‘Terra Nova: Genesis’ (Season Premiere) Review
Terra Nova is a difficult pilot to review. Clearly the show has potential but perhaps a few new writers and actors could make it much better. I will say, however, that unlike many other sci-fi shows (looking at you Falling Skies) Terra Nova delivers on the action. Sure it isn’t movie quality special effects, but this is the best CGI I’ve seen on TV probably ever. Also, the show should not have premiered with a 2-hour episode. Once the set-up was done it became very boring.
The set-up however was very good. It starts in a dystopian future ruined by pollution and over population. The events that lead to the advertised time travel 85 million years ago are exciting and set up a pretty dark tone for the show. Once we get to prehistoric times the gorgeous rainforest juxtaposed to the futuristic architecture and technology is stunning. Most shots of the dinosaurs look pretty good but the ones that don’t are really awful. But it’s better than every other show that attempts CGI out there.
As for the writing and acting, you know the things that make a decent show great, they lack the punch (or bite) they need to make Terra Nova as compelling as it could be. Most of the acting is pretty wooden and that is not helped by the awful dialogue. Everyone’s lines are littered with cliches that even the biggest sci-fi geek won’t be able to get past. The one saving grace is Stephen Lang, who most of you will probably recognize as the villain from Avatar. He actually looks to be really enjoying himself and delivers corny lines with just the right amount of relish and enthusiasm to steal every scene he appears in. He is the best part of the show and I am very happy he is a main part of the show. But can he save an entire cast and show on his own? Time will tell.
Overall, Terra Nova is a decent pilot for what could eventually be a good show, but for now everything is just so-so. If the cast can improve then this could be a show worth tuning in to every week. But for now I’m not sure how much long I will be giving it. (5.5/10)