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First Look: Terra Nova, Fox

May 18, 2011

Courtesy: Fox

**********     UPDATE 08/25/2011     **********

Fox sent me the pilot episode of Terra Nova for review. Overall, it’s an interesting, albeit familiar, story. Instead of LOST‘s island or Jericho‘s nuclear attacks, we have dinosaurs in this new beginning. Don’t misread me: I am still a fan of both of those shows. A lot of good TV can be mined from such a storytelling device. They set it up nicely, with the world being overpopulated and oxygen highly polluted. There’s been a cap set on procreation, only allowing two children per family. The lead family has three. He’s a cop, she’s a doctor. He’s thrown in jail. She’s recruited for the Terra Nova project. He escapes. The whole family makes it into the wild. No earth-shattering revelations in that.

The rest of the pilot is setting the scene: we meet the rest of the cast. I don’t know anyone but Jason O’Mara, who’s playing the husband who’s thrown in jail. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. These actors are, for me, clean canvases who can take me anywhere. When you already know them, sometimes it stilts your ability to open your mind. O’Mara I know as a lawman already, from his turn on the woefully under-appreciated US version of Life on Mars. He oozes charisma and has gorgeous eyes.

The girl who plays the youngest daughter Zoe, Alana Mansour, is absolutely stunning, with huge brown eyes that make you want to reach through the TV and grab her. She’s the cutest thing on TV. And no lie: while this is the five-year-old’s first role, she can say more with her eyes than half the cast of Gossip Girl can utilizing every acting technique they have ever learned.

As fas as the special effects – this is a Steven Spielberg project after all – I can say that the landscape is amazing, lush, gorgeous. I can also say that, at times, I felt like I should be watching on a movie screen rather than my laptop. And, unfortunately, I can admit that the scenes where O’Mara and Stephen Lang (as the group’s leader) go to a huge gorge with a slew of waterfalls run into a valley look like they came from 1987. I was confused. Now, to be fair, I don’t do big showy special effects flicks. I haven’t seen Avatar. I haven’t been to any of the 3D movies. That’s not my thing. So maybe it’s supposed to look fake. I don’t know. I was disappointed, though. But, like I said, there’s plenty that is cool as hell. The dinosaurs look real.

I’d definitely recommend you watch the show. In fact, I will be setting my DVR for a full season. We’ll see how it plays out. It could be great. It could be as bad as The Event. Only time will tell.

**********     END UPDATE     **********

With a pilot costing more than $16 million and a per episode price tag of $4 million, Terra Nova steps to the plate as what could be an amazing success or an overwhelming failure. Rather than order just the pilot, Fox went ahead and placed a 13-episode order for the Steven Spielberg-produced drama. Starring Jason O’Mara as the head of a family from 2149 that travels back 85 million years to prehistoric Earth. Unfortunately, the dinosaurs are hungry and people from the future taste better than the average run-of-the-mill dinosaur frozen meal. And drama ensues. Of course.

Terra Nova stars Jason O’Mara as Jim Shannon, Shelly Conn as Elisabeth Shannon, Landon Liboiron as Josh Shannon, Allison Miller as Skye, Naomi Scott as Maddy Shannon, Alana Mansour as Zoe Shannon, Stephan Lang as Commander Nathaniel Taylor, Mido Hamada as Guzman and Christine Adams as Mira.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2011 9:28 AM

    Juste 1 word, unbelievable.
    This drama is just an amazing x effect with great actor. Just wait on 26 september to watch it 🙂

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