was too “complicated” for some people after all.

    • Kevin says

      Nah Cee J ..it’s not “complicated” !!! If I wanted to watch dino stuff I’ll watc Jurrisic Park..cause they are making a new movie ..not some D rated series Fox’s brings out thats gonna get canned after 2 epsiodes..( well technically 3 ) And if they explained everything in the permire then explain all the stuff I siad … yeah what I tohught you can’t ..I’m avoiding new Fox shows like bird flu !!! they will be canceled after 2 weeks. Human target held it’s own against the Olympics..( ok i didnt spell that right .. i know ) still got canned. the only thing I will watch on fox is football, family guy, clevlend show andAmerican dad.. cause we no they wont be canceled cause they make fox soo much money.. ( well I do enjoy the new girl)…

    • Matt S says

      I realize that I’m sending this reply to you over a year later but hey someone has to tell you that you have no idea what you’re talking about….. A supercollider accidentally opens a crack in time that led to the past, which they eventually figure out how to widen. Not time travel. They sent a probe into the portal and figured out that it was sent to a new time stream because they couldn’t detect or find the probe in the future. And the new human settlement is eco-friendly, they use solar panels and materials recycled from the future. And they use sonic weapons against the native dinosaurs, so as not to harm them. Watch it on Netflix if you wanna criticize the show after you finish the season then be my guest. I bet that you won’t.

  9. Vinnie says

    I was excited about this one, but it did not live up to my expectations. It was at times boring and predictable, and I just didn’t like what they were doing with the show. Lost ruined the whole “feed you a little bit of the ‘hidden secrets’ every week but also confuse you a little more” type mystery strategy for me, which is what this show looks like it is trying to replicate.

  10. George Gerber says

    Another made for TV sci fi adventure carefully crafted to appeal to the viewer with an average IQ of a six year old. Once again producers seem to think or have been Nielsonized to think that the average viewer yearns for sci-fi at any expense. Heaven forbid they create a series which appeals to the older seven year old through adult audience. If this pilot is a sample of things to come I’d rather stay in the twenty-first century and watch reruns of the Twilight Zone. Rod Serling’s genius was trusting his audience had enough brains to appreciate intelligently presented adult themes. Even Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea had more depth than this show and that’s not saying much. I’ll watch one more episode to give it a chance. My guess is, however, I will be returning to those Gunsmoke reruns which were intelligently written, acted and directed and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea which featured a fine actor like Richard Basehart.

    • Bill says

      We can’t just have a fun, simple series to enjoy? Sure it’s no Twilight Zone, but it appears to be a fun prehistoric romp, which works for me on a Monday night.

      • Kayla says

        I agree love this show, sorry thats its not a mind blowing adult action show… I’ll take my 6 yr old IQ show over anything else out there.

  11. Wayne says

    Show has potential but if I see another show where high caliber weapons don’t even put a dent in dinosaurs, they may go the way of the Dodo. I know teenagers can be reckless but in that environment, hard to believe that even teenagers would risk being a dinosaur meal or captured by a rival group for a swim or drink without weapons. Did I mention there weapons don’t kill the dinosaurs just scare them.

  12. Jeremy Rynek says

    NO!!!!!!!!!!! This looks and is expensive. If it doesn’t bring in 24 ratings, then it’s bye bye. People DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Josh says

      If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Sure its not as good as it could be but there is piss all for scifi these days.

      I mean look at the shows that Fox renews. The Family Guy has become humorless crap. no originality, crap for creativity and even their room full of laugh monkeys can’t come up with more than a couple of actually funny jokes an episode. Compared to the Simpsons, South Park or even the Spin off Cleveland show, The Family Guy is garbage. Same crap jokes over and over.

      At least Terra Nova has some cute girls.

      If Fox cancels another sci fi show it doesn’t even give a chance too while letting crap clog up its schedule I will never watch anything by them save the Simpsons (and I will download it).

      They have burned me too many times.

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