A few months ago we learned of a new dinosaur TV series entitled Terra Nova, which mega-producer Steven Spielberg was set to produce. Since Jurassic Park 4 is stuck in development hell we assumed he was desperate to explore the world of dinosaurs once more.
Then a few weeks ago we learned that Fox may have ordered an initial 13 episode run of the Terra Nova with some impressive production talent behind it alongside Spielberg, notably Brannon Braga of Star Trek, 24 and Flashforward fame. At that time we knew only a little of the general plot: "Terra Nova follows a family from 100 years in the future who travel back in time 150 million years to prehistoric Earth ruled by dinosaurs."
Here's the updated plot:
[It] begins in 2149 A.D. The scene: a large group of settlers are preparing to leave the apocalyptic world they live in to time travel back millions of years via a massive, high-tech contraption. Their goal is to see trees, enjoy a blue sky, eat real food – basically, to start over in this so-called Eden. But what they find is unlike anything they were expecting.
Sounds like a cross between Jurassic Park and The Time Machine, with a bit of that relatively recent time-travel movie, The Sound of Thunder, thrown in. The series is described as a drama more than anything else, but I'm sure the inclusion of dinosaurs will help keep it visually interesting. There's a concern the effects won't be good enough to make the dinosaurs look realistic - but with people like Spielberg involved I'm sure it won't have the smallest of budgets.
On top of the new plot details, EW's report also says that Spielberg taped a special introductory message to be shown to advertisers if Fox indeed gives the series the green light (producer Peter Chernan is also expected to appear in the message). But sources say the 13 episode commitment by Fox is a "foregone conclusion," so expect to seeing this soon.
An offer to play the lead character went out to Friday Night Lights star, Kyle Chandler, but EW reports he has already passed on the deal. Expect to hear a lot of casting announcements over the next couple of months as Terra Nova is already aiming to start shooting some time late this summer.
What do you think of the updated plot for Terra Nova? Does it sound like a show worth checking out?