The ambitious science fiction offering from Fox, and mega-producer Steven Spielberg, Terra Nova is finally starting production.
The first official photos from the series have made their way on to the internet, and while they don't show anything mind-blowing, it's good to see that the long-delayed show is well on its way to airing.
Terra Nova follows a family of colonists who leave pollution-ravaged Earth for a new planet in the twenty-second century, only to find it populated with dinosaurs. Previously the series was thought to start off with a more serious take on Land of the Lost-style time travel, but that seems to have been shelved for a space-faring alternative.
Here's the official synopsis:
"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 (O’Mara), a devoted father with a checkered past, guides his family – wife ELISABETH and children JOSH and MADDY – through this new land of limitless beauty, mystery and terror. 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 famial secret that may threaten their citizenship in this utopia. 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."
While Spielberg is certainly the biggest name attached to the project, there are some other promising crew members worth mentioning. Brannon Braga has been tapped as the showrunner, and he and fellow Star Trek alumni Rene Echevarria are executive producers along with Jon Cassar of 24. The pilot, and presumably some of the rest of the initial 13 episodes, are being written by newcomer Kelly Marcel, who also has an executive producer credit.
The cast is finalized at this point, and rumors of Jason O'Mara as the Shannon family patriarch Jim turned out to be true. He's known for roles on the United States version of Life on Mars and Resident Evil: Extinction. Stephen Lang, Avatar's tough-as-nails colonel, will tread familiar ground as Commander Frank Taylor. British actress Shelley Conn will play Jim's wife Elisabeth.
Check out the photos below:
The preview images don't give much away. In the first one we see Jim Shannon (O'Mara) in some kind of breathing mask. The second shows Jim in a tense situation with colonists (?) and military troopers. Next we have Jim with wife Elisabeth Shannon (Conn) and their children, and finally two characters firing machine guns at some off-screen antagonist (or maybe dinosaur?).
While we're not likely to see any dinosaur action for a few months (post production is going to take a while) the shots are promising - enough to say that we haven't lost faith in the upcoming series. With a rumored budget of $4 million an episode, rest assured: the monsters are coming.
It'll be interesting to see how much of Avatar's influence comes through - the title shot seems certain to hearken back to Pandora - along with Spielberg's other dinosaur works Jurassic Park and The Lost World.
Terra Nova is currently scheduled for a fall premiere, but don't be surprised if Fox delays the ambitious project again before then.
Source: Screen Crave