It’s no secret that science fiction fans were really rooting for Terra Nova to be good. The premise had a lot of potential, potential which a lot of people feel it never actually realized during the course of its first season. Worse the show’s ratings have been pretty mediocre, so mediocre that FOX still hasn’t decided whether they’ll bring it back for a season 2. If they do bring it back though, Terra Nova’s star knows how to make the show better.
Jason O’Mara plays Jim Shannon on Terra Nova and it’s safe to say that he is not one of the show’s problems. He’s a consistent, if not particularly spectacular contributor, to what’s going on. That’s no small thing, when you consider some of the dreck they’ve written on the show for him to act in. Even he seems to recognize that Terra Nova has issues, but he seems committed to helping make the show better… and he even has a few ideas on how to do it in a new interview with TV Line…
When we use dinosaurs, I really hope they’re completely kick-ass dinosaurs — no half-hearted dinosaurs, maybe it’s better to have a totally awesome dinosaur in [just] one episode, rather than seeing a dinosaur every episode that isn’t quite there.
And right there he’s put his finger on one of the show’s biggest issues. It’s a show about humans living in the past with dinosaurs and it never really does anything with those dinosaurs. Oh sure they manage to work at least one dinosaur into every episode, but it’s generally an insufferably shitty special effect. They look awful and because the technology isn’t there to make them look right, they rarely actually involve the dinosaurs in the plot of the show. Instead of being a show about dinosaurs Terra Nova all too often just ends up being another generic “find the cure” or “find the killer” show.
So since the technology to do dinosaurs right isn’t really there, how do they deal? O’Mara has a pretty good idea. He suggests anchoring more of the action in the future time period of 2149… and maybe even a decent bad guy. He says, “we need to find out who the baddest dude is and bring him into our story.” He’s hoping for a Darth Vader figure.
While I’d hate to see them abandon the past, since that’s kind of the point of the show, if they can’t do the past right at least setting more of the show in the future would give us something to watch beyond a bunch of people sitting around in condos while Stephen Lang chews scenery.