Terra Nova

We got hammered by Frankenstorm too—not like those unfortunates on the Seaboard, but we still got hit. That meant that I had some time on my hands while the wind was howling, and the rain was pounding.....Television Notes from the Rust Belt.....

Youngstown, Ohio

I watched the entire 13 episode run of Terra Nova on Netflix, streamed through my ROKU device into the wide screen high def TV. What a thrill, I tell you.

This stinker had all the possibilities. It was a good set-up and good people were involved, but, like Lost, it suffered from lazy writing and not enough story to fill an hour a week. In other words, Fox screwed the pooch here and wasted a really good concept. Essentially, future Earth is polluted, so groups of Earthlings time travel back to prehistoric times for a fresh beginning, complete with futuristic gadgets, but with dinosaurs. How can this be anything but a blockbuster, I ask you?

Seemed to have some elements of Mad Max, Lost, the X-Files, Seaquest DSV, Voyage to the Center of the Earth, Jurassic Park..........and then it devolved into Days of Our Lives, an ABC Afternoon Special, Lost in Space, and the Disney Channel. Loved the Nerf-Blasters as the main form of weaponry and the made-for-TV pretend dinosaurs though.

Way too much to complain about here, and, well, I'm a fan of Tee-Vee in general. The final episode (or episodes, as the case may be) seems to indicate that the writers were caught completely by surprise that it ended. A final “gag-me” element was the sappy score. Drove me nuts.

Love it, hated it, glad I watched it, glad it's over. Large number of cast members, and plenty of dead-end story lines that never got fully developed. But that's the nature of a series that's lopped off prematurely.

We got Irishman Jason O'Mara in the main role as Jim Shannon, a police veteran and ex-con...the best of both worlds. He used to be Detective Sam Tyler on Life on Mars, and I like this guy no matter what he does.

We got Stephen Lang, who's been everything for years, as Commander Taylor, but in my world he will always be Attorney David Abrams in 1986s Crime Story.

There's British subject and Sri Lankan descendent Shelly Conn as Dr. Elisabeth Shannon, Jim's wife and mother of their tribe.

We also got Canadian high school 12th grader Landon Liboiron as the son of Jim and Doctor Elisabeth. He came from a small farming community with a total school population of 12. He got his start in acting with the Missoula Montana Children's Theater. And if that isn't enough to prove his worth, I just don't know what is. Expect great things from this lad.

There were plenty of other good actors involved, but if you want a real story with a beginning, a middle, and especially an end, you might want to skip it. On the other hand, it was an enjoyable fling and didn't require much effort. Give it a look. On Netflix.


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