Saturday, October 1, 2011

A funny thing happened when I tried to review Terra Nova

I tried, but I just don't have the energy to do it. I think my post-viewing tweet summed it up. Sorry I'm not more livid about it. I think it's kind of alright, and I'll happily give it a season or so to sort itself out.

One thing of note in the "what in the heck do non-geeks think about dinosaurs" file comes from The AV Club. From previously noted dinosaur fan Todd VanDerWerff: "It’s not the most graceful pilot in the world, lurching about like a, well, dinosaur." China can pump out as many meticulously preserved, elegant examples of feathered dinosaurs as they please: at the end of the day, the word "dinosaur" will still mean the hulking, volcano fume sucking, antediluvian morons the world thought they were sixty years ago. So, what damage can Terra Nova really do? Bring it on, Braga!


  1. I've gone almost three years without cable TV and not missed it much at all....until now. Despite their shortcomings, I'm dying to see both Dinosaur Revolution AND Terra Nova!

  2. Yeah, we don't have cable either. Netflix, Hulu Plus. That's it. Luckily, this one;s on Hulu, so I don't have to resort to... less savory means.

  3. I got as far as the first scene with the brachiosaurs before I had to turn it off.

    The nonstop parade of tired old tropes, the inexplicable storyline, numerous stupid plot devices and c'mon-man acting was enough to seriously dilute my already limited interest. On the subject of time travel, the CGI was pretty good for 1994. I can't really blame the show itself, though--that's just the way television is, and it's why I haven't watched any television programs for twenty years.

    Since I didn't bother to finish the damn thing, perhaps someone can help clear up a question that bugged me and, indeed, still bugs me. If this time portal is one-way only, and if the destination is in another "time stream", then how do people back on "present day" Earth have any idea where the other end of the portal leads? Wouldn't it appear that people and material just vanish? For all they know, the portal could open in deep space, or inside a mountain, or ten feet above an erupting volcano's caldera.

    "Yeah, once you go into that machine, you're never seen or heard from again. You might die instantly, you might not, who knows? Okay folks, who's next? Step right up, one at a time please."

  4. @Dziban there are definitely huge plot holes that you just have to take on faith. The show was at it's best when it wasn't trying to explain these things.
    @David I luckily get fox over the airwaves with my homemade antenna, so I was able to watch as it aired. One of the 4 channels i get. I was happy.
    IMHO the show was, despite it's many problems, entertaining. I hate that they had to go and make up dinosaurs, since this just confuses people who don't know dinosaurs. kinda like the dilos in JP. I hate seeing that dang neck frill.
    The show didn't seem any worse than most of the first season of The Walking Dead and most people fell head-over-heals for that show. (I love the comic book, but was seriously seriously let down by that first season) I think this show has potential to improve. I'm willing to follow it for a while especially since I'll get to see some dinosaurs/monsters.

  5. Oh, I didn't know it was on Hulu - thanks, I'll check it out! I've been too paranoid about my aging computer contracting a virus lately to employ any "less savory means."

    Since I haven't seen it yet I can't say for sure, but I think I'll be more forgiving of some of the problems in Terra Nova because I'm not only a dinosaur lover but also a fan of sci-fi in general. Even when sci-fi is done well, it almost always still doesn't make much sense logically or scientifically if you spend any time analyzing it. Particularly with time travel, things start breaking down pretty quickly.

    So the real question for me is will there be enough other things about the show that make it worth watching in spite of the scientific inaccuracies, space time continuum issues, etc? Everything doesn't have to be fully explained - if done well, the story can be convincing and believable enough that viewers will look past or not notice the problems as much. Although, sometimes it's the laughable moments that keep me watching as well. I'm still hopeful that I'll enjoy watching it.

  6. @Sharon: Sounds like you have the same attitude towards sci-fi as I do. I didn't expect to be blown away, and was pleasantly surprised. If they dedicate themselves to writing good characters, it might amount to something worthwhile.

  7. It isn't so much the science that I have misgivings about (for the same reasons you and Sharon mentioned), but the characters. I haven't seen it (being in the UK and all), but from what I'd seen of the trailers, I felt as though I wasn't going to like the characters very much. So far, many reviewers (including our Trish) seem to have comfirmed my suspicions on that score. Though of course, I can't really say until I've actually seen it -- if I ever get to, that is.

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  10. I have a theory that, rather than being dinosaurs themselves, the slashers are a genetic experiment gone wrong: bred from theropods and designed to be a kind of "super-soldier" in Dean Koontz's WATCHERS.


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