Terra Nova Review: The Common Cold

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If you finished the Terra Nova series premiere excited to watch a full season of epic adventures against dinosaurs and defiant rebels - while pondering the many mysteries of time travel and its effects on this society - you have probably been disappointed the past two weeks. "What Remains" built on "Instinct" in the worst ways possible.

Conversely, if were were thinking to yourself post-pilot, I wish this show was more of a mixture of a soap opera and a procedural crime drama, then you've been pleased with the two most recent outings.

Jim and Elisabeth

In "What Remains," the acting and writing continued to resemble some of recently cancelled daytime TV oferrings, while the "challenge of the week" turned this potentially interesting serialized drama into every other show on CBS.

Having said all that, I don't deny that the show still shows signs of life. I'm mostly speaking of the final few minutes when Terra Nova's version of Red from Shawshank Remption meets with the Sixers about getting Josh's girlfriend to town on an upcoming pilgrimage.

That sequence proved that the drama still has a few things to get excited about. First, if Josh's girl does make her way here, it could cause some trouble between her and Skye, and who doesn't like a good cat fight? More importantly, Mira looked like she was ready to be up to even more trouble once she gets her hands on Josh's girlfriend.

Will she attempt to make her an informant for her within Terra Nova? Does she have another plan for the girl, which will no doubt cause trouble for Jim and Josh Shannon alike? I'm not sure, but at least it has us asking questions again... because that's the last thing this week's "challenge" did.

Last Monday, it was the mating bird-dinos, and this time it was the magical virus that caused memory loss that had everyone on the edge of their seat. No? You weren't on your edge? We all knew there were no consequences for the characters. And even if we didn't, there was hardly any build up of suspense during the episode to attempt to make us believe there could be.

The cure for the pathogen was almost so obvious that it was kind of insulting to have Jason O'Mara continuing to sneeze right up to the point that Elisabeth figured it all out.

But, at the end of the day, there are still crazy-scary dinosaurs that are roaming around this land, and that continues to excite me. Maybe it's the nerd in me, but seeing dinosaurs on television - even if the effects aren't as good as they were in the premiere - is still fun, and I will continue to enjoy Terra Nova for that.

What did you all think of "What Remains?" And are you Team Skye? Or Team Whatever Josh's Girlfriend's Name is?


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 (114 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


I think the series as a whole is outstanding. Great concept. Outstanding special effects. Excellent case. Strong story line with limitless variables. I hope the series continues for years to come.


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Jurassic Park meets Dawson's Creek. Midway through 3rd episode I had to turn it off. DELETE DELETE DELETE


I actually see potential in this show. The main family is likable and you can warm up to them quickly. I do agree that the parents though seem a little young to have teenage children. I am also a little concerned that it will be like Lost in the sense that there will be too many twists that that it never feels completed.
I do think most of the acting has been done well though and I can see if they iron out a few spots, it definitely has potential.


If I was an actor I would say, this idea is stupid. I'm not gonna do it!


Well Fox has confirmed they will run 13 episodes for first season. that is so much more generous than what they did to a brilliantly written sci-fi show like Firefly. Didn't have the decency to let it finish the first season, started the season in wrong order but still that show managed to captivate us into their world. I guess the long list of producers will keep this show going even if "Terra No-Hope" doesn't come up with anything interesting to watch... Sigh


I agree with the earlier comments, this show is beginning to irritate me a lot.
The death rate on Terra Nova seems to be extremely high, I cant help thinking that it wouldn't be so bad if more of their cars had doors! As to driving around on motorcycles, don't get me started. Is anyone else irritated by the age of the Doctor (35?) and the fact that she has late teenage kids? I know that it is possible, but the kids seem to be by her husband who she didn't meet until after University, which with her qualifications wouldn't have been until her mid to late 20s.


Watching this because we have a friend connected with production. Really wanted to like it. But we have found it to be absolutely dreadful. Looks great, smells great, costs many $$, so what can't they afford writers to give this some depth and interest. Acting is fine, but writing is bland, predictable, absurd. Granted, the premise is absurd, but let's suspend disbelief and accept time travel etc. How did so many miscreants and scoundrels and rug bazaar merchants end up among the precious elite selected for repopulation? How does an ex-con break the rules to get into TN and then get promoted into the upper ranks of security? How did we all know as soon as the daughter's cold was mentioned that it would provide the cure to the amnesia syndrome (and that the scientist, although going insane, could nevertheless engineer a genetic cure in an hour's work?). God, I hate that writers feel they have to pander to the sub morons in the audience. The Event and Rubicon get cancelled, and this dreck lives on. Fire all the writers and start over, dudes. Spielberg, you have lost your touch!


Am big SCI-FI fan, go to every SF film at least once...What Remains..my first terra nova show, will watch one more show and it better get better...every plot line and scene had been done before some where else...I was really bored.


I want to believe that this show is going to get better but I have a couple of issues with it, most could be resolved with better writing. 1) They are too safe. I know that Dinos and sixers will constitute the majority of the threat but I'd like to see a large disaster for the season finale. Something that will have them out of the comfort zone and making them explore the world instead of hunkering down in their compound. 2) So they come from 2149 but they're driving around in some car made out of sheet metal? I could have built that thing with some pliers and WD40.. Where is the helicopters or drones? 3) Technology is tricky but if they came back from 2149 then their technology would be more advanced. They show you a computer screen here and there, throw in a weapon that seems weak and just pisses off the dinosaurs. Please don't make this another Stargate with pre-canned shows, make it more dramatic by putting them in a more difficult situation. Tear down part of their compound, kill off some of the compound, maybe an earthquake to shake things up.

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