Friday, March 09, 2012

Terra Nova Season 1 (2011)

CREATORS: Craig Silverstein, Kelly Marcel; CAST: Jason O'Mara, Shelley Conn, Christine Adams …

SUMMARY (from IMDB): Centers on the Shannons, an ordinary family from 2149 when the planet is dying who are transported back 85 million years to prehistoric Earth where they join Terra Nova, a colony of humans with a second chance to build a civilization.


I think the problem with this show is it being categorized as science-fiction. All right, the premise of travelling through time from 100 years in the future to a parallel Earth 80 million years back is science-fictional. But that is it. Unfortunately, the sci-fi categorization makes people get wrong expectations of something along the lines of a Jurassic park series version, so they are consequently disappointed. What Terra Nova is really about is family, nature, and humanity in general. 

The most important issue Terra Nova deals with is also the most obvious one: the consequences of mankind’s attitude to the environment. In 2149, our planet is over-populated and destroyed by pollution. The air is too poisonous to breathe unfiltered, the Sun is dimmed by gasses, new lethal diseases are plaguing the people, and there is general shortage of food. Only the rich can afford to live in clean air under domes. This is the picture of the world which may soon come to be if we do not change our life style. For this warning alone the series should get a lot more appreciation than it does.

Next, there is the issue of human nature. Even on the verge of extinction, there are people who would exploit a new chance for survival for their personal gain. Greed knows no boundaries. Again, the show sets an important reminder that if people do not start working together and stop being selfish, there is no future for us.

But in all this bleakness, there is hope. People will always have their faults, but they can change and improve if being given a chance. And that chance is something worth fighting for.

In the end, it all comes down to a family and an individual: the choices one makes affect everybody, be it in a positive or a negative way. A family can help an individual make the right choices and make-up for the bad ones to eventually create a better life for everyone.

In addition to powerful environmental and moral messages, Terra Nova has an interesting, fast-paced plot, at least through the second half of the season. Although, I admit that a few episodes in the beginning seemed disconnected from the rest.

Also, there were some surprising personal story arcs. For example, I really liked Skye’s development, which had some unexpected turns, as well as Mira’s. The Shannons are perhaps a little predictable, but they show us what it means to be a family, and I like how each of them stands their ground. They also show us how we need a support of a family even, or especially, when we make a mistake. 

Finally, I just want to say I was sad to learn Fox had cancelled the show just this week. I hope some other network picks it up and brings it back for the second season. I would like to see the loose ends tied up, since season one ended on a cliffhanger. And I hope someone kicks Lucas Taylor’s ass.

RECOMMENDATION: This is an excellent series focusing on environmental and moral aspects people have to deal with. Give it a chance. Keep your mind open. Do not just wait to be entertained. Take a fragment and think about it. Because that is what this show is about – making you think about your contribution to preventing the awful future it depicts from coming true. 


  1. Yay yay yay I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!

    I'm really sad about Fox cancelling. I read that it was the show with the highest-ratings cancelled this year. Fox just hates anything that hints at rich people being bad and greedy. I'm really hoping another network picks it up and continues it - the end of season 1 set up SUCH a good premise for season 2!

  2. I read about the highest rating, too. It's illogical. You've got a point about Fox hating the hints about rich people being the bad guys. I so hope someone with different opinion gives us season 2!


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