September 26th, 2011
05:42 PM ET
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.
"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."
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