Terra Nova Episode 1-3 Review: Instinct

Oh man. If anyone had doubts about Terra Nova last week, “Instinct” only added to them. After all the money and time Fox put into the show, it’s disheartening to see what came out. Now that the super-expensive budget is gone, the show can’t hide behind flashy dinosaurs and a promising premise. The writers have to start writing scripts worthy of the hype. At this point they’re not–not even close.

“Instinct” is as generic as it comes, starting from the plot–the flying reptile attacks. This could have been interesting. Maybe Taylor knows more than he shows, maybe there are secrets no one knows about. Nope. It’s a generic grappling with nature plot. Terra Nova is on top of the reptiles’ breeding ground. Of course, everyone can figure out what happens next–science into happy ending (and we don’t even get to see the action described by Taylor). Somehow the writers thought this wasn’t boring.

This is such a rote topic that it’s amazing how the writers would follow through on something done a billion times before. The episode could have been set in the 21st century with birds replacing the reptiles, and the plot would work exactly the same, only without the cool interfaces. The writers make no attempt to draw out the uniqueness of Terra Nova and problems that could beset people millions of years in the past.

Lastly, the family “drama” is about as stale as this week’s plot. Apparently, there’s this other doctor who once dated Elisabeth and Jim surmises that he was the one who requested she come. But the possibility of anything bad happening soon is dispelled quickly as Elisabeth is perfectly happy with Jim. The writers basically introduce a stock “trouble character” without any of the trouble.

The more I think the more astounded I am at how the writers bungled the show. They had plenty of time to refine their scripts, and rewrite them even. But what we have in the second week already is lazy writing and no interesting ideas. They really thought The Birds: Dino Edition was a good idea?

Score: 7.4/10

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