‘Terra Nova’: Big explosions ahead

Oct. 17, 2011 | 6:38 p.m.
terra nova1 Terra Nova: Big explosions ahead

Stephen Lang in "Terra Nova" (Fox)

Even ultimate toughs like Stephen Lang’s Commander Nathaniel Taylor find it difficult to conceal vulnerability in the world of Fox’s series “Terra Nova.” But Lang, one of the stars of the weekly adventure mystery that centers on a family sent from a dystopian future to a more optimistic human colony set in the prehistoric age, had no problem letting loose in front of a critical New York audience.

The actor, best known for his grit in both “Avatar” and “Tombstone,” was joined Saturday by fellow lead Jason O’Mara (“Resident Evil,” “Life on Mars”) and executive producer Brannon Braga to confront questions about missing dinosaurs, typecasting and the conventional comparisons to past hits “Lost” and “Avatar.”

Noting a lack of dinosaurs – better known on the series as Carnos, Nykos and Slashers – in the New York Comic-Con exclusive preview of Monday’s episode, Braga said he feels that what separates “Terra Nova” from other similar programs is depth of family and civic tension. Even the portrayed villain Mira, played by Christine Adams, is not so different in her motivations from the Shannon family. “She just wants what’s good for her family [too].”

The episode also adds further tension between Taylor and Jim Shannon, with Lang’s commander not realizing how much O’Mara’s newly appointed cop knows. “I like [Monday’s episode] because I got to smile,” Lang said. “That’s definitely some character development.”

Although Taylor’s leadership mistakes are made with the best of intentions, “Terra Nova” fans won’t have to wait long to find out whether the grizzly vet will play manipulator or victim. Both Lang and O’Mara adored the surprises they found in the script, adding that, unlike “Lost,” the mythology will be wrapped up by the season’s end to introduce a whole new set of questions.

“Expect [at least] two big explosions in the final episode on Dec. 19,” Braga promised.

Some more tidbits from New York:

– One fan asked about the log fences surrounding Terra Nova. “If [the fence] was anything else, how could we get it through the portal?” O’Mara responded. The logs were also designed to make it easier to shoot laser cannons outside the barriers,  Lang said.

– While fans have a right to measure up the leading pair with their more notable roles, the “Star Wars”-fond O’Mara would have no problem taking on another space-travel time cop if the project’s big enough. Lang was also sprightly content in defining his own career path, dubbing himself a “charismatic, silver fox macho old guy.”

– Besides their work with CGI dinosaurs, the crew has their “Jurassic Park” moment in a later episode in dealing with a tangible dinosaur hatchling. Lang spent a lot of time chasing a giant dragonfly lawn ornament around the gulf coast of Australia. “It’s hard to look scared or in awe at a man like that,” O’Mara said.

— Travis Walecka


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8 Responses to ‘Terra Nova’: Big explosions ahead

  1. Dennis Hubbs says:

    Terra Nova is innovative and a breath of fresh air in a pool of reality garbage…Long may it live! It's about time we got a fine Sci-Fri series back on network television…Best of luck to Brannon and cast/crew…Great work with that Alexa!

  2. Anastasia says:

    Indeed, an attention-grabbing show, and not due to the apparent lack of cardboard dinosaurs. Numerous types of audiences keep tuning in for more – more of tough and manly Commander Taylor, more of ruggedly handsome Jim Shannon (loving husband and a devoted father), more of conspiracy and even more of teenage romance for Jim's oldest daughter and son…. Did you say there were dinosaurs in the movie?

  3. retiredat44 says:

    time to dump this show and find some sci-fi… this is nothing but a teen soap opera with dino cgi…

  4. tim says:

    Where are the Dinosaurs?

    If this series is based on the future and time travel, why can't they invent some new forms of species, like the one suggested in the Big Bang Theory, where they can mixed the Egg of a Lion with the Sperm of of a Horse and created something Mythical. It will be much better than the creatures they have now.

    another suggestion is to get rid of Jim's kids, they are wasting valuable space on the show. the writers need to learn from NCIS-LA and get rid of characters that don't work and bring in new ones that can further the show.

    most of all, we need to see the dinosaurs being fed.

  5. LOOSE CANNON says:

    "most of all, we need to see the dinosaurs being fed." – I like that.

  6. ammarah says:

    i simply love this show

  7. beaglelady says:

    I love this show!

  8. Old Lostie says:

    I'm not really a sci-fi fan, but I was certainly was a devoted 'Lostie', and now I am truly enjoying this show. I hope it continues for the long haul.

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