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Why Terra Nova Is No Jurassic Park

Terra Nova Is More Than Just a Dinosaur Show

Terra Nova is one of the most-anticipated series of the Fall, in large part because the pilot has been in production for so long. The drama, which is set in the year 2149, follows the Shannon family as they participate in a program that lets them go back in time (way back, to when dinosaurs roamed the earth) to recolonize the earth. The cast and showrunners spoke to reporters at the TCA today, discussing how they film the show in Queensland, Australia, who Terra Nova is meant for, and why this show is no Jurassic Park.


  • The fact that dinosaurs exist on this show has created a ton of buzz for it already. That said, the showrunners are insistent that Terra Nova is more focused on family than anything else. They said that finding a believable family that you can "fall in love with" was a bigger challenge than creating a dinosaur. They also hinted that dinos won't be the only creatures we'll be seeing, as there's "an entire ecosystem of all different creatures."
  • Jason O'Mara, who recently starred on Life on Mars, plays the patriarch of the Shannon family. When asked if there's any overlap between the time-traveling shows, he said, "I was aware of the similarities when I read the script but the differences are so overwhelming that I can't even compare the two."
  • Steven Spielberg is one of the many executive producers on Terra Nova, and the showrunners said he weighed in on visual effects, casting, script, concept art, overall look, and feel of the show. They added that "his movies have had more impact on television than his television."
  • Though the show is written for adults, the showrunners said the ultimate goal is to attract kids and a younger audience with the special effects, thus creating a series that the whole family can enjoy.
  • O'Hara and costar Shelley Conn, who plays his onscreen wife, said that filming in Australia is difficult because they are so far away from their families. That said, they added that they liked making an adventure out of the experience, and it helps them relate to their characters because they "feel like displaced pioneer families."
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