Are there any series out there you saw and loved, wished they had a second season but they never got one? I have several and lately I’ve been binge watching them on Netflix or whatever service I can find them in—the latest being Constantine.
There is one on Netflix which I absolutely adored and it made me sad to see its run end with no continuation, particularly considering the cliffhanger ending for the first season and the many potential stories they had to tell.
That show is Terra Nova.
In the future, 2149 to be exact, the world is dying. Air is harder to breathe, resources are dwindling and only the rich and powerful live in protected domes. The Shannon family is not one of the elite and in fact, father of the family Jim Shannon, former cop, is in prison. His wife however, is on the list for the Terra Nova pilgrimage because of her medical skills and using her connections, she gets Jim broken out of jail and reunited with them right before they cross the rift.
That’s right, the rift. You see, despite the dire situation the planet’s in, they found a rift that leads to the past, the Cretaceous period to be precise. Seeing the chance for a new beginning for humanity in this unspoiled world, pilgrimages start to build a settlement, Terra Nova, led by Commander Taylor, a soldier in desperate need for that second chance and the strength and skill to see it come to fruition.
So, the Shannons jump through and begin their new life in the settlement, adapting not only to having fresh air and sunshine but also dinosaurs. And when Shannon becomes the first and only cop in town—the rest serving as guards and military under Taylor’s command—he begins to see the bigger picture, one that includes greedy corporations in the future attempting to strip-mine the past, going so far as to send an entire pilgrimage of spies and agents through, to take Taylor our and undermine what he’s trying to accomplish. There’s also the mystery of Taylor’s son, out there in the wilds, alone but not lost and perhaps more dangerous than any other enemy of Terra Nova.
I loved Terra Nova. The premise was superb, the characters great, fully defined and with enough to make them compelling and human. It wasn’t devoid of cheese, but when it was stupid, it was gloriously so, in a way that was incredibly engaging and above all, entertaining. Watching them fight dinosaurs or use them as bait against their enemies, hell the season finale features a Carnotaurus in the stupidest sequence ever and it’s so incredibly entertaining you can’t help but want more.
But at its core it’s a story of family, not just the main characters and their children but of the community they’re part of. From Commander Taylor’s drama with his son and his adoptive daughter to the Sixer—the sixth pilgrimage was full of subversive agents—leader’s will to do anything to keep her daughter safe in the future, everything in Terra Nova revolves around one’s family, the blood-related kind and most importantly the one we choose for ourselves, the people we keep close and want to protect.
And it’s those interpersonal dynamics that made Terra Nova so compelling. Performances were top of the line and they cast gave their all in every scene, no matter if it was dramatic or an action scene. Stephen Lang is outstanding. With every step Commander Taylor takes, and every decision he makes, you can feel the burdens he carries on his shoulders and the secrets he wishes he didn’t have to keep but must for everyone to be safe.
Sadly, Terra Nova didn’t see a season beyond its first, with one of the stars commenting it might have been because the real lore of the series, the mythos they wanted to establish, came into play too late, with earlier episodes focusing too much on setting up the status quo. There were talks, once upon a time, of Netflix picking the series up for a new season but that didn’t happen either.
So, Terra Nova is one of those series that could have done more but no one believed in it enough for it to happen. If you’re looking for something new to watch on Netflix, why not give this series a try? I’m sure you won’t regret it.