Real Sci-fi these days is hard to come by, so hearing about Terra Nova gave me a little bit of hope. I didn't expect it to be hard sci-fi like Star Trek, but I figured it has the potential for some good story telling that makes the view think a little bit.
So I watched the premiere. It's decent, I guess, but I don't think I'm going to go past that. Its not the acting. It's well cast (take a look, they all have decent careers), and I'm definitely loving Stephen Lang as Nathaniel Taylor, the tough leader of Terra Nova who survived in the Jungle 181 days before any other civilization joined him. Stephen Lang brings some smarts to a character that could easily be brushed aside as a musclehead in the wrong hands. Also so happy to see Allison Miller back after her great short showing on Kings.
It's not really the setting either. There's a lot of interesting stuff you can do when you go all they way back 85 million years, where humans have a plentiful jungle and countless resources alongside some hugely dangerous monsters. The way cultural naturally evolves would be interesting to look at too. There is a lot I can think of that would be great to think about in the show.
Of course there's little nitpicky things too that you wish weren't glossed over. The Shannons never really explain why they decided to break the child quota with their aptly named daughter Zoey. They never show how Jim breaks out of prison even through he was stuck their for 3 years. There's not a lot of build-up for the glory that Terra Nova is in this not-so distant future. And part of me is willing to gloss that over, but another part of me is reminded that this is a symptom of lazy writing.
It could just be the pilot, but I honestly don't care enough. There are smart shows out there like Fringe that I need to catch up on and fulfill my nerd tv needs. If you want something entertaining, I'm sure Terra Nova can fill that void. The cast carries the show well and of course parts of it look GORGEOUS. But it doesn't have the brains I'm looking for in particular.