Terra Nova : Season 1

  • Network: FOX
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 26, 2011
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 302 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 70 out of 302

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User Reviews

  1. Oct 6, 2011
    6
    The effects are great, the storyline can be great. Please do not turn this into a sad crummy production. Points of failure: Cars with no doors in dinosaur land. Children getting lost in the dinosaur infested jungle... adults learn of this and instead of sending the military out to get them instantly, the hero goes to his hut and has a heart to heart chat with his wife about whether or notThe effects are great, the storyline can be great. Please do not turn this into a sad crummy production. Points of failure: Cars with no doors in dinosaur land. Children getting lost in the dinosaur infested jungle... adults learn of this and instead of sending the military out to get them instantly, the hero goes to his hut and has a heart to heart chat with his wife about whether or not she should go... then they take her along. Producers... go watch the 1st 5 episodes of BSG... watch it again... ok, now try to bring some of that edge into your multi million dollar production before it slides into the land of lost shows... because it has great potential... but after 2 episodes it is already slipping. And by the way... lots of your viewers will be scientists (we like SciFi)... so next time you have biologists capturing new organisms, figuring out their "pheremone" homing systems, and then synthesizing "enhanced" versions of said pheremones in 3 hours start to finish... just don't. Go to UCLA and get some grad students to advise you... I guarantee they'll do it for free donuts. Not only will your show be more believable, it wall also be better. Last rant - those flying bats in episode 2 were neither scary nor intimidating. All they served to do is make the son look incompetent in his total inability to kick any kind of dino ass. Expand
  2. Feb 6, 2012
    5
    Terra Nova is one of those shows where you love it and at other times, you hate it... and you'll hate it so much. The plot and premise was one of the most fascinating things about the show, and it did not deliver until it was way too late. There was a lot of wasted episodes... basically, out of the 13 episodes, only 4 of them even really amounted to anything worth while. Ironically, thoseTerra Nova is one of those shows where you love it and at other times, you hate it... and you'll hate it so much. The plot and premise was one of the most fascinating things about the show, and it did not deliver until it was way too late. There was a lot of wasted episodes... basically, out of the 13 episodes, only 4 of them even really amounted to anything worth while. Ironically, those episodes happened to be the first two and final two episodes.

    It's also fairly difficult to make an emotional connection to any of the characters when you generally kinda hate them all save for a select few you can count with one hand. I'd recommend this show only if you're curious, otherwise, stick with the first two episodes and final two episodes, it'll be like watching a movie. Otherwise, you'll have a lot of filler in between the good stuff, and you'll hate yourself for watching it.
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  3. Sep 26, 2011
    6
    After watching the pilot I was somewhat disappointed. I heard they spent 10+ million on this pilot and I was expecting something great. Yet it felt like a mid-season episode which means I am going to have to watch a few more episodes to see where this is going. I do like the plot (or where I hope the plot is going) so far. I can comment much on the characters yet but they certainly wereAfter watching the pilot I was somewhat disappointed. I heard they spent 10+ million on this pilot and I was expecting something great. Yet it felt like a mid-season episode which means I am going to have to watch a few more episodes to see where this is going. I do like the plot (or where I hope the plot is going) so far. I can comment much on the characters yet but they certainly were nowhere close to the characters on Lost (which is my standard for perfect characters in a TV show). Overall the pilot didn't give me an impression that this is going to be an amazing TV series nor that it will last but I always have hope that they can turn the show around. As a last comment to all the people who always complain about bad dialogue. I have to say people ask for too much these days from TV shows, like they are all made to be about dialogue. Yes I like perfect shows with great dialogue. But common, we want every movie and show to be an ideal world where everyone talks in perfect dialogue. Personally, I'm tired of the ideal world entertainment, I want something more realistic (dialogue wise at least) so I don't emphasize the dialogue too much unless they are TV shows (Mad Men, The Big Bang Theory) or Movies (The Lord of the Rings, The Kings' Speech) specifically based on their dialogue. Expand
  4. Sep 26, 2011
    6
    I saw a trailer for this show about a month and a half back and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Then when I actually saw it it was about as much as a disappointment as the new Hawaii 5-0 was. The dialogue is stiff and often so cliche you end up shaking your head half the time. The plot can sometimes seem stupid. The characters are practically lifeless shades (even Stephen LangI saw a trailer for this show about a month and a half back and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Then when I actually saw it it was about as much as a disappointment as the new Hawaii 5-0 was. The dialogue is stiff and often so cliche you end up shaking your head half the time. The plot can sometimes seem stupid. The characters are practically lifeless shades (even Stephen Lang which I was highly disappointed with). The 2 hour premiere did have some surprisingly good CGI action. Nothing like Avatar, King Kong, Jurassic Park but very good none the less. The concept of Terra Nova show is also starting to unfold which I think is nice. The only reason why this isn't rated any lower is because I have potential for this series, they have so much that they can do with it to make it shine. In the meantime though you didn't miss too much. Expand
  5. Dec 20, 2011
    4
    I really had to challenge myself to finish watching the season. This show is: 10% Jurassic Park, 45% The Waltons, 45% scripts, poor ideas and cheesy dialogue from the lesser Star Trek shows (Deep Space Nine/Voyager/Enterprise). Exactly 10% of the show works. It's not the 1990's anymore, much less the 1960's. Battlestar Galactica set a high bar for modern scifi: Intelligent and gritty,I really had to challenge myself to finish watching the season. This show is: 10% Jurassic Park, 45% The Waltons, 45% scripts, poor ideas and cheesy dialogue from the lesser Star Trek shows (Deep Space Nine/Voyager/Enterprise). Exactly 10% of the show works. It's not the 1990's anymore, much less the 1960's. Battlestar Galactica set a high bar for modern scifi: Intelligent and gritty, great action, with realistic human drama at the center. You simply can't go back to the old formulas now. If Fox orders another season of this show without trimming all the fat, I guarantee I will not watch it. Expand
  6. Sep 27, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The good parts: Earth 2149 -- the special effects are excellent. Earth 85 Million BC - the CGI dinosaurs are also great, as is Stephen Lang, although his role and the whole base camp in the jungle setting reminds me of Avatar a little too much. The Bad: The writing needs a major upgrade, as do the central characters, aka Swiss Family Shannon. Their relationships are too pat and unconvincing. The Worst: here we go again with the imperative to appeal to the teenage demographic, turning Terra Nova at times into Terra Nova 90210. This was the same problem with another Spielberg creation, "Falling Skies," which seemed to revolve for a time around the irresponsible and incredibly stupid behavior of various teenagers. Hopefully, the Terra Nova writers will smarten up and feed a few of the stupider teenagers to the ever present dino predators, thus restoring a measure of sanity to the script, and proving that Darwin was right. Jury Still Out: the deeper meaning of the show. I'm not sure about the central mysteries of Terra Nova. They could turn out to be intriguing, or just more "Lost" potboiler trash. I would also like to see more of Earth 2149. If Terran society is advanced enough for time travel to an alternate timeline, it would seem that space travel and environmental cleanup should be a snap. I need to know why this is not so. In sum, Terra Nova has real potential, and I'll be watching the second episode, but it had better improve fast, if it wants to hold on to its audience. Expand
  7. Dec 12, 2011
    4
    I had my hopes up for this one but it really lacks any substance. This show isn't sure if it wants to be a family show or an adult drama but flails awkwardly in the middle. Poor writing and highly episodic content with very little to hook the viewer align perfectly with crude direction to result in trite disaster. As is often the case in new shows, it can take a while for the charactersI had my hopes up for this one but it really lacks any substance. This show isn't sure if it wants to be a family show or an adult drama but flails awkwardly in the middle. Poor writing and highly episodic content with very little to hook the viewer align perfectly with crude direction to result in trite disaster. As is often the case in new shows, it can take a while for the characters to gel. I doubt we'll ever see any cohesion from the characters in this show. Destined to a single season I'm afraid. Expand
  8. Sep 27, 2011
    5
    A high production value, clearly, but right off the bat there were no particularly gripping characters. Stephen Lang is the best of the bunch as he plays a humanized version of his "Avatar" character. Allison Miller, a proven actress in "Kings", does what she can with a shallow character here. The "estranged father keeping the family together" plot is nothing you haven't seen before. TheA high production value, clearly, but right off the bat there were no particularly gripping characters. Stephen Lang is the best of the bunch as he plays a humanized version of his "Avatar" character. Allison Miller, a proven actress in "Kings", does what she can with a shallow character here. The "estranged father keeping the family together" plot is nothing you haven't seen before. The show hinted at some future conflicts and mysteries, but did not leave anything that made me say "wow, I have to know the answer to that," as Lost specialized in. There is potential here, but we need actual mysteries and story and conflict instead of little girls admiring trees and people running from dinosaurs. Expand
  9. Sep 28, 2011
    5
    A disappointment. Terra Nova managed to use all the clichés within one and half hour. This show does not know what is wants to be, and that's exactly what it is. It's everything from a family drama to a teen love story mixed up with some random action elements. The cast isn't that convincing because of some annoying characters, and I'm not just talking about the bad acting.A disappointment. Terra Nova managed to use all the clichés within one and half hour. This show does not know what is wants to be, and that's exactly what it is. It's everything from a family drama to a teen love story mixed up with some random action elements. The cast isn't that convincing because of some annoying characters, and I'm not just talking about the bad acting. This pilot is being eaten alive, question is... will help come in time? Expand
  10. Sep 27, 2011
    5
    Terra Nova has an interesting premise, and the pilot episode laid the groundwork for what could be a compelling story. That being said, the show isn't without it's problems. The pilot was rather heavy on teen angst - an element that I'm hoping they don't plan on relying on in future episodes. In addition to the hipster teens, the other characters were also mostly clichés -Terra Nova has an interesting premise, and the pilot episode laid the groundwork for what could be a compelling story. That being said, the show isn't without it's problems. The pilot was rather heavy on teen angst - an element that I'm hoping they don't plan on relying on in future episodes. In addition to the hipster teens, the other characters were also mostly clichés - cop dad, doctor mom, war-hardened leader, and rebel chick whose motivations are not yet clear. Of course, the characters that were the most disappointing were the dinosaurs themselves. I don't think they looked quite as bad as some of the other reviews I've read have let on, but I was still not impressed. It's clear that the producers have some big decisions to make regarding the show's visuals and their available budget. Ultimately, Terra Nova will have to rely on having plenty of action beats and keeping the mystery alive if they want viewers to keep coming back. In addition, some more better writing and character development couldn't hurt.

    All in all, Terra Nova was slightly better than I expected it to be. And, while I'm not totally won over, the pilot was just good enough to convince me to tune in for a few more weeks.
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  11. Sep 28, 2011
    4
    craptastic. this is no battlestar galactica. this is no lost. or whatever reference or hope they had. silly acting and plot. amateurish special effects (if you can even call them that). not suprised, but disappointed.
  12. Sep 29, 2011
    6
    The age range range for this show skews a little too low for me. At least I hope it does. I would hate to think that they dumbed it down for a wider audience, because that would be ridiculous. There is no wider audience for sci fi. Dumb people won't watch it even if it has guns and explosions. The Dawson's Creek people also aren't going to watch it no matter how cute the teenagersThe age range range for this show skews a little too low for me. At least I hope it does. I would hate to think that they dumbed it down for a wider audience, because that would be ridiculous. There is no wider audience for sci fi. Dumb people won't watch it even if it has guns and explosions. The Dawson's Creek people also aren't going to watch it no matter how cute the teenagers are. That's why I hope they're just trying to reach smart eight year olds, But of course, In the process of doing that they have to lose this smart 35 year old. Too bad, it could have been fun for us grownups. I don't even think the action figures will be that cool. Expand
  13. Sep 30, 2011
    6
    Sci-fi soap opera. Overall it is entertaining.. maybe a little more if you're 10y.o. Good visuals is not all, unfortunately. Some decent story could come in handy too... Terra Nova lacks a good story. Surely its not dumb.. but still naive. It's funny how you wait for somebody to just die. Opportunities are good but no, pilot is politically correct, rated for teen and overall happy-endish.Sci-fi soap opera. Overall it is entertaining.. maybe a little more if you're 10y.o. Good visuals is not all, unfortunately. Some decent story could come in handy too... Terra Nova lacks a good story. Surely its not dumb.. but still naive. It's funny how you wait for somebody to just die. Opportunities are good but no, pilot is politically correct, rated for teen and overall happy-endish. You cant really expect anything surprising or thrilling here. I'll surely watch it, I guess it wont hurt. Eventually, its only 6 episodes. Expand
  14. Sep 27, 2011
    4
    One can see the same crap on the sci-fi channel with better cheesy effects and the same stupid plot points! Is Spielberg afraid to show a man-eating dino killed by humans? Peter Jackson and James Cameron are better fantasy directors and producers! I'll try to stick with it, although it could get as boring and soap opera laden as Falling Skies!
  15. Sep 27, 2011
    5
    After watching the first episode I was left with an disappointed feeling. The CGI was poor and looked outdated. After hearing good things about this show, I was expecting something spectacular but this was not the case.
  16. Sep 27, 2011
    5
    The concept is great and the timestream star gate worm hole is cool but its cast is strange. If you lived in a jungle would you not be smarter about how to dispose of even the smallest carnavore. These guys dont even have guns that even seem to hurt the lizards. The undertwenty crowd in the series need to man up get some iraqi vets to teach them how to survive in hostil enviroment. TheThe concept is great and the timestream star gate worm hole is cool but its cast is strange. If you lived in a jungle would you not be smarter about how to dispose of even the smallest carnavore. These guys dont even have guns that even seem to hurt the lizards. The undertwenty crowd in the series need to man up get some iraqi vets to teach them how to survive in hostil enviroment. The cop sould be a bit more jaded after spending two yrs in prison for have an extra kid. The commander is a bit to passive about people shooting at him Expand
  17. Oct 11, 2011
    5
    As a person who loved dinos since he was 2 years old, I was REALLY looking forward to this series... This series had so much going for it but overall I can't rate this anything more then a 5 and thats with me being bias in favor of the show. The show is just barley watchable, the acting is very inconsistent and the show is just all over the place. I read numerous reviews saying the the CGIAs a person who loved dinos since he was 2 years old, I was REALLY looking forward to this series... This series had so much going for it but overall I can't rate this anything more then a 5 and thats with me being bias in favor of the show. The show is just barley watchable, the acting is very inconsistent and the show is just all over the place. I read numerous reviews saying the the CGI effects were equivalent to Jurassic Park... to me that's a big insult, its not even close... and that was made how long ago? I know you don't have a movie budget but common... when the little girl gave the branch to the dinosaur to eat (what little girl would really give a branch to a dinosaur the first time seeing it anyway...) it went from being a real branch to a CGI one and the transition was horrible. I've seen the first three episodes now and feel I can comment safely. The show didn't even make a big entrance. The very first show was about everyone fighting with each other and included some lame ass dinosaurs. Really you need to save the human race and you're fighting with each other....The second show dealt with some bird like dinos that were mostly animated as a big mob... The third one dealt with some outpost doing gene research and it caused ppl to have amnesia... common guys.... wheres the real dinos, when i say that I mean the ones everyone is dying to see... there hasn't been one dinosaur fight and hardly any interaction with humans... the show may as well be them in Africa cuz there surronding have had very little to do with the plot. 90% of the actors are bad. The writing is subpar... I just expected more for all the hype. If the show didn't include the PROMISE of humans interacting with dinosaurs (I say this because we haven't really seen this yet) I probably would rate this show a 2/10, 3/10 at most. Im a big sci-fy fan and this show under that classification is a joke. I want to love this show, theres just nothing to grasp at, I will keep watching because a series with dinosaurs is a worth prolonged exposure but if it continues down this path I doubt there will be a Season 2 to even watch. Overall this is how I would rate the show under these classifications: Concept: 8/10 Visuals: 4/10 Acting: 2/10
    Dynamic Plot: 0/10
    Suspense: 1/10 Promise of dinosaurs: 1/10
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  18. Oct 7, 2011
    5
    The show got off to a good start with the pilot episode, but the second episode about killer pterosaurs, was over the top cheesy. Will give it another week or two, but if it remains too campy (can you say "land of the lost"???), I'll move on.
  19. Oct 11, 2011
    6
    Big Budget effects....not big budget writing. Its popcorn entertainment for now. I'll keep watching for a bit to see how it goes, but it has to get better soon.
  20. Oct 13, 2011
    4
    If Starship Troopers and Jurassic Park got together this is the lovechild it would produce. Oh yeah, did I mention the two were blood relatives?

    The premise itself is somewhat interesting but the movie fails to execute on every level; writing, dialog special effects, acting, character development.
  21. Oct 13, 2011
    6
    A watchable show, but I wont call this 'must see TV'. The focus seems to be on effects (which aren't THAT amazing) rather than good characters and storylines. I'll stick with this as it does have potential but we have to hope it doesn't just turn into "A different adventure each week" without having any decent serious story development.
  22. Nov 1, 2011
    5
    Terra Nova is a decent show, but it is ruined by horrible acting, unfunny jokes and some bad CGI moments. I was disappointed, the show had potential.
  23. Nov 23, 2011
    5
    The show has great special effects and a premise that had so much potential. But with the exception of the first episode it has been nothing family struggles and soap opera moments. None of the characters are particularly cool or interesting. The only one I like is the Steven Lang character and his character is essentially the dude from Avatar that he played. You would think they wouldThe show has great special effects and a premise that had so much potential. But with the exception of the first episode it has been nothing family struggles and soap opera moments. None of the characters are particularly cool or interesting. The only one I like is the Steven Lang character and his character is essentially the dude from Avatar that he played. You would think they would show more dinosaurs and scifi stuff but over the season the show has lost it's identity. Too many filler episodes and not enough episodes that move along the central plot. Picture the slump Lost got itself into except this time it started from the start. Expand
  24. Jul 9, 2014
    6
    An interesting concept on the whole with some nice special effects and a decent story, but I can't help but feel that dinosaurs don't really go well on a TV series rather than a full-on film.
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Sep 28, 2011
    50
    Nothing in this pilot is as compelling as the idea for the show, which begs philosophical and ethical questions that Spielberg and company (for now, at least) aren't interested in addressing.
  2. People Weekly
    Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Sep 27, 2011
    63
    Even with Steven Spielberg listed among the executive producers, this distant world doesn't inspire much awe. [3 Oct 2011, p.45]
  3. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Sep 26, 2011
    50
    The slowdown of the show's pace is one thing, but the real issue here is that the family element often feels inauthentic and just isn't up to the quality of the CGI-fueled action sequences.