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post #1261 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 05:49 AM
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decent show, fun to watch - hope its back, but I doubt it. I read somewhere that do to the cost and time involved, they would need to start production in Febraury in order to have shows on for the fall.. So I guess we should know soon. I wonder how the ratings and cost of this show compared to BSG..
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post #1262 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 06:16 AM
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TV Notes
'Terra Nova': 6 ways to save the show
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - December 20th, 2011

Terra Nova might still get saved from extinction. No decision has been made on picking up the ambitious dino drama, but Fox met with the show's studio chiefs last week to talk about potentially giving the series a second round. Below, we have our six ideas for how the show can best earn a pickup.

Terra Nova has been a self starter in the ratings on Mondays and its family friendly nature makes it an easy pitch to advertisers. Yet the show's overall adult demo ratings have disappointed, and sources say the network has been creatively unsatisfied with the show, as well. But in an odd way, some of Terra Novas problems have worked in its favor everybody involved with the project agrees there's room for improvement and, therefore, possible ratings growth.

The network's verdict on whether to renew the show is expected by mid January since Terra Novas extensive use of special effects require the production to get back in the writers room soon if they're going to stay on schedule to map out stories in time for fall. If renewed, expect Fox's order will be along the lines of the first season's 13 episodes, not a full 22 like most other shows.

So far, the discussion has focused on ways to make the show better, and the compelling two-hour finale was a great step in the right direction. Here's our six suggestions for making Terra Nova a must-watch show for season two:

1. Age up (at least a little). During most of the season (the finale was an exception), Terra Nova tried too hard to target kids. There's a difference between being family friendly and having story threads that will annoy anybody old enough to be in Fox's target 18-to-49 demographic. This doesn't mean Terra Nova has to play like a prehistoric Breaking Bad (as awesome as that would be), but if you're putting characters' lives in jeopardy each week, you need to tell the story in manner that's reasonably convincing to a modern adult audience. You already have dinosaurs, so getting kids to watch is easy. You're more likely to keep kids watching something that's feels reasonably smart and sophisticated (like, say, Terra Nova forebears Jurassic Park and Avatar) than you are trying to get adults to endure scenes like little Zoe whining in an air duct while her dad sings the Go Away Spider Song.

2. Make sense. This goes hand in hand with #1, but deserves its own entry because a grown-up show can still have lots of plot holes (the latter seasons of 24, for instance). The comment boards on Terra Nova have plenty of readers making sport of the show's contrivances from the way characters are constantly sneak in and out of a guarded high-tech colony that's supposedly secure against infiltrators, to unconvincing acts of betrayal that are always quickly resolved and forgiven, to the silly producer-driven mandate that characters can never kill dinosaurs even if their lives are in imminent danger. The more holes there are, the more a viewer's faith in the story drains away. We know we're watching a fantasy, but we still have to believe it a little.

3. Fear and Wonder: This one is pretty huge. You're 85 million years in the past! Cut off from civilization. Surrounded by exotic forms of life that are both wondrous and threatening. So why don't we feel that? This isn't about adding more CGI fish or showing giant slugs in the infirmary. This is about little moments that make the world feel convincingly alien. It's something executive producer Steven Spielberg has always excelled at (remember in the Terra Nova pilot when colonists when into shock after coming through the portal due to the atmosphere change? That was one of Spielberg's suggestions it cost nothing, yet helped convince us that this is a different world).

4. Deepen the characters: There's few Terra Nova characters that can't be described with a word or two (especially the chaste female characters), and their relationships with each other and motivations seem equally simple nearly every major character conflict this season boiled down to somebody doing something bad only because they want to protect a family member or loved one. There's nothing wrong with characters having love and respect for each other, but viewers need some complexity and drama too.

5. Less CGI, better CGI: I'd rather see one dinosaur every four episodes that I totally believed than something roaring every hour that I don't quite buy. The special effects on Terra Nova aren't bad they're downright unprecedented for a TV show and at times can be really strong but they're still not quite convincing either. Only reason is because the show often (not always, but often) doesn't stage its CGI scenes for maximum emotional impact and the cast doesn't seem to fully appreciate what they're supposedly seeing (see Fear and Wonder, above). If the Lost team pulled off making silly black smoke scary, Terra Nova can make a T-Rex scary. Alternately, no matter how harmless a creature is, the camera seems to always remain transfixed on it rather than letting any CGI element play as a natural part of the environment as if to say, Look! It's a special effect! Again, the finale was an improvement the use of the rampaging dino at the end was quite fun.

6. Focus on your strength: Jason O'Mara: The producers made a wise decision casting Jason O'Mara as Jim Shannon; he holds Terra Nova together. We really like him as a frontier sheriff trying to protect his family and community. Unlike the toothless Sixers, when Shannon shows emotion, we feel it. Give Shannon challenges, really hard challenges, and let's see him struggle to solve them using his strength and smarts. The rest of the cast should mostly consist of supporting characters who help and hinder him. He's your Captain Kirk.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/12/20/terra-nova-save/
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post #1263 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 07:22 AM
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Enjoyed the finale, for the most part. They finally showed a dinosaur getting shot and actually going down! Yea! Toned down the saccharin family stuff except for a few smoochies and the shooting star bit at the end and as that was the final scene they were going to leave viewers with this (and perhaps only) season, that's expected.

Still a lot of stretched plot points that you just have to overlook - father and son taking two slugs to the chest and a knife to the gut with apparently no ill effects. Loved the tyrannosaur rampage at the end and it's always satisfying to see smarmy corporate evildoers get chomped (loved the body shaking too, but would some flying blood n' guts have been too much to ask?). I tried not to wonder how they got that 2 ton beastie drugged and stuffed into the container in the first place. Wish we had gotten to see the attack and siege of the compound but that too would have been asking too much for a TV series - it would have been included in a movie, as would a little more appropriate gore.

Don't know how they could possibly survive being cut off from the future and regular resupply of resources and technology. Eventually they're going to run out of antibiotics and other medicines and then it's just a slow war of attrition until prehistoric plants, bugs and microbes for which you have no understanding or defense, not to mention a world full of big, dangerous critters that are mostly resistant to bullets, finally kills the last colonist off. But if you can manufacture miniaturized computer chips with a hacksaw and screwdriver, well, maybe anything is possible.

Nevertheless, I'm willing to put all of that aside and buy in if they can manage to re-shape the show in some of the ways - heck, all of the ways - James Hibbard describes above. The next season can focus on the next mystery - just what's out there in the badlands that the Phoenix group knows about? I'm guessing an earlier, secret experiment that originally discovered the time portal - before Taylor's time. The huge Hope Plaza departure base was then constructed and the pilgrimages begun. So there might still be a way to re-connect with the future; probably important to keep that hope alive for morale's sake.

I'm still willing to cut prime-time sci-fi a lot of slack since it's such an endangered species. And they have a lot of ways they can improve the show and still appeal to all demographics. If there's another season, I'm still in.
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post #1264 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 07:47 AM
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I think it was pretty obvious there must be a water-based portal in the badlands that transported people from an earlier time or we wouldn't have seen that ship's prow.
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post #1265 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoilerJim View Post

I think it was pretty obvious there must be a water-based portal in the badlands that transported people from an earlier time or we wouldn't have seen that ship's prow.

If we are fortunate enough to get a 2nd season, I thought that was a great setup for another season ...

Uncle Willie


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post #1266 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post


1. Age up (at least a little).
2. Make sense.
3. Fear and Wonder
4. Deepen the characters
5. Less CGI, better CGI
6. Focus on your strength: Jason O’Mara

http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/12/20/terra-nova-save/

IF they managed to do all these things for the reasons given in the article, I'd reconsider watching it again. What killed it for me was 1-4. Not going to waste my time watching what they called a story. The CGI was not a problem for me.

I didn't watch the finale because I had quit the show but what I read here makes me think it was more what the show should have been all along. It's too bad the writers didn't "get it" until it was over.

IF the studio itself recognizes these problems:

first, all of us who seriously criticized it weren't wrong
and second, there is hope for a good 2nd season

Steve
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post #1267 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 08:03 AM
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Points of improvement can be made for any show .. a Web Blog does not validate others opinions .. those that enjoy the show have just as valid an opinion ..

I don't like onions, and I don't need validation from a blogger ..

Either you like it or you don't .. there does not seem to be much middle ground with TN ..

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post #1268 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ss9001 View Post

.........first, all of us who seriously criticized it weren't wrong
and second, there is hope for a good 2nd season

And are you not going to watch that one too, but nevertheless and relentlessly cite its shortcomings? Of course, you could always keep track of the show's developments through blogs, forums, and such; that way, much like this year, you could keep up to date on what you're supposed to be complaining about without actually having to waste time watching. A real time-saver in the end, I suspect.
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post #1269 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ss9001 View Post

IF they managed to do all these things for the reasons given in the article, I'd reconsider watching it again. What killed it for me was 1-4. Not going to waste my time watching what they called a story. The CGI was not a problem for me.

Are you saying you didn't enjoy the "go away spider" song?

"I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...."

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post #1270 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 08:58 AM
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Are you saying you didn't enjoy the "go away spider" song?

I think I quit before that, because it sure doesn't sound familiar.
I thought I'd stop by since last night was the finale & wanted to see some of the thoughts on the show, if consensus has changed. what can I say

Sorry if that bothers some.

Steve
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post #1271 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 09:08 AM
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"now eventually you do plan to have dinosaurs on your, on your dinosaur (show), right?"

More dinosaurs!

jdg
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post #1272 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 09:08 AM
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A horrible finale... Let's see, [and I do agree with the article, except the little girl is very good..]
1. Son's girl friend comes through the portal, Jim hugs her, she dies and he gets knocked out for 3 days, recovers immediately??
2. Fight scenes we're 50's B Movie quality
3. Jim running as things explode behind him, made me think of Aliens..
4. NO Battle scenes after the "militia" came through the portal....Come on, it would have been the best part, with the Lazer cannons etc..
5. How about at least somewhat of a cliff hanger, maybe the shooting stars.....Hey, I watched the show all the way through and was very dissapointed overall. It could have and should have been better.... Maybe Alcatraz, and the new Jack Bauer show will be better....
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post #1273 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 09:47 AM
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Just my opinion ... I liked it and will continue to watch if we are given a 2nd season.


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post #1274 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 10:45 AM
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So I guess the Bermuda Triangle is sending people back in time.
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post #1275 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnDG View Post

"now eventually you do plan to have dinosaurs on your, on your dinosaur (show), right?"

More dinosaurs!

jdg

I thought the scene where the T-Rex (or whatever it was) back on Earth was pretty good, with it tossing folks around and generally half swallowing people .. best action stuff all season .. IMO

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post #1276 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 10:55 AM
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A horrible finale...
5. How about at least somewhat of a cliff hanger, maybe the shooting stars.....

You did not think the ending was a cliffhanger .. ??

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post #1277 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 11:19 AM
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If we are fortunate enough to get a 2nd season, I thought that was a great setup for another season ...

Definitely!!
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post #1278 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 11:24 AM
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No, I did not...
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post #1279 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by BoilerJim View Post

I think it was pretty obvious there must be a water-based portal in the badlands that transported people from an earlier time or we wouldn't have seen that ship's prow.

Wait, where is the time portal in the future exactly? Isn't it possible that back in the 18th century or whenever that ship is from, the portal was in the water or near a beach, etc. at that time period?? Sure there is the whole why didn't the ocean drain etc. but maybe it was just above the ground, but at any rate, couldn't it just be the existing portal was near the water back then??? I thought they said they found it when exploring and the city/area was actually built around it after it was found.

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post #1280 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 11:57 AM
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No, I did not...

I did............
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post #1281 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 12:17 PM
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So I guess the Bermuda Triangle is sending people back in time.

Right! Fantastic Journey, another 1-season show that didn't know what it wanted to do.
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post #1282 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 12:20 PM
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So they're going to chase the bad guys into the Badlands. Sounds like how ST Voyager started out.

And just like at the end of the original Halloween, supposedly mortally wounded Lucas vanishes while they weren't looking.
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post #1283 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 12:29 PM
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Terra Nova' Moves To Pick Up Stars Jason O'Mara & Stephen Lang, Add High-Level Writers While Awaiting Renewal Decision: http://www.deadline.com/2011/12/terr...ewal-decision/. Not a renewal, but at least a hint the producers think Fox is leaning toward that decision.
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post #1284 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 12:47 PM
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In the final shot, was that the moon to the left of the Earth?

Anyone consider the possibility that TN is actually in the future and civilization croaked and dinos, etc somehow returned? That would explain the ship's prow. Or did I miss something in the beginning that precludes this theory?

In space, no one can hear you scream . . .
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post #1285 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 12:58 PM
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I wouldn't read too much into the pick ups yet. Just means they want to keep them under contract in case they get the green light. From what i read even if Fox decides in the next 2-3 weeks to go for a season 2, they can only get a max 13 episode season because production on the show takes so long.

Looking for new writers is also an admission that they didn't like how things went. A ploy to try to convince Fox they can turn it around.

We'll see
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post #1286 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 01:02 PM
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For me, mostly a critic of the whole season, I thought the ending was a big improvement. Though, it still suffered from the same silliness of plot and ridiculous scenarios that were only that way due to lazy or inadequate writers. Possibly that is why that comment above about securing new "high level writers" is intriguing. I've said all along, as I mostly dislike the show for the exact reasons clearly stated by James Hibberd, the seed of a good show is there. Good writers can get to the same destination with much more believable and less contrived plots and characters. I love me some good SciFi (emphasis on good) so I really want shows like this to succeed. But this one did not for the most part and I can only hope they really intend to improve it to save it, as they imply.

Maybe they were just suffering from that shock effect people get going through the portal and are just now getting the story together. Of course, that whole new army came through it last night and had no problems whatever, as they took down the entire village.

Ray
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post #1287 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamieva View Post

I wouldn't read too much into the pick ups yet. Just means they want to keep them under contract in case they get the green light. From what i read even if Fox decides in the next 2-3 weeks to go for a season 2, they can only get a max 13 episode season because production on the show takes so long.

Looking for new writers is also an admission that they didn't like how things went. A ploy to try to convince Fox they can turn it around.

We'll see

I wondered why the season was so short. I remember watching a "Lost" season with new episodes up through March. I really like this show, it's the closest thing on OTA TV to science fiction/adventure going these days.
I really wished they would have shown the "take over" by the Phoenix group right after the suicide bomber blew himself up.
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post #1288 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 04:01 PM
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...I really wished they would have shown the "take over" by the Phoenix group right after the suicide bomber blew himself up.

Me too, but considering the cost of such a sequence, and the budget of this show, the expense would likely have been overwhelming to the bottom line. I actually think that not showing such sequences, both in the finale, and also in earlier episodes, has contributed to the show's mediocre ratings. If they had made a point of showing more of these kind of action scenes, it would have attracted more viewers.

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post #1289 of 1423 Old 12-20-2011, 05:01 PM
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I wondered why the season was so short. I remember watching a "Lost" season with new episodes up through March. I really like this show, it's the closest thing on OTA TV to science fiction/adventure going these days.
I really wished they would have shown the "take over" by the Phoenix group right after the suicide bomber blew himself up.

I figured as soon as he was knocked out that was going to happen. It's a TV show and to show all that would have been a huge expense on top of the already expensive CGI. But either way I liked the finale and I hope it gets renewed for a season 2.

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post #1290 of 1423 Old 12-21-2011, 08:11 AM
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I figured as soon as he was knocked out that was going to happen. It's a TV show and to show all that would have been a huge expense on top of the already expensive CGI. But either way I liked the finale and I hope it gets renewed for a season 2.

Reminded me of Game of Thrones...when Tyrion was knocked out prior to a battle....we then saw the aftermath (Which is cheaper to produce on screen than the battle, of course). In that case, both the battle & Tyrion's involvement in it were in the book, just not on screen

Agree with most here that the finale was the strongest episode - and opened up interesting plot options. Still some residual TN silliness, but a nice season closer. At this point, I am actually a little hopeful that all involved manage to nab a 2nd season....just be sure to make S2 more like this finale & less like much of the freshman season.

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