No one is safe on Fox's new 'Terra Nova'
September 26th, 2011
05:42 PM ET

No one is safe on Fox's new 'Terra Nova'

To say that there has been a lot of hype in the past year or so about tonight's series premiere of "Terra Nova" would be a vast understatement.

The prehistoric time travel series, executive produced by Steven Spielberg, has been promoted all over the Fox network for months on end, with a bus that traveled around the country over the summer, giving potential viewers the opportunity to stand in front of a green screen and be "eaten" by a dinosaur.

"It’s a pretty big production—the size of which I’m not sure has been seen in recent memory on broadcast TV," series star Jason O'Mara told reporters last week.


O'Mara, probably best known for the short-lived ABC series "Life on Mars," plays Jim Shannon, who stows away with the rest of his family on a "Pilgrimage" to travel back in time by millions of years. The idea is to start from scratch and rebuild a planet that is dying.

"The dinosaurs obviously are a huge aspect of all of this, so we’re hoping that people kind of come for those reasons, but stay because they’re enjoying the world we’ve created and the dynamics between the characters and the relationships that are forming," he said.

About those dinosaurs, though - several characters are on the menu, so to speak, for the first episode, and the first season will continue to be a deadly one, according to O'Mara.

"[The dinosaurs are] wild and sometimes they get hungry so we have to be very vigilant around that," he said. "I can reveal that one of the characters that you will have come to know, and hopefully love, will die by the end of the first season. There will be a death of a regular character by this season’s end."

O'Mara's character Jim must answer, like everyone else in the colony, to Nathaniel Taylor, Terra Nova's first settler. "[Jim has] sort of been made the sheriff in this frontier town. So he has to kind of go along with what Taylor does and says and sometimes he has reservations," O'Mara explained. "Sometimes he’s in accordance to it, but the questions that are brought up sort of affect the very fabric of Terra Nova’s society, which is being created as we go along."

Brisbane, Australia is standing in for the idyllic paradise of "Terra Nova," which O'Mara said makes for a challenging shoot.

"We’re outside for a lot of this. The Australian Outback can be quite unforgiving. We haven’t had any medical emergencies on the cast so far in terms of the wildlife. There are a lot of snakes. I don’t know how poisonous it was, but I had a toad crawl across my boots just last week, which was really kind of cool actually, but we’re really out there. We’re really out there in the rain forest and on location and we’re exposed to the elements."

O'Mara (not to mention the producers, and the network) hopes the hard work and scale of the production will pay off.

"This isn’t just about time travel and dinosaurs; it’s about a lot more than that," he said. "I think that is what’s going to bring this show on a level where an entire family can watch it. I really do stand behind that. I think there is literally something for everybody."


soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. NS Sherlock

    So......If you were gonna "restart" humanity.....Why in the @$#@* would you go back 65 million years? I would think you could go back around a thousand years maybe...actually you could just go back 100 years and the environment wouldn't be screwed up yet.......and then educate your now "current" people about the dangers of not taking care of the environment.....Who the heck would wanna spend all day running from T-Rexs and the like...GEEZ

    September 27, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      I can see your point. My guess is that they went back that far because they hoped their presence so far back would not impact the future. The whole, "if you go back in time will you even exist later?" type paradox. They made mention at the beginning of the episode that they are technically on a different time plane or something. They sent a probe back first – the idea being that if the probe stayed where they sent it that it would remain there and they would be able to find it in the future and supposedly they couldn't – this somehow proving that the probe was sent to a different time plane and that therefore, sending people back in time would not change the present. Something about the way they explained this gave me the feeling that they didn't really go to a different time plane and that the future government just said they did so that they could move forward with their plans. Who knows. I get the feeling though that this Terra Nova civilization is all based on lies. But I guess it would have to be to make for entertaining TV. While I like the premise, and always try to support sci-fi series, there were some bad moments for this show's first episode. There was this feel good atmosphere when the whole family made it through to the other side and then at the flip of a switch the teenage son starts acting out. There was like this "happy we're all alive – I hate you" moment that just happened too quickly for me. And also, it needs to be pointed out, that the fence protecting them from all the dinosaurs, is simply a bunch of gigantic logs laid horizontally with metal supports. From the main character climbing all over it to chop weird vines off of it we know its not an electric fence and there are gaps and holes in it everywhere. I really don't understand how that is supposed to keep dinosaurs, or sixers, out...It seems like in some areas they obviously brought tons of equipment from the future but ione of the most important features, their fence, was built out of logs with a ring of sharp pointy things on top? Really?

      October 3, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dean

    Why 85 million years to start over. What'll happen to everyone when the ELE meteor/comet/asteroid hits and eliminates the dinoseours. Humans too? I think the writers chose a bad date. Unless they're up to something.

    September 27, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. nerd

    The characters stank. A rebellious teen son and law enforcement dad. How cliche. They really need to get rid of the law enforcement sheriff story line craap. It could be a good show if they focused on the scifi and colonization aspect but they wont.

    September 27, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. Michael

    I was very disappointed in last night's show. Every TV cliched was dragged out and beaten to death. Lazy writing and predictable plot lines added to the deja vu feel. And at times I thought I was watching 90210 BC!

    September 27, 2011 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. Larry

    Does every show have to have some kind of conspiracy crap in it? You'd think it would be enough to establish a colony in the cretacious period.

    September 27, 2011 at 5:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. Snarf

    Well for a first episode, THAT WAS AWSOME!!!
    We can see that the story is making a kind of new colonization of the world... and that it can go around what a civilization can be.
    If they can get more series, i bet that they will target the killing asteroid to clean up the story and kill all the humans that got into the past. With an entire civilization (Atlantida) remaining and the asteroid not only kills the dinossaurs but it kills the last civilization from the future...
    Great series. Hope they can get it to the 10 series and that it finish with the asteroid impact that kills everyone and lets a few little dinos alive :D

    September 27, 2011 at 5:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Sokman

    I was at work and missed it. It looks good production wise, but not sure if I'll be able to believe the story enough to hold interest. It would have to answer some questions rather quickly, like why go back to the age of dinosaurs? If they're that they can go back in time did it occur to them that there was a global event that wiped most life from the planet, including the dinosaurs?

    September 27, 2011 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Butters

      They go back 85 million years.. That gives them about 20 million years to deal with the incoming asteroid. I think they'll be prepared. More to the point, they can't control when it placed them, it's a one way trip into the past.

      September 27, 2011 at 4:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. Happy Cow

    We are not to fond of the police dad or hs smart-a son and their arguing but other than that it seems like a watchable show. moooooooo : )

    September 26, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Happy Cow

    moooooo : ) We are in the barn watching it and DVRing it. The lil critters like it pretty good and I guess I do too. : ) They are going to show it again on Saturday night for those who missed it. mooooooo : ) We hope your week will be the very happiest. : ) : )

    September 26, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tennille

    I love dino movies.....lol

    September 26, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Anomic Office Drone

    It doesn't look very good to me, but I hope they prove me wrong. I'll be watching tonight to give them that opportunity.

    September 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ivan

    I hope it pays and the hype will meet the expectation. Anyway, its going to be a great show, i guess :-)

    September 26, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. portalpunk

    FIRSTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WHOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |

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