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Terra Nova (TV series)


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Terra Nova is an American science fiction drama television series that began to air on Fox on Monday nights. It premiered on September 26, 2011 with a two-hour episode.

Plot

The show begins in the year 2149, a time when all life on planet Earth is threatened with extinction due to dwindling worldwide air quality and overpopulation. It has become virtually impossible for humanity to survive, and almost no vegetation exists. At Hope Plaza, a massive ring shaped structure in Chicago, scientists discover a rift in space-time that allows people to travel 85 million years back in time to the late Cretaceous period of a prehistoric Earth, but in an alternate timeline (thus avoiding paradoxes caused by reverse-flow time travel), offering a chance to save humanity. The Shannon family (father Jim, his wife Elisabeth, and their three children Josh, Maddy, and Zoe) join the tenth pilgrimage of settlers to Terra Nova, becoming part of the first human colony on the other side of the temporal doorway.[4]

The Shannon Family starts a new life in Terra Nova while having to deal with carnivorous dinosaurs and the Sixers (a splinter faction that has been opposed to Terra Nova ever since arriving in prehistoric times during the sixth pilgrimage).

Production

The series is based on an idea by British writer Kelly Marcel.[5] Alex Graves signed on to direct the pilot.[6] Brannon Braga serves as showrunner.[7] Australia was chosen after producer Steven Spielberg vetoed Hawaii because he wanted a different filming location from his 1993 film Jurassic Park.[8] The two-hour pilot was filmed over 26 days in late November to December 2010.[5] It was shot in south-east Queensland, Australia, with locations in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Gold Coast Hinterland.[9][10] The shoot was plagued by torrential rain and additional material had to be shot in 2011, with a total estimated cost between $10 to $20 million to be amortized over the season.[8][11] More than 250 sets were constructed.[12] An episode takes eight to nine days to shoot, like most television dramas, but six weeks in post-production, twice the television average.[5] The average episode budget is about $4 million.[11] Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly stated, "This thing is going to be huge. It's going to take an enormous production commitment."[13]

In an unusual decision, Fox skipped ordering just a pilot, and instead immediately ordered thirteen episodes. This was partly due to financial reasons, as the large Australian sets are expensive to dismantle and rebuild. Despite this decision, the producers denied the production was over-budget, with Peter Rice explaining instead the show is "a very expensive... very ambitious television show". Kevin Reilly continued, "We're not in completely uncharted territory here. The start-up cost for the series is definitely on the high end. But it's not some bank-breaking series".[14] With only 10% of Cretaceous-era dinosaurs recorded in the fossil record, the producers decided to supplement the series with ones which might have existed; paleontologist Jack Horner was brought in to help create realistic creatures for the period and different from those of the Jurassic Park film franchise.[8]

In June 2010, the first cast member was announced – Jason O'Mara as Jim Shannon.[15] In late August, Allison Miller joined the cast.[16] In September, Deadline Hollywood reported that Stephen Lang signed on to play the role of Commander Taylor.[17] An executive producer, David Fury, left the series as a result of creative differences.[18] In September, Shelley Conn landed the female lead role.[19] In October, Mido Hamada was cast as a security head,[20] while Landon Liboiron, Naomi Scott, and Alana Mansour were cast as the three children.[21] In November, Christine Adams was cast as Mira.[22] In May 2011, Rod Hallett was added as a series regular.[23]

The cast and crew returned to Queensland, Australia on May 20, 2011 to continue production on the first season. Filming commenced on May 25, 2011.[24] With a long production process on the series,[12] it was announced that the first season would consist of thirteen episodes to finish airing in December 2011.[25]

Episodes

Main article: List of Terra Nova episodes

Broadcast

Terra Nova was expected to premiere in May 2011 with a two-hour preview, but due to the amount of time being spent on visual effects, its pilot was moved to fall (late September) 2011 to air together with the rest of season one.[26] In May 2011, Fox announced the series would air on Monday nights,[27] and released a full trailer.[28] Terra Nova premiered at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International on July 23, 2011.[29] CityTV is expected to simul-cast the series for audiences in Canada.

In Poland, FOX TV Poland has picked up the series, which will air 1 week after US FOX Channel.[30] In the UK & Ireland, digital channel Sky 1 has picked up the series, which will air 1 week after the US.[31] In Australia, Network Ten has picked up the series, where it will air within days of its release in the USA.[32] In Russia, Armenia and few other CIS countries the series premiered on Channel One on September 27, 2011.[33] In Israel, yes has picked up the series, where it will air within a day of its release in the USA in both high definition and standard definition.[34] In Germany ProSieben has picked up the series, and will air in the spring of 2012.[35] In India, it will premiere on October 8, 2011 on Star World.[36] In Italy, satellite channel FOX acquired the series, which will air one week after the US. The premiere will air on October 4, 2011. In Belgium, BeTV is broadcasting the series on Thursdays, 3 days after US FOX, in a new "Direct from US" program, the premiere debuting on September, 29th, in HD and SD.[37] The show premiered with over 9 million viewers. One of the highest viewed TV show premiers in FOX history.

Cast

Series regulars

  • Jason O'Mara as Jim Shannon, a police officer and devoted father with a complicated past.[27]
  • Shelley Conn as Elisabeth Shannon, a trauma surgeon who is selected for Terra Nova. She is married to Jim.[27]
  • Landon Liboiron as Josh Shannon, the 17-year-old son of Jim and Elisabeth. He is reluctant to leave his girlfriend behind.[27]
  • Naomi Scott as Maddy Shannon, the first daughter of Jim and Elisabeth. An awkward 15-year-old, she hopes to reinvent herself on Terra Nova.[27]
  • Alana Mansour as Zoe Shannon, the five-year-old daughter of Jim and Elisabeth Shannon.[27]
  • Stephen Lang as Commander Nathaniel Taylor, a pioneer and leader of the settlement.[27] The first person to arrive, Taylor survived the first four months (118 days) on his own and then began building a community as new settlers came through; he has been the leader of the settlement for seven years.[38] In early development, he was named Frank Taylor.[39]
  • Allison Miller as Skye, a veteran resident of Terra Nova who guides Josh. Her parents are said to have died and she teaches Josh the value of family.[16]
  • Mido Hamada as Guzman, the head of a security team who also serves as a trusted adviser to Nathaniel Taylor.[20]
  • Christine Adams as Mira, the leader of the "Sixers".[27]
  • Rod Hallett as Dr. Malcolm Wallace, Jim's rival.[23]

Recurring cast

Critical reception

In June 2011, Terra Nova was one of eight honorees in the Most Exciting New Series category at the Critics' Choice Television Awards, voted by journalists who had seen the pilots.[42] The series' first season received an aggregated score of 65% across 24 reviews from Metacritic.[43] The Post-Gazette compared it to Outcasts [44]

The Los Angeles Times wrote: "Easily the most exciting show of the fall season, Fox's "Terra Nova" has such obvious, instant and demographically diverse appeal."[45] The New York Post calls it "Good family fun".[46], while USA Today says "What matters are the dinosaurs, who — particularly in the first hour — are as convincing and startling as TV has ever offered, roaming a gorgeous, CGI-enhanced terrain."[47] The Wall Street Journal writes "'Terra Nova' leaves ye olde cheap-set series in the dust with production values that make each episode look cinematic."[48]. The Washington Post writes "Literally the biggest thing on TV this fall, “Terra Nova” has it all: time travel, misguided utopianism, “Swiss Family Robinson”-style cohesion and lots of hungry dinosaurs. It’s all pretty dazzling."[49]

Not all of its reviews have been positive however. The show was called "Stargate:SGU by Dr. Seuss" by Mark A. Perigard of the Boston Herald.[50]

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I watched it and it's not bad but I don't think it's going to last long. Kind of things already seen before. A mix between Jurassic park (Dinosaurs) & Lost (hostile place with strange things happening + 2 different camps) & a bit of StargateSG1/Atlantis and a bit of Sliders. Not very original but still nice to watch.

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