Terra Nova: The Hubble Telescope?


No seriously, what?

You may have read my some 5000 words on why Terra Nova should have been better, and dinosaurs are the reason that I can put this on Animal News, but this quote is just crazy enough that I have to comment on it.

Let’s do some fancy block quotes for this one.

Terra Nova is analogous to the Hubble Space Telescope. Within weeks of a much publicized and ballyhooed launch in 1990, the Hubble was found to have a serious flaw. Yet even with an improperly ground mirror the Hubble delivered extraordinary images. When the flaw was corrected the Hubble delivered images of transcendent beauty and value for many years. So too Terra Nova. Even in it’s flawed first season each episode was full of marvelous moments and beautiful images. With correction, and given the chance, Terra Nova can and will deliver seasons of transcendent images and story-telling. Failing to renew Terra Nova is shortsighted, as myopic as it would have been to scrap the Hubble. Terra Nova is the Hubble Telescope of television.”  – Stephen Lang

I dare you to make less sense Mr. Lang.  I have huge respect for you as an actor, and I quite enjoyed your show, but seriously?  The Hubble is the best comparison that you could come up with?

First off, the first season was strangely devoid of “marvelous moments and beautiful images.”  Most of the first season was pretty people climbing around on rocks, or standing in dirt parking lots explaining why we were either going to or not going to be seeing them for the next hour. While this can work for some shows… (although, in the shows that I watch, I rarely like it, and can’t think of an example) for you guys, what it meant was that we didn’t get to see any dinosaurs.  Because if there is one thing I can say for sure, not one of the “marvelous moments or beautiful images” had a crappy CGI dino in it.  The closest thing to a “brachiosaur sighting from the jeep” was in the pilot, where we saw “brachiosaur stand in over the fence”, which, and I don’t know why this is, seemed similar to me.

Also, one flaw?  What one flaw?  Was the flaw that you weren’t the star?  Or that the family in the show showed no growth or character development?  Or that we killed the one person who consistently acted competently in the best interest of the colony and premise of the show? Or was the flaw turning the whole thing into an Oedipal drama, when the tension could have been between man and nature?  Or was the flaw that the villains showed no consistent motivation other than “we’re evil because we were told to be evil”?  Or was the flaw that no one thought out how the season would progress, other than the “strange markings” “maybe other portals” and finally “ship’s bow mystery”?

(On the ship’s bow, it’s the Mary Celleste right?  It’s gotta be, because it is the most famous wooden ship  disappearance, we haven’t explained where the portal was in the future other than “generic America”, and it also gives the show a common history with out reality.  Gotta be, right?)

Look, I agree with your point, which is, given another shot at it, you guys could do great work, and I even outlined what I would do to do so in that other article.  I hope you do get another shot, and I really hope that it goes well for you, but if you do get another shot, please, please, please, don’t say that one part was broken, and grinding a new mirror will fix it, because it won’t, and it can’t.  It all hangs together.

Oh, in case you were wondering, Terra Nova was cancelled last week.


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