Genre: Hour-long sci-fi action mystery
Airs: Mondays at 7pm central on Fox
Premise: A ragtag group of humans escape a bleak, desolate future by transporting 85 million years back to prehistoric times in an effort to reboot Earth and save mankind. Easier said than done given the constant threat of death by dinosaur.
Behind-The-Scenes: Steven Spielberg is an executive producer. The pilot has seen its share of setbacks after its premiere was delayed twice due to reshoots and special effects work. It was originally supposed to air back in May.
The Good: Terra Nova is the most ambitious new series of the fall. It's also the most expensive given all those CGI dinosaurs. The sets, vehicles, and armory are all fun to see. The concept is strong and the creators have built in a mythology for the series that will either enthrall or frustrate - perhaps both in equal doses. The action scenes are intense. It's cool to have dinosaurs in a weekly television series. One of the rare shows a family can all watch together. Is this the heir apparent to Lost?
The Bad: The storytelling isn't as clever or innovative as Lost. The show seems pre-programmed to appeal to as many people as possible - typically not a bad thing - but it suffers by focusing too much on all those teen characters. Are they trying to tap into the Glee audience too? The central family is lame and uninteresting, a flaw that plagued Spielberg's other recent television effort, Falling Skies. Other than Avatar's Stephen Lang (they didn't think too far outside the box with that casting), the other actors fail to register. Jason O'Mara is particularly bland - he just doesn't have the chops or charisma to carry a series.
Will It Last?: I think so - at least for two seasons. The geek audience should embrace this one and Fox will give it time to find its footing and connect with people.
Add A Season Pass?: Sure. There is a lot of potential here. It may not be Lost yet (and never will be), but it does have dinosaurs, so there's that.