Terra Nova: Review: Series 1 Ep 4

Investigating an outpost that’s gone out of contact, the Terra Nova away team discover a pathogen is altering memory…

Sorry, this wasn’t a Star Trek: The Next Generation script with the serial numbers filed off? You could have fooled me. There’s a tiny portion – as in maybe a total of five minutes out of the entire episode – devoted to the ongoing situation with the Sixers, and some vaguely menacing plotlines threatened (if the Sixer leader’s melodramatic final lines are to be believed), but otherwise this is a retread of a plotline that we’ve seen multiple times before.

Its saving grace could have been the presence of dinosaurs, but for all that they make a difference to events, they might as well be any sort of feral animal. One character dismisses them as the product of a psychological warfare incident; otherwise, they’re just used as a generic threat facing the protagonists.

And of course Shannon and his former love rival, Malcolm, have to team up to go to save the day – and of course Mrs Shannon’s memory has clicked back to the exact short time when she and Malcolm were, as the show delicately puts it, “in their honeymoon period”.  And of course, Shannon himself is unaffected by the pathogen for reasons that are blindingly obvious from the opening scene between him and Zoe…

This show needs to start developing its own identity very rapidly, or it’s going to be a spectacular failure.

Verdict: Outcasts was criticised for being slow – but it was a positive torrent compared with Terra Nova’s glacial progress. 

Episode 4: “What Remains”: 5/10

Paul Simpson


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