When the show was bumped from an announced panel at Comic-Con, we should have known something was up. The Steven Spielberg-produced Fox sci-fi television series Terra Nova has been delayed. Fox said today that the pilot episode won’t be ready until May 2011, back from the originally discussed Winter 2010 debut. Even worse, the actual series won’t premiere until Fall 2011. I’m assuming they’ll do a sneak preview of the pilot episode during next year’s Comic-Con, and maybe a wide sneak preview online or at a special date/time.
Brannon Braga, a former producer and writer of various Star Trek tv shows from 1990-2005 including The Next Generation, Voyager and Enterprise, in addition to Flash Forward and the last couple seasons of 24, is on board as the showrunner. The series has been given a 13-episode order. The network is skipping the traditional pilot because breaking down the pilot’s sets only to rebuild them again would add too much to the already high price tag. The pilot episode is directed by Alex Graves, who has helmed the pilots for The Whole Truth, Fringe and Journeyman, as well as directing episodes of Sports Night, The Practice, The West Wing and The Nine.
Jason O’Mara (Life on Mars) will headline the series. The series will follow a family who live 100 years from now on future Earth, who are flung back in time 150 million years to the prehistoric age, when Earth was ruled by dinosaurs. Terra Nova was written by Craig Silverstein and Kelly Marcel, based on Marcel’s story idea. Here is more information about the series from a press release:
In the year 2149 the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped, overcrowded and overpolluted. With the majority of plant and animal life extinct, devotion to science has brought mankind to the brink of destruction, but has also provided its only hope for salvation. Knowing there is no way to reverse the damage to the planet, a coalition of scientists has managed to open up a fracture in the space-time continuum, creating a portal to prehistoric Earth. This doorway leads to an amazing world, one that allows for a last-ditch effort to save the human race … possibly changing the future by correcting the mistakes of the past.
The series centers on the Shannon family as they join the tenth pilgrimage of settlers to TERRA NOVA, the first colony of humans in this second chance for civilization. JIM SHANNON, a devoted father with a checkered past, guides his family through this new land of limitless beauty, mystery and terror. Jim’s wife, ELISABETH SHANNON, is a trauma surgeon chosen through a global lottery as a new addition to Terra Nova’s medical team. JOSH SHANNON is their son, mourning the girl he left behind, as he’s torn between two role models – his father and the charismatic COMMANDER FRANK TAYLOR, the leader of the settlement, and the heroic first pioneer through the time portal. MADDY SHANNON, Jim and Elizabeth’s teen daughter, is as independent and adventurous as her parents, but her distrust of authority soon leads her on a dangerous path.
In addition to blue skies, rolling rivers and lush vegetation, TERRA NOVA offers new opportunities and fresh beginnings to its recent arrivals, but the Shannons have brought with them a familial secret that may threaten their citizenship in this utopia. Additionally these adventurers soon discover that this healthy, vibrant world is not as idyllic as it initially appears. The areas surrounding Terra Nova are filled with dangerous dinosaurs, and other prehistoric threats, as well as external forces that may be intent on destroying this new world before it begins.
But perhaps even more threatening than what lies outside the protective walls is the Shannons’ realization that something sinister may be happening inside TERRA NOVA as not everyone on this mission has the same intentions of how best to save mankind.