Today, I’ll take a break from writing about David Marshall’s Jesus and the Religions of Man, and instead I will write about Terra Nova, a show that is on Monday nights, on Fox. The two-hour season finale of Terra Nova is on tonight!
I have liked some episodes better then others and have found the romantic dialogue to be hokey and cheesy, to say the least. Also, I am not incredibly attracted to most of the characters (in contrast to, say, LOST). But I have enjoyed this series overall, and there are a variety of reasons for this. First, I like the character of Commander Nathaniel Taylor (played by Stephen Lang) because he is melodramatic and takes himself too seriously, somewhat like General Hammond on Stargate SG-1, and yet Commander Taylor sometimes demonstrates a softer side. Second, I enjoy shows and stories that have such elements as conflicts between powerful personalities, mystery, and redemption. And, third, remember the movie, The Fugitive, where we admire and like Tommy Lee Jones as the cop who is pursuing Dr. Richard Kendall (played by Harrison Ford), and yet we are still rooting for Kendall to escape because he’s an innocent man who was framed? I really liked it when Tommy Lee Jones finally found out that Dr. Kendall did not kill his wife and became his ally rather than his pursuer. Well, Terra Nova had a theme like this in last week’s episode.
I’ll give some information here about the plot and characters of the series, but I don’t want to get overly bogged down in details, such that writing this post becomes a chore. Essentially, Terra Nova is about people from a futuristic earth going back to the dinosaur times (in an alternate timeline, so as not to affect the future) in order to provide humanity with a fresh start, since the futuristic earth is plagued with problems such as overpopulation and pollution. There is the Terra Nova colony, which is led by Commander Taylor. And there are Sixers, another colony, which is led by Mira. There is tension between these two groups. For a while, we wonder if we can really trust Commander Taylor, and if Mira is actually one of the good people, but what we have learned is that Mira is on the side of Taylor’s estranged son, who is developing another portal to allow developers from the future to come back to the dinosaur period and to plunder the land. Mira and the Sixers are not exactly evil, though, for Mira is a mother who wants to see her daughter again. Like the Others in LOST, the Sixers appear to be enemies, but they are actually complex people, with complex motives, like many of us.
Throughout the series, Taylor is aware that someone is spying for the Sixers, and we are wondering who that spy is. It turns out that the spy is Skye, a teenaged girl to whom Taylor is a sort of father figure, since she has supposedly lost her parents. But Skye is not a spy out of sinister motives, for she is spying for the Sixers because they have her sick mother. What reminded me of The Fugitive was that Terra Nova’s security chief, Jim Shannon, figured out that Skye was spying for the Sixers against her own will, for she wasn’t giving the Sixers any information that could actually harm Terra Nova. Commander Taylor was ready to hang her (figuratively speaking), but Shannon was a moderating influence.
The theme of redemption has occurred in this series a couple of times. There is Shannon’s son, Josh, who wants to bring his girlfriend from the future back to Terra Nova, and he has secretly cooperated with the Sixers in an attempt to bring this about. But his father found out, and Josh learned his lesson. There is a guy who killed a man in Terra Nova, and Taylor expelled him from the colony. At one point, Taylor gave a dramatic speech about how the colony is humanity trying to start afresh, and how things like murder is what people came to Terra Nova to escape—-even though we learn that Taylor himself has killed important people in his own attempt to protect the colony from future developers (or so he tells us). But the expelled murderer ends up redeeming himself when he spies on the Sixers and brings Skye’s mother safely to the Terra Nova colony. Taylor tells Jim Shannon that it’s good when someone has a chance to redeem himself, as he reflects on his own mistakes, which led to his alienation from his son.
I’m looking forward to the season finale tonight, and it would be nice if the show could be renewed for a second season. Lately, I’ve looked forward to watching it on Monday nights!