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Premieres: September 26, 8pm on Fox
Plot: This season's most technically ambitious series follows the Shannons, one of millions of families trying to survive on a dying Earth, in the year 2149. They jump at a second chance when they are selected to journey backwards in time to a prehistoric Earth as a part of an experiment to save the human race. The air is clean and and soil is fertile, but the inhabitants that are already there aren't giving up the land without fighting them to the last tooth and claw.
Why We're Excited: Swathed in mystery since it was first announced, the audience appetite to experience "Terra Nova" seems to have only grown sharper since Fox first placed it on the summertime schedule, only to push it back to a fall release. The collaborative efforts of the writers, under the direction of executive producers Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, René Echevarria and Brannon Braga, have produced a story that feels more widely accessible than other genre programs, and something very special, if not entirely unique. Anyone who has fond memories of Jurassic Park will find elements to marvel at with this series and, at least in the first half of the two-hour pilot, there don’t seem to be any bizarre puzzles and mysteries to unwind.
Why We're Not: Given the meticulous detail that went into perfecting the visual effects on the pilot, and the fact that Fox went to great lengths to delay its release to make sure it looks just so, we question whether the producers will be able to keep up with the demands of the network's production schedule. Fox may have the same concern as well, which could be why the first season is widely expected to consist of a mere 13 episodes. Within those, the writers are going to be answering a lot of question eagle-eyed viewers are bound to have of them. The part of the pilot that critics saw explained (via somewhat-clunky exposition by one of the show's annoying teens) why the citizens of Terra Nova would not subject those left behind to the ramifications of the so-called Butterfly Effect. Next up: what about that comet scientists long blamed for killing off all of the Terra Novan's new neighbors? And so on....and so on...