“Terra Nova: The Complete Series” DVD Review
Terra Nova, the Steven Spielberg show that tried a little to hard and came up a little too short. I remember seeing trailers and hearing about Terra Nove when it was first announced, and it seemed like an interesting concept. It's 2149 and the world has basically become uninhabitable. Overpopulation has lead to an influx in air pollution, which in turn has all but doomed the human race on Earth... until the time rift is discovered. In their search for a better life, scientists discover a rift in space time that would allow them to send people back in time 85 million years to the time of the dinosaurs. At this point in time man would not have had a chance to destroy the Earth quite yet. The only thing is, the trip is one way. Once you are transported back from the future to the dino-land, there's no coming back... or so they thought.
Terra Nova is the name of the first colony established in this new land, which, yes, is not actually Earth as we know it 85-million years ago, but an alternate Earth in a totally different timeline/dimension. This is how they explain the fact that if we were to really go back in time and start messing with the Earth 85 million years ago, humans, technology, everything we've ever known, would not have evolved the way it has over the course of time. Humans going back to our Earth, 85 million years ago, and settling there would throw off everything in the future, thus creating some sort of time paradox that would probably just cause the universe to collapse on itself. My question is, if they needed a way to explain all of this, why didn't they just make it so that it's not Earth 85 million years ago, why didn't they just say that it's a different planet? Oh, that's right, life as we know it only exists on Earth. But I digress, back to the plot. Of course there are companies out there with ulterior motives for the new Earth, like harvesting it's resources and sending them back to the present day.... Oh, but the trip is only one way right? That theory falls apart pretty quickly as a way back is discovered by Lucas, one of the guys sent there to harvest the resources.
As you can tell, there are a good amount of twists and turns in Terra Nova, but they definitely take some liberties in explaining things. I didn't think the show was bad, but I can definitely see why it was only given one season. Of course I would have loved to have seen where they were going to take it after the finale, but unfortunately I'll never know. The whole series is only 11 episodes, so it's not a huge commitment if you want to give it a shot for yourself, you won't hate yourself for having tried, I'll put it that way.
This show is just begging for Blu-Ray and I was extremely disappointed that it only came out on DVD. The picture quality looks pretty good considering, but I can't help but wonder what the show would have looked like in HD. Presented in 1.78:1 SD, it fairs pretty well... for a DVD.
The audio is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital and does a great job of bringing the world of Terra Nova to life. Even if you're a bit disappointed that the video quality is quite up to par, you should be happy to know that the audio doesn't seem to falter too much in comparison. I was actually pretty surprised at how well it sounded throughout the series, but still can't help but wonder what sort of lossless audio they may have been able to cram on a blu-ray.
The special features are packed with a handful of featurettes that really make you wonder what Terra Nova could have been had it stuck around for a little bit longer. "Director's Diary Making the Pilot" follows director Alex Graves as he talks about what went into making the sets as well as creating some of the animatronics for the dinosaurs. It's pretty interesting to see everything that goes into creating a TV show; even one that only lasts 11 episodes. "Mysteries Explored" is a quick look at all the different easter eggs/quirks that were scattered throughout the different episodes with the intention of becoming much larger parts of the story had time allowed. We round out the special features with a bunch of deleted scenes and a gag reel, and then another featurette which talks about the dinosaurs of Terra Nova.