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Terra Nova: Is it Sci-Fi to Get Excited About?

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Terra Nova
is the latest Sci-Fi series airing on Fox, Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET. The story is another look into humankind’s failure to reverse our over- population and pollution. It’s so bad that by 2149 A.D, we need masks to breathe the open air, cannot have more than two children per family (more than that is outlawed and thus punishable under law), and cannot see the stars, moon or clouds at any given time. Remind you of Los Angeles anyone? There are other clever subtleties placed in the story line, as there should be with any Sci-Fi futuristic type plot. Jail visitors need to “pay” to see an inmate; people are not allowed to have more than two children (it’s against the law); humans are so adapted to the processed foods available on Earth, they can not handle the real food on Terra Nova, a new colony and a new beginning for some lucky humans. 

In the pilot “Genesis,” we were shown what mankind’s disastrous ways can do to our home planet, with no way to correct it. It’s gone past the point of redemption. Science however has found what’s called a “fracture in the time-space continuum.” This technology allows invited humans (those who can contribute to a new colony based on their expertise) to travel back in time 85 million years. Their purpose is to deveolp the new colony and try to change mankind’s ways so as not to end up in the same type of future.

What’s the catch? They are living at a time when Dinosaurs walk the Earth. There are obviously other problems too. Humans are trying to start over, with all their memories of the polluted 2149 Earth.

This debate could go on and on, but essentially, humans are flawed and imperfect. It would be nearly impossible to recreate a perfect future for mankind based on imperfect knowledge. I’ll stop there. Things to worry about include spousal arguments and bad teenagers who feel the need to go “OTG” (outside the gate) where they may fall prey to carnivorous dinosaurs. Medical supplies and ammunition to handle the dinosaurs, and also, an exiled tribe called the “Sixes” add to the troubles. The “Sixes” were the 6th tribe to come to Terra Nova from 2149 A.D., and because of their exile, are left fighting for supplies against the Terra Nova settlement led by Commander Nathaniel Taylor (Stephen Lang from Avatar fame).

The story seems to be closely following Biblical stories from the first Chapter “Genesis” where humans are created on Earth, and because of our imperfect ways, fall farther and farther into the wrong path. Temptation will have its way with the characters, particularly with the Shannon family. They arrive in Terra Nova when mother of three, Elisabeth Shannon (a doctor) is invited to join the medical staff. But wait, three children? That’s against the law. The father is in year two of a  six-year prison sentence when the news of the invitation arrives (at least the mother and two oldest children have been). The father now needs to escape from prison, get their youngest daughter, and in true Han Solo fashion, smuggle her into Terra Nova. Once you walk through the time-space portal to Terra Nova, you cannot return.

By the of end of its 85-minute pilot, the show has already begun many sub-plots. This should make for an interesting ride through its 13 episode season.

With Steven Spielberg behind this series, there should be no lack of funds to produce it. Interest from the science fiction community and Blogosphere (I’m one of them) will also be plenty. It will be interesting to see how they maintain sci-fi action and effects while blending in family drama. I really, really hope this doesn’t turn into 90210 meets 7th Heaven within a Jurassic Park environment. I hope, and would much rather have 24 meets Battlestar Galactica with the scary parts of Jurassic Park. The stage is set for a wild ride this season, and although Terra Nova chimed in with some nine million viewers its first pilot, I think it will pick itself up slowly. Just like Battlestar Galactica, if they keep true to the Sci-Fi and suspense versus the boring drama of teenage squabbling and upset parents, we should all be entertained.

Click here for the full view Terra Nova Poster

I only perceive two potential problems with the series:

  • They need to build on more back story about the how the technology for the “Time-Space Continuum” was found. We need to be able to wrap our feeble minds around it and begin to believe.
  • They’ve put humans back on Earth at a time the dinosaurs ruled the lands. This unfortunately means that we made a grave mistake and should have gone back in time AFTER that giant meteor struck the Earth and wiped out the entire species. With the lack of technology and space defenses in Terra Nova, humans are at the same risk as the dinosaurs and may be wiped out as well. Somebody call Doc from Back to the Future so we can get a ‘Flux-capacitor’ built and move a few million years ahead.”Whoops, my bad…I hit 85 million instead of 35 million.”

For the geeks who sit and watch a show or movie with their laptop or tablet device, Terra Nova has an iOS App and an Android App coming soon. You can check them out here.

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About Jesse Bauer

  • Dan

    This is just a right wing Fox fantasy. It implies that mandatory government population control is evil, and that it is useless to try to reverse global warming and deforestation because we will get a new chance in space or the past if we squander what we have here and now. And worst of all it implies that women aren’t responsible if their husbands want them to have a third child. Why didn’t she get thrown in the slammer as well?

  • whitmore_baggs

    I think it is so amazing that by 2149 everyone is so attractive, models even. Ridiculous.