Spielberg’s “Terra Nova” to scout Louisiana

by Arthur Vandelay on May 18, 2010

Among Fox’s recently announced midseason television lineup is “Terra Nova,” an event drama executive produced by Steven Spielberg. If Spielberg’s involvement alone doesn’t grab your interest, consider this: there will be dinosaurs. Rumor has it that production executives from Fox fly in as early as next week to begin scouting potential locations in Louisiana. With its lush, humid environment, the state is well-suited to double for a pre-historic era.

As The Hollywood Reporter noted, the “Terra Nova” teaser art and logo (below) are clearly reminiscent of another recent sci-fi hit, with a color palette and landscape similar to that of James Cameron’s “Avatar.” The show’s central concept (families terra-forming a new planet) also recalls elements of Cameron’s “Avatar” and “Aliens.” But while some of the new series’ building blocks may seem familiar, its veteran writing team, whose credits include “24,” “Lost,” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, certainly has the talent to bring a fresh take to audiences.

For a detailed plot summary,
From Fox’s website:

From executive producers Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, Brannon Braga (24, “Star Trek: Enterprise”) and David Fury (“Lost,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) comes an epic family adventure 85 million years in the making. “Terra Nova” follows an ordinary family embarking on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a massive experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149 the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped, overcrowded and overpolluted. With the majority of plant and animal life extinct, devotion to science has brought mankind to the brink of destruction, but has also provided its only hope for salvation. Knowing there is no way to reverse the damage to the planet, a coalition of scientists has managed to open up a fracture in the space-time continuum, creating a portal to prehistoric Earth. This doorway leads to an amazing world, one that allows for a last-ditch effort to save the human race…possibly changing the future by correcting the mistakes of the past. The series centers on the Shannon family as they join the tenth pilgrimage of settlers to Terra Nova, the first colony of humans in this second chance for civilization. Jim Shannon, a devoted father with a checkered past, guides his family through this new land of limitless beauty, mystery and terror. Jim’s wife, Elizabeth Shannon, is a trauma surgeon chosen through a global lottery as a new addition to Terra Nova’s medical team. Josh Shannon is their son, mourning the girl he left behind, as he’s torn between two role models – his father and the charismatic Commander Frank Taylor, the leader of the settlement, and the heroic first pioneer through the time portal. Maddy Shannon, Jim and Elizabeth’s teen daughter, is as independent and adventurous as her parents, but her distrust of authority soon leads her on a dangerous path. In addition to blue skies, rolling rivers and lush vegetation, Terra Nova offers new opportunities and fresh beginnings to its recent arrivals, but the Shannons have brought with them a familial secret that may threaten their citizenship in this utopia. Additionally these adventurers soon discover that this healthy, vibrant world is not as idyllic as it initially appears. The areas surrounding Terra Nova are filled with dangerous dinosaurs, and other prehistoric threats, as well as external forces that may be intent on destroying this new world before it begins. But perhaps even more threatening than what lies outside the protective walls is the Shannons’ realization that something sinister may be happening inside Terra Nova as not everyone on this mission has the same intentions of how best to save mankind.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Century Fox Television, DreamWorks Television, Kapital Entertainment, Chernin Entertainment

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, Craig Silverstein, Kelly Marcel, Brannon Braga, David Fury, Aaron Kaplan, Katherine Pope, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank