• Network: FOX
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 26, 2011
  • Season #: 1
User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 284 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 69 out of 284

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 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
  4. 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. 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
  5. 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.
  6. Sep 28, 2011
    3
    The first episode was simply boring. There was nothing new about it. The actors were bland, storyline pointless and very little mystery to it. I wasn't even blown away with the special effects. The most intense parts of the show didn't engage me. I couldn't care less about who lived or died. I'm not sure how much longer I could watch a show like this.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 comes off bland. What a waste. Collapse
  9. 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!
  10. 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 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
  11. Sep 27, 2011
    10
    Premise is good and it has a lot of potential! I will be tuning in to see where it all goes. The pilot of any show is always a work in progress but few have the potential, this is one of the few!
  12. 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. This pilot is being eaten alive, question is... will help come in time? Expand
  13. Oct 8, 2011
    1
    This show is terrible. There are so many things wrong with it - no explanation for many aspects of the plot, parts that don't make a lick of sense, a son that all of a sudden has daddy issues, and a daughter playing the stereotype of the smart kid, only her acting is so bad that the best she manages to achieve is the not-so-smart kind trying to act. This has to be the poorest attempt at story telling that I have seen for a long while. My advice? Don't waste your time. Expand
  14. 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.
  15. 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 on all my checklists. Terra Nova ROCKS! Expand
  16. 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. 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
  17. 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, 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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 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.
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  20. Oct 6, 2011
    2
    I thought that FOX could do it better. Having into the game such a director as Jon Cassar, they could do it better, but the script is horrible! We can advance everything that is going to happen. If the shows continues like this, is going to fall quick.
  21. Sep 27, 2011
    10
    All I can say is WOW! This is by far the best show to come out in years. It has everything! Great acting, amazing effects, and a great script. While it's true they are trying to push an agenda (it's written by environmental extremists - what do you expect?) they use the idea to good effect, so I'm not giving it any points down for that. This show really is a work of art- if you haven't seen it yet, do so! I could see this going 8-10 seasons if the scripts just stay as good as the pilot was, and shows generally improve in time (although I can't see how it could get any better than this). Expand
  22. Sep 27, 2011
    2
    You'd think that the reason Spielberg has waited so long to produce a TV series about dinosaurs is that he was waiting for technology to catch up so that creatures that live up the standards set by Spielberg's own Jurassic Park became affordable for a TV-budget.

    Sadly, this is not true. Not a single dinosaur looked believable. I'm not even sure the series reached up to Walking with
    Dinosaurs when it comes to paleovisual believability. The dinosaurs simply don't move or behave in a convincing fashion, looking more like something taken out of the Attack of the Clones arena that the terrifying animals we saw in 1993.

    Storywise? While there was a potential for "Lord of the Flies" with raptors, this is "Lost in the Cretaceous". It's a telling fact only the "bad" humans (shockingly characterized by a rugged appearance) actually get eaten, whole 5 teenagers who get cornered out in the forest by a pack of what is probably 500-kg predators survive with only flesh wounds and a minor leg fracture. I had a hard time deciding which of the main male characters is a more entitled douche. The father who decides to have a third child in a world dying from overpopulation, then assaults police officers and gets locked up leaving his family to fend for themselves? The clueless teenager who meets a cute girl on the first day, somehow instantly makes a lot of friends, and then decides to scamper off into the primeval jungle, predator-infested jungle to drink moonshine?

    Bottom line? It's by all means watchable, but if you where expecting "Galactica" with dinosaurs, sorry.
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  23. 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
  24. 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 react to...like...bad stuff...let's have the villain shoot the vegetarian dinosaur. Yeah." Expand
  25. 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 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
  26. Sep 27, 2011
    8
    I think this show has good potential. many plot points for future episodes were set up and it looks promising for now. I'll definitely be watching the next few episodes just to see if they take it in a kind of "Lost" direction in which case I might drop the show
  27. Sep 26, 2011
    10
    Loved this show. Like nothing else I have seen on television. I'm sure the people who feel the need to have every show be about murder and mayhem will have a problem with this show but, for someone who fines the biggest problem with television being it's lack of cinematic flare, this was quite entertaining. It is also something for everyone who enjoys a since of discovery. Not the greatest show in the world, but quite a beautiful world with great special effects for television. Expand
  28. Sep 26, 2011
    9
    Premise is pretty good, a thinking mans sci-fi show. Glad to see, Life on Mars guy, back. Very intriguing story line. Visual effects are stunning. Can't wait for next episode.
  29. Sep 27, 2011
    9
    Terra Nova's biggest appeal to me was the setting. It is something different than the crime-dramas and other shows set in a today-like setting. Being a fan of Jurassic Park as a kid I love the fact they're dinosaurs in this. The special effects were not mind boggling but they are not bad either; they are convincing enough to get the job done. If you are looking for something out of the ordinary shows like house csi, house, cm, etc. then defiantly take a look at Terra Nova. Expand
  30. Sep 27, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. All I can say is WOW! This is by far the best show to come out in years. It has everything! Great acting, amazing effects, and a great script. While it's true they are trying to push an agenda (it's written by environmental extremists - what do you expect?) they use the idea to good effect, so I'm not giving it any points down for that. 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. 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.