New Casting Rumor & Plot Synopsis For ‘Terra Nova’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 3:14 pm,

Deadline is reporting that Jason O’Mara – the star of the U.S. remake of Life on Mars – is in talks to play the lead in the new Steven Spielberg sci-fi/dinosaurs project, Terra Nova.

Thanks to Collider, we can now provide a lengthy synopsis for Terra Nova, a TV show which will see Spielberg sharing producing duties with Brannon Braga (Star Trek, FlashForward), with Alex Graves (the Fringe pilot) in the director’s chair for the first episode.

You can read that detailed plot summary below:

In the year 2149 the world is dying.  The planet is overdeveloped, overcrowded and overpolluted.  With the majority of plant and animal life extinct, devotion to science has brought mankind to the brink of destruction, but has also provided its only hope for salvation.  Knowing there is no way to reverse the damage to the planet, a coalition of scientists has managed to open up a fracture in the space-time continuum, creating a portal to prehistoric Earth.  This doorway leads to an amazing world, one that allows for a last-ditch effort to save the human race… possibly changing the future by correcting the mistakes of the past.

The series centers on the Shannon family as they join the tenth pilgrimage of settlers to TERRA NOVA, the first colony of humans in this second chance for civilization.  JIM SHANNON a devoted father with a checkered past, guides his family through this new land of limitless beauty, mystery and terror.  Jim’s wife, ELISABETH SHANNON, is a trauma surgeon chosen through a global lottery as a new addition to Terra Nova’s medical team.  JOSH SHANNON is their son, mourning the girl he left behind, as he’s torn between two role models – his father and the charismatic COMMANDER FRANK TAYLOR, the leader of the settlement, and the heroic first pioneer through the time portal.  MADDY SHANNON, Jim and Elizabeth’s teen daughter, is as independent and adventurous as her parents, but her distrust of authority soon leads her on a dangerous path.

In addition to blue skies, rolling rivers, and lush vegetation, TERRA NOVA offers new opportunities and fresh beginnings to its recent arrivals, but the Shannons have brought with them a familial secret that may threaten their citizen ship in this utopia.  Additionally these adventurers soon discover that this healthy, vibrant world is not as idyllic as it initially appears.  The areas surrounding Terra Nova are filled with dangerous dinosaurs, and other prehistoric threats, as well as external forces that may be intent on destroying this new world before it begins.

But perhaps even more threatening than what lies outside the protective walls is the Shannons’ realization that something sinister may be happening inside TERRA NOVA as not everyone on this mission has the same intentions of how to best save mankind.

fox lineuo terranova New Casting Rumor & Plot Synopsis For Terra Nova

Based off this plot description, Terra Nova sounds like a mixture of Avatar, H.G. Well’s The Time Traveler, Jurassic Park, and even a bit of Lost in Space (for better or worse).  With Spielberg producing, I imagine the production values and visual effects will be pretty impressive for a TV show on Fox – not to mention that this show sounds like a potentially perfect fit to fill the place left by Lost.

Should he sign on, O’Mara will play Jim Shannon, the father “with a checkered past.” O’Mara’s performance as Detective Sam Tyler on the U.S. version of Life on Mars was generally given high marks (despite a terrible finale), which bodes well for his potential success on Terra Nova.  If nothing else, he’s already proven that he can play a man who finds himself trapped in a foreign time and place.

Life on Mars New Casting Rumor & Plot Synopsis For Terra Nova

O'Mara in Life on Mars

What do you think?  Does Terra Nova sound like it has the potential to be a cool sci-fi series?  Does O’Mara sound like a good fit for the material?  Sound off in the comments section below.

Fox will premiere Terra Nova in the spring of 2011.

Source: Collider, Deadline

TAGS: Terra nova
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  1. actually, more than anything, it sounds like Julianne May’s “The Pleiocene Saga” (a 4-book set, part of the Galactic milieu series).

  2. “… devotion to science has brought mankind to the brink of destruction…”
    Yes, because we all know that SCIENCE is the real killer.

  3. To many cliches? And if the mother got on via lottery how did the kids get on? You would think if that was the case that both parents went they would decline one and make them stay back as to send more “worthy” people.

    • I’d assume that after winning the lotto she was allowed to bring a certain number of people. Ergo, her family came.

      And I agree. This may end up being the new Lost. But that’s what we all thought about FlashForward too so who knows.

  4. Does anyone remember Earth 2?

  5. So there going back to live there? Didn’t the Dinosaurs face some type of extinction level event that basically killed them all and turned them into billions of gallons of precious oil?

    This is going to film in Australia btw,,,

    • Also, would humans be able to survive in the climate and atmospheric conditions present in the time of the dinosaurs?
      Wouldn’t the higher oxygen levels have potentially adverse effects in the long term?

  6. sounds interesting, it can turn to an epic saga or a boring soap opera with dinosaurs…. time will tell.

  7. another show about humans destroying the planet that we have to go back in time to save ourselves. Let the indoctrination begin.

  8. So why would they go back to prehistoric Earth. Remember that meteor that hit the planet that caused the ice age and killed all the dinosaurs? That could be a bit of a problem for the scientists and render all of these efforts useless. Just a thought

  9. Not a very smart plot. The salvation of humanity is to send man back to the past ( time of dinosaurs), however, we already know that the dinosaurs were pretty much wiped out by a huge meteor strike in Central America that plunged the world in to darkness and destroyed most life on the plantet. So, are we to believe that somehow the humans will avert this fate? What will they do? Are we supposed to believe that the technology will save them from this? Very stupid plot.

    If the world is so advanced that it could open wormholes, it seems that we would be advance enough for space travel. Colonizing the moon or Mars would have been more appropriate. This is nothing more than Jurassic Park meets Land of the Lost all over again with some bells and whistles. Very disappointing for someone of Spielberg’s talent.
    Sad sad sad. Is there no more creativity in this world?

    • Dude the time rifft only oppened between earth 205… what ever to the dino age. thats the only time they can go back to…

  10. Did you watch the pilot? Before you say that it is just a rehash of two old shows, try giving it a chance to develop and evolve.

  11. I will continue to watch.
    I did notice that:

    Terra Nova seems to be based upon Robert Heinlein’s “Tunnel in the sky”
    written in 1955

    1. wormhole to another planet
    2. stuck on the other side.
    3. unexpected migration of dangerous lifeforms

    so far —-
    I just sayin.

  12. Remember, its a TV show. Is it just me, or does everyone think they need to justify EVERYTHING on TV. They went to the past (or did they?) THey mention they might be on a different ‘timeline’ by going to the past. Which would justify why they can still communicate with the future on a different timeline through the wormhole. As it hasnt changed due to them being in the past.
    There are endless possiblilities of a stroy line from here on in. Maybe they are not in the past but in the same adjacent time in an alternate reality? You could go anywhere with this thought.
    Relax, enjoy, its supposed to be entertainment – I like it anyway.