"Terra Nova" was a TV show on Fox that has failed to earn a second season. The show revolved around people who travel back in time to live among the dinosaurs. The people must build a new civilization. It sounds like an epic plot, right? Why did "Terra Nova" fail?
"Terra Nova" hoped to bring in "Lost" fans. There were monsters. There was a new civilization. There were crazy people. There were questions without answers. The show had everything that "Lost" did. Why didn't fans flock to their TVs? Because it had everything that "Lost" did. "Terra Nova" hoped that by using dinosaurs and time travel, fans might see it as something similar to "Lost," but also different. Sadly, it didn't work. It's impossible to copy something already done excellently.
The cost per episode of "Terra Nova" was $4 million. It was certainly not the first to spend that much. The problem wasn't cost, but it was that the show failed to make up for that cost with viewers. "Lost" also spent tons of money per episode, and the show lasted six seasons. That's because it became a runaway series. "Lost" made tons of money from fans through figurines, books, T-shirts, and more. "Terra Nova" did not gain that success. Fox couldn't keep dishing out funds for a show that wasn't bringing the cash back.
Costs were high, so the show tried to save money. The decision to paint Nerf Blasters for weapons wasn't smart. Guns have plenty of camera time. Viewers see the weapons as often as they see a character's face. Even if viewers didn't recognize the guns as Nerf guns, it was easy to see how light they were. It's difficult to pretend that a lightweight Nerf gun is heavy like a real gun. It's the same when TV show characters carry around coffee cups that are empty. It would have been better to use plastic background props.
Money went into perfecting CGI and painting Nerf guns. What was important was how the show looked. In "Terra Nova," the characters said the most obvious things to each other. They spoke as if it was a soap opera, or "The Waltons." Did the writers think viewers were too stupid? Come on, these were "Lost" fans, remember? They catch everything. A good script is very important. "Terra Nova" neglected to include that in their ambitious show.
The CGI worked well in "Terra Nova." The dinosaurs looked real, although not all of them existed in that era. Using dinosaurs should have worked for the show. Unfortunately, the mistakes overshadowed the one success. A better way to see dinosaurs is to watch "Primeval." It has time travel, dinosaurs, and a good script. It also isn't trying to be "Jurassic Park."
- Arts & Entertainment