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

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User Reviews

  1. Oct 27, 2011
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Pointless and unnecessary, that's what this show is. When I first read about this show I got very excited. Dystopian future, time travel and dinosaurs, what could possibly go wrong? I did not expect stellar acting, a remarkable plot line or clever dialogue. Just watching a group of people in a survival setting battling against the elements and the diversity of vicious, man-eating, prehistoric creatures would have been enough to satisfy all my expectations. Now, after watching 3 episodes, I feel duped. It's not about dinosaurs, hardships of survival, some weird psychological phenomenon caused by time travel or possible implications thereof. This show is no more than a generic family drama with occasional apperances of dinosaurs. The whole premise of time travel and dinosaurs is nothing more than a farce, an excuse to provide the viewer with **** explanations for **** solutions to **** problems with dinosaurs thrown in to create a fake sense of danger and urgency. The show is as predictable as the alphabet and the characters are so cliché and one-dimensional that I can't possibly care for any of them. Let me introduce them, without names though, cause I already forgot. There is the father, the embodiment of conservative alpha male/provider/protector/authoritative father figure, in short a neanderthal. He will always do as his conservative guide to being a manly father says, that does not include using his brain. In episode 1 for example he decides to punch a police officer after his illegal (overpopulation law) child is found. He goes to prison, his wife gets to raise their 3 children on her own. There is apparently no consequence of having 1 child too many, so the only thing his anger accomplished is getting him imprisoned and giving his family a couple years of hardship. Still, his continued knuckle responses are presented in such a way that it appears as if the producers of this show are trying to promote outdated gender-role stereotypes. His wife is the typical beautiful wife that is always loyal to her husband whatever happens, she loves her children. She is also a typical doctor/ scientist, and by typical I mean typical for TV shows. It seems TV producers have at best a childlike understanding of science, so when they create a scientist/doctor character it's basically someone really smart who wields the magic of science to solve various problems. In one episode for example she appears to be an expert in virology and bio engineering despite being a trauma surgeon (wiki says it) back in her time-line. Then there are their 3 kids. The teen daughter is a cliché awkward, nerdy genius kid. The producers idea of smart is that she will blurt out some supposedly smart stuff, and the producers idea of akward and nerdy is that she is extremely attractive and everyone smirks when she says said smart stuff. Then there is the rebellious teen son who says mean stuff to his parents but loves them in his heart. He gets into trouble and his parents get him out of it, afterwards they hug. At last there is the youngest child, a little girl whose only job it is to be cute and provide moments of touchy feelings. Every episode feels exactly the same. Half the episode is about how much they love eachother and how important their family is. Then some problem appears, a reason for them to leave their safe camp. There will be a little shooting, shouting and driving, a couple dinosaurs will be encountered and the problem will be solved within the same episode. Then it's back to happy family times. In-between the action and family stuff there are also some romance sub plots that are as original as the idea of time travel. As a guy I hate the moronic filler material that is romance, but Terra Nova sets a new record for the most stupid and half assed romance sub plots, I mean it. Episode 1, teen son arrives at terra nova and goes exploring the new home, first person he talks to is his new romance. Same episode, teen daughter takes a walk in the new home, first person she speaks to is her new romance. **** disgusting. As already mentioned each episode is in itself conclusive, the only plotline that extends beyond the duration of one episode is the disappearance of the son of the camp commander and his crazy writings on stones and rocks. There is also a group of people who were living in the camp but are enemies now, some kind of mad max-esque enemies. These attempts at mystery are so poorly executed that they fail to create even the slightest amount of interest. To sum up, there is absolutely no reason to watch this show, boring characters, predictable cookie-cutter episodes, zero suspense. Expand
  2. Nov 1, 2011
    1
    Simply terrible. Nothing is thought through. Effects aren't too great, characters are shallow and uninteresting. It's no LOST, it's not thought provoking, interesting, or entertaining. Watched it with a group of friends, we left and did other things.
  3. Nov 2, 2011
    1
    The teenagers live among dinosaurs and go into the forest to drink moonshine? really? they spend all the money on the series to come up with this? the script is ridiculous. don't waste your time. if you want quality programming watch hbo or showtime.
  4. Dec 15, 2011
    1
    I have grown up a sci-fi fan. So when I heard about this show, I was ecstatic. Dinosaurs, a hint of Earth 2, a whole new world to explore, what more could you ask for? After watching the first episode thru the current one apparently a lot more! (Yeah, yeah, I keep trying it, wishing for change, I'm hopeless)

    The lines are VERY bland, nothing intelligent, nothing interesting. It
    I have grown up a sci-fi fan. So when I heard about this show, I was ecstatic. Dinosaurs, a hint of Earth 2, a whole new world to explore, what more could you ask for? After watching the first episode thru the current one apparently a lot more! (Yeah, yeah, I keep trying it, wishing for change, I'm hopeless)

    The lines are VERY bland, nothing intelligent, nothing interesting. It sometimes feels like some high school kids wrote and directed it. The mini "day to day" storylines are the same thing. And the BIG multi-arc "storyline" is so weak it could be nonexistant. Bad corporations from the future want to suck out the natural resources of this new planet. Ooooooh. So much drama.....

    The actors they chose fro this are very generic looking. I know they tried to actually add diversity to the main cast (the actors playing the mother, and both daughters have Indian ancestory), which is great. But for a multi million budget, they could'nt have found better actors?? They say their lines so glumly, as if they will suck the life out of television. Actors don't NEED to be good looking more than they need to have charisma, an onscreen persona. So far the Commander is the one with most charisma (and I hated his guts in Avatar).
    I wonder if this show can be saved? Explode Terra Nova, or maybe let dinosaurs eat everybody up. Then the next batch of explorers that come can be better cast. It is sad that they were trying to make a family friendly sci-fi and it fell flat. I love feel good shows, shows that show the bond/strength of family. But this thing just sucked.

    P.S It makes me miss Earth2, my heart was ripped out when super losers cancelled it. :(
    Expand
  5. Dec 19, 2011
    1
    The stunning visuals are not enough to distract my attention off of the horrendous writing and terrible acting with the exception of Stephen Lang(not great but decent enough to keep me from pulling my hair out while screaming at the screen). This show lacks the mystery that others of it's category have; shows such as "Lost" which had the bitter-sweetness of "leaving you hanging" at the endThe stunning visuals are not enough to distract my attention off of the horrendous writing and terrible acting with the exception of Stephen Lang(not great but decent enough to keep me from pulling my hair out while screaming at the screen). This show lacks the mystery that others of it's category have; shows such as "Lost" which had the bitter-sweetness of "leaving you hanging" at the end of the show. The fact that every unrealistic problem the writers create is resolved at the end of every episode is what is driving the audience away; an audience which is relatively small considering the shows budget. As of today the show has survived for one whole season, perhaps Fox will see their mistakes and fix them. The fix is simple new writers and casting auditions! Expand
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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???
  9. Oct 2, 2011
    0
    I felt compelled to register and contribute a quick review for this show because I don't understand how a show this appallingly bad could garner positive reviews. I have only seen the first hour of the pilot in a preview at comic-con, and decided then and there that I did not need to see a single second more of this disaster. Between the mediocre special effects, boring and predictableI felt compelled to register and contribute a quick review for this show because I don't understand how a show this appallingly bad could garner positive reviews. I have only seen the first hour of the pilot in a preview at comic-con, and decided then and there that I did not need to see a single second more of this disaster. Between the mediocre special effects, boring and predictable story, wooden acting, and amazingly terrible dialogue, it's mind-boggling that the show made it off the cutting room floor, let alone to an actual premiere. The fact that it garnered applause at comic-con was totally surprising to me, but now I see that the general sci-fi TV watching public has their standards set so low that even this dreck is considered acceptable. You would think after having the pleasure of Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Lost, Fringe and other such impressively written shows, they would have a better appreciation, but apparently not. Score is for the show and for those fans who actually enjoyed this. Expand
  10. Nov 21, 2011
    0
    Booooring. I am unable to stay interested in this show. The characters are bland, predictable and cliche. The story was pulled out of someone's butt, and aside from the dinosaurs I'm not even sure what this show is supposed to be about. There's nothing compelling about it. Maybe if aliens came down, strapped lasers on the dinosaurs, and the dinosaurs went rampaging through the humanBooooring. I am unable to stay interested in this show. The characters are bland, predictable and cliche. The story was pulled out of someone's butt, and aside from the dinosaurs I'm not even sure what this show is supposed to be about. There's nothing compelling about it. Maybe if aliens came down, strapped lasers on the dinosaurs, and the dinosaurs went rampaging through the human settlement it would be watchable. Network TV is pretty much out of ideas. 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.