Terra Nova – “Genesis”

Terra Nova – “Genesis

Steven Spielberg playing with dinosaurs again like in Jurassic Park. Stephen Lang back in another hostile environment with dangerous creatures like in Avatar. The survivors of a dying Earth starting anew in an untamed wilderness like the short-lived mid-90s series Earth 2. In a lot of ways Terra Nova seems to be on familiar ground. The great thing is that it manages to walk that line without seeming derivative.  The opening onscreen set-up seemed unnecessary. Apparently the show begins in 22nd century when Earth has been so polluted and fucked up beyond all repair (oh, I imagine some climate change deniers are going to take issue with this show). The solution involves travelling 85 million years into the past to when Earth WASN’T fucked up beyond all repair. I don’t think that premise needed to be spelled out explicitly by onscreen titles. The pollution was readily obvious and the show could have teased the mystery of just where this new place they were going was. Every writing class gives the same instructions: “show, don’t tell.” So that was an early strike for Terra Nova.

Then the show ended up being pretty cool. There are some weird technical issues I had. Specifically why didn’t little Zoe age at all in two years? As for the story, I liked it. It creates a new world (or rather an alternate version of a very old one) and gives it some interest dangers and conflicts. Also, DINOSAURS! And giant bugs… (I hope they don’t get too reliant on the bug thing… I don’t like bugs)  I’m interesting where all this is going. The premiere episode obviously is about raising questions rather than answering them and it does it well. What is the agenda of the Sixers? Is Taylor trustworthy? What’s with all that weird math Taylor’s son is carving on the rocks? Is Terra Nova’s real agenda altering the future (and if it really is an alternative timeline as Maddy said how is that possible)? I want to know the answers to these questions so I’ll be tuning in.

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