Cast: Jason O’Mara, Christine Adams, Byron Brockmann, Shelly Conn, Stephan Lang, Simone Kessell, Landon Liborion, Allison Miller
Director: Jon Cassar
Writers: Rene Echevarria, Brannon Braga
Network: Airs on Fox, Mondays @ 8pm
Original Telecast: Oct. 23, 2011
So I missed last week that TERRA NOVA doesn’t necessarily take place on our Earth’s past. It actually is a similar past, but in a somewhat alternate reality of our own. That’s why the dinosaurs are very similar, but different as well as the other plant and animal life.
That’s especially funny given the opening animation for the show depicts all of Earth’s continents reshaping into Pangaea. So is it Earth and they are just messing with us or is it an alternate universe? This will probably be one of the core themes of the show going forward so for now we’ll have to be content in the limited knowledge we have.
“Instinct” focuses on the migration of a swarm of prehistoric bird creatures that came to Terra Nova as part of their migration ritual. The only problem is that a bunch of humans now occupy that spot so they attack the humans. Turns out, they built the complex on top of the bird creatures’ mating grounds and they want it back. Luckily, Elizabeth Shannon (Shelley Conn) and her former lover that got her the job billions of years in the past come up with a pheromone to drive the birds to a new migrating place and away from the complex.
This was is a “getting to know the characters” episode more than anything else. The main plotline was interesting and they incorporated all of the characters in the show together, but it was just so-so in terms of getting us anywhere in the overall mythology of the show involving the Sixes, the reason Terra Nova exists and the strange writings on the rocks.
Speaking of Sixes and Taylor (Stephan Lang), they obviously have a history that we don’t know a lot about. Now, if I am following the OUTCASTS plotline (which this show has a ton of similarities with), the head honcho in that series banished a group of clones that were raised as workers and fighters because they were supposedly carrying some disease threatening the rest of the colony. I doubt it will be something having to deal with disease as we already know they were named after the sixth pilgrimage through the teleporter that travels people back in time, but there is obviously more to this story.
This brings up a very a subject about the plotlines that work on a show like this and those that may end up dragging it down beyond the hope of success. This business with Taylor and Sixes is interesting. It has some intrigue and some tension. The whole odd, dangerous and wondrous creatures are also fascinating because everyone loves a good monster story. But all of these storylines revolving the family members is just not working. I realize that the whole point of the show is centered on this one family but I’m not sure if that’s the best option for the show’s longevity. I could care less about the 16-year-old’s crush on a military man. I could care less about Josh (Landon Liborion) and his trouble-making moonshine making love interest, Skye (Allison Miller). These are a dime a dozen on television. We don’t need it in a show that has so much more that it could give us from the hundreds of other people and characters we could have.
Hopefully, the writers will get the picture in future episodes and they’ll focus less on these lame subplots and more on the interesting stuff.
Meanwhile, here are some observations I made during “Instinct”:
- Dudes wearing camo in the forest are the new red shirts of science fiction.
- Shouldn’t the Shannon family be amazed at the vast quantity of food and fruit everywhere considering they just came from a place where it was nonexistent?
- Old dudes still don’t like teen music.
- CGI birds don’t poop.
- A little dry ice is a great lure for prehistoric birds.
- Fathers still hate it when their daughters fall for dudes five years older than they are.
- A 50 gallon drum of the future still looks the same as it does today.
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Click on Link: TV Review – TERRA NOVA – Season 1 premiere
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Article: TV Review – TERRA NOVA – Season 1 – “Instinct”