Before we even meet the lush green Earth that flooded the advertisements for Terra Nova, we’re introduced to one of the central families who become a beacon of connection and familiarity while simultaneously being incredibly dysfunctional. Suspense is high as we follow their journey from the polluted city they call home to the unfamiliar pre-historic settlement of Terra Nova. Within the first thirty minutes there’s already too many illegal acts to count on one hand, but you find yourself pleading for victory as this family uses every tool they can to remain together.
On entering the new land, immediately the episode delves into deceit, treachery, rule breaking and awkward moments between blossoming crushes and an uncertain husband and wife. The first four episodes do not lose themselves in one aspect of television like other science fiction shows often can. Terra Nova spends as much time on near-death issues with the native wildlife as it does with character interaction and the general mysteries of the land they occupy. The facts aren’t laid out neatly for all to see and we’re left wondering why parts of the forest are forbidden or why there’s a faction of mutinous settlers who take any opportunity to murder the ‘good guys’.
I’d recommend Terra Nova to anyone who’s looking for something to replace the science fiction void V or Flashforward have left, but it’s definitely not for anyone who’s looking for the single serving appeal of any of the sitcoms filling television at the moment. You can watch Terra Nova at 8:00pm Monday nights on Fox.