Welcome back Terra Nova fans!
This week’s episode “Instinct” was filled 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)