Terra Nova: “Instinct” Pays Homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”!


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Welcome back Terra Nova fans!

This week’s episode “Instinct” was filled Click to visit and learn more about 20th Century Fox!with big prehistoric flying reptiles called pterosaurs , and it proved again that it is one of the top science fiction shows that we science fiction fans have seen in a while.

Jim Shannon (Jason O’Mara) and Commander Nathaniel Taylor (Stephen Lang) have to pull together and find a way to save protect Terra Nova citizens from this Click to visit and follow DreamWorks Television on Twitter!swarm of reptiles that are attacking them. Elisabeth Shannon (Shelley Conn) and a former boyfriend Dr. Malcolm Wallace (Rod Hallett) work together to find out what kind of reptiles these are and how they can stop them.

This is an interesting relationship because these two dated in college. Josh Shannon (Landon Liboiron) is left at home to protect his sisters Maddy Shannon (Naomi Scott) and Zoe Shannon (Alana Mansour). There is a relationship brewing between Josh and Skye (Allison Miller) and she is at the house with Josh and his sisters when the reptiles attack.

Before beginning, we include the promotional trailer for the next exciting episode “What Remains” airing October 10, 2011 in the United States. Enjoy!

I wanted to touch on the science of Terra Nova before I review this week’s episode. Is it possible for us to travel back in time to any given point? Believe it or not, we already have a sort of time machine. The LHC at CERN in Geneva Switzerland is believed to be our first time machine.

Terra Nova S1x02 - LHC

Professor Irina Arefeva and Dr. Igor Volovich are mathematical physicists at the Stklov Mathematical Institute in Moscow. They believe that the LHC can produce enough energy to distort space time so much that it loops back on itself. This is known as a closed time-like curve. They also believe it is possible that it can produce wormholes.

Terra Nova S1x02 - Closed timelike curve

The closed time-like curve sets limits on our ability to travel back in time. We can only travel as far back as when the time machine was built. This means that we could only travel as far back in time as 2008 when the LHC was built.

Traveling backwards in time was thought to be impossible because of the paradoxes it could create. If you travel back in time and meet your mother and she falls in love with you, then how could you be born. Looking at time travel on a large scale has its problems. However, if you look at time travel on the quantum level then it becomes possible.

Time is like a river according to Albert Einstein, but with quantum theory scientists believe the river can branch off. This branching off creates 2 rivers or in this case 2 separate timelines. In quantum theory anything that can happen does happen. So if you travel back in time and meet your mother it really is not your mother. Therefore, solving the paradox problem.

In episode one,“Genesis”, the writers make it clear to us that they are traveling back in time 85 million years, and they are on a different timeline. I am very pleased that they addressed this issue early on so I could sit back and enjoy the show without worrying about paradoxes.

There is also the fact that dinosaurs were wiped out because of an asteroid that hit the Earth millions of years ago. 65 million years ago to be exact. This means the colonists of Terra Nova have 20 million years before they are brought to extinction by an asteroid. If you apply the parallel theory that everything that can happen does happen, then we could assume an asteroid might not hit this parallel Earth. Let us not forget that the colonists traveled from the future. They have future technology that could possibly handle a large asteroid hurling towards Terra Nova.

Terra Nova S01x01 - The sky is insane

Have you noticed how big and bright the moon is in Terra Nova? This is because shortly after the moon was formed it was very close to Earth. It was estimated to be about 19-30 thousand kilometers from Earth, and now it is 384,000 kilometers from Earth. The Moon is slowly moving away from Earth and it is estimated that in about 15 billion years its orbit will stop growing. The visual effects team has done and excellent job in showing us how big and bright the Moon would have looked from Earth 85 million years ago.

The episode starts with a group of colonists in the jungle who are attacked by some unseen animal when their vehicle strands them. Then we are quickly taken back to Terra Nova to see Josh taking survival training. This was an interesting but necessary concept for the writers to introduce into the story. The colonists came from a future world 85 million years in the future where dinosaurs did not exist. Humans would have to have some form of survival training to assimilate into their new prehistoric world safely.

Terra Nova S1x02 - MalcolmIntro

This episode we are introduced to a new character Dr. Malcolm Wallace. Dr. Wallace is Terra Nova’s chief research scientist. Commander Taylor has asked Jim to get a medic to assist in finding the missing group. Dr. Shannon and Dr. Wallace were classmates at the university, and Jim finds out later in the episode they were a couple. In this episode you can see the tension that is going to surround this relationship in the future. I feel that this is a great dynamic to add to the Shannon marriage because Jim had been in prison and the marriage is already strained.

As Commander Taylor and Jim are searching for the missing soldiers Taylor asked for Jim’s assistance. He said there is a Sixer mole inside Terra Nova. He thought that because Jim was a cop he would have a better chance at finding the mole because he is trained for it. Commander Taylor informed Jim that he was “just a soldier”. That is another interesting observation I made about Terra Nova.

There is a strong military presence there. Most every culture in the world has some form of order. Without a force to oversee rules and regulations there would be complete anarchy. The fact that they point out the difference in a soldier and a cop is a point I believe they were making. This relationship between Commander Taylor and Jim Shannon will have its trials this season you can count on it. The group found the missing soldiers and it was apparent that “it wasn’t sixers” Commander Taylor said.

Terra Nova S1x02 - Dead Soldier

Josh and Skye have formed a friendship that appears as if it is going to blossom into a relationship. They were walking through Terra Nova when Josh picked up a guitar and started to play. The man told him he could buy it for 60 terras. Josh looked happy to have found something that he could relate to in 2149. Josh passed on buying the guitar because he did not have 60 terras, but he spent the episode trying to get the 60 terras to buy that guitar.

Terra Nova S1x02 - Josh and Skye

Dr. Wallace and Dr. Shannon are given the task of finding out what type of animal killed the soldiers. She assessed the wounds on the soldiers and said they were attacked from above. She will have to do an autopsy on them to find out what killed them.

Terra Nova S1x02 - Autopsy

She asked Jim to look after the kids for the night. She also asked that he make sure Maddy wore her retainer. Jim had to ask Elisabeth if Maddy wore a retainer. This is important to the story. Jim has been in prison for so long he does not know his children well enough. There is also tension at the end of this particular scene when Jim looked at his wife and Dr. Wallace working as a team. There is suspicion and perhaps jealousy in his eyes.

Jim had been given the task of taking care of his kids for the night. He was obviously having difficulty cooking because Maddy had to take over and cook. She asked her father “How do you know if a boy likes you?” This took Jim by surprise because he reminded Maddy that she was only 16. He became flustered and Josh replied “welcome back to the family dad.”

In the first episode “Genesis” I was not so sure that Josh was thrilled that his father had come along on their journey. In this episode we see Josh opening up to his father more and Jim beginning to find out who his children have become. Terra Nova has action and dinosaurs, but as we see in this scene it also puts a lot of emphasis on the family relationship.

Terra Nova S1x02 - Jim and Maddy

I wanted to capture a picture for the ladies. I want to see if you are thinking the same thing I am. Jason O’Mara has the most gorgeous smile of any man I have ever seen! I know this is not relevant to the story but I could not help but point that out. In this scene Elisabeth is asked if she and Dr. Wallace had a relationship and she replies yes.

Terra Nova S1x02 - Jim smile

For the second time this episode Elisabeth and Jim are interrupted during a romantic moment by a loud screeching what appeared to be a bird. When Jim went to take a look outside he and Josh found more than one. Josh threw something at the animal and they in turn attack them. Jim and Josh both agree that they have found their assailant.

Terra Nova S1x02 - pterosaurs

This next scene sets the mood for the relationship between Jim, Elisabeth, and Malcolm. Jim informed Commander Taylor and Dr. Wallace that he knew what attacked those soldiers. Malcolm identified them as pterosaurs or prehistoric reptiles that fly.  Commander Taylor ordered a curfew and all field research suspended until further notice.

Malcolm objects but Commander Taylor lets him know that he is in charge and that is an order. After Malcolm leaves the room Jim asked Taylor about recruitment and how Elisabeth was chosen to be a part of Terra Nova. Commander Taylor explained the process and that Dr. Malcolm Wallace had been the one that requested Elisabeth be recruited.

Terra Nova S1x02 - Malcolm revealed

Malcolm showed Elisabeth around his research center. He reminisced about their time in college. Elisabeth responded to him in a way that looked like she was flirting. Maybe she was not. I am interested in finding out where the writers go with this relationship.

Terra Nova S1x02 - Malcolm and Elisabeth

Josh and Skye were sitting on a bench in Terra Nova talking about a girl that Josh liked that he left behind. They saw sitting on the fence the same reptiles that attacked Josh and Jim the night before. Just as they realize this the reptiles start to attack everyone. This scene is straight out of the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds”.

Terra Nova S1x02 - Birds on fence-30_51_78

Commander Taylor, Dr. Shannon, Dr. Wallace, and Jim go over holographic imaging of the forest around the colony. They came to the conclusion that these reptiles had came to Terra Nova to spawn. There were millions of them in the tree canopy. Elisabeth fired a sonic blast into the trees and the reptiles scattered.  Elisabeth and Malcolm inform them they will need a male and female of the species. They intend to produce pheromones that would lure the species away from the colony.

terra nova s01x02 - terrasaurs thermal

This next scene is the one I had been waiting for the entire episode. Jim and Malcolm are gathering the arms they will need to find their pair when Jim confronts Malcolm about Elisabeth. He told Malcolm that he knew Jim was in prison and that is why he had Elisabeth recruited. Malcolm denied having a purpose other than Elisabeth was the best person for the job. I do not believe this conversation is over.

Terra Nova S1x02 - confronting malcolm

Jim found the two specimens they needed and Elisabeth and Malcolm extracted pheromones from the animals. They then devised a plan to use the pheromones to lure the birds away from Terra Nova. Jim and Colonel Taylor were going to take the mixture into the forest in hopes that the birds would follow.

Jim and Elisabeth went back to their house and told their children what they would be doing. There was a soldier that would remain with them and Josh was in charge of his sisters. Skye was also there with him. She tried to leave but Josh said “I want you here”. Skye’s face lit up when Josh said this to her. There will be trouble in paradise if his girl from Earth 2149 comes to Terra Nova because these two appear to be in love.

Terra Nova S1x02 - Skye and Josh

There was a soldier, private Jenkins, that was in charge of the guarding the Shannon household. Reynolds, Maddy’s love interest, came and relieved him of duty. He asked Jim “do you mind if I check the windows” and Jim replied “Be my guest”. Maddy was standing in the doorway and Jim looked at her and said “That’s how you know a boy likes you.” This was my favorite scene in this episode. It showed Jim growing and acting like a father to a teenage girl.

Terra Nova S1x02 - Reynolds

Jim saw Elisabeth back to the lab and he turned around and in the jungle millions of pterosaurs swarmed above the trees. From afar they look like a swarm of black birds which, unless you are Alfred Hitchcock, are pretty harmless. However, when you know that each one of them is a killer in its own right it makes them more ominous.

Terra Nova S1x02 - Birds in flight3-30_53_11

Back in the lab Elisabeth and Malcolm are producing enough pheromones to lure the pterosaurs away from Terra Nova. The device they are using is some sort of holographic machine. I could not find any reference to this machine, but I hope if they use it in the future I will be able to find out more about it.

terra nova s01x02 - pheremone technology 2

Josh has his hands full at the Shannon house. The pterosaurs have found a way to get inside the house. Skye bet Josh 60 terras that they would not make it. I thought it was odd that she did that but in the end she had a reason for doing this. Reynolds got hit on the head and Josh had to take over protecting his sisters and Skye. Zoe got trapped under a table and Josh saved her by killing the pterosaur.

This is a great scene. In the first episode I was worried Josh was going to be a teenager with an attitude, but in this episode I can tell he is going to be heroic and likeable. Josh radios his father to let him know they are ok. Jim told Josh “take care of your sisters.” Josh did a great job at protecting his sisters and Skye.

Terra Nova S1x02 - Zoe and pterosaur

Jim and Colonel Taylor load the pheromone filled drum into the vehicle and lead the pterosaurs away from Terra Nova. The pterosaurs swarm around the vehicle and follow it out of town. Their plan had worked and Terra Nova was saved!

Josh and Skye talk outside and Skye told Josh she owed him 60 terras. She said she would give him the 60 terras he needed to buy the guitar. She then leaned forward and kissed him. These two actors have a wonderful chemistry onscreen. They have no trouble convincing me that they like each other.

Terra Nova S1x02 - Skye kiss Josh

I am convinced that Terra Nova is a show that I will continue to watch this season and for future seasons. The visual effects of Terra Nova are stunning and life-like. Writers Kelly Marcel and Craig Silverstein delivered a well written story for the second week in a row. I look forward to tuning in Monday night at 8pm est on Fox.

Click to visit and follow WormholeRiders News Agency on Twitter! I trust you have enjoyed this review of Terra Nova? I sure hope so! And as always we here at the WHR Terra Nova team thank you for reading and visiting WormholeRiders News Agency.

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Redone68 (Sandra – WHR Falling Skies Team Leader)


Hey Wormholeriders! I like to think of myself as a career student because i've been attending university since I graduated high school many many years ago. I have enough hours to have received a degree, but because I had changed my major 3 times I still lacked enough for a bachelors degree. Medicine was finally where I settled and was attending school to become a nurse when I had to return to work. So, I have an associates in behavioral science and that's all I can say towards an education. I like to think i'm educated on life. I work in the administrative side of healthcare and I enjoy doing that. I have one child and he is the love of my life. Children are truly one of our greatest treasures. I am a twin and my sister doesn't live close enough to me for my liking, but she is not too far away. I am a science fiction junkie!! Ever since I got my first Star Wars x-wing fighter as a child I have been hooked. I was somewhat of a nerd in school and science was always my favorite subject. I dreamed of being an astronaut or a astronomer because I loved looking at the stars and planets. It wasn't long after I started university that I found out I could not do the math that was required to get a degree in astronomy. So, I settled for something more realistic and just decided to watch and learn about the heavens on television. Bio Questions and Answers 1. Handle/Screenname: Redone68 for Wormholdriders and Twitter. Most peoople call me Red and that also works. 2. Education/Awards/Etc: Associates in behavioral science. Let's see awards, does band nerd count?! Lots of awards in music which is my first love. 3. Favorite Stargate characters: My favorite Stargate Universe characters would have to be Dr. Rush and Eli. I like brains what can I say! A close runner up would have to be Chloe. My favorite SGA characters would have to be Dr. Rodney McKay and Lt. Colonel John Sheppard. 4. Favorite Actresses: #1 is Evangeline Lilly. I also like Anna Torv, Ming-Na, Emily Deschanel, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates, Meryl Streep, and Meg Ryan. I'm sure the list could be a lot longer, but these are the actresses I watch regardless of the role they are playing. 5. Favorite Actors: Josh Holloway...yes ladies...Josh Holloway!! The rest are Joe Flannigan, David Hewlett, John Noble, Robert Carlyle, David Blue, and Harrison Ford. There are lots more but I could spend all day listing them. 6. Favorite Band/Performers: I am a classic rock junkie! Anything classic is good and my favorite is Led Zeppelin. New stuff is good too. I like Stone Sour, Black Label Society, Disturbed, and even Metallica. With me louder and faster is better! 7. Hobbies: I love outdoors so one of my favorites is camping. It's been a family vacation for 35yrs. I also love to fish but never get to go. Hiking is another thing I like to do when I get to. I do some painting but nothing you would pay money for. 8. Pets: I have a cat named Chloe, yes that Chloe. 9. What's your theme song?: I've never really given this much thought. I can relate to many songs during the course of one week. Today I could say "Another One Bites the Dust". Tommorow maybe a little different. 10. If you could have a sidekick, who would it be?: I'll go off into fantasy land and say Sawyer from "Lost" just because he is so tough and sexy. In real life my everyday sidekick is my son. He's my buddy. 11. Favorite Food: Junk food 12. What would you keep in a utility belt?: Tools of course! 13. Favorite Stargate Episode: I can't really say. I enjoyed the movie but didn't start watching the show until Atlantis. 14. Favorite Stargate Atlantis Episode: All of them. There isn't one that I don't love. This comes from the heart. I have watched the reruns over and over and never skip one! 15. Favorite Stargate Universe Episode: Again, I love all the episodes for this show as well. If I had to pick one this season that I would watch an infinite number of times it would be "Human". 16. Favorite Fringe Episode: All of them! 17. Favorite Caprica Episodes: The first episode was the one that i've enjoyed the most. I watch all of them and enjoy them all, but the pilot was great! 18. What was your sci-fi gateway?: I watched the original "Star Trek" with my mother when I was young, but I didn't get into it until "Star Wars". Yeah, I was a huge fan. I was even in the "Star Wars" fan club. That made me an official nerd! 19. What's under my bed?: A monster i'm sure of it! 20. Favorite TV shows (not Stargate): Lost, Fringe, Caprica, Deadliest Catch, Paranormal State, and Bones. Must see all of them! 21. What is your dream job?: Oncologist because I would love to join the fight against cancer. If I could go back 20yrs and start my education over, I would definately be a healer. 22. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?: On a beach somewhere. I'm not picky. I just need sun and fun! 23. If your life could be written by any author who would it be and what genre?: Easy Stephen King because 1. I love him and 2. my life seems pretty scary at times. I believe King gave away the genre. If not, horror would definately be the genre. I am exaggerating a little of course, but some days seem kinda mad. 24. Favorite movies: "Star Wars", "Empire Strikes Back", the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "Gone with the Wind", "Hellraiser", and all the Indiana Jones movies. 25. What are your goals/dreams/aspirations for WormholeRiders.com?: This is going to be something I enjoy and I hope that the readers get some enjoyment out of what I write as well.

2 thoughts on “Terra Nova: “Instinct” Pays Homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”!

  1. Thank you Kenn 🙂 I love Terra Nova and the concept. I could not do it justice unless I talked about the science that is involved in the story.

    Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Dear Sandra,

    A delightful review of Terra Nova “Instinct”. The science analysis is very appropriate and I am sure will be as much appreciated by our visitors as I do. Thanks for a great review and nice images from both the science and the episode!

    Speaking of the episode, Instinct really make me want to re-watch the Alfred Hitchcock classic thriller “The Birds!”

    Best Regards,


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