In the year 2149 mankind has destroyed the environment and needs a way to escape. The only hope for humanity is time travel and the creation of a human colony millions of years in the past called Terra Nova where humanity can start over; if they can avoid the dinosaurs and other yet to be discovered beasties.
Among the lucky few to get the chance to relocate to the past are the Shannon family; Jim (Jason O’Meara), his wife Elizabeth (Shelley Conn), their 17 year old son Josh (Landon Liboiron), their 15 year old daughter Maddy (Naomi Scott) and their youngest daughter, five year old Zoe (Alana Mansour).
Though the Shannon’s are escaping their dying city, they are not getting away clean. Jim Shannon has a secret that imperils the family’s escape. Once the Shannon’s get to Terra Nova the dangers are unending from carnivorous dinosaurs to the maniacal, cult leader-esque man in charge of Terra Nova, Commander Nathaniel Taylor (Stephen Lang).
While the main tune in factor for Terra Nova will be the dinosaurs; results of the most expensive and time consuming special effects in TV history. Terra Nova will have a number of human stories running through the opening season’s 12 episodes; the series is being limited by its massive budget, at least for the opening season.
Among those human stories: What are the Shannons running from? Aside from the looming environmental apocalypse that tips off the run to the past, Jim Shannon has a secret in his past that will play out as the season progresses. The dangers outside of Terra Nova are serious but there is also trouble inside Terra Nova as the Shannon family quickly discover a faction inside the walls with the aim of destroying the colony before it can begin to thrive.
Finally, there will be romance. Yes, not even an environmental apocalypse or time travel to the past can calm teenage hormones as 17 year old Josh Shannon will fall in love with a slightly older woman, Skye, played by Allison Miller.
No guest stars have been announced yet for season one of Terra Nova and their likely won’t be any as the cost of the series makes big name guests less of a priority. The closest Terra Nova will come to a special guest is a new special effects created dinosaur. FYI, the makers of Terra Nova know a little something about creating dinosaurs; Steven Spielberg is the show’s executive producer.
Rumor has it that the two hour series premiere of Terra Nova cost more than 20 million dollars, twice the cost of your average independent movie. Individual episodes following the premiere have been rumored in the range of 8 to 13 million dollars each, a remarkable number that will require Terra Nova to be a major hit for Fox in order to make the money back.
Scheduling Terra Nova on Monday’s is a savvy move by Fox as Monday nights are dominated by female heavy fair like Dancing with the Stars, The Sing Off, Gossip Girl and How I Met Your Mother. The only problem I can foresee is Monday Night Football on ESPN.
Terra Nova will bow opposite the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Washington Redskins. Even weak Monday Night Football match ups have proven competitive opposite network offerings; there is a reason why every other network chases a more feminine, less Football seeking audience on Mondays.
The two hour Terra Nova premiere will air Monday, September 26th, on Fox.