It’s highly irritating when you know that a programme was cancelled after the first season, and you decide to watch it anyway. I am now suffering an emotional backlash akin to somebody dying in one of my favourite books. It’s almost as if all those characters from the show have died and I will never see them again. I can now understand why people write fanfiction. Not that I’m going to do that, my grieving process just doesn’t work that way…
For those of you who are like me and missed Terra Nova when it first came out, it’s a future set in the past. How weird is that?! Basically it’s set in the year 2149 and the world is in a bit of a state. Humans are dying from the lack of oxygen in the air and everything’s a bit crappy to be totally honest. We meet the Shannon family in the very first moments of the first episode and instantly form a bond with them. I should introduce them. The father is Jim Shannon, who apparently starts the programme as a sort of policeman, but is very quickly arrested because his wife, Elizabeth, and he have a third child. 2149 has strict population laws that prohibit more than two children being born to one set of parents. Things would probably have been alright had Jim not decided to punch the guy that was investigating them, but he did, and he was sent to prison for it. A few years later Elizabeth, a doctor, visits Jim in prison to tell him that she has been picked for the tenth ‘pilgrimage’ to Terra Nova, the same Earth, but in the time of the dinosaurs. As it turns out some clever clogs in the 2149 world discovered a rift in the fabric of time and space that they could use to send people back in time to live healthy lives in a world where the air didn’t kill humans. “But what about the Butterfly Effect?!” I hear you shout, with a little clever manoeuvring an explanation was offered, and maybe I didn’t fully understand it, but I think that may have been the point. Point is that the butterfly effect doesn’t apply because the timelines are different. Or something. But anyway, back to Elizabeth and Jim. Elizabeth explains that she has been chosen to live in Terra Nova, but she can’t take the youngest child, Zoe, with her because she is the illegal third child. So Elizabeth has hatched a plan to get Jim out of prison and into ‘Hope Plaza’ where the rift is, picking up Zoe on his way there and carrying her through the rift in a backpack. Fair enough. Bit outlandish, but certainly do-able. And they succeed. Sorry if you were waiting for a cliff hanger on that one, they all get through and they all survive the journey. It’s when they get tot he other side that the story of the programme really comes into effect. I mean, which story would you be more interested in? The angst of wondering where your husband and daughter are, or the story in which they’re all together in a world that has dinosaurs?! I know which one I’d pick, and I think Spielberg agreed with me. (Why are all the best people called Steven? Steven Spielberg, Stephen King… ok, so that’s two of the best people)
They are under the rule of Commader Taylor, who, after a little trepidation, accepts Jim as part of his police force, and acts as a sort of guide in this new world. But there is a secret the Taylor hasn’t told anyone, his son, Lukas, is alive in the world outside the settlement and he is working on something that no-one understands. The series follows the trouble that Lukas and the ‘Sixers’ (outlaws that live outside the settlement) cause for the residents of the new world and their silly skirmishes that are ultimately overshadowed by the larger threat of the people of 2149 in their quest to find something that only Terra Nova has.
And if all of that doesn’t pique your interest, then I shall tell you a little story about how I found Terra Nova. There is a man, a man called Landon, and he is an actor. He is a very attractive actor. He happens to be in Terra Nova. There you go. All the incentive that you could possibly need to go and watch the show. And then be infuriated by the fact that you will never know what happens next, because there is no next.
And on that cheery note,
Have a lovely day,