Terra Nova : Season 1

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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 304 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 70 out of 304

Where To Watch

Stream On

Review this tv show

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling

User Reviews

  1. 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.
    Expand
  2. Sep 27, 2011
    7
    Pretty good start, but I don't want this to be another LOST type show. If they are gonna get somewhere with Taylor's son, they need to get there sooner rather than later. It was fun to watch and will hopefully keep me entertained for quite some time.
  3. Oct 8, 2011
    2
    How could they spend so much money and create something so boring. Great opening and cool transition to T.N., and then wake me up when something happens besides a dreary family sitcom. Watched the 3rd episode, just in case, and the same mix of some action and mind-numbing camp life. It's a shame whoever created the show tried to appeal to such a wide variety of tastes that it just comesHow could they spend so much money and create something so boring. Great opening and cool transition to T.N., and then wake me up when something happens besides a dreary family sitcom. Watched the 3rd episode, just in case, and the same mix of some action and mind-numbing camp life. It's a shame whoever created the show tried to appeal to such a wide variety of tastes that it just comes off bland. What a waste. Expand
  4. Sep 28, 2011
    1
    A very painful first episode. The characters sucked, the acting was terrible, the plot was lame, and the special effects were just okay. Seriously, it was just bad. The way I see it is that the only way one could enjoy this show is if they have no brain. Which a lot of people don't.
  5. Sep 28, 2011
    9
    I found the show very entertaining and a good watch. Lots of plot lines and paths to follow and good character depth. Looking forward to next weeks episode.
  6. Sep 26, 2011
    2
    A 65 average critic score for this debacle of a show? Are you serious? I just wasted 2 hours of my life that I can't get back. I was hoping for way more of a sci-fi/adventure type story but this ended up being a soap opera in the prehistoric days. Awful, really really awful. Do not waste your time with this show as it will be canceled during the first season.
  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. Apr 10, 2012
    8
    There's more to Terra Nova than meets the eye. A subtlely charming and enjoyable cast mixed with a cool new world that almost any age can appreciate and take part in is a rarity these days. Although it has been put on hold after one season, there's reason to bring this back. The only argument is whether they should try and keep the polish with so much post-production work or move to aThere's more to Terra Nova than meets the eye. A subtlely charming and enjoyable cast mixed with a cool new world that almost any age can appreciate and take part in is a rarity these days. Although it has been put on hold after one season, there's reason to bring this back. The only argument is whether they should try and keep the polish with so much post-production work or move to a more grit film style to breath more urgency into each episode. If this show gets another opportunity, it could easily grow into a mainstay series for several seasons. Expand
  9. Sep 26, 2011
    0
    I can't really give the premiere a "fair" review because I was unable to get past the first 45 minutes and thats even DVR'd WITHOUT commercials but it doesn't really matter because this sow sucks. It makes me question why producers and creators feel they have to make big budget tv projects SO void of good dialogue, intelligent writing, character complexity, and the list goes on. ThisI can't really give the premiere a "fair" review because I was unable to get past the first 45 minutes and thats even DVR'd WITHOUT commercials but it doesn't really matter because this sow sucks. It makes me question why producers and creators feel they have to make big budget tv projects SO void of good dialogue, intelligent writing, character complexity, and the list goes on. This show is DUMB in the truest sense of the word. It treats the viewers as if they're expected to simply ignorantly accept whatever science fictiony bs these writers could come up with. Shockingly unrealistic and a painful attempt to relate to wwhat they must think the "common fox viewer" is. I meeeaaaan the characters dress and talk like "typical" americans of today. There is absolutely nothing that distinguishes these people from a typical light modern drama even thought its set 150 years in the future and then 65 million years in the past. Not cutting edge. NOT edgy, risky, artistic, well acted, well written or attractive at ALL. What the most upsetting thing is that there was all the money in the world to make something great when others have done far more for far less ie LOST, Battlestar Gallactica, X-Files, I'm sure there are more. I would write in greater detail or even bother to give an example of this shows ironic one dimensionality but I encourage you to actually watch the first 120 minutes of what I pray will be a very short lived disaster just so you can see what really great people are capable of when they're not paying attention or are so rich, successful and established they forget how to make great entertainment. #FAIL Expand
  10. Sep 27, 2011
    1
    Incredibly awful writing. Inconsistent characters and annoying out-of-the-blue emo son who suddenly, inexplicably blames his dad. Poor production value on the sets. Wooden acting. No subtlety to the story. Really, really, really bad. It's like George Lucas wrote it.
  11. Sep 27, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I really enjoyed the season opener. Very good CGI and story thug far. Some of the charters were weaker than the others. Looking forward to the next episodes that will explain both the reason for Oranges and the markings on the waterfall. Still little confused as to where they are in the timeline. Are they in a reverse paradox or in the past before the life of mankind? Expand
  12. Nov 12, 2011
    1
    I can't understand why this show is still on the air. Terrible plot and script, horrible acting and poor CGI all come together to create a magnificent piece of dreck. How could Spielberg produce something like this? Unbelievable...
  13. Nov 2, 2011
    10
    I can't write a formal review for Terra Nova without being a bit casual at least once: I freakin' LOVE this show. From the first episode, its production value is obvious, and obviously Spielberg-esque. The attention to detail in the settings is amazing (anyone catch all the billboards in the background of the pilot?), and filming in the remotest parts of Australia really creates this senseI can't write a formal review for Terra Nova without being a bit casual at least once: I freakin' LOVE this show. From the first episode, its production value is obvious, and obviously Spielberg-esque. The attention to detail in the settings is amazing (anyone catch all the billboards in the background of the pilot?), and filming in the remotest parts of Australia really creates this sense of a prehistoric world, and while the CG isn't movie-quality, it definitely gets the job done convincing viewers that these dinosaurs are real, they're mean, and they'll kill you if you get too close. The tech CG is even better, and the effects team manages to combine futuristic tech with the prehistoric setting in a way that somehow just meshes. The acting is fantastic. For one thing, I had no idea that Jason O'Mara and Naomi Scott weren't Americans by their accent, and for another, the family unit actually acts and naturally becomes a family. A lot of shows end up having the family members seem like strangers, but either this cast really loves each other or they're the best actors on Earth. I'd guess it's a little of both. One of the main concerns I had during the pilot was "how are they going to have a new story every week if there's just dinosaurs around?" But they've been doing an amazing job at that, from the creation of the Sixers, dinosaur mating grounds, prehistoric pathogens, and (because we know it'll pop up at some point) Taylor's son with his mathematical scribblings. It seems like the writers never run out of ideas and are definitely not limited by the concept in any way. I love-love-love it, and I'm not too proud to kiss the television if it'll convince you of the extent of my adoration for Terra Nova. Expand
  14. Oct 14, 2011
    3
    The writing on this show is horrendous. I cannot stand the interaction between the characters. Nothing seems natural between them, it all seems forced. The casting is also a little off. If shows are trying to be like lost they need to realize that all characters do not need to be chiseled, beautiful models. Won't be checking this out again.
  15. 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
  16. 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
    Expand
  17. 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
  18. Sep 27, 2011
    10
    Excellent! A show the does not insult my intelligence. I am tired of shows that feel like they have been phoned in... designed for the multitask-er, with gratuitous salacious drama to keep their ADD attention spans. Terra Nova delivers intelligent plot and dialogue, excitement, believable characters, as well as excellent special effects. For me, this show has hit the right balance onExcellent! A show the does not insult my intelligence. I am tired of shows that feel like they have been phoned in... designed for the multitask-er, with gratuitous salacious drama to keep their ADD attention spans. Terra Nova delivers intelligent plot and dialogue, excitement, believable characters, as well as excellent special effects. For me, this show has hit the right balance on all my checklists. Terra Nova ROCKS! Expand
  19. 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
  20. Sep 27, 2011
    7
    Terra Nova was a very entertaining show. As with most pilots, the groundwork is laid for what may be a fantastic ride. Some questions answered, many more left for us to discover during our weekly visit. The production quality (i.e. FX) are pretty decent for a TV show, I didn't walk away with that cheesy feeling you often get just after watching a program that tries to pull off too much.Terra Nova was a very entertaining show. As with most pilots, the groundwork is laid for what may be a fantastic ride. Some questions answered, many more left for us to discover during our weekly visit. The production quality (i.e. FX) are pretty decent for a TV show, I didn't walk away with that cheesy feeling you often get just after watching a program that tries to pull off too much. All in all, I think the pilot did a good job of filling us in on what we need to know while giving us a reason to return, and I will be returning. Maybe I'm a sucker for anything Sci-fi, but I like the premise, the actors and the stage that has been set for future content. Now they just need to keep it up. Expand
  21. Sep 30, 2011
    2
    It was simply boring; every minute and every move could be foreseen and nothing surprising happened. The opening double episode was full of cliches. Unfortunately, now I foresee a dumb Jurassic Park-themed series instead of a promising sci-fi story. Too bad!
  22. Feb 2, 2012
    0
    I can't believe I ever gave this a 7. Awful show. It was bad in every way possible...I think the worst part of it all was this one scene in the season 1 finale where the villain pointlessly shot a vegetarian dinosaur. I can just imagine the moron who wrote that scene. "Duhhhh.,...vegetarian dinosaurs are...like...nice. they look so friendly eating their leaves. I hear people reactI can't believe I ever gave this a 7. Awful show. It was bad in every way possible...I think the worst part of it all was this one scene in the season 1 finale where the villain pointlessly shot a vegetarian dinosaur. I can just imagine the moron who wrote that scene. "Duhhhh.,...vegetarian dinosaurs are...like...nice. they look so friendly eating their leaves. I hear people react to...like...bad stuff...let's have the villain shoot the vegetarian dinosaur. Yeah." Expand
  23. 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
  24. Feb 7, 2013
    2
    Seeing as the premise for this show involved people travelling back in time to the age of the dinosaurs I wasn’t exactly expecting a drama series with the emotional depth of something like Breaking Bad or Mad Men. What I was expecting however was to be entertained (Spielberg was responsible for Jurassic Park after all!) unfortunately, despite all the pre-pilot hype, Terra Nova fails onSeeing as the premise for this show involved people travelling back in time to the age of the dinosaurs I wasn’t exactly expecting a drama series with the emotional depth of something like Breaking Bad or Mad Men. What I was expecting however was to be entertained (Spielberg was responsible for Jurassic Park after all!) unfortunately, despite all the pre-pilot hype, Terra Nova fails on almost every count. The much hyped special effects are almost laughable in places and are still leagues behind modern day big budget movies, or the 15 year old Jurassic Park for that matter, and the action sequences lack any tension or sense of danger. Add to this the fact that the characters are so clichéd, the dialogue so cheesy and the plotlines so incredibly dull that it is impossible to even begin to care about their plight and you have an example of what happens when TV goes wrong. Fortunately thanks to rapidly declining viewers in the US a second season now looks unlikely. Expand
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. Oct 25, 2011
    3
    Pilot was weak, next episode was weaker and 5th episode into the season I'm starting to feel, that even special effects won't keep me from doing something else next time. For a serie this expensive, a remarkable failure.
  28. Oct 29, 2011
    0
    Opps- my review for this went on as a 10. Definitely not what I wanted so this evens things out. Default ratings really shouldn't be ten. And where is the edit option???
  29. Dec 1, 2011
    1
    Trash! Maybe the worst thing that I've just watched! bad casting, bad scenes, bad dialogues, bad dinosaurs...This is not sci-fi, this is drama and bad drama
  30. Oct 15, 2011
    2
    One of the most important things for lending credibility to fictional characters is them them ask the questions and think the thoughts that normal human beings in their place would ask and think. The characters in Terra Nova fail doing so over and over again, leading to a cast made up mostly of zombies, staggering their way through badly written storywork. While the basic concepts of timeOne of the most important things for lending credibility to fictional characters is them them ask the questions and think the thoughts that normal human beings in their place would ask and think. The characters in Terra Nova fail doing so over and over again, leading to a cast made up mostly of zombies, staggering their way through badly written storywork. While the basic concepts of time travel, pollution and exodus are all potentially interesting, the execution is very bad. The Terra Nova colony is doomed to fail, because it's colonists have neither any frontier spirit, not much in the way of brains to make up for it.

    Yet, sometimes when stories and acting are bad, at least the design, props and special effects make up for it a little bit. This is not the case here, unfortunately. The visual impression suggests that someone went through the concept art trashcans of Jurassic Park, Avatar, Earth 2 and Lost, then picked all the worst pieces he could find and copy them badly.

    It is not a complete waste of time, but it is second to almost anything.
    Expand
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.