This 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?
Image courtesy FOX.