Sci-Fi Storm

Micro-review: Fox’s Terra Nova

by on Sep.27, 2011, under Television

I think I like this “micro review” format for things that just recently aired. It’s not a full-fledged review that would require another viewing and even more typing, but it gets my thoughts out there – feel free to add your own. Warning: Here there may be dragons-er, spoilers…


Fox’s Terra Nova, produced by Steven Spielberg, finally had it’s two-hour debut last night after delays, changes, etc.. Was it worth the wait? If the rest of the series is of the quality of the pilot, I think it was.

Now, my hopes for the show were probably high (given the involvement of Spielberg), but I think I also expected to be disappointed – and that’s perhaps why I wasn’t.

There was an amazing amount of detail, including in the beginning setting for what amounts to a world we will likely not see again. There were definitely times where you could tell it was CGI, but it was still done well and not cheaply.

There were a number of factual errors – which may have been intentional depending on how the overall story takes it, or they could simply use the “alternate timeline” handwavium. But brachiasaurs, as shown, existed during the the Jurassic period – whereas if they went back the 85 (or 88 I forget) million years as claimed, Terra Nova would be in the Cretaceous period (which ends with the K-T extinction event in 20 or so million years…)

Also, there was mention about how the stars are different (true), due to the “expansion of the universe” (not so true – the stars slowly shift in a variety of directions from our point of view with the differing speeds as they rotate about the galactic core). Also, the moon appears larger, which as they mentioned would be because the moon is closer to the Earth, and moves further away at about a half centimeter per year. Well, even after 85 million years, it would only have moved 425 kilometers further away. Even at perigee (the closest point in it’s orbit to Earth), that’s still only 0.12% difference. I don’t think it would be noticeable.

Still, they did at least think of these things.

What they didn’t show is how the youngest daughter came to be with them exactly. But that probably would have been too much to deal with during the pilot.

Overall, the acting was decent if not spectacular. The weak point both acting and plot wise may have been the son, who leaves his girlfriend behind forever, but all his issues seem to be with his dad.

Anyways, it will be interesting to see if this keeps up for the remainder of the season.


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1 Comment for this entry

  • rcurrier

    I don’t think they are on Earth. That would explain the factual errors, the moon size, the stars, the “alternate time stream” theory, and the fact the probe first sent through the fracture was never found in the future.

    The bigger plot hole I saw was even though they made it clear that the fracture was one way they implied that the colony has some sort of communications to the future. Leaving messages (see BTTF 3) probably wouldn’t work across 85 million years.

    But overall I enjoyed it. My wife thinks its too “Lost”.