TV Review: Terra Nova Episode 1 – “Genesis” Part 1 and Part 2

One thing is for certain about 2149…. the future sure is going to suck. The whole place is overpopulated and filthy with pollution. The air is so bad you have to wear a re-breather mask and if you have more than two kids you’re in some big ol’ trouble. It just so happens that’s what happens with the Shannon family. After the police find out that the Shannon’s have one more kid that they are allowed they arrest fellow officer Jim Shannon who made the mistake of also decking three of the officers who tried to take his youngest daughter Zoey. After spending two years in the local prison known as Golad, the Shannons are selected to be a part of the Terra Nova project and after a little more lawbreaking they are together once more as a family albeit 35 million years ago.

The Terra Nova project is simple really. There was a rip in the fabric of time space that led back 35 million years and the people of 2149 took advantage of this to save our civilization. This may leave you to wonder as I did – Wouldn’t we just destroy our own timeline and cause those who settled the past to vanish from existence with our meddling? No, because luckily this is all quashed by one of the Shannon children explaining to the other that the only reason their actions don’t affect the future is because it’s not the same time stream they are in on the Terra Nova settlement.

The first part of Genesis was okay, mainly serving the purpose to introduce everyone and everything including the Shannon kids, one of which is a typical teenager with all of the angst to go with it. The best character to be introduced in my opinion is that of Nathaniel Taylor, leader of the Terra Nova settlement and played by none other than our resident party crasher Stephen Lang. From the previews you would be lead to believe that he is playing the same character of Colonel Quaritch from Avatar but Taylor is a bit different. Though he has the same toughness and rigidness of Quaritch, he lacks the ruthlessness and knows how to be a fair and just leader. I enjoyed seeing Stephen Lang in action in the second part of the season premiere, which was a helluva lot better than the first.

After seeing the teenagers playing around and being teenagers and the little girl feeding the plant eating brachiosaurs (Groan), we finally get some action. I suppose it goes to show us that even in a world where humans can start from scratch, they will still fight and kill one another. It’s in part two that we are introduced into the “sixers”, a group of settlers that broke off from the Terra Nova settlement to start their own.

They’re called sixers because each group that comes into Terra Nova is known as a pilgrimage and the sixth one happened to contain those who split from the settlement. This changes the whole dynamic of the show for me because I was terribly afraid that we were just going to see little problems between people in the settlement constantly and teenagers getting lost and running from Dinosaurs each week. But it appears that we’ll have a few little storylines to follow each week from here on out. The conflict with the sixers is first and foremost for me, but there is also the geometrical writings on the wall that Jim Shannon’s son Josh found with his new friends and Taylor’s son who went missing a long time ago. My guess is that it will eventually turn out that he is a sixer, possibly even the leader. Actually a couple of those were surprisingly revealed by the end of the episode but I won’t spoil it for you.

I give the premiere a 4 out of 5. It kept me pretty entertained for two hours and even though I know it won’ t be constant dinosaur attacks like we’ve had in this premiere I’m hopeful they can give us something equally as bad ass over the course of the season. The actors were excellent, even the semi-annoying teens. Even though Taylor is my favorite character he is by no means the main character. The main focus is the Shannon family and their patriarch Jim Shannon is definitely my second favorite character, played by Jason O’Mara. It was a good thing he was given the opportunity to be a cop again because if he was part of the agriculture team for more than a quarter of the episode I’d probably of puked. With a lack of masculinity on TV that our dear Dr. Kronner rants and raves about on Grizzly Bomb, it was nice to see a dad doing everything for his family to keep them together while not being a complete bumbling fool who is constantly in touch with his feelings and all that nonsense. I’ll be tuning in next week fo’ sho’.

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