Cancelled Too Soon #2: Terra Nova (2011)


If any show meets the definition of “It should’ve worked but it didn’t” it’s Terra Nova. I mean look at what the show had going for it:

  • Time travel to escape the dystopian future
  • Starting a new life in Earth’s distant past (with dinosaurs no less)
  • Great visuals/fantastic budget
  • And let’s not forget, STEVEN SPIELBERG is the executive producer!!!!

It’s that last point that convinced me to try this show in the first place. Spielberg is responsible for most of my favorite films, so I figured if he was backing a television show, it had to be good. Notable series stars are Jason O’Mara, Shelley Conn and Stephen Lang.

The plot was fairly straightforward: in the mid 22nd century, the Earth has been badly polluted and the population has spun out of control. Therefore, there is a planet wide limit of two children per family. However, a solution has been discovered: a temporal rift that permits one-way travel to a “parallel Earth” approximately 85 million years in the past. A series of “pilgrimages” allow specially chosen citizens to start a new life in the Terra Nova colony. The story primarily follows the Shannon family (Elisabeth, her husband Jim, and their children, Josh, Maddy and an “illegal” child Zoe) as they join the latest pilgrimage and their adventures in Terra Nova.

But the story wouldn’t be any fun without a few plot twists and in this story the Shannon family discovers that Terra Nova has a big problem: Most of the participants of the Sixth Pilgrimage (dubbed ‘Sixers’) turned out to be insurgents who oppose the existence of Terra Nova. They actually provided a good source of conflict for the story.

I’m still not sure exactly why this show failed, because the first few episodes were amazing! There was criticism for the show mid-season, but by the finale things were definitely looking up. I really think Fox should have taken a chance and given the go-ahead on season 2. That’s really the trouble with television these days, the studios are less willing to give “risky” shows a chance (and yet seemingly terrible ideas run 3-4 seasons all the time).

If you’d like to check out the series (brief as it was), the sole season was released on DVD several years back in a 4 disc set.

Upcoming entries in this series will look at (in no particular order): Dracula (2013-2014); Moonlight (2007-2008) and of course, Firefly (2002). Until then- Becky

See also:

Cancelled Too Soon #1: Constantine (2014-2015)

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4 thoughts on “Cancelled Too Soon #2: Terra Nova (2011)

  1. Pingback: Cancelled Too Soon #3: Dracula (2013-2014) | Film Music Central

  2. Pingback: Cancelled Too Soon #4: Moonlight (2007-2008) | Film Music Central

  3. Pingback: Cancelled Too Soon #5: Firefly (2002) | Film Music Central

  4. Pingback: Cancelled Too Soon #6: Birds of Prey (2002) | Film Music Central

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