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Sci-Fi Terra Nova

Discussion in 'Television & Web Series' started by Kevin, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Caught up to watching Terra Nova, the much promoted new series from Spielberg, on Fox. After watching the first two episodes my reaction is a bit mixed.

    Terra Nova is new series that deals with future Earth in the year 2149 where pollution and over-crowding has reached all-time high. Healthy grown food is scarce and people must wear "rebreathers" to clean the polluted air around them. Those that live in the cities face a daunting life. Earth is dying. Scientists of the time find a "crack in time" that allows them to transport goods & people to 85 million years into the past. Yes, the age of dinosaurs. To date 10 expeditions have made the one-way journey back in time to start a new colony, Terra Nova, with the goal of starting humanity over in a clean environment.

    The first episode was pretty good and reflected a future 2149 that felt possible if many of today's issues continue. The Shannon family, Jim who is is narcotics police officer & his wife Elisabeth who is a doctor, have three children. Having three kids is in violation of the population control act. Billboards shown in city proclaim that "Four is a family" and it is enforced. Acting upon a tip, population control officers pay a surprise visit to the Shannon apartment and find their third illegal child. Protecting his family Jim acts out against the officers. For his actions he is sentenced to prison. Two years later his wife reveals that she has been nominated & selected for the Terra Nova project. She and their oldest two kids will be allowed to make the trip but Jim and their youngest daughter, Zooey, will not be allowed to go wtih them. While visiting Jim in prison she smuggles in a laser cutter to allow him to escape.

    On the day of the "10th Pilgrimage" to the past Jim has escaped from prison and is following a plan set out by his wife to allow him to get their youngest daughter and himself snuck past the security checkpoints of the portal so that they may join his wife & other kids. He succeeds and the whole family is able to stay together 85 million years in the past.

    As a whole I liked the first episode. The writers immediately dealt with some issues that sci-fi viewers were likely to find fault with, such as explaining that the travel to the past was actually into an alternate time stream (and thus avoiding the time travel paradox). They even covered why Elisabeth, a highly trained doctor, ended up living a gritty city life instead of making more money & living in a house within a domed area like some of her peers. After arriving in the past they introduced a few twists to set up the arc for the first season and immediately introduced the real stars of the show, the CGI dinosaurs.

    There were a few things that I would have liked to have seen expanded upon a bit, in particular Jim's escape & break-in to the portal. The writers even pointed this out with a line of dialog from his son when, in response to his mother being worried about Jim being able to make it, points out that it should be no problem, after all Jim just had to break out of one high security area and then break into another high security area. The details of that adventure were not revealed. There is a scene with Jim on a subway on his way to the time portal where he cuts into his own skin to pull out some type of device but it is never explained what the device is. Was it a tracking device from his prison? If, wouldn't that have been one of the first things he did and far away from his destination? Was it some type of embedded ID chip that gave his real identity to authorities? We'll never know. We just know it looked painful to remove. But I was able to live those things and go along with the story.

    It is the second episode however that I had fault with.

    In short, whenever a new sci-fi/fantasy/horror series comes along there is a bit of a guessing game as to whether the show will be able to keep up it's originality, much like the re-imagined Battlestar: Galactica was able to to, or whether it soon falls prey to story lines that we've seen over & over again. The second episode of Terra Nova did not give me any warm & fuzzy feelings that we'll be seeing a lot of originality.

    In short, the second episode was a take on Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. Not much more to add to the description other than The Birds. If you've seen the movie than you have the general plot of the entire second episode. Sure, technically they were flying reptiles & not birds, as one scientist made a point of clarifying, but the result was the same. First a few birds, then a few more birds, and then millions of birds. Angry birds.

    In the end it is figured out that the colony was built on top of the angry birds breeding grounds and they breed in about 7-10 year cycles. No problem. The scientists, and of course Elisabeth because, you know, she is a doctor and therefor knows about this kind of stuff, whips up a big can of angry bird pheromones so that the colony commander and Jim (I mean, who else would it be besides Jim of course) can drive it over... over... well, over somewhere that isn't the colony... to draw the attention of the birds. The plan works perfectly and life in the colony is once again peaceful. Oh, and the commander & Jim come back from their travels all bloodied and obviously were in a battle with the birds but, like events in the first episode, we don't actually get to see any of that nor get the full details as to what took place. It... just... happened, go with it.

    The upcoming third episode will about a virus that wipes peoples memories. I can't wait. :o




    On a side note... has anybody seen both the Terra Nova first episode and the movie Millennium with Cheryl Ladd & Kris Kristofferson from 1989? If so, did the the time portal seem familiar to you or was it just me? It has been a few years since I've seen Millennium.
     
  2. CosmicMind

    CosmicMind Moonman

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Location:
    The Dark Side of The Moon
    I watched it and I enjoyed it. It's just nice to see something that the whole family can rally around and enjoy which is more than a rarity when it comes to FOX. The only other descent programs on FOX are American Idol, The Simpsons and Bob's Burgers as the majority of the other shows on FOX are vulgar and offensive to families.

    Plus, I'm a geek for anything with Dinosaurs anyway and so I'm willing to support and watch the show. I enjoyed Spielbergs Jurassic Park and it's refreshing to see Terra Nova in the way of my nostalgia for the former.

    I also appreciated the message which is at the core of Terra Nova regarding a drying Earth at the hands of humanities selfishness and greed in polluting and destroying the environment and the idea of a 'second chance' by going back in time to 'start over'.

    It's a very encouraging and inspiring show in the light of the situation in which we now find ourselves with the fragile economy and the effects of Global Warming which can now been seen quite clearly. The show is indeed thought provoking in my humble opinion.

    BTW Kevin I haven't seen Millennium.
     
  3. Gemma

    Gemma Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Taigh an Droma
    It just started over here last Monday, I'm recording it onto my HD box so I can watch it all in a oner (much prefer doing series this way instead of getting into something and having to wait a week for the next episode).

    Is anyone watching it? Any thoughts?
     
  4. Joyti

    Joyti Scout

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    I am going to watch the second episode later tonight. I have it recorded on my PVR. But I must say I was not impressed with some of the dialogue in the first episode. I suppose it's good that it's a family friendly series. I just feel I could probably write more original dialogue/interactions. They also need to step outside the boundaries and experiment. It's staying too "safe" with the scenarios.

    Not THAT great of a show in my personal opinion, but I hope it decides to prove me wrong. Despite my rant, I LOVE the concept. Futuristic world/time travel, basically Jurassic park meets the Jetsons. It has potential. But only if the writers step up their game.
     
  5. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    Location:
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    Have you watched any of it? I wouldn't want to reveal any possible spoilers for you.
     
  6. Gemma

    Gemma Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
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    Nope, but reveal away I'll have forgotten by the time I start watching it :D

    I know nothing about the plot. I'm quite 'into' Speilberg mini series after watching The Pacific and Falling Skies and SKY TV are billing this Jurassic Park-alike dinosaur adventure as their blockbuster show.
     
  7. CosmicMind

    CosmicMind Moonman

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Location:
    The Dark Side of The Moon
    Now that you mentioned it, I really hope someone can give The Jetsons and The Flintstones a reboot sort of like what JJ Abrams did with Star Trek.
     
  8. iamjoe

    iamjoe Scout

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    I saw its one or two episodes . I don't like it much . Same things as in movies . May be in later episodes it turns out to be good .
     
  9. Vyseir

    Vyseir Cadet

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Boston
    I kinda like the series so far but I don't like the male protagonist. He's very annoying. I like the concept of the series but the drama and episode storyline is cliche and to be honest boring.
     
  10. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    After having watched whole season my opinion on this one has softened up a bit. As the season unfolded with the various sub-plots involving Sky, the commander's son, the Sixers, and what the "real" intent of the colony is, I started liking it more.

    I realize that not all of you have likely seen the season finale yet so I won't give away any details about it. I will just say that the revelation at the end as to what was found in the Badlands leads to a whole bunch of new questions. In particular, in the first episode there was a scene where it is explained that the 2149 scientists know that the portal was creating an alternate timeline because they sent a probe through it and the probe never showed up in their current timeline. The season final episode, with the revelation, kind of circles back around to that bit of information and opens up the possibility for a totally different reason why the probe was never located in the 2149 timeline.
     
  11. byronc

    byronc the web guy

    Joined:
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    Location:
    uk
    I watched quite a bit of this series now. Some of its good and some of it bad. I cant put my finger on it. its a bit too tame. This awesome scifi movie setting with some very plain drama.

    it has not pulled me to watch every episode like the walking dead etc..
     
  12. CosmicMind

    CosmicMind Moonman

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Location:
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    Does anyone know if Terra Nova will be renewed for another season?
     
  13. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    It is still on the 'edge' as to whether Fox will renew it. It is an expensive show to produce and the ratings, while good, aren't as high as expected. If they do renew it you can be sure that the budget will end up getting slashed.
     
  14. CosmicMind

    CosmicMind Moonman

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    Wow, a sure wouldn't want FOX to have to slash the budget for Terra Nova as the show has really good special effects considering it IS a TV show and not a movie. Once Upon A Time also has really good effects and costume designs to be a TV show.
     
  15. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    The decision was just announced by Fox.... Terra Nova has been cancelled.

    The producers of the show, Studio 20th Century Fox TV, have said that they will try to shop the show to other networks. Realistically, though, with the expense of the show it will be a tough sell.

    The kick-you-when-your-down part? The ratings for the show were averaging 10.1 million viewers per episode after DVR viewing were taken into account. It will go down as one of the highest rated shows to be cancelled.
     
  16. Mauricem

    Mauricem Ensign

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Location:
    Phoenix
    Maybe someday DVR will be taken into account by the networks.

    During week fourteen of the 2011-12 broadcast season (December 19-25, 2011) with a very, very light holiday week schedule of new broadcast episodes, FOX's Terra Nova topped the rankings for the week's DVR viewing adults 18-49 ratings added between the Live+Same Day period (as reported in all our other ratings posts) and the Live + 7 Day measurement periods with a gain of 0.9 adults 18-49 ratings points.

    Terra Nova also topped the percentage adults 18-49 ratings increase from DVR viewing, adding 40.9% to its Live+Same Day adults 18-49 ratings.

    Terra Nova led the absolute average viewership gained from DVR viewing too, adding 2.237 million viewers via DVR viewing between the Live+Same Day and Live + 7 day measurement periods.​
    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/01/09/live7-dvr-ratings-terra-nova-tops-absolutepercentage-and-viewership-gains-in-a-very-light-week-14/115804/
     
  17. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    I am starting to think it is me; every show I record on our DVR to watch ends up getting cancelled.

    Terra Nova... FlashForward... Firefly... The Event... Space: Above & Beyond (OK, that one was VCR'ed, no DVR for me back then)... Threshold... Eureka... Sanctuary... yes, folks, if your favorite sci-fi show has been cancelled then there is a pretty good chance I had it on my DVR schedule to record. Sorry. :o


    In a bit of what might be good news, though, Netflix is in talk about talking over Terra Nova.
     
  18. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    Well, if you guys/gals haven't heard already, Terra Nova has been cancelled. Supposedly Netflix is in talks about picking up the series but it doesn't look good.

    The season finale seemed like it was actually going in a pretty good direction too. :(
     
  19. Gemma

    Gemma Rocket Ranger

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    I watched the first 3 episodes then wiped the rest of the series off the HD box, didn't really fancy it in the end.
     
  20. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    It was/is one of those shows that took the whole season to find out what kind of show it wanted to be. Was it going to be a sci-fi show with time travel & alternate time-lines? A horror show with humans struggling against creatures? A teen romance drama? A family drama? A military/political drama?'

    Unfortunately it tried being all of those things and by the time the finale came around which closed some of the straying story lines the executives at Fox were already on the fence about renewing it.
     

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