Terra Nova (TV): Chan’s Review

Amongst all the other shows I have on my list to catch up with, Terra Nova came next in line.  Since seeing the trailer before SDCC, my interest was piqued.  Slap some dinosaurs and Speilberg’s name on it and call me captivated.  Unfortunately I did not get to go to the panel or showing during SDCC and have only had the chance to watch it recently, but am glad I am doing it instead of not doing it at all!

I watched the entire season within a few weekends and, while I feel some of the show could have taken place in settings far less lush, it feels like an overall solid show.  Some of the melodrama could be done without but does not throw off the entire balance of the show too much.  There is a wonderful theme you learn about into the show that really makes you think about the time travel aspect (I won’t discuss it so I don’t spoil anything) and puts everything the citizens of Terra Nova as well as others (Sixers, etc.) into a whole new perspective.  It is a very fresh take on the time traveling storyline/genre/idea and welcomes in other ideas and groups into the show easily.

Commander Taylor

By far my favorite actor in the show is Stephen Lang (Conan the Barbarian, Avatar, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Gettysburg) who plays Commander Nathaniel Taylor, the “leader” of the new civilzation Terra Nova.  He was the very first one to travel the portal, and has an incomparable passion for the world and its citizens from pilgrimages of the future.  Taylor has such a fierce loyalty to preserving what is there that eventually you have a respect for him that you didn’t even know was there.  As far as the other actors are concerned, none stand out as much as Lang, but they perform within their own characters as well as to be expected.  Personally, I don’t feel most of the characters are given enough depth and emphasis on “where they have been defines who they are now” because obviously everyone has a unique story as to how they ended up in Terra Nova.  Perhaps this is something they wish to focus on during the second season (if there is a second season?) since the first seemed to develop the overall storyline.

With a lack of dinosaurs for most episodes, the show is still pretty solid and really absorbs you into their world.  Common tasks seem much more intricate and challenging when placed in a world with limited technological resources (for example, Maddy’s computer core breaks in one episode and it becomes a huge project trying to find another one since they are not readily available in a world that does not produce them).  It’s nice to see the emphasis on the world like that; little nuances and situations such as Maddy’s really put their world in perspective for the viewer.

Overall, I think it’s worth a once around for the innovation and relaxed pace of it.  Lang’s performance really kept me hooked throughout the show, but the time travel theme was another nice hit for me.  If you’re looking for dinosaurs and constant action this may not be your dish, but if you’re welcome to a bit of the normal sitcom melodrama with some exquisite backdrops, watch a couple episodes.

Chan’s Camera Rating: 7 out of 10


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