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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TV Review: Terra-ble Nova

Posted by Goldy on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Oh... Hello.
  • "Oh... Hello."
Okay, so I watched that new TV show Terra Nova, because, I admit it, science fiction has always been a guilty pleasure of mine (even bad science fiction), and I hate to be a wet blanket or anything, but what is it with these dystopian fantasies where we somehow manage to develop an amazing technology like sending people eighty-some million years back in time, yet we can't figure out how to create clean, renewable energy, or use effective birth control?

Soylent Green, I get. It's a 1973 film set in not-to-distant 2022, so it's perfectly reasonable to anticipate the super-advanced food processing technology necessary to transform a stringy old Edward G. Robinson into a tasty snack cracker, co-existing at the same time mankind stupidly plunges itself into an ecological disaster. I mean, I could imagine a scenario like that a decade from now. Couldn't you?

And Blade Runner? Yeah, that Android technology is way too advanced for 2019, but there's all those great noodle shops all over the place, so it's hard to describe the setting as exactly a dystopia. I love noodles. So Blade Runner doesn't count.

But Terra Nova, honestly, 140 years from now we can send people through a fucking crack in time but we're still spewing shit into the atmosphere like in Al Gore's worst nightmare? Really? Sorry, I'm just having a little trouble suspending disbelief.

More after the jump.

Okay, so it's just TV, and it's FOX at that, but it's still disappointing, especially considering the initial similarities to Julian May's The Many Colored Land, the first in a series of four science fiction books I distantly remember kinda loving. That story too has the protagonists stepping back in time millions of years through a one-way portal, but instead of escaping a dystopic future, they're fleeing a rather idyllic, if boring, one. In The Many Colored Land, the future is a sorta Epcot Center vision of peace and abundance, whereas the past is a place for adventurers, outcasts, and societal misfits itching for a taste of the real thing. (Not to mention a race of dimorphic, telepathic aliens... but I wouldn't want to give too much away). In other words, no CGI dinosaurs, but a ton more nuance.

So, um, yeah, as far as it goes, that's my instant review: Don't watch Terra Nova. Read this book instead.

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