This show wouldn’t have been possible five years ago.
Remember last spring when Fox announced that it was delaying the splashy post-AMERICAN IDOL premiere of TERRA NOVA due to the time constraints that went into creating what Network President Kevin Reilly then characterized as one of the most ambitious television series ever produced in both scope and scale. Well, he wasn’t kidding. “The visual effects team has literally created new technologies to make TERRA NOVA possible,” revealed executive producer Brannon Braga during the recent Television Critics Association Press Tour in Los Angeles. “They’re doing extremely advances things with motion capture and new forms of software to create dinosaurs, animals and digital set extensions that weren’t possible five years ago.”
Forget everything you know about time travel.
No Really. After already tiring of fielding questions with regards to the implications of travelling back in time on the future (thank-you-very-much-good-for-nothing-Butterfly-Effect), the TERRA NOVA production team of Brannon Braga and Rene Echevarria took it upon themselves to preemptively put the kibosh on any and all confusion by having our intrepid time travellers end up in a completely separate/alternate universe. Said Echevarria, “So many people asked about the Shannon family’s effect on history that we wanted to dispel that right away.” Added Braga, for all you know-it-alls out there who are about to follow up with the second most pressing question surrounding the inevitable ice age that will eventually make all of the colonist’s hard work obsolete, “Yes there is an asteroid coming in a while, [but you have to take into account] the futuristic technology that we don’t have today, so they’ll be prepared to deal.”
Dinosaurs are the least of the colonists problem.
Despite the fact that star Jason O’Mara promised that he’s had several personal interactions with the handful of hungry Slashers that share the lush landscape that is TERRA NOVA (Joked O’Mara to the “Woo-hoo’s” of the TCA audience “They’ve been up on me ripping my clothes off!”), dinosaurs are the least of the colonists problems. “Without giving too much away, there will be happenings in 2149 that will figure into our story,” teased Braga. “The Sixers conspiracy [a conspiracy that we aren't about to spoil here, but looks to play a large part in the series as it moves forward] is being guided by people in the future who have a different vision for Terra Nova.”
There’s something for everybody.
When your pilot comes with a price-tag pegged somewhere between 10 to 20 million dollars, it’s fairly safe to assume that the proverbial powers that be are going to want a show that appeals to the broadest possible audience. Said executive producer/director Jon Cassar, “At the end of the day, if you don’t tune in and love the Shannon family that first hour it doesn’t matter how good the dinosaurs look, it’s really about the family.” To that end, early episodes of the series will focus on the pioneer aspects that go into creating a new society and the colony’s transformation from that of a military expedition to a civilization. “How the colonists deal with the likes of Terra Nova’s first murder will define them as a people,” said Braga, who compares the show’s focus on family to that of the crew of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. “Yes there were scary creatures and this show is similar in that regard, but it [STAR TREK] was also very humanitarian. There was a little something for everybody on that show.”
The show will go on.
Much to the chagrin of the web’s snarky TV Twitterati (Yes, you know who you are), TERRA NOVA’s days of being a punchline are all but over. “We are shooting episodes 8 and 9 now, we are in post production on 3 through 5 as well as putting finishing touches on the second part of the pilot, we’re prepping 10 and 11, ever episode is in play right now,” said Echevarria, who does concede that shooting on the other side of the globe has its challenges. “It’s almost like time travel itself. It’s morning there tomorrow. You have to have special calendars and you always have to double-check like, ‘Is it Tuesday here or Tuesday there?”
TERRA NOVA launches on FOX this Monday September 26th at 8PM an FOX (CityTV in Canada)