Terra Nova is a place full of wonders... as well as stock science fiction plots and mysteries that are dangled but not explored. But all that's going to change soon, claim the show's producers in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly.
This week's print issue of EW actually contains an article on Fox's fall TV slate, in which it's hinted that Terra Nova's rumored $4 million-per-episode cost could doom the show, unless it manages around 10 million viewers per week. (The show is currently at 8 million, but it did have an uptick with its last episode.) Still, producers Brannon Braga and Rene Echevarria sound confident about a second season in their interview with EW's James Hibberd.
The producers, both Star Trek alums, seem to agree with Hibberd's assessment that the show's pilot included lots of serialized elements, but then network execs told them to make the following episodes more stand-alone. (Just like Fringe. Or Dollhouse, which had six episodes in a row that were viewed as "six pilots.") But the producers promise that the second half of the season will be more serialized, and we'll start to explore mysteries like those markings on the rocks near the waterfall, and the mysterious container, and just what Terra Nova is.
(Here's a good place to interject that the problem with Terra Nova is not, strictly speaking, that the episodes are too stand-alone. It's that the characters aren't gelling, and the place doesn't feel like a real place. You could have a stand-alone episode that illuminates something about how Terra Nova functions as a society, and I'd be riveted.)
The more serialized storytelling doesn't sound like it's coming right away — first, there's the "murder by dinosaur" episode, featuring a new "shark on legs" dinosaur called a Nykoraptor. Then there's the "big disaster movie" episode. Then after that, there's a "Hitchcockian thriller" involving Josh and Maddy. And finally, there's a "big mythology episode" featuring Jim Shannon and Nathaniel Taylor going head to head — it looks like the "mythology episode" airs Nov. 21. So, check back in a month.
The producers once again promise that all of the big questions will be answered by the end of the season, and the season finale will set up a new mystery for season two. They also promise the humans will finally kill a dinosaur, a beloved character will be killed this season — not Wash! Please not Wash! — and the show starts to find its balance, between the family, mythology and "testosterone" elements.
You also want people to have that feeling - "I want to go to Terra Nova, I want to live in Terra Nova." People die, bad shit happens, but you want to have that feeling. That's one of the chords we're trying to strike.