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Terra Nova. "Welcome to Avatar Park!"

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*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***


Terra Nova is pretty much anything BUT.
It's essentially a cut and paste from every big action-adventure scifi movie moneymaker of the last 20 years. Earth in 2149 is in total environmental collapse; seen as a nightmarish Blade Runner-esque world where people need re-breathers just to walk outside, and the moon and stars are no longer visible because of the orange muck that passes for air (THIS was my favorite part of the show by the way; I'd rather have seen a whole series set in THIS time... it'd have the potential to be another BSG). Anyway, there's this nice, smart (sometimes) family who broke the law by having a third child (in a 2 child minimum world) that makes a daring dash through time (they have to break papa out of prison first) to 85 million years ago; where a bunch of colonists have been setting up a new life on a green, lush, fertile Earth, during the Jurassic era (of course; they can't ripoff "Cretaceous Park," can they?).

From that point on? It's just "Avatar" meets "Jurassic Park" (with just a sprinkling of "Lost in Space" thrown in). Seriously, th-th-that's all, folks! They even got the bad-a$$ colonel from "Avatar" (Stephen Lang) playing the leader of the colony; a slightly nicer(but equally corrupt) version of his Avatar character. And the family (please; don't ask me their names) are all archetypes; mom's a brilliant doctor, dad is a cop (naturally; a show set 85 f**king million years in the past, and it's still got to be all about cops and doctors?? Puh-leeeeaaase!). The middle daughter of the family is of course, a 'Junior Ms. Basil Exposition'; a gifted science geek who comments on every little STUPID detail she sees (to clue in we, the ignorant audience, as to all the 'wonders' we're seeing). And of course, she also babbles some bulls**t about 'separate timestreams' and such that is supposed to explain why the folks at Terra Nova colony aren't ruining the future for the rest of us poor slobs (she could've just said 'watch Star Trek 2009'). She also seems to have mental dental records of every stupid dinosaur in existence. We GET it; she's really, really bright for her age... moving on now. The son is 'generic rebellious son' (think "Robby" from the 2005 War of the Worlds remake; even looks like him a bit). And they even have an absolute little cutie pie of a 5 yr old (the 'illegal kid') who just says and does the most adorable things... (extra sarcasm sauce on that last sentence). This family is so generic, they could almost pass for the Doctor's holographic family in the Star Trek Voyager episode, "Real Life." In fact (no surprise), Brannon Braga and Rene Echeverria are two of THIS show's producers as well... :doh:

There's also a splinter group rival faction (the "Sixers") who act as the the other threat to the Terra Nova colony (so mankind is going to start the same mistakes of warfare, separate nation states and class struggles all over again... wonderful). To quote the Star Wars movies, "I got a bad feeling about this..." I was comforted by the knowledge that in another 20 million years from the show's timeline, a giant asteroid is scheduled to hit the Yucatan Peninsula off of Mexico and wipe this show right off of the Earth... ;)

On the plus side (it's a short list) there's some nice production values; and beautiful, if ridiculously familiar "Jurassic Park" style CGI dinosaur shots everywhere. The last half hour of the 2 hour pilot ("Genesis") could've been a reel lifted from a future Jurassic Park sequel. Kids trapped in a car with dinosaurs outside while the adults go rescue them. Honestly, I am NOT making that up. That's the last quarter of the show.

At any rate, I give it one season; maybe (just for the eye candy factor alone). And even if it were NOT on a major network (which normally is a death knell for scifi) I'm pretty sure I'd STILL give it just one season. And I'm fairly sure I won't be around for the ride...
This is NOT "Terra Nova"... this is Terra Repistitious. :cylonnono:


Just this Ol' Toaster's opinion... :D

6 Comments On This Entry

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Zipper Icon

02 October 2011 - 11:07 AM
I watched the pilot last night and you hit the nail on the head on this one. Just plain bad.
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p0is0n0us Icon

03 October 2011 - 06:11 AM
I watched it to and was seriously UNDERwhelmed. I was looking at the producers and it has Brannon Braga in there, kinda worried me from the start. Spielberg is in there which is probably why its Jurassic Park the series. He's going to make JP4 the TV version.
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obsolete toaster Icon

05 October 2011 - 10:10 PM
Same feeling I had years ago watching the expensive (for 1993) pilot of SeaQuest DSV. Beautifully produced, nice eye candy and even Roy Scheider thrown in. But when all was said and done it was a rehash of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea with just a pinch of Star Trek: The Next Generation thrown in. One critic accurately headlined it, "Voyage to the Bottom of the Ratings..."
:lol:

For some reason, despite his prowess with motion pictures, Spielberg just doesn't seem to get television (doubly ironic since he began as a TV director with Night Gallery and Duel). :cylonnono:
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dsgtdave Icon

09 October 2011 - 11:27 AM
I don't think he can do mainstream tv. Band of Brothers, The Pacific and Taken were all excellent cable series that he produced.

But ya. I'm curious to see the drop off in ratings for this one.
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p0is0n0us Icon

07 November 2011 - 01:38 PM

obsolete toaster, on 05 October 2011 - 10:10 PM, said:

Same feeling I had years ago watching the expensive (for 1993) pilot of SeaQuest DSV. Beautifully produced, nice eye candy and even Roy Scheider thrown in. But when all was said and done it was a rehash of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea with just a pinch of Star Trek: The Next Generation thrown in. One critic accurately headlined it, "Voyage to the Bottom of the Ratings..."
:lol:

For some reason, despite his prowess with motion pictures, Spielberg just doesn't seem to get television (doubly ironic since he began as a TV director with Night Gallery and Duel). :cylonnono:


I recently rewatched the Seaquest pilot as it was on Netflix, I found it rather bland. I remembered the later series they got rid of Roy Schneider for Michael Ironside and there was supposed to be more action.
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obsolete toaster Icon

14 November 2011 - 10:11 PM

p0is0n0us, on 07 November 2011 - 10:38 AM, said:

I recently rewatched the Seaquest pilot as it was on Netflix, I found it rather bland. I remembered the later series they got rid of Roy Schneider for Michael Ironside and there was supposed to be more action.

Seaquest DSV tried so hard to capture that "Star Trek mojo" underwater, but it just never found it's niche. I always thought the sets seemed too 'look-at-me; I'm-in-the-future' for my taste.

It was more "Love Boat" when it could've been more "Das Boot."
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