Terra Nova Cancelled – What Does This Say For Future Of Sci-Fi & Star Trek TV? | TrekMovie.com
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Terra Nova Cancelled – What Does This Say For Future Of Sci-Fi & Star Trek TV? March 6, 2012

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Celebrity,Editorial,Sci-Fi,Trek on TV , trackback

One of the biggest shows this fall was the time travel series Terra Nova, which included Star Trek vets Brannon Braga and René Echevarria as executive producers, along with Steven Spielberg. The ambitious and expensive show aired eleven episodes and has been on the bubble, but now Fox has decided it will not pick up Terra Nova for a second season.


Terra Nova cancelled

Terra Nova told the story about people from an environmentally devastated 22nd century travelling back in time to the era of dinosaurs to start a new life. The show starred Jason O'Mara (Life on Mars) and Stephen Lang (Avatar), and was run by Star Trek writer/producer Brannon Braga, along with help from fellow Trek vet René Echevarria. The series was very high profile and even included Steven Spielberg in the list of executive producer credits. The show, shot in Australia, was also very expensive.

The first season of the show was limited to 11 episodes which aired last fall. It premiered to strong ratings and positive reviews. The ratings held pretty well during the first season, but the expensive nature of the show always put it at risk and EW is now reporting that Fox has decided not to pick up a second season. According to the report

Despite a few factors that were in the show’s favor: A creatively strong two-hour finale, which won over many of the show’s grumbling detractors; Fox cancelling Monday night veteran House; and another Monday sci-fi drama, Alcatraz, under-performing in recent weeks. From what we hear, Fox higher-ups weren’t too fond of the show.

Terra Nova will likely end up the highest-rated cancelled show of the season. It averaged 10.1 million viewers and a 3.6 adult demo rating once you add in a week of DVR playback.

Cast of "Terra Nova"

What does this say for the future of sci-fi TV and Star Trek's return to the small screen?

Not only is it sad to see a show from two Trek vets get cancelled, it is also not great news for fans of science fiction. While there are a number of genre shows on TV, Terra Nova was the most ambitions, followed by Fringe (which is also again on the bubble). This cancellation does not bode well for ambitious, expensive, science fiction shows. In their article on the cancellation of Terra Nova, Time points out:

The networks do still occasionally do science fiction, of course; Fringe is still hanging on on Fox, for instance. But since Lost and the many failures to re-create its success, they’ve tended to focus on small-scale, real-world shows with little sci-fi twists (Person of Interest, Alcatraz) or fantasy (Once Upon a Time, Grimm). The epic-scale, effects-intensive sci-fi show has always been a tough sell on the networks, and to its credit, Terra Nova was trying a brand of sci-fi we hadn’t seen a lot on TV. Now big sci-fi will be an even tougher sell.

So for those hoping to see Star Trek return to network TV, this trend is not good news. A new Star Trek TV series is always going to be an expensive and risky proposition. Like with Terra Nova, a network will have to make a significant bet just to get a pilot made. Unlike you typical new procedural generic cop show, there are a lot of costs that go into creating a new sci-fi series (with effects and sets), and so a network is likely to have to make at least a short season commitment (and not just a pilot). And once the show starts going, it is again likely to require strong ratings to justify the costs. This is why even though science fiction films are often dominant in theatrical box office, there is little true sci-fi on the small screen.

I have often said that Trek's true home is on the small screen. With the cancellation of Enterprise in 2005, Star Trek has been off the air for almost seven years. And while JJ Abrams is making new Star Trek movies, it is likely to remain that way. But the idea of a new Trek show keeps coming up, including rumblings from big names like Bryan Singer and Bryan Fuller (amongst others). Let's hope that when CBS and some of these big names start talking seriously about Trek, that they can thread the needle and figure out a way to make a successful show that works for the fans, for a general audience, and for the network accountants.

One of the closing shots from finale of "Star Trek: Enterprise" aired May 13, 2005
– bringing an end to 18 straight years (& 25 seasons) of Trek TV


POLL: Do you expect Trek back on TV?

Will Star Trek return to TV this decade?

View Results

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1. Caesar - March 6, 2012

I never watched a second of Terra Nova, nor did I ever want to. That’s where it failed.

The concept was bad on this one, and the fact that it looked like a cross between Jurassic Park and Land of the Lost didn’t help it any either.

This, of course, is why John Carter is going to be a huge bomb–it’s not visually distinctive as “Science Fiction” to most people. Shame, too, as I loved the book.

2. bill hiro - March 6, 2012

Has Brannon Braga ever had a non-Star Trek show go beyond one season on the air?

3. windelkin - March 6, 2012

I just don’t understand how sci-fi gets overlooked by so many tv watchers. Aren’t they sick of all the hospital and cop dramas we’ve had for so long? I know I am. I also think with all the advancements they’ve made with digital effects, a show set in space would be cheaper and cheaper to produce all the time. Maybe I’m wrong.

4. Jefferies Tuber - March 6, 2012

What it means to networks and studios is, don’t produce SF TV unless you’re building on an existing brand. ST will come back to TV on its own schedule. A failure like this just increases the value of Trek’s TV rights.

5. Chris Doohan - March 6, 2012

Too bad, I liked that show. I would gladly give it up to keep Fringe around though.

6. Spacecadet - March 6, 2012

I do not know Terra Nova.

Star Trek is different. Everyone knows it.

A new Star Trek Series would need some new, very good ideas. Berman was good after all, but would have been so much better, if he would have listened more about the fans opinion!

I do not think, the people will watch a new Star Trek series, if enough time is gone, but I think, the people will watch a new Star Trek series, if it is a good series. Thats it.

I mean, who would have thought, someone would watch a new “Sherlock” Series? It is so damned old! Sherlock Holmes was created in the 19th century! But the new series with Cumberbatch is full of good ideas. Good ideas make a good series and the poeple will always watch a good series!

Gene Roddenberry said, there is “intelligence before the television” ( I am from germany, so sorry for my “translation”). Sometimes I assume, the people “behind the camera” have forgotten the peoples intelligence and their sence for intelligent entertainment. The TV stations feed the more trivial minded people, who prefer a cruel, maybe erotic TV-Show more than good, intelligent entertainment.

It is time for Star Trek to come back to TV. For us Star Trek is more than just a show that could make money. But indeed it will “bring money”, if it is made good.

7. Darrell - March 6, 2012

Terra Nova was a boring show. There simply wasn’t anything good about it. As will any TV show, if the stories are compelling and the characters are rich, it will do well.

Terra Nova was a great example of a TV show that never should have been made. It was bad.

Make a good show, no matter what the genre, and it will do well.

The lesson: Make good Star Trek or it will flop.

8. Quatlo - March 6, 2012

It was weak and predictable, not to mention dumb – and that’s the best words that can be said about it. Good riddance to TERRIBLE NOVA and hopefully FAILING SKIES will disappear as well.

9. Rick - March 6, 2012

I watched it, and enjoyed it – I think.

Well, maybe I watched it because I felt I was supposed to because it was a sci-fi tv show, and we just don’t get that many of them. Lets face it, it wasn’t really very good.

Ok, it stunk. I’d like to say I’ll miss it, but I really won’t.

This doesn’t doom the Genre, nor should it speak to anything related to a renewed Star Trek series. Terra Nova got the axe because it was not good enough to keep people wanting more. Lame sets, poor costumes and hokey visual effects aside, Terra Nova’s storytelling was flawed. Like too many shows, it took too long to cut to the chase. The whole show did not go anywhere compelling until the last two episodes. It got cancelled because it stunk.

Give us a new Trek series, or more BSG, or reboot the 6Million Dollar man – if it’s well written, we’ll watch. Plain and simple.

10. Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane - March 6, 2012

It’s FOX for goodness’ sakes. Even if it had a top-flight first season, it would have been cancelled.

11. Brett L. - March 6, 2012

Using Terra Nova’s cancellation as a poor prognostic sign for the future of sci-fi/genre T.V. is a little like using the failure of the Zune as a poor prognostic sign for the future of hand-held electronic devices.

Terra Nova was a bloated, intellectually-vacuous amusement park ride. What executives never seem to get is that there will always be support for well-written, quality sci-fi on T.V. If BSG could do it, so can Trek. And even if the cash isn’t all there, Trek has demonstrated time and again that limited budgets often drive more creative solutions (TOS, TWOK, etc). Didn’t Nick Meyer say (paraphrasing), “art thrives on restraint?” A well-written serialized approach like DS9 or BSG that routinely takes risks while respecting Trek’s history will get viewers talking and tuning in. “Problem of the week” episodes and retread plots that rely on action over suspense will not.

12. Captain McColl - March 6, 2012

Just looked at the pic from Enterprise, the special effects are horrible, I have played video games with a more convincing crowd

13. Sebastian S. - March 6, 2012

I knew this one wouldn’t last.
I watched the pilot and if just felt like “Avatar Park”; a TV show trying too hard to be a big, summer blockbuster movie. Spielberg is a brilliant filmmaker but I don’t think he understands how TV works for most people. Movies are like a night out, with big, epic entertainment; a day at the circus, if you will. TV is more like a night in with some good friends and a bottle of wine. TV is where characters shine, and big visuals are more like spice than the main course.

Spielberg had similar issues with “Amazing Stories” and more acutely in “SeaQuest DSV.” His appetite and instincts are more geared towards movies and spectacle. Which is fine for the lack of audience commitment needed to enjoy a 2 hr movie. But a TV show is more like a commitment where you fall in love with the characters first, THEN you want to see what adventures they can take you on. Characters are key on TV, not big, splashy images and FX….

But Spielberg seems to think that the movie experience and the TV experience are interchangeable. They are NOT. And until he really understands this? His shows will continue to be beautiful, overproduced, bloated, expensive nose dives….

14. MikeTen - March 6, 2012

I watched every episode of Terra Nova and the writing was not that good but it was getting better towards the end and I was wondering how they were going to explain how all of the man made items from the past made it back in time to the alternate Earth.

15. Derf - March 6, 2012


16. Cap'n Calhoun - March 6, 2012

@10: I know Fox has a long tradition of cancelling sci-fi shows, but it’s not really fair to criticize them when they’ve been holding on to the *extremely* low-rated Fringe for so long.

17. Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane - March 6, 2012

SPACE: 2099, the SPACE: 1999 reboot is in the works, but I don’t know what form — series, or film.

I still think the best chance for a series is a reboot of SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO (aka STAR BLAZERS to US audiences) — its got a lot of elements that can work as a weekly show if given the “BSG” gritty reboot treatment. There was a very enjoyable live-action film of it a few years back (worth seeking out on Blu-ray on eBay) but it’s too much story for a two-hour film.

Still lamenting the loss of the Season Five ENTERPRISE. I admit I was one of legion who left the show after it seemed to just start spinning its wheels. The Season 4 eps I saw in rerun and on disc were really enjoyable — notably the Mirror Universe episode and the Orion Traders one. I heard that Season 5 was going to start the buildup to the Romulan War, and that we might have seen the Kzinti as well.

But — and I’ll say it again and again — there’s a lot of eminently filmable science fiction out there that, surprise, has never been filmed, either small or big screen. I’m currently reading Jack McDevitt’s Alex Benedict series, and enjoying them immensely.

Always thought David Feintuch’s Seafort Saga (begins with Midshipman’s Hope) would make a good series. (David passed away, unfortunately, before the final novel could be published, and due to legal reasons it may never see the light of day.)

John Hemry has an excellent “JAG in Space” series (begins with “A Just Determination”) that would make a great sci-fi/legal series.

And, of course, I’d still love to see a new TREK…

18. EricAD - March 6, 2012

Genre programming does fine…just not on Network tv. Look at True Blood and Game of Thrones on HBO, American Horror Story on FX. All hits, all signature shows on their networks. Discerning genre fans know better than to invest time on these kinds of series on networks that are lowest common denominator when it comes to ratings. Trek WILL be back on tv some day…but NOT on a network.

19. Heather - March 6, 2012

I don’t see how the cancellation of Terra Nova can be construed to spell doom and gloom for the entire SF genre. For the amount of money that was spent on the show, it should have had more wow factor. I watched it and I enjoyed it, but I’m not heartbroken that it’s not coming back. I’d rather watch Fringe, which is a much more original concept. Or The Listener, which has great dialogue and is superbly Canadian in its flavour – as a Canadian myself, I love that. I was much much more upset about the cancellation of Stargate Universe. As a matter of fact, I’m still PO’d over that.

20. OfficialSpudUk - March 6, 2012

Ok, I watched the entire run of Terra Nova, and I really really can’t see where the money went! The editing was terrible! There were scenes where people were talking but their lips weren’t moving, scenes with guns going off but no noise, and painful jarring cuts that a college student could do better.

The special effects weren’t that great either, and while the overall plot and acting I did find engaging, I didn’t think the individual episodes were especially well written.

So, in conclusion, new Star Trek has nothing to worry about…

21. Battle-scarred Sciatica - March 6, 2012

Look at the poster picture! Pretty boys and girls posing like hideous pop stars.

It is no wonder it was cancelled.

It was cheesy, formulaic crap.

I do not care about its demise.

Just because that shite was axed does not mean a new Star Trek show will go the same way so quickly.

22. zperk - March 6, 2012

@9 Unfortunately, it does affect the genre as a whole. Networks view things in what they call ‘buckets’, sci-fi being one of them. The specific reasons why Terra Nova didn’t work, and why a theoretical new Trek series would work, are not actually of much importance to a network programming or development exec. The entire function of their profession is to make sweeping generalizations and speculate on the potential success of the project through the ‘network lenses’, a doctrine of criteria created by committees of market researchers and branding specialist every pilot season.

Because Terra Nova failed, and because it failed with big names and a bigger budget attached to it, the sci-fi bucket will now be tainted for some time, at least with Fox.

If Terra Nova had succeeded, the sci-fi bucket would have appeared more lucrative to other networks, and a continuing trend of successful scifi shows could have eventually convinced networks to dust of their rights to established sci fi franchises (such as Star Trek) and march them out for another go at TV.

Sadly, the industry is not sitting around looking for ways to make scifi succeed on TV. Instead, there looking for ways to succeed on TV, and preferably the easiest and cheapest ways possible. The overwhelming sentiment right now is that SciFi is working for theater going audiences, but its not right for TV formats; the market just doesn’t want it right now. And until we enter another era of TV where big scifi shows are once again a sure-fire ratings success, no one is going to waste a valuable intellectual property like Star Trek, just for the Trekkies’ sake.

23. Battle-scarred Sciatica - March 6, 2012

Oh by the way, Trekmovie.

Why not bring back the sci-fi movie and shows articles to help us keep up to speed with whats going on out there in Sci-Fi Land.

Thanks for this article, but i miss Movie and TV news…

24. NCM - March 6, 2012

I heard the show was ‘terrible,’ so never gave it a shot; plus, it looked like one of those generic new era shows where everyone looks more like a model than any collection of real people. On the other hand, I’d give anything ‘Trek’ more than a fleeting chance!

I gotta think people are going to tire of reality shows. Until then, good television will be in limited supply.

25. Quatlo - March 6, 2012

#5 Chris Doohan: “I would gladly give it up to keep Fringe around though.”

Agree with you about FRINGE. Huge potential here. The central story line is excellent but is wasted too much with “freak of the week” sub-plots that take away from the main story. Way too much plot getting in the way of the story. Seems like the producers want to move on from FRINGE and do something else and are sabotaging the show. FRINGE is one of the few shows the wife and I can both get into, so we hope against bad odds that the people in charge step up and meet the challenges and keep the show alive. Cheers.

26. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

That sucks. I am sad to see Terra Nova go. I liked it. I didn’t expect to, but I did. It made me think of what you would do if you had a chance to start society over from scratch free from the interference of those greedy power mad sociopaths who ruined it the first time. Could you make it better? How would you stop the same things from happening again?

And it’s also discouraging. It makes me see broadcast TV by and large as a place of entrenched mediocrity, parasitically attached to an intellectually anemic and atomized populace.

David Lynch was probably right about the internet being the future, but free is good in an ailing economy, and broadcast TV is free, so it’s hard to see the internet competing with TV anytime soon, even though the internet would enable you to do things that are impossible to do on broadcast TV.

Then of course there’s the Cawley model which to me is the most exciting possibility of all. I am now starting to abandon ship on all things status quo. And as far as TV grade entertainment, Cawley has managed to do something that I didn’t think was possible, which in turn has caused me to reevaluate how far that radical method of operation can truly go.

27. Allister Gourlay - March 6, 2012

i agree cheesy, formulaic crap

28. njdss4 - March 6, 2012

Terra Nova being canceled has nothing to do with whether or not Trek can be put back on the air. Once a proper pitch is put together, it won’t take much to get it done. Studios are afraid of new IPs, and Trek is the furthest thing from that. As long as the execs see that Berman and Braga have nothing to do with it, they’ll give it the green light.

29. Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane - March 6, 2012

#23; give io9.com a shot; they have a weekly (sometimes more often) review of genre television & movies.

30. "Check the Circuit!" - March 6, 2012

Gave it a try and quickly got bored. Bigger doesn’t always mean better. And I don’t recall the show getting strong reviews. Mixed at best, if I remember correctly.

I hope, the Star Trek brand name makes future pitches less of a risk for the networks. But, for the show to last, it will have to be great television…irrespective of the brand name.

JJ and team are planting the seeds with new movies and creating demand. Ideally, we’re reaping the benefit with episodic Trek back on the small screen before the end of the decade.

31. Tony Whitehead - March 6, 2012

Network television has been more partial to cookie-cutter reality-based shows that are cheap to produce and don’t require significant budgets (or dare I say, thought processes.) The exception seems to be any show involving a C, S, or an I in the title.

Lordy, I miss the Carol Burnett Show.

32. Anthony Pascale - March 6, 2012

We are working on a way to bring back our regular sci-fi updates so stay tuned

33. Quatlo - March 6, 2012

32: That would be cool, thanks.

34. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

24. NCM – March 6, 2012

It wasn’t terrible. And it was cool to see a big budget SF show on TV again. I watched it initially because I like pilot eps (and dinosaurs). Then, Lang kept me on because he nails everything he does, and he was good in it. Jason O’Mara was great and so was Naomi Scott. Tack on dinosaurs and a wasted dystopian future vs. a new vulnerable society, and what was not to like? I couldn’t find any reason not to like it, and I’m generally — almost universally — very crabby toward the TV and the things it says.

35. Lee - March 6, 2012

Science Fiction requires a certain… intellectualism? And we’re living in a very anti-intellectual time. That’s not to say that horro/fantasy shows like Game of Thrones, True Blood or Walking Dead aren’t intelligent, they’re well written with good drama and plot-lines. And above all, adult. Battlestar Galactica was a good starting point, but it didn’t go far enough (and needed to be on one of the big cable networks).

I think Star Trek needs to grow up. I was saying years ago that Trek needed to be more like The Sopranos (the benchmark for intelligent adult drama at the time). I remember some idiot Trekkie responding stiffly with “I would have no interest in watching such a show.” I wonder how he’s found the past 7 years without any TV Trek. . . So, we need a grown-up Star Trek TV show (with, as it were, breasts – rather than tits like Wesley Crusher! Apologies to Mr. Wheaton, had to throw that one in once I’d thought of it).

36. Amorican - March 6, 2012

“One of the closing shots from finale of “Star Trek: Enterprise” aired May 13, 2005 – bringing an end to 18 straight years (& 25 seasons) of Trek TV”

Waitaminute! That shot was in the final episode of Enterprise? That looks like it’s out of a CGI cartoon.

37. Battle-scarred Sciatica - March 6, 2012


Thanks for the info. Will check it out right now.


Looking forward to it, staying tuned.

38. Jeyl - March 6, 2012

“What Does This Say For Future Of Sci-Fi & Star Trek TV?”

Uh, don’t hire Brannon Braga?

39. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

Here’s my predictioon.

At some point network TV and politics will merge completely. Voting will be quietly abolished, and candidates will reach office by winning a special nation wide, week long “Election Edition” of Wipeout.

40. Montreal_Paul - March 6, 2012

Network Trek would be a kiss of death. If Trek is to be produced for the small screen, it would be best on cable like HBO or the like. Networks are too fickle and I am surprised that FOX let Terra Nova & Fringe stay on as long as they did. Networks are too quick to pull the trigger. They want immediate success and will not stand by a show to let it build momentum and have long term good ratings. That is why BSG did so well and allowed to run it’s course. If it was on Fox or ABC, etc, it would have been cancelled after the first season.

41. Daoud - March 6, 2012

Terra Nova was more like a bad Stargate series. Stargate Jurassic.

42. T'cal - March 6, 2012

It was boringly dramatic. I’m sorry. It was boringly DRAMATIC!!

43. Phil - March 6, 2012

I haven’t watched any of Terra Nova despite having it all pvr’d. The simple reason as to why is because I’m fed up with shows being cancelled after just a season or two. I’ve had enough of wasting my time watching a show and getting into it only for it to be cancelled before the story is complete. Examples are V and SGU.

44. Dee - lvs moon' surface - March 6, 2012

#42. T’cal…

Yes I agree…

;-) :-)

45. The Unknown Poster - March 6, 2012

Terra Nova was a good idea with a bad execution. It kept it’s mysteries too long.

There was too much future technology mixed with “roughing it” that it didnt make a lot of sense.

The setting didnt play much of a role. They could have been lost on an island for all we knew.

46. r0bt3k - March 6, 2012

terra nova was TERRIBLE, series get canceled for a reason

star trek would out do that anyday everyone knows that

47. denny cranium - March 6, 2012

I enjoyed Terra Nova.
Sure some of the scripts wre reminiscent of Trek. (maybe that’s why I liked it.)
One poster claimed the characters were dull. I think it was just the opposite.
Jason Mara did a great job.The supporting cast was equally as good.
I believed that they were back in time during the Jurassic area.
I thought the show was going to be lame but I was very surprised at how good it was.
As far as Braga goes- I think he got the job not because he was any type of creative genius. Hell he isn’t even an inspired writer. Like I’ve said in previous posts- this is show BUSINESS. Braga is skilled at getting shootable filmable scripts done within the budget allowed.
He’s no different than the dunkin donuts guy. “Gotta make the donuts.”
I personally think he is just a jaded Hollywood producer chasing a gig.

48. its awful - March 6, 2012

terra nova was really really really bad.

49. VulcanFilmCritic - March 6, 2012

The problem with science fiction on TV these days is that on the one hand it has to be intelligent enough to hold the sci-fi audience. (And let’s face it, this is not the same audience that tunes in to Jerry Springer) And on the other hand, it has to have wide enough appeal to bring in a good chunk of average viewers.

It’s a tough balancing act. This was probably easier to do back in the 60’s and 70’s before cable TV because there was no place else to go except the networks, but with hundreds of cable and satellite shows to chose from, who’s going to tune in today to a show about a bunch of early middle-aged men, exploring the universe, while hurling polite insults at each other? “Star Trek” would have been cancelled after a few episodes if it had to depend on today’s TV viewers.

That being said, there still is a tremendous wellspring of good feeling towards the franchise, but it would take some really innovative writing to get it off the ground. AND it would need a true visionary to give us the kind of shows that provoke talk at school and work the next day and buzz in the media. Not just standard functionaries. The writing would have to be as good as that on “Mad Men.”

Terra Nova failed because it was just awful. Sure it looked pretty but the characters were just so generic and phony that there was no point in watching. And as #1 Caesar said it looked derivative too.

Science fiction is about ideas, not just special effects. I still hope that someday the powers that be will realize that the reason the TV audience is continually shrinking is that most of what’s on is inane, and some bright, dedicated soul (probably at HBO) will realize that there is a huge market for this stuff (if it’s good.) Then I can turn the cable back on again.

50. The Chad - March 6, 2012

Given that Star Trek has never been on one of the big-4 networks since Next Generation started I don’t see how the cancellation of a bad Sci-Fi show is even relevant.

TNG and DS9 both thrived in Syndication (a word I’m surprised nobody here has mentioned yet). Voyager proved a Trek series can last 7 years on a non big-4 network. I think Enterprise was destined to struggle given it was a prequel show and people are sticklers of established canon. I hate that Trek hasn’t been on TV in 7 years because people think that Enterprise proved people were sick of Trek. I don’t think that’s the case at all.

Perhaps a new Trek could survive on cable, but why isn’t anyone considering syndication again? Is that too dead of a format now reserved for shows like Maury and Judge Judy? You can only watch the old shows so many times before wanting something new. J.J. Abrams’ abomination doesn’t count.

51. Ryan Spooner - March 6, 2012

This news makes me very sad. Contrary to the above, it was NOT really really really bad (exaggerate much?) or “TERRIBLE”. Far from it.

The sets and effects were excellent, as was the casting and acting. The premise of trying to survive in a prehistoric Earth was also very interesting.

I very much enjoyed season 1, my only complaint was that it was too short a season and didn’t really get that much promotion.

52. steve-o - March 6, 2012

the answer to your articles title is this.

terra nova was ill concieved. i’m not saying it didn’t have its entertaining qualities, but it was lacking for sure.

this should not affect trek on tv

53. Jef Leppard - March 6, 2012

Talk is afoot for a reboot of the 70s series “Space: 1999″ as you might guess “Space: 2099.” If they don’t f it up, it could be the next big thing. As one of my childhood favorites, I’m excited to see where they go with it.

54. Commodore Adams - March 6, 2012

@ Caesar

I completely agree, its the very reason why I did not watch Terra Nova, a jurassic park lost mash up. I have ZERO ambition to watch it. I personally didn’t even like the concept of human going back in time to repopulate, total turn off for me.

55. Ryan Spooner - March 6, 2012

You’d think that Steven Spielberg would have enough industry clout to obtain funding for his project independently of a single fickle TV network.

Also a 10.1 million viewer average shows that the show was clearly popular, that’s more than even the likes of Stargate Atlantis and Warehouse 13 achieved…. ever.

Take this quote from the Gateworld website when talking about a new record on the SyFy channel in 2009:

“When the DVR-delayed “Live + 7 Days” numbers are accounted for, the show’s sixth episode earned a 3.2 household rating and drew 4.4 million viewers. That makes it the most watched regular series telecast in Syfy’s 17-year history.”

The cancellation of Terra Nova with well over double the above viewers, clearly had nothing to do with show popularity.

56. moauvian waoul - aka: seymour hiney - March 6, 2012

Not referring to Terra Nova, but I think Sci-Fi will continue to struggle on the small screen. These are just not the times of lofty ideas …or ideals. These are times of fear and excess. :/

57. JOHNNYB807 - March 6, 2012

“Terra Nova will likely end up the highest-rated cancelled show of the season.” — of course as anyone who has watched Firefly or Dollhouse will note, cancelling critically acclaimed sci-fi shows is what FOX does best.

58. Commodore Adams - March 6, 2012

Sci-fi is one thing, Star Trek is something totally different. Sci fi on TV these days is pathetic. Hence why Caprica and Terra Nova flopped.

I am a Stargate fan, but I really dislike Stargate Universe, they tried the Battlestar approach to make it darker and grittier but it failed, it does not feel like the Stargate I enjoy, I just think its a pathetic attempt.

The last Sci fi shows I watched and enjoyed (after Trek) were Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis and Battlestar, because they were similar to Star Trek in the sense that they were in space, or on a ship or had to do with the exploration of space and planets. There has been nothing else that peaked my interest. Sanctuary, Supernaturals, Chuck, Doctor Who, Fringe, Primeval are sci-fi but have NOTHING TO DO WITH TRAVELING THROUGH SPACE TO OTHER PLANETS, which is what sci fi is about.

This is why I believe a new Star Trek would not flop because it is the pillar, the support, the pinnacle of what sci-fi is. Everything else has flopping because its either a half assed attempt or “fake” sci-fi.

For the Star Wars fans and general public, I believe a live action weekly Star Wars series would do very well, but Lucas is so pissed at everything these day because of fan reactions (the guy did it to himself) that a weekly live action Star Wars series will never happen. Which leaves the universe wide open for Star Trek.

I think with the success of the 2009 movie and fingers crossed great success with the next movie, there is be no issue with putting Star Trek back on TV and having a high viewer rating this decade. Paramount wanted a chance to put out three new movies, but I don’t think they will be able to wait that long.

I think the new Star Trek series should keep the basic formula of the 60’s series but I do believe they should add a touch of Battlestar to give it a darker grittier aspect but not let that take over.

There is indeed a bright future for sci-fi….it just has to be done right. Sci-fi’s are not flopping because sci-fi is dying, its because it is not being done right, the spices are not right which means the patrons are not going to be eating a dish they usually love. Use the right spices and people will be chowing down like famished gluttons.

59. Surak - March 6, 2012

@50 CHAD

First run syndication is pretty much a thing of the past. Indeed, it was dying by the time DS9 was ending its run.

60. JOHNNYB807 - March 6, 2012

@ #5 Chris Doohan: Just read an article from TV Line stating that Fringe is a safe bet for next season. Given that it’s already had 4 seasons, a 5th season would put it near the magic number necessary for selling to syndication. If Chuck can do it, so can Fringe IMHO

61. The Chad - March 6, 2012


Apples to oranges. Fox/ABC/NBC/CBS has a completely different standard than cable networks when it comes to ratings and how many viewers they constitute as being successful. Cable channels know they won’t have as many viewers than channels offered over the air.

4.4 million viewers for SyFy may be really good where 10.1 million for an over the air network may be really bad.

Doesn’t prove anything about it not being about popularity.

62. chaz dean - March 6, 2012

It says that crap sci fi should be cancelled

63. Cousin Itt - March 6, 2012

TNG, DS9 and Voyager were ratings proof, since their ‘back end’ was pre-sold in syndication before the shows even started. Paramount knew they would make tons of money from local stations on these shows. By the time Enterprise came around, the syndication business had changed, and stations were no longer interested in paying big license fees for hour long dramas. Hence, even getting four seasons was a stretch without good ratings.

If and when Trek returns to TV, it will have to have some type of pay-tv component to justify the expense. Think Showtime, or Netflix, or some other delivery medium that we don’t even know about yet. And, probably for the better, the seasons will be much shorter.

64. Steve J. - March 6, 2012

Well, add this one to the list of sci-fi shows that I watched faithfully only to see them get cancelled too soon: Surface, Invasion, Flash Forward, The Event, Defying Gravity (I don’t think ABC showed the last few episodes of that one).

65. Commodore Adams - March 6, 2012

HEY!!!!!!!!!! EVERYONE

I have heard rumblings that we might be getting a Star Trek 2013 teaser trailer with the Avengers movie on May 4th, similar to the starship construction teaser we have with cloverfield.

Anthony, want to do some digging regarding this matter?

Bob Orci, not sure if you read or comment on non Star Trek movie articles but…….anything to say? Or just deflect, divert, and confuse.

66. rm10019 - March 6, 2012

I vote yes on cable as an animated series!

67. N - March 6, 2012

What does this say for the future of sci-fi on TV? Keep that hack Spielberg away from it.

It’s a shame ENT ended on that TATV travesty, Terra Prime would have been such a high note to go out on. Ah well, if Trek does come back to TV it’d need damn good writers.

68. sean - March 6, 2012


The effects were one of the show’s problems. Far from being excellent, the dinosaur effects changed wildly from shot to shot. One minute you might have a halfway decent effect and then in the next scene it looked like something out of The Last Starfighter. Even at their best, they couldn’t stand up to Jurassic Park, a movie made 20 years ago (by the same guy!).

69. The TREKMAN!!!! - March 6, 2012

What does this say for the future of sci-fi on TV?

Don’t put your show on Fox!

70. Surak - March 6, 2012


Uh, sf is FAR more than just spaceships…

71. sean - March 6, 2012

Terra Nova wasted an interesting premise with dozens of filler episodes that played like they were straight out of a 50s sitcom (what was with the soldier asking to ‘court’ O’Mara’s daughter? And the silly subplot about O’Mara being jealous of his wife’s exboyfriend? Wasn’t this show taking place in the future?). Then came the finale, where suddenly dozens of episodes worth of action popped up out of nowhere, too little too late.

Personally, I’m pretty happy it’s gone, because it improves Fringe’s chances of getting a season 5.

72. Hankster - March 6, 2012

Would Bob Orci & Co. be interested in producing a Trek series down the road? Has he ever commented about that?

73. VZX - March 6, 2012

Well, this is a real bummer. Terra Nova was the only show on TV that I could watch with my kids and all enjoy. I get tired of watching reality shows and the silly Nick and Disney kids shows and I won’t let my kids watch Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, or Being Human.

Terra Nova was a great family show. Yeah, it had it’s cheese, but so what.

This sucks.

74. James T. West - March 6, 2012

10 million viewers??? Wow! Fringe was averaging around 4! Battlestar barely got 2 million!
Fox should have at least waited to see how many DVD/BluRays they sold before canceling!
But…I am asking for logic from the network that killed Firefly, Human Target, AND Sarah Connor Chronicles…

75. VZX - March 6, 2012

Hey, space opera sci-fi does NOT need an expensive budget. Babylon 5 was done on the cheap, and that was pretty good. Also, the original Star Trek was really, really cheap, and its the best show of all time.

I say go back to old school, cheap sci-fi. Good sci-fi is about the story, characters, and “what if?” scenarios, not about the spectacle.

76. I'm Dead Jim! - March 6, 2012

I always told my wife while we watched Terra Nova that it would likely be cancelled. Episodes were boring and they could apparently only afford one dinosaur per episode. However, the season finale was pretty good and was what the whole series should have been.

Regardless, I hope it was sacrificed so that Fringe could survive. Another thing going for another season of Fringe is that it needs to reach at least 100 episodes to make it viable for syndication. That’s something extremely valuable to the studio and may help in negotiations with the f**k-tards at FOX.

77. Anthony Thompson - March 6, 2012


Yeah, that shot looks like pure animation. And poorly done animation at that!

78. VZX - March 6, 2012

74: I forgot that Fox cancelled Firefly. Now it makes sense. Maybe Fox has a sci-fi phobia? Is The X-Files the only long-running sci-fi series on Fox?

79. Browncoat1984 - March 6, 2012

Okay, I can’t believe that this site is comparing Terra Nova and Trek. Two ENTIRELY different entities!

What does Terra Nova say about the future of sci-fi on TV? DON’T PUT BRANON BRAGA IN CHARGE OF YOUR SHOW!!!!!!!

Seriously, the SECOND I heard Branon Braga’s name as executive producer, I said to myself “it’ll last a season even if its mediocre at best” and that’s what Terra Nova was. It was at best a mediocre series that ended on an interesting not but not interesting enough for me to care of it was renewed. Everything Branon Braga touches either fails (shows like Flashforward) or are mediocre at best. No, this ISN’T another Voyager or Enterprise bashing comment, there are elements of those shows that I really enjoyed, but when you look at most of the Trek scripts that Braga wrote himself, they’re among the WORST hours of Trek! Episodes like the Voyager episode where Janeway and Paris turn into lizards or the TNG episode where the crew degenerates into prehistoric versions of themselves. Juvenile writing at best.

And Terra Nova had many of the problems that Voyager and Enterprise had. For instance, it had the problem of two-dimensional characters that you didn’t really care about at all. A plot that was at best mildly interesting. And I agree with #51, the effects weren’t that great. The most the scenes with dinosaurs after the first few episodes amounted to nothing more than some epic sweeping shot at the beginning of an episode. Its like the show was saying “Hey, we have dinosaurs in our show! Love it!” – and it doesn’t help that none of the dinosaurs were actual dinosaurs but rather made up and not that great.

Terra Nova, now that I sit back and think about it, really magnified all the problems of the genre today. There’s a reason that sci-fi on TV is failing, aside from the good shows like Stargate and Eureka getting canceled after years of being on air, the new shows with a few exceptions like Once Upon a Time (which really is actually a unique idea) are all crap. I watched 15 minutes of Grimm and turned it off because it was the same procedural “poor man’s X-Files” crap that shows try to copy.

The problem with science fiction is as you mentioned in the article, its all either procedurals with a slight sci-fi twist to them, or they try to copy successful formulas (IE The Event, Flashforward and now Alcatraz all tried or are trying to copy Lost’s formula). And most of them are rather gory and dark and violent, like Alcatraz. I was actually hoping for a Terra Nova renewal over Alcatraz because at least its a family friendly show, and with Chuck over and Eureka ending there’s fewer and fewer of those. I would definitely NOT consider Alcatraz to be family friendly.

So no, you can’t compare Terra Nova’s situation to Star Trek’s. As soon as I heard Branon Braga’s name attached to it I knew this show was doomed and I was right. I knew that at best it would be predictable. 2d characters, boring dinosaurs, inconsistent special effects and cringe-inducing teen angst all added up against the shows favor. There’s stuff they could do in season 2 to make it better if it were to happen though (such as a better more compelling villain, less teen angst, make the characters more interesting) but it’ll probably just be more of the same as season 1.

If you want to compare sci-fi shows, it might be better to compare Doctor Who to Star Trek. Both are long running franchises and both went on hiatus’s. Doctor Who came back and is now successful on BBC and you can’t say that its not an expensive show. There was some talk before the 14 episode season was announced this year that they might split up the season or it might be a shorter season but its not. If Star Trek comes back and is actually good (IE more than what Voyager and Enterprise were, make a show that combined the best elements of TOS, TNG and DS9 into one show) I think it has the potential to be as long lasting and popular as Doctor Who has been.

There’s a REAL hunger out there for a new space based sci-fi show, especially since Stargate Universe signified the end of THAT franchise on TV. Give it another year or two and I bet sci-fi fans will be BEGGING the owners of the Star Trek or Stargate (or both, which is my preference) IP’s to produce a new series and continue their legacies!

80. draderman - March 6, 2012

This is stupid.
I was sure i would get more of this show.

Thanks anyway Brannon.

81. Craiger - March 6, 2012

I like Star Trek and hope it comes back to TV. However, I wonder how Trek even got sold to NBC with Gene’s no conflict rule. How would a series be exciting without conflict?

82. SkSexton - March 6, 2012

Its futile to preach creationism no matter how veiled.

83. draderman - March 6, 2012


your an idiot.

84. Thomas - March 6, 2012

Terra Nova’s cancellation shouldn’t have any particular bearing on a future Trek series. TN was a new franchise, but Star Trek but is already established and currently enjoys a lot of goodwill with the public. (Please note that just because other people don’t frequent sites like this one doesn’t mean they wouldn’t potentially enjoy a new Trek series.) A network would be more willing to do a new Trek series as it would already have name recognition. There’s already a group of people that would tune in to watch it, at least at the beginning.

One thing we could say about a new Trek series right now: tha fanbase will split over it, since even fans can’t necessarily agree what makes good Trek.

85. sean - March 6, 2012


Uhhh…mind running that one passed me one more time?

86. Surak - March 6, 2012

@81 Gene’s philosophy you reference was much more pronounced during NextGen and much less so during TOS.

87. sean - March 6, 2012


Gene’s ‘no conflict’ rule didn’t exist in 1966.

88. DarExc - March 6, 2012

I didn’t like it, my wife liked it but she got annoyed from my comments ;) I just couldn’t take the full auto guns not even hurting the dinosaurs that somehow became bullet proof. It wasn’t all that great of a story either… I work IT and the nerdy guys I work with were of similar opinions. Sci-Fi can do much better.

89. Surak - March 6, 2012

@84 “One thing we could say about a new Trek series right now: tha fanbase will split over it, since even fans can’t necessarily agree what makes good Trek.”

Honestly, getting a show-runner who likes interacting with the fans could go a long way with creating goodwill. Think JMS on Babylon 5, Ron Moore on Galactica, etc. Berman’s interviews always came off as stodgy and uninformative.

90. Captain Karl - March 6, 2012

This is what happens when TV execs don’t like a show irregardless of ratings or critical acclaim. They don’t like something? To heck with the viewers, they pull the plug. I think TV execs still don’t know what to do with science fiction. They only understand crime shows, murders, death, blood and guts. Things that blow up, shoot or don’t take a lot of thought. If a show makes them think, their brains hurt and they have to get rid of what is causing the boo-boo. Sci-fi on the whole is more cerebral, makes people think.

Isn’t this what killed TOS? TV exec’s didn’t know what to do with Star Trek…they moved it around, day and time slot, trying to kill it off. Didn’t a TV exec’s wife like a show better or was that Gilligan’s Island? TV exec’s and their family have to stop killing off shows because they don’t understand them. They have to think, for a change, about the viewers. People invest a lot of time to get to know a show only to have it yanked out from underneath them leaving them wondering what happens next.

Goes to show the power of the names Spielberg and Abrams doesn’t necessarily guarantee a show will survive the brainfarts who run the networks.

Terra Nova was a different kind of sci-fi and I welcomed the change. It had its dull moments, but overall, the concept was a fresh one. Too bad it wasn’t allowed to find its legs with a second season. As far as Star Trek coming back to TV, I’m not really holding my breath. And if it does come back and a TV exec doesn’t like it, you know it’ll be gone faster than a twinkie at a zombie filled amusement park.

91. N - March 6, 2012

That and also a passionate showrunner, someone who is a fan of the franchise.

92. richpit - March 6, 2012

I didn’t read all the comments, but I watched the first two episodes of Terra Nova, wanting to like it, and thought it was pretty lame.

The story was typical: angst-ridden teenagers. They threw in dinosaurs to make it “interesting”, but that didn’t work.

The concept was ridiculous. the best thing ‘we” could think of to save humanity was to go back a zillion years to when there were dinosaurs? Really? They couldn’t just go back to before the alleged environmental disaster? Or even just a couple thousand years? But all the way to the dinosaur time. Sorry, just stupid.

93. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

I didn’t expect to like Terra Nova: The idea sounded funny. Braga was involved.

But I found myself liking it. And I think Braga did a good job both here AND on Flash Forward which had a really compelling opening act for a TV show, and I’m giving the man credit for good work turned in.

You can’t pin the cancellation of Terra Nova on Braga. That’s silly.

94. sean - March 6, 2012


Except Terra Nova was not critically acclaimed. It had ‘mixed’ reviews, at best. It was also incredibly expensive.

95. NCM - March 6, 2012

35. Lee – March 6, 2012:

“Science Fiction requires a certain… intellectualism? And we’re living in a very anti-intellectual time. . . So, we need a grown-up Star Trek TV show (with, as it were, breasts – rather than tits like…”

How very…intellectual?

96. Rohrerbot - March 6, 2012

It was almost as bad as SGU. Simple bad ideas that made it just another bland story. It’s really a shame because it had a cool set up. Reason for failure? Didn’t have that edgy story? Just more of the same bla bla bla storytelling. Some of it was almost predictable.

97. Surak - March 6, 2012

I don’t really see nudity, as in actually seeing bare breasts/genitalia, happening in Trek–maybe in the 1970s but not today. (Indeed, there was talk of having a nude Illia scene in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.)

98. NCM - March 6, 2012

dmduncan; sorry for your disappointment. Had I known you recommended it, I might have given it a better look.

99. Lt. BAILEY - March 6, 2012

What I do not care for is the way a show/season ends. You have all these cliff hangers to tease you, to make you wait for the nest season to solve the mystery/problem/fate of the hero or heroes. Instead, its gets canceled completely and you are really left hanging.i.e Flash Forward, Vegas, The latest V series, etc.

They may have only made 11 episodes so you do not get the full run. But most network shows do that, they only order 6 to start, then if the ratings are high (enough) they order 6 more shows for a half season. Only when the ratings stay high do they order a full year.

It all boils down to ratings = money/profit. Let us hope that a new St series is in the making and it will be successful to last more than 1 year on TV.

100. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

lol! TV is SUPPOSED to be bland. That’s exactly what the networks’ BS&P departments exist for to ensure TV is, as often as possible.

Imagine what would happen if TV was thought provoking and it woke people up to the comfortably endured misery of their meaningless lives as gadget worshipping drones of an industrial society that dehumanizes them?

101. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

98. NCM – March 6, 2012

Eh. The cancellation leaves us hanging in the story.

That’s the problem with TV. Either they don’t finish the story, or they keep telling the story after they’ve finished it.

BSG is a rare case where they told the story…and then stopped.

102. Vultan - March 6, 2012


Is that you, Rod Serling? Is this me?


103. Red Dead Ryan - March 6, 2012

“Terra Nova” sucked. It was boring. The cg dinosaurs were cheap looking. The ones from “Jurassic Park” still look better, and that is a twenty year old movie featuring a combination of animatronics and cgi!

The characters were uninteresting, and it reminded me too much of “Lost”, “Avatar” and “Jurassic Park”.

The fact that the show apparently averaged 10 million viewers doesn’t justify bringing it back. Not when the show was one of the most expensive in history. They would have needed at least 15 million to justify the cost. The ratings were constently on a steep downward spiral since the pilot.
Bringing the show back would have merely continued the trend. FOX is in the business to make money, not lose it. Ditto for the other networks.

There’s no chance in hell we’ll ever see a new “Star Trek” series on CBS. Not going to happen. I think they should create a seperate channel for sci-fi so that they can air not only Trek reruns, but a new series as well as other sci-fi shows that Sy Fy can’t be bothered with. Good quality series, that is.

Oh, an animated Trek would be nice. A cartoon wouldn’t be under nearly as much pressure ratings-wise, and would be cheaper to produce. Accessible to kids as well as adults.

104. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

102. Vultan – March 6, 2012


105. Red Dead Ryan - March 6, 2012

constently=consistently? or constantly?

I intended for “consistently” but “constantly” would have gotten my points across as well!



106. Blake Powers - March 6, 2012

Never really loved the show.. But i liked it just fine.. It gave me a “star trek fix” that I was definitely craving.. Also, I like supporting scifi shows like this… Shame it got cancelled but in the new age you have to keep stuff economical.

107. The Last Vulcan - March 6, 2012

A new ST series doesn’t have to cost Terra Nova figures per ep. There are people out there making ST fan films that don’t look half bad and they’re doing it for FREE. A series of bottle shows could be done on a sitcom budget if the will was there. But not on CBS, not unless Trek-hater Moonves is teleported to the Moon first.

108. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

103. Red Dead Ryan – March 6, 2012

Yeah, the show was a mashup, but so what? Another spaceship based show would be more original???

And the actors made the characters interesting to me. I cared about that family, and I cared about Colonel Taylor.


109. Bucky - March 6, 2012

Trek TV. On cable, limited episode order (14ish, so much for the 27 episode seasons that DS9/TNG used to crank out). Somewhere. By 2018, post third Trek movie.

110. Surak - March 6, 2012

@103 Hard to believe Jurassic Park is 20 years old.

I agree ST will never be on CBS. It creates a conundrum for them as they’d probably rather have it on one of their networks. Viacom owns some cable networks but does anyone really see first-run Star Trek on SpikeTV?

Actually, I could see this happening.

111. RobertZ - March 6, 2012

Stopped watching TV two years ago. Maybe I’ll start again if STAR TREK returns.

112. Red Dead Ryan - March 6, 2012


I said it reminded me TOO MUCH like “Avatar”, “Jurassic Park” and “Lost”.

I don’t mind a bit of mashing-up just as long as something new is added to the formula. There was nothing new with “Terra Nova”. It was like “Hey, a world with dinosaurs! Oooh, and time travel! Let’s have people travel back in time to that period! And they have to avoid being eaten alive! Stephen Lang as a miltary man! Make it so!” LOL!

Besides, Stephen Lang was merely acting like a good-guy version of the character he played in “Avatar”. I honestly didn’t see anything different, except for the fact he was a good guy.

113. Greg2600 - March 6, 2012

I liked Terra Nova, it was a good show. Not great, but pretty good.

114. Red Dead Ryan - March 6, 2012


“…but does anyone really see first-run Star Trek on SpikeTV?”

Maybe if its called “1000 Ways For A Red Shirt To Die”!

Hmmm……..actually, I might be interested in that……..

115. Browncoat1984 - March 6, 2012

#82 Really? If you can’t even expand on *why* I’m an idiot then don’t waste your time typing that comment.

116. Keachick - rose pinenut - March 6, 2012

Terra Nova has just started screening here and I’ve caught some scenes. However the sight of people running around with automatic machine guns or whatever, riding around in jeeps, shooting up dinosaurs who “invade” their territory is just too rich for me. I found the little that I saw and heard just plain odious. Not only have we a militant mindset making up a lot of television/movie premises in the present, the future, but now it appears in the distant past as well – all in defense, of course…purrleeeese.

Sick and tired of this kind of twaddle – are you getting this, Bob Orci, JJ Abrams and co?

117. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

112: “Besides, Stephen Lang was merely acting like a good-guy version of the character he played in “Avatar”. I honestly didn’t see anything different, except for the fact he was a good guy.”

That they were played by the same actor can be dismissed as irrelevant; clearly Avatar got Lang the role for Terra Nova. But other than Taylor and Quaritch both being tough military characters, they were different in every other way.

Taylor was way more complex and human than Quaritch, who was just a mean old bastard.

Sure, it reminded me of Avatar not just because Lang was in it, but because they were camped in a hostile environment like Pandora. But one thing Terra Nova had that Avatar did not was


118. Vultan - March 6, 2012

Dinosaurs and people living together has been done many times before, but I still like the concept. Maybe if the show had taken a more gritty man-against-nature angle and dropped the cheesy family stuff, it would’ve been better received.

I remember one of the early episodes (before I stopped watching) mentioning Taylor (Stephen Lang) being the first man to cross over and having to survive on his own for a long period of time. Now THAT is the kind of show I wanted to see.

Maybe a cross between “Castaway” and… “Dino Riders”!

119. Thomas - March 6, 2012

89. Surak

I’ll concede the point that fan-creator interaction can generate a lot of goodwill; the hope is that the creators don’t squander that goodwill and have it bite them in the ass.

That said, there’s always going to be someone dissatisfied with it because it won’t be like it was before. And I do believe that any future TV Trek will be different (perhaps more than with which some will be comfortable) in terms of tone, style, acting,etc.

120. =A= - March 6, 2012

wtf wtf wtf??? i sick of so many tv progams cancelled! i miss V , Enterprise and now terra nova! how i watch without good tv show? you know what SCIFI channel so boring!

121. Jeffrey S. Nelson - March 6, 2012

I hope SyFy Channel picks up Terra Nova… damn good show.

122. sean - March 6, 2012


But dmduncan, THERE WERE HARDLY ANY DINOSAURS. That was the whole problem. Don’t sell me a show as people living with dinosaurs and then skimp on the dinosaurs.

123. sean - March 6, 2012

Also, and this is just my personal pet peeve, the design of the Terra Nova compound seemed absolutely ridiculous to me. Why the open-air design? Did they not consider the possibility of flying dinosaurs? Why the massive gaps in the fence? Taylor is supposedly a military genius, yet his base camp is vulnerable to just about everything.

124. Vultan - March 6, 2012

For those unfamiliar with “Dino Riders,” it was a serious, nuanced drama with fully realized characters asking deep, existential questions of mankind’s place in the universe—OH, who am I kidding?

Take notes, Brannon Braga:


125. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

118: “Maybe if the show had taken a more gritty man-against-nature angle and dropped the cheesy family stuff, it would’ve been better received.”

Yeah but family was central to the premise of starting a new society, and then having to protect it from the dystopian future they came from, which was intent on ruining the past just as they did the future.

Taylor had survived alone for 18 months before the next person followed.

It would have been cool to watch him discover that world and learn how to survive it in anticipation of the settlement — but a show about one guy surviving a dinosaur infested past?

Will never get a single actor show. That is just too different. We need more law enforcement shows, medical soap operas, dysfunctional family epics, and reality TV.

126. Thorny - March 6, 2012

I keep saying there will never be another live action Star Trek TV series, no one believes me even as the data points pile up.

127. Red Dead Ryan - March 6, 2012

Let’s not forget about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World”. That featured people living with dinosaurs.


That was another problem I had. I think that is why stories involving dinosaurs are better left for the big screen, where you can have good characters and big, dangerous, epic chase sequences in the dense, damp jungle with loud, thematic music blaring. If the show had more dinosaurs, people would be complaining about the lack of human moments, and obviously, in this case, with few dinosaurs, the show is boring. The human-meets-dinosaur idea doesn’t have enough substance to sustain a show for more than a few episodes, never mind several seasons.

128. NCM - March 6, 2012

@100: You’re a complicated guy, dmduncan.

@101: “That’s the problem with TV. Either they don’t finish the story, or they keep telling the story after they’ve finished it.”
Well said. Started watching BSG–and Sherlock Holmes; love ’em! Would have been worth watching BSG even with commercials. Otherwise, watch almost nothing on TV–Great invention, but now, more than ever, an “Idiot Box.”

@102. Vultan: “…Is that you, Rod Serling? Is this me?”


129. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

122. sean – March 6, 2012



You got dinosaurs every episode, and they did them pretty good. But you also have to be realistic. As costly as the show already was, there’s no way we were getting Jurassic Park in every episode, so you couldn’t have expected that.

It was good FOR TV. I had fun playing along with it.

130. Vultan - March 6, 2012


Well, that’s true. But it would make for an interesting movie or mini-series.

Come to think of it… has there ever been a single-actor TV show? It would take one helluva an actor to make it work.

131. Red Dead Ryan - March 6, 2012


That’s another good point. They should have been living in domes, guarded by gun turrets to shoot at any pterosaur that tried to break in.

132. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

127. Red Dead Ryan – March 6, 2012

The show’s conflict came from the characters trying to protect the past from a dystopian future intent on mining the past for its resources. The idea of trying to build a new society different from the screwed up one they came from was the most intriguing thing to me. Plus, DINOSAURS.

133. Red Dead Ryan - March 6, 2012


“It was good FOR TV. I had fun playing along with it.”

That’s the thing. When you have to qualify a show like that, it means it really isn’t that good. It means that its been done before, and done better, on the big screen. It doesn’t say a lot about the show when you say its good FOR TV, when most shows are pure crap, and totally unoriginal. If you had good fun with it, then good for you. I didn’t; I was left wanting to watch “Jurassic Park” instead.

134. Vultan - March 6, 2012

Spielberg: “What do you think?”

Braga: “I think we’re canceled.”

Spielberg: “Don’t you mean extinct?”


135. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

131. Red Dead Ryan – March 6, 2012

No that’s NOT a good point it’s a BAD one. That’s like attacking TOS for having cheap sets. You do what you can with the money you have. It was great that they built such a huge set AT ALL, and now you want to nitpick it for not being the perfect defense against all dinosaur attacks?

Yeah sure, they should have been living in glass domes made out of diamond so the T-Rexes could gnaw on it forever and not get in.

Suspension of disbelief, guys. It’s not just for Star Trek.

136. Red Dead Ryan - March 6, 2012


Well, that’s another problem. The humans in the past are the same as the humans from the future who destroyed the environment in the first place. Who’s to say that the people (or their descendants) in the dinosaur era wouldn’t exploit the environment to such extremes as the future they had just left, and hunt the dinosaurs, ichthyosaurs, pterosaurs, and pleisosaurs to (near) extinction?

137. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

133: “That’s the thing. When you have to qualify a show like that, it means it really isn’t that good. It means that its been done before, and done better, on the big screen.”

And given your logic, Star Wars is better than TOS.

Then why don’t I like it better?

Because I disagree with your reasoning there. And I just explained several SMALL SCREEN elements of Terra Nova that appealed to me which have nothing to do with doing the best dinosaurs and best dinosaur action on a big screen which made the show enjoyable to me.

Just as TOS explored small screen concepts better than Star Wars, focused on big screen SPFX and action as it was, so did Terra Nova. The bottom line is it WASN’T Jurassic Park. Just because it had dinosaurs and dinosaurs invites the comparison — doesn’t make the former an attempt at mimicking the latter.

138. gumtuu - March 6, 2012

Been watching CLONE WARS on cartoon network. I think this would be the way to go. More room for the kind of story freedom the medium would provide for aliens, planets, huge spectacle, etc. If they treat it smartly and seriously, I believe this would work, for a fraction of the coast of live action series.

139. Red Dead Ryan - March 6, 2012


TOS had BELIEVEABLE sets. Everything had a function. Even though the color scheme (by today’s standards, and objectively) is a bit on the ridiculous side, it all conveyed a sense of realism to me. The interiors of the Enterprise always looked like it was safe to be in. That it would offer protection from the natural hazards of outer space.

The sets from TN did not seem believable. Not in the least. I’m all for suspension of disbelief; “Star Trek certainly requires a lot of it, but only if a sense of logic is built in. There was no logic to the set design. It looked more like a pen for humans as opposed to a fortress, which it should have been.

140. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

136. Red Dead Ryan – March 6, 2012


Well, that’s another problem. The humans in the past are the same as the humans from the future who destroyed the environment in the first place. Who’s to say that the people (or their descendants) in the dinosaur era wouldn’t exploit the environment to such extremes as the future they had just left, and hunt the dinosaurs, ichthyosaurs, pterosaurs, and pleisosaurs to (near) extinction?


Not a problem: STORY MATERIAL to explore. That is exactly the sort of question I was hoping the show would get into if it had continued. the show wasn’t black and white. As it progressed the characters showed their shades of gray, so I had reason to expect it would explore interesting questions like that.

141. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

139: “There was no logic to the set design”

I disagree. You say pen, I say fortress. I found nothing illogical about it. Now if you are an expert on terasaur attacks on humans and you can show me the data to support your claim I may be induced to believe that the TN fortress needs a roof too.

142. sean - March 6, 2012


There might have been a passing reference to one, you might have seen one in the background, but very few episodes directly dealt with the dinosaurs (other than the pilot and the finale). And when we did see them, I’m sorry, they looked awful. Again, the Jurassic Park tech is 20 years old.and much easier and cheaper to use. I didn’t expect feature film quality, but when a show has Spielberg involved, I expect something better than what we got. The effects were incredibly inconsistent.

All of this is beside the point, though. If the show had interesting characters, I’d have been able to deal with questionable plots and dodgy effects. Unfortunately, it did not. It featured paper thin characters that acted like they were in a 50s sitcom instead of 20 million years in the past with dinosaurs. Honestly, about halfway through the season I started routing for the dinosaurs to eat everyone, including the incredibly annoying children.

Suspension of disbelief can only be stretched so far, and if your characters stink, it’s more difficult to maintain.

143. Pensive's Wetness - March 6, 2012

wait….what/..]]]]]…. they cancelled what? who cares. i’m too busy playing DDO/STO/Counter-Strike/board games with my kids/watching Law & Order with the GF to give a flying fudge about network TV… TN was a fail for me when i first heard about it. Never bothered to watch Falling Asses either since i knew it was a horrible rip-off of the two -previous-Alien Attack movies from last year….

really. who cares….?

144. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

128. NCM – March 6, 2012

@100: You’re a complicated guy, dmduncan.


True story.

145. AdamTrek - March 6, 2012

I’d like to see an animated “Star trek: Unlimited” where we get episodes that take place in all of the eras. 4 to 6 serial episodes of TOS, TNG, DS9, VGR, even Enterprise.

Get the original cast members together to do the voice work, think of each set of episodes as an additional season. TOS Season 4, TNG-DS9-VGR-Season 8, and Enterprise Season 5.

In animation, you can do anything visually, so SFX don’t suffer. I think it would be fairly cheap to do, gives everyone their Star Trek TV fix, gives the actors some nostalgia to work together again, and gives some good sci-fi for the masses.


146. AdamTrek - March 6, 2012

I’d like to see an animated “Star trek: Unlimited” where we get episodes that take place in all of the eras. 4 to 6 serial episodes of TOS, TNG, DS9, VGR, even Enterprise.

Get the original cast members together to do the voice work, think of each set of episodes as an additional season. TOS Season 4, TNG-DS9-VGR-Season 8, and Enterprise Season 5.

In animation, you can do anything visually, so SFX don’t suffer. I think it would be fairly cheap to do, gives everyone their Star Trek TV fix, gives the actors some nostalgia to work together again, and gives some good sci-fi for the masses.

147. Shilliam Watner - March 6, 2012

Some shows are cancelled before their time (Firefly) and some are rightly canceled. Terra Nova was not a very good show. They took a good concept and turned out the best mediocrity they could muster. I’m tired of mediocrity. It’s the reason so much is canceled, sci fi or not.

148. dmduncan - March 6, 2012

142. sean – March 6, 2012

I disagree with all of your complaints. I found the characters interesting, the relevancy in the stories to current events interesting, and the dinosaur effects weren’t awful. Though not perfect, they were far better than anything I’ve ever seen on any SyFy or Discovery channel product.

If you want feature length quality effects, it’s gonna cost feature length money, and that’s not realistic to expect until someone like George Lucas cracks whatever barriers exist to doing that on TV as per his plan with the projected Star Wars TV show.

It’s not that you CAN’T do Star Wars type effects on TV — it’s cost for TV is what makes them prohibitive.

So you either accept the limits of the medium and play along with the premise, or you don’t. It’s up to you, really. I happen to accept them.

149. Dennis t - March 6, 2012

Terra Nova was too much about teen angst and retread sci fi plots.

150. sean - March 6, 2012


The thing is, the show had an episode where the camp is attacked by flying prehistoric creatures, and was incredibly vulnerable. It was an actual plot point in the show, which indicated the writers realized it, but then it was immediately ignored by the next episode and no one ever talks about the ‘no roof’ problem again.

151. sean - March 6, 2012


We simply have different eyes. The effects were bad, and not the quality they should have been. They were very much Syfy effects, IMO. I wasn’t asking for cinema-quality effects, just some consistency. A big problem I had was that the effects changed wildly from shot to shot. This show had a massive budget, and I just can’t figure out where the money was going.

I just could not find the characters engaging in the slightest. The family stuff felt poorly plotted, and out of place for a show that’s supposedly featuring characters from 100 years from now. You had that awkward business with the soldier asking O’Mara’s character to ‘court’ his daughter (it was like something straight out of Leave it to Beaver). There was the whole plot with the scientist that used to date his wife, where he acts like a cave man marking his territory. It was just kind of ridiculous.

And don’t get me started on Master Villain Lucas, who might as well have turned to the camera and winked while stroking his moustache he was hamming it up so badly. Then in the finale, they leave him ALONE with Skye. So many of the show’s plot machinations required the characters to behave like complete idiots.

On a positive note, I did like Skye. She was the one character that had some depth. Too bad the show didn’t revolve around her.

152. DeShonn Steinblatt - March 6, 2012


I believe you.

153. nate - March 6, 2012

Terra Nova was an average show that was starting to find it’s way near the season’s end. The family aspect kept it from sailing–the teens were always making bad decisions to make the plots work. What’s sad is that network TV will soon be filled with cheap karaoke shows and weight loss/design/food competitions that already ruin cable TV. Network programers are filled with cowards who pick either copies of successful shows or the cheapest junk they can find. Good SF shows are expensive and smart, and networks resist those 2 concepts.

154. moauvian waoul - aka: seymour hiney - March 6, 2012

100. Damn it dmduncan. …And I was sleeping so well.

155. South African Dude - March 6, 2012

Fox is a pathetic network with a complete lack of imagination.

I don’t see the point of even starting to watch a show any more.
Maybe best thing to cancel my satellite TV and just stick to watching old complete shows on DVD.

Why bother to even start if you are just going to waste money and dissappoint thousands of people.

I’m sure Star Trek will fail on TV in this climate.
Today’s audiences are not interested in good story telling, they would have to sex up the franchise, or worse go BSG on it. It would be extremely expensive and unless allowed to grow and mature like TNG, it will fail miserably.

Enterprise had such great stories to tell, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Firefly still had such potential, Stargate Universe. I tell you I am sick of it.

I would just like to say to anyone affiliated with FOX


156. moauvian waoul - aka: seymour hiney - March 6, 2012

111. “Stopped watching TV two years ago.”

You don’t know what you’re missing. For instance there’s um… well there’s a… Wait, a second, I just had one… Huh. No, that’s not it. Mmm. …Okay, let me get back to you.

157. Jack - March 6, 2012

35. “Star Trek needs to grow up.” Agreed.

158. Jason - March 6, 2012

@35 – You know, what you are proposing sounds a lot more like this blasted childish entertainment today’s “adults” try to pass off as “adult.” TOS and every “Trek” show to date has been plenty “adult.” There have however, always been the seeds of the franchise being a family show, but with quality writing that would attract adults from all walks of life. Maybe the one who needs to grow up here is you and every fan boy that keeps wanting everything to be “R” rated or worse?

@50 – Agreed!

@146 – Even more agreed! I keep saying the next “Trek” show needs to be animated. During the last/ first gap of no “Star Trek” on tv in the 1970’s, it was the animated show that first tested the market and gave us new “Star Trek” adventures. I bet you’d get a lot of the old actors back if it was animated. Heck, many of them are already voice actors. With some quality writing, and good animation, you’d win people over!

I think if/ when “Star Trek” comes back, it will attract a lot of interest in that first season that it will off of just that alone lead to a second. It will only get past a second season however if the writing is good enough. If the writing is top quality, the fans will come. And no “JJ-Trek” please, we want the real stuff!

159. MJ - March 6, 2012

@158 “Maybe the one who needs to grow up here is you and every fan boy that keeps wanting everything to be “R” rated or worse?”

I could not agree more. Enough with the blittering idiots who want everything dark and nasty. Grow up!

160. MJ - March 6, 2012

@153 “the teens were always making bad decisions to make the plots work.”

Yea, that wasn’t realistic. Teens in my family and all of my friends families always make the right decisions about damn nearly everything!

161. The quickening - March 6, 2012

 I am glad to see TREK stay off television.  All it does is diminish the franchise as a money-making movie series.  Not one great film franchise has been foolish enough to produce expensive live-action television with it’s cinema investment, for obvious reasons: it’s just not smart. 

TREK as a brand has always had tremendous potential that has yet to be realized at the cinema.  Sure, it’s easy to say TREK works best on television when out of 11 movies, it has never produced one monumentally great film, or one great money-maker, or been the least bit consistent in the making of those films.  That does’t mean it works better on television, it means it just hasn’t been done well at the movies.  
Just about every other franchise has at least done one of those things.  

Easy and obvious character moments, or pretentious thematic posturing, might make one think TREK works better on TV, but I’m not impressed to the point that TREK could and should have remained on television or should return to the tube.  A truly great film or series of films could do that also, and on a greater scale that could work better on a visual, emotional and epic level–and be hugely more popular and successful.

Even if TREK did return to TV and did repeat it’s past success of stories in its traditional  formula-like approach to character, theme and plot, it would just be repeating itself.  Better to succeed at something it has never been good at, or it has yet to excel at.  

Seeing that the last two TV series–Voyager and Enterprise, weren’t all that great, there’s definitely an argument to be made TREK doesn’t work on TV as it once did either, so why so many are so anxious for a return to television–and past glory–might be barking up the wrong tree.

Trek has proven it can work on free TV, but can it produce a product that a huge audience around the world would actually, and consistently pay to see?  That’s the gold standard, and it has yet to do that.

I for one am glad to see any trend that keeps TREK off the tube, and even happier to see TOTB in agreement.

162. sarak66 - March 6, 2012

I would think that Star Trek’s brand name will eventually get it back on the air. I mean how many episodes have been produced for the 5 series? 700 or so? I also agree that Fringe must be renewed at least for a 13 episode 5th season. It is the best show on televison in my opinion.

163. Paulaner - March 6, 2012

If Trek will return to TV, it will have to be a different Trek. I’m ready to embrace the inevitable change.

164. WillH85 - March 7, 2012

There was nothing that ever made me want to check out that show. People aren’t going to watch sci fi just because it’s sci fi. It has to have a great idea, great stories, actors, etc. The last show I can think that really accomplished this was Galactica. They made it a good drama before they made it a good sci fi show. That’s what the genre needs.

165. Starfleet Command - March 7, 2012

To be fair Terra Nova wasn’t really that good anyway.

I watched every episode and am certainly not disappointed to see it cancelled.

166. Harry Ballz - March 7, 2012



Bread and circuses, indeed!

167. vulcannonibird - March 7, 2012

In the last years most series labeled “Sci-Fi” were not real Sci-Fi series but Action, Mystery or Fantasy with some light Sci-Fi theming. Terra Nova is a down-to-earth action-series. On the other hand Battlestar Galactica was a down-to-earth Sci-Fi with lots of action – and in the first seasons a marvellous series. Next to BSG there’s only Doctor Who I really liked watching.

That said I say that this no-brain action-“sci-fi” of late is clearly not my style – its back to the 50s were aliens were all bad and had to exterminated with perferrably big guns and actors who are hired only by their size of their biceps.

What I like to see were series or tv-movies based on “Foundation”, “Rendezvous with Rama” or “Revelation Space”. For true Sci-Fi has to be some kind of space opera – or at least with flying police box…

168. La Reyne d'Epee - March 7, 2012

I don’t believe you need a big budget to have good SF. The stuff is about the ideas and the writing. Sometimes I think too much cash kills ingenuity anyway.

La Jetee, anyone?

169. La Reyne d'Epee - March 7, 2012

Am interested and a tad trepidacious to see what Michel Gondry’s going to do with Ubik, btw.

170. La Reyne d'Epee - March 7, 2012

On Dr Who I understand they generally do a few very low budgets episodes in order to save up the big bucks for set-piece episodes. Seems to me the strategy works well as it sharpens up the writing.

171. Nachum - March 7, 2012

I don’t know if I’m right here, but I get the feeling that people don’t like shows that show a depressing future. Look at the various series and movies that show Earth being in a terrible shape, and see how they do. I think this is a place where Trek stands out- we make it, and in pretty good shape.

172. Harry Ballz - March 7, 2012

A flawed premise for a show leads to no audience.


173. Tom Pearson - March 7, 2012

Then the answers obvious a series of tv movies !!! Or a mini series like battlestar galactica did !! They should of continued doing them with stargate !! I for one think a mini series in the 24th century would be great with new characters and some old ones maybe on the Uss Titan or ds9 . If they worked CBS could launch a fifteen episode season !!!

174. Kirk, James T. - March 7, 2012

Terra Nova was shit… Thats why it was canceled, it was slow, monotonous and far to unoriginal.

I don’t think this news say’s anything about the possibility of a Star Trek TV series. Star Trek has a history, all these new shows coming out (Terra Nova, Fringe, Alcatraz) have no back story nor a loyal and established fan-base. Much like Doctor Who’s return to TV, Star Trek’s return to TV will be launching off the back of a heap of history that has had millions around the world gripped. As long as It’s relevant and original enough and produced to a high standard as well as quality writing and direction then like Doctor Who, there’s no reason to think that Star Trek couldn’t lead out a Science Fiction revolution on TV.


I don’t think now is the time for Star Trek’s live action TV return. Its too soon and I think not really needed whilst we have Abrams doing the movies.

As for Doctor Who, it succeeds by dumbing down the science and appealing to a broad, tea time family audience but since David Tennant’s departure, even Doctor Who has suffered in the ratings and more importantly, in it’s reputation as good TV.

Star Trek’s return to TV should not be rushed into. I think an animated series in the same vein as The Clone Wars would suit the franchise better at this time and bring in a whole new generation of fans sorely needed to keep the franchise relevant and alive.

I’d want to see a new live-action TV series done after the final movie from JJ Abrams within 5 – 10 years time.

175. DonDonP1 - March 7, 2012

Wait: ‘Spiner’ rhymes with ‘Steiner’ (as in ‘Max Steiner’ and ‘Fred Steiner’).

176. DonDonP1 - March 7, 2012

175: D’oh! Wrong post!

177. Aurore - March 7, 2012

“I don’t think now is the time for Star Trek’s live action TV return. Its too soon and I think not really needed whilst we have Abrams doing the movies.”

“Star Trek’s return to TV should not be rushed into.”


178. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - March 7, 2012

@168 – You’re point about La Jetee is well taken, but that was good because it was made from a conceptual point of view by a serious artist. Good luck getting that to happen in the US TV market.

I mean, look what it was made into — 12 Monkeys is okay, but simply does not compare to the original, despite being longer, more complex, and more expensive… and even having Terry Gilliam at the helm.

179. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - March 7, 2012

Obviously, I loved Lost, but for broadcast TV that was a major fluke so don’t expect something like that to happen for a long, long time. Fringe is awesome, but at some point it too has to end so as not to wear itself out.

Broadcast TV is largely a wasteland with a smattering of quality oases anyway. On the other hand, the top cable networks have been where the best, most well-written material has been anyway. The big cable networks attract the talent and the clout, and thereby marshal the budgets to invest in quality series with fewer episodes per season (13 rather than 22) but more bang for the buck in each episode.

To me it’s a no-brainer: somebody like Spielberg — who backed the fantastic mini-series Band of Brothers and The Pacific — should approach HBO with a science-fiction show that has both the brains and the brawn to bring in mainstream audiences. And for frak’s sake, give the show some teeth and make it for adults rather than adolescents.

180. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - March 7, 2012

^ ’cause the smart adolescents want to watch adult-oriented shows anyway.

181. Sxottlan - March 7, 2012

“What does this say for the future of sci-fi TV and Star Trek’s return to the small screen?”

Er, nothing really. Terra Nova was a badly written and bloated sci-fi show on Fox of all channels. Did anyone really expect it to survive? I couldn’t make it past the horrendous pilot. I don’t remember when it was even on last.

As for another Trek series, it’s not something I really lose sleep over.

182. CmdrR - March 7, 2012

For a show about man-eating cgi dinosaurs, Terra Nova was incredibly dull. The characters never for a second seemed either believable nor interesting.
It’s like Roddenberry was credited to saying to one of his writers: Why? OK, you got a great situation. So? WHY are humans involved? Why do we care.
Terra Nova failed to answer that question.

WRITING! Not budget. Not sfx. Not gimmicks of any kind. WE WANT GOOD WRITING!

183. CmdrR - March 7, 2012

My above post is a great example of great writing… with terrible typing.


184. Aurore - March 7, 2012

“WRITING! Not budget. Not sfx. Not gimmicks of any kind. WE WANT GOOD WRITING!”

Man……..ain’t that da truth….


185. Jai - March 7, 2012

Apparently “Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome” is still in the pipeline. The two-hour pilot has already been completed. Hopefully the show will be released on television rather than online.


Bear McCreary has recently said that the public will be hearing more about the show “in the near future”: http://www.bearmccreary.com/#blog/battlestar-galactica-3/emp-bsg-galactibash/

186. Jai - March 7, 2012

^^The Wikipedia article includes the executive producer’s description of the show:

“the movie isn’t confined to Galactica. Far from it. It’s a story that will take us to new corners of the ‘Battlestar’ world (or worlds), and yet it aims to be a very contemporary war movie in a lot of ways. I would say I’m thinking as much of Afghanistan and Iraq—the reality of The Hurt Locker, Sebastian Junger’s Restrepo, and similar movies—as I am about the largely implied past of ‘Battlestar’.”

Some artwork depicting the show has been released too (three pictures in the “Promo” box): http://www.filmaffinity.com/en/filmimages.php?movie_id=477211

187. Slornie - March 7, 2012

You know what, i think there may be opportunity for Star Trek to return after JJ’s trilogy is finished (assuming it gets that far, maybe 2018?). Enterprise is still valid canon in this new alternate universe, but anything future-wise is new.

Assuming the alternate universe matches the general flow of the original, why not take the USS Enterprise C (under Captain Rachel Garret)? After recently watching Voyager, i feel another leading female captain would be a nice change and show of the egalitarian nature of the Federation. It also avoids the sensitivity of “remaking” another cherished crew (TNG).

188. Holger - March 7, 2012

I found Terra Nova utterly boring and uninspired. Sadly, if what zperk posted in #22 is true (and I think it is), then this lame show will close the door for a lot of other, and perhaps better, SciFi projects for TV.

189. Zip - March 7, 2012

I liked Terra Nova. Around my house, we’ve been saying for a while now, seems like it’s the end of TV….. Every show we like gets the axe, so why bother watching new shows when you know up front you’ll be left hanging with a lot of unanswered questions.

190. chrisfawkes.com - March 7, 2012

OT: Was B4 supposed to end up as Treks answer to R2D2?

191. Commander - March 7, 2012

IMO people traveling to the past and living with Dinosaurs is not real SCI-Fi. (Only the time travel part). For me SCI-FI = Aliens, Starships, etc.
Series like Terra Nova I consider more like somekind of “Science-Fantasy”.

192. Yep - March 7, 2012

The concept was flawed from the beginning. Life in our time is no good, so let’s escape somewhere. Star Trek was about humanity going forward in time because we took care of business

193. Yep - March 7, 2012

I would like to see a Twilight Zone type of Star Trek series. The Star Trek universe would remain, but each week would be a different ship and crew. You’d really be able to do some cool stories then. No immortal characters….

194. Spock69 - March 7, 2012

There is no chance of any decent sci fi making it for long on tv when the bulk of viewers would rather watch x factor, idol, etc etc.
Anyone remember now and again?

How that never made it is a mystery still!

195. Shaun - March 7, 2012

maybe…some of the older (or classic) science fiction writers who are still alive should be given a chance to work again. i don’t buy into hollywood’s notion that the only people who can write for today’s audience must be between the ages of 25 and 45. hire good writers who can tell interesting stories, and shows might last.

196. CJS - March 7, 2012

By the time Trek on television becomes likely again (after the new film franchise has run it’s course) nobody will remember the failure of Terra Nova.

197. Horatio - March 7, 2012

Big budget does not equal quality. I don’t care how good the CG is. It has been and will always be about the story and the characters. Good fx are always nice but not when it comes to compromising the viability of the story or the show itself.

Terra Nova never had a chance – not at its price tag. SF on television is a graveyard of expensive shows that were suppose to be the next big break out. The only SF shows that have ever been successful in broadcast or cable have been able to operate on an restrained budget and not compromise story or character. Why this simple law of the multiverse continues to escape the mindless movers of Hollywood is a mystery to me. I think the only reason redux Battlestar Galactica was kept alive on SyFy is because it was so loved by the critics and the suits at corporate loved the ego stroke.

198. P Technobabble - March 7, 2012

With very few exceptions, I don’t think sci-fi has ever done really well on prime-time, weekly tv. I think blockbuster sci-fi movies do well because they are “one-shot” deals, whereas weekly sci-fi tends to be overkill.
I think cop shows and possibly sitcoms, to some degree, are more easily relatable to the average tv-goer, whereas space operas or hard sci-fi are a bit more difficult to relate to (except for us hard-core sci-fi fans). I often wonder how many people go to some of the hyped-up movies (like Star Trek, or Spiderman, or whatever) just to see what all the fuss is about, and not because they are particularly a fan of that kind of film.
Add to this the deteriorating state and declining viewership of network tv, or tv in general. The business side of tv will have much greater impact on what gets on the air, simply because the very survival of tv is at stake. As tv programming has changed over the years, how much longer will it be before tv, itself, or how tv operates, changes completely — maybe even beyond recognition?

199. NoSeth - March 7, 2012

I realize this is more fantasy than sci-fi, but Once Upon A Time is doing great and is set up for at least a 5 year run. Why? Because the writing and characters are fun.

Brannon Braga is arguably the least talented writer/producer in the business. It’s mindboggling that studios give him work despite failure after failure. As a long time Star Trek fan, his reputation precedes him so I know flat out that if he is involved in a new show, I will not watch it. No matter how interesting the concept, Braga will kill any chance of it being a success.

It’s not just his Star Trek work that was terrible. As soon as he hit 24, the show tanked. Yet he still gets work.

Terra Nova’s cancellation doesn’t speak on the value of sci-fi at all. Good writers breed good TV. Bad writers breed bad TV.

You get a Star Trek show with talented writers who get it, which we haven’t had since TNG’s prime, and you will have a success. The 4th season of Enterprise brought in a couple of talented writers, but by that point, they were only sprinkling sugar on a pile of poop. It’s still poop.

200. KevinA Melbourne Australia - March 7, 2012

Forget TV.
Can’t someone be forward thinking enough to produce the new Star Trek show for Web release with Direct to DVD – Blu-Ray and then cable?

Next Generation was a cable show and achieved its staus with no Network TV interferance. If SCI-FI is to expensive for TV then it should go to other mediums. Where in a new world now….Movies have been pushed over by Video Games, TV by the net.

We need new thinking. A Star Trek series should be made for selling, made for the people, not just advertisers

201. Craiger - March 7, 2012

Sorry, I didn’t know the no conflict rule didn’t start until TNG. How did they get past that in TNG because Berman wanted to still stick with that right?

202. Daoud - March 7, 2012

@201 Through characters like Worf and later Ensign Ro Laren, who didn’t have to play nice since they weren’t humans.
The neutering of humans in Trek really began with Roddenberry’s Genesis II and (his, not the later) Planet Earth. Both those series clearly were Roddenberrian prequels to TOS…. if TOS had stayed in the 2700 to 2800 range as originally plotted, that almost would fit. Anyway, the humans of PAX are exactly TNG folk. Heck, even TNG’s “Angel One” is just a rewritten Genesis II story, as are others like “Justice”.

203. Daoud - March 7, 2012

So, back on the original topic… here’s my observation. All these other sci-fi concepts are going to fail until someone realizes *THE* missing element is a thread of continuity… a number of these series quite literally could have been set in the Trek universe, particularly Terra Nova. The small adjustment would have made sense: during the Zefrem Cochrane era, chaos on Earth led a secret group of scientists to develop a time portal…. with which they could escape Earth not on spacecraft… but through time.

The Event? No problem. Make them humans from Alpha Centauri that left 30,000 years ago before the ice age. The true antediluvian civilization, which left Earth. So when they return, things play out similarly. That also settles the Centauri question lingering in Trek by clearly making them Earth humans.

Just two examples of how even a Trek tie-in could have made the difference with either of these series. What really aced TNG, was when McCoy showed up in the pilot…. when Spock showed up for the 2-parter… when Scott turned up in the buffer (not the buff!). We like the little tie-ins.

The series which I think would be an epic win… would be a Gary Seven series. Gary could travel into known and unknown times, allowing tie ins with all the Trek series, and countless other things. Sort of a Trek Quantum Leap crossed with spy v. spy. The enemy of course: Future Guy, a/k/a Gary Six. Stranded purposely in the future as punishment.

204. Daoud - March 7, 2012

Or with a more current series… imagine Gary Seven as a bit of an unknown quantity… somewhat akin to Sherlock. Gary Six, “Future Guy”, can only interfere by using his minions and televiewing in the past. That makes G6 to be the Moriarty.
Get a guy like Cumberbatch as Gary Seven…. and Bill Shatner as Gary Six… and have fun.

205. Danny - March 7, 2012

A new aesthetic for Star Trek would be interesting. Given that Terra Nova has been cancelled, an animated show possibly would have more success than a live action one.

It would be more worth it to tell new stories rather than Animated TAS, however an idea would be to take the vocals from the 25th Anniversary/Judgment Rites games and mix them in with new audio and animation to create a new series. The gameplay is a constant story with vocal throughout, so creating a narrative shouldn’t be too hard, however I think the gameplay is possibly MONO with rubbish MIDI music throughout, so separation might be hard.

I know someone here told me that there is no hope of Secret of Vulcan Fury, however maybe out there the audio tracks at least still exist in a private archive. That would be amazing!

A new series featuring the original cast (albeit via archive material) wold be great for the fnas – maybe fan filmmakers could pick up the idea?! But a new pro series of Kirk and co altogether would almost certainly contain recasts. Could it be JJVerse, Prime Universe or something new altogether.

Outside the classic crew there are other options. Another 23rd century bnch travelling through the stars, JJVerse would be a ‘logical’ option tying into the current movies.

Wit hthe hype ssurrounding James Cawley’s fan series and latterly the current film series, the 24th century has seemed to be almost completely ignored.

Why concentrate on one ship though?! You could have a story arc spanning many ships, stations and planets featuring lots of different characters. The current movie crew probably won’t be available for a whole series, but I’m sure a lot of trek vets will be fine for guest spots.

Maybe different timezones could be included not just through time travel – we could have holodecks, flashbacks (a really old character with dark secrets) and even trips to the mirror universe.

The thing is being an animation story arcs would have to be on the light side, and stories would be more action packed, but being Star Trek I’m sure there will be a great idea somewhere

What do you guys think?

206. Norbert - March 7, 2012

Terra Nova was a family show that happened to play in a sci fi world. It deserved to be canceled, as does Falling Skies!

I hope the new Space: 2099 show will have sci fi as a mein theme again. I also hope for BSG: Blood and Chrome to bring sci fi back to television.

207. Martin - March 7, 2012

It took almost 20 years before Star Trek was revived as a TV-series, and I think it will take another 20 years before it can be revived again. The (original) franchise was tired out when Enterprise ended in 2005, and the audience was tired of Star Trek. It’s a minor miracle that the franchise was revived in such a spectacular way in 2009, so let’s not ruin that miracle!

We just have to face it: there is no way that a new Trek series can survive in 2012, it’s way to soon. The old timeline is dead, the new timeline is too young. Just deal with it!

Keep the franchise off the air for a few years, and wait for a few successful movies so we can give the franchise a chance to attract a new audience, before we start talking about new series.

208. Adam Bomb 1701 - March 7, 2012

“Terra Nova” reminded me too much of “Jurassic Park”, a movie I hated. Also, it got in the way of my watching “House” at least once, when (IIRC) one “TN” episode ran longer than the allotted hour.
Brannon Braga was one of the executive producers of “24” during its last two seasons. I’m sure it was he who was responsible for dropping the names of “Bob Justman” and “Rick Berman” in one episode. A case could be made for him being a show killer. However, by season eight, “24” had done all it could do, and it was time for it to go.
Persis Khambatta refused to do the sonic shower scene in “TMP” nude; she wore a body stocking.

209. T'Cal - March 7, 2012

Dear AdamTrek,

I love the Star Trek: Unlimited idea!


210. AJ - March 7, 2012

All I can say is: “Game of Thrones.”

Give us good sci-fi, even Star Trek, written for thoughtful viewers over the age of 18, with good character arcs, and an epic story, and we’ll all line up to watch.

211. Ned Kelly - March 7, 2012

@9 – Reboot of Six Million Dollar Man sounds like a great idea. I have been reading the new comic version and it is excellent. New (updated) origin with more backstory up front. Real character driven piece. Would be great if they could do something like that with a number of season-long story arcs as well as the villain of the week.

212. Goosenecked Fan - March 7, 2012

How does the failure of Terra Nova portend doom for sci-fi on TV? I never watched it because it looked like a cheap Jurassic Park knockoff and I got my full of JP from the movies…

The problem is as it has always been — networks do not understand sci-fi TV series and they don’t give them the time to find their “legs”. TNG, DS9…so many SF series would have been cancelled after season one had they been on a network!

SF series always do well in syndication — where there is a commitment by the STUDIO to a set number of seasons.

As for my perception — TV sci-fi looks to be in GREAT shape with the upcoming Space 1999 reimaging Space 2099!

Star Trek fans keep ignoring it, but it’s coming and it’s gonna rock!! I just hope it’s not on a network unless it’s SyFy…

More on Space:2099 —


213. tpresto - March 7, 2012

What happened?
Did this show get eaten in yet another dinosaur attack?

214. EM - March 7, 2012

Terra Nova was a great looking show. It just wasn’t a good show. Poorly executed. Not interesting. I don’t know if Trek will ever be back on television. I hope it returns. Even the live action Star Wars show is in limbo until costs come down. And that would likely be a hit. Usually, my wife and I are dissapointed when the good shows don’t last. We still miss : Jericho and Firefly and Life on Mars (US) and The Middle Man and Human Target and others. We aren’t dissapointed at the loss of Terra Nova.

215. N - March 7, 2012

I sincerely some people on here do not become writers :P

With the world so obsessed with dark, gritty and sex filled nothingness, maybe in a few years (this decade is still young) a series with the writing style of Trek’ at its best (season’s 4-7 of TNG, DS9 and VOY and the majority of ENT) could have a bigger impact, being so different.

Any new Trek should take lessons from Warehouse 13. Now that’s a show that’s doing everything right.

216. Goosenecked Fan - March 7, 2012

You think the Braga years of TNG were the best?


For me, TNG declined in quality after “Family”…

217. jr - March 7, 2012

Time to take Terra Nova to the big screen

218. jamesingeneva - March 7, 2012

Sad to hear that Alcatraz may be on the chopping block, I actually like it. Figures yet another one of my shows potentially cancelled… I have to agree though, all the best shows are off the big networks. The big networks are good for nothing but crime shows and reality tv. I wish they’d consolidate some of the networks. I’d rather pay for 20 really good channels than 1000 crap ones. Nearly 95% of what I watch is on 5-6 channels. Of course if they were smart, they’d go to full on demand programming and force us to watch commercials like Fox does and then use on demand requests for audience measurement and cut out the middle man but don’t see that happening any time soon lol…

219. Phil - March 7, 2012

Been saying for a while now that unil GL gets SW on the small screen, successfully, that Sci-Fi on TV has probably gone the way of the Western. Way too expensive to produce, and in the case of Trek, it’s a niche audience now. For Trek to thrive on the small screen again, it’s going to require some genuine out of the box thinking to attract a young audience and keep it. Considering how much hysterical protesting the Abrams vision for the movie protesting has generated, I just don’t see that happening…

220. Goosenecked Fan - March 7, 2012

Put a new Trek in syndication — like TNG and DS9 and it will do just fine. What’s with this network mentality? SF has never done well on networks! Only the X-Files comes to mind as having been a network success and that was on Fox…

221. Jamie - March 7, 2012

I don’t understand American TV production companies and networks.
They stump up a massive load of cash to produce a show which they don’t show on their own network.
For example Fringe is made by Warner Brothers but airs on the Fox network.

If a network is going to commission a show, then show it on their own network and at least guarantee a series a good run.

Or follow the British model, and produce a show of 12 episodes, none of this whole season long business.

I’m sorry to say this and it may sound like a sweeping generalisation but American tv shows have big gaps in between episodes of the same series in which they lose their audience.
I’m not sure if this is due to lack of attention span or just disinterest in a show. Whichever reason it is has a knock on effect for international viewers of a tv show, because if American’s aren’t watching it, the ratings drop and a series gets cancelled.

222. ML31 - March 7, 2012

It’s been said a lot here so I will just reenforce it. It’s not the genre that failed, it was the show. If Terra Nova had an interesting premise, it would have fared much better than it did. That’s why I never watched one second of it. It just sounded way too dumb. And I’m a sucker for time travel stories! That show had “Canceled” written all over it before one show ever aired. I’m actually surprised it lasted 11 episodes.

223. CmdrR - March 7, 2012

If you’re hunting for genre (not necessarily sci-fi) The River is getting better. They still need to beef it up… and find a reason for the son to fall overboard cause he’s a big bag o dull… but, it’s pretty good.

On the other hand, Alcatraz seems to be a thin thin plot glossed over with senseless body count.


224. Adam Cohen - March 7, 2012

The show sold itself as a Jurassic Park kind of adventure and it ended up being a dark soap opera with sci-fi elements. Star Trek should return to TV and it should stay true to its previous formula- episodic adventures with morality plays weaved into the proceedings.

Star Trek is not “Lost.” (double entendre is intentional)

225. THX-1138 - March 7, 2012

Terra nova failed because it borrowed too many elements from other properties that had success and didn’t have enough original ideas of it’s own. You could just hear the pitch to the studio:

“I got a great idea! What if we combine Jurassic Park with Avatar and Lost! We’ll even get the guy from Avatar to be the leader of the compound! It’ll be great and the dumb audience will eat it up!”

Science Fiction audiences are far smarter than the average television audience. You would think it would be clear that they show a higher ability to accept new and challenging concepts when presented in an intelligent manner. They aren’t mouth-breathing Jersey Shore watchers. They can see when a TV production is trying to pull a fast one on them the way that Terra Nova was.

Most sci-fi audiences want entertainment that makes them think. They can follow concepts that are harder to grasp than reality TV.

226. Thomas - March 7, 2012

I honestly don’t know what it would take for a new Trek series to succeed on modern TV. People on this thread keep saying “sharp writing”, but everyone has differing ideas on what that could be. Some are saying a new series needs to be more adult, whereas some would feel alienated by that. There was a time when Star Trek was innovative, but by the time ENT ended, it was no longer that way. Instead, it had become tired and irrelevant. Also, with over 700 hours of pre-existing filmed material, it can very tricky to avoid repeating what had already been done before; the franchise itself couldn’t avoid it after a while. Unless, of course, a potential producer chose to ignore previous continuity.

There’s also the big problem of “how much do you re-invent Star Trek before it stops being Star Trek?” It’s a big question to consider. A new Trek series is going to be made in a manner to which today’s audiences will be more receptive; the success of ST09 is indicative of this. Trek’s style of storytelling didn’t change much over eighteen years, and it didn’t help when continuity seemed to take precedence over telling interesting stories. A future creative team is going to want to put their own stamp on the property (as the Supreme Court has done), but a different team would do different things and make different choices. A different set of producers might not be so respectful to the fans as the Court has been (and yes, despite the assertions of a few people on these threads, the Court has been very respectful of the fans without seeming to feel hamstrung). Some people here feel that J.J. already changed things too much. Well, a different team might change things more ( or perhaps less), but a new team shouldn’t have to feel totally beholden to everything that happened before and the way things were done before.

227. heyberto - March 7, 2012

As with anything.. make it good and it doesn’t matter what genre it’s in.

228. Jay - March 7, 2012

This clearly implies that getting Star Trek on TV will be much harder. Why does anyone have a hard time seeing that?

Saying that Terra Nova failed because it “sucked” is obviously not true. Maybe you think it was bad, but it got very good ratings. So the quality of the show was not the issue. The issue was the cost. Bottom line.

Anthony clearly pointed out why this is relavent to Star Trek. Yet I’ve read a bunch of posts saying, “This has nothing to do with Star Trek. Terra Nova was terrible. Star Trek is good. blah blah” Basically that same point over and over.

Those that posted those type comments completely missed the point. Good Sci-Fi on TV is expensive. It’s much easier and profitable to produce a reality TV show or a generic cop show even if it gets half the ratings.

If you think they will put Star Trek on TV because someone can make good stories, you are completely fooling yourself. It has nothing to do with it.

Right now TV execs see “Sci-Fi” and think “expensive” and they put that proposal in the trash. Simple as that. Has nothing to do with the show being a franchise like Star Trek or a new idea like Terra Nova.

And as Terra Nove proved, even if you get very good ratings, that doesn’t so much matter either. It’s all about money.

229. sean - March 7, 2012


The River was definitely not my cup of tea. It had its creep factor moments, but the characters were all dull as dishwater. Alcatraz has lost me as well, I felt it was an interesting premise but it seems like they don’t know what to do with it.

230. Jay - March 7, 2012

#79 Perfect example of my point.

You listed a bunch of reasons why you thought Terra Nova was cancelled, but none of them were the true reason. They were just your opinion of what you thought was wrong with the show.

Network execs don’t care about the stuff you listed. They only care about the bottom line. Money. More ratings mean more money.

The fact that Terra Nova was so highly rated proves that the show was not terrible, even if you think it was. The problem is it cost a ton of money to produce and to justify that, it needed to get American Idol type of ratings and that just isn’t going to happen.

So people need to quit trying to blame the shows writers, producers etc for why it got cancelled. Their job is to create a show that gets good ratings, and they did that. They were successful in what they were doing.

FOX simply decided they weren’t making a large enough profit on the show. They can spend a fraction of that production cost on another reality show and make a larger profit.

231. Bruce Banner - March 7, 2012

@229 Your right on the money about Alcatraz. Its become the criminal of the week show, just like TNG was the “Alien of the week show” for the first two seasons. Alcatraz won’t make it for two seasons. Terra Nova was so cliched it made me want to vomit. BB cannot make an edgy show. He should watch BSG and try to learn something.

232. Jay - March 7, 2012

I just wish people would read the original article Anthony wrote more closely. It’s like most of those that have posted didn’t even read beyond the first 2 sentences.

Saying that Braga is the reason Terra Nova failed. Of the writing or stories, or acting or whatever were terrible is missing the point.

The show got good ratings, for a Sci-Fi show it got great ratings. So obviously it had an audience no matter how bad you thought the show was. It didn’t fail because it was a bad show. Therefore, saying Star Trek would succeed because it’s a good show is completely false.

It failed because it was too expensive. Period.

It’s like people complaining about how terrible American Idol is, but as long as 20mil people tune in every show, it’s going to keep going.

233. NCC-73515 - March 7, 2012

New shuttle picture

234. Robman007 - March 7, 2012

None of these shows on nowadays comes close to matching Babylon 5…that show was way ahead of it’s time, despite how bad Season 1 was half the time. That was good TV.

235. Robman007 - March 7, 2012

Also, regarding B5..I would have loved to see JMS version of the Trek reboot on TV. THAT would have been some good television.

236. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - March 7, 2012

Taranova is nothing like star trek…..

237. NoSeth - March 7, 2012

Actually, it says pretty clearly that Fox’s higher ups weren’t too fond of the show.

238. Goosenecked Fan - March 7, 2012

Just in case no one knows — Terra Nova sucked and Star Trek doesn’t. Also, networks do not understand science fiction and there’s a re-imagining of Space 1999 on the way called Space 2099.

This message will repeat, albeit with different words, shortly…:-)

239. sean - March 7, 2012


Jay, I think it’s perfectly valid to put at least some of the blame for a show you feel failed creatively in the lap of the show runner. Plot failures or weak characters might not be the direct reason the show was cancelled, but it could be a reason why the show only had an average of 7 million viewers instead of 10 or 12 million.

240. Jay - March 7, 2012

#236 True. Not the point though.

#237 True, but also says the cost was the main factor. When the cost, and profit margin are borderline, as the story says, then whether or not the execs like the show, I would imagine, would be the final deciding factor.

#239 The show had 10mil viewers. Ratings weren’t the issue clearly. You can feel the show was bad and blame that on the creaters/producers/writers etc. But that’s not why the show got canceled. Therefore it’s not the point of why this is relateable to Star Trek.

Terra Nova getting canceled is directly an indication of how Star Trek would be received by TV execs. The reason is because Star Trek would also be an expensive show to do, and therfore even with very good ratings, the profit margins would not be that great.

The bottom line is that in today’s TV world, networks make their biggest profit margins on reality TV. Singing contests. Dancing contests. Etc.

A Sci-fi show costs alot more than reality shows. Therefore, even if it gets higher ratings, the profit margins will be smaller.

Why would a TV network produce a sci-fi show that gets 10% profit margins, when they can produce a reailty show for less than half the costs and make 40% profit margins?

That’s the point of this article.

241. Red Dead Ryan - March 7, 2012


You make some good points. FOX, just like every other network, is in the business to make, not lose, money. They were losing millions every week. Even the ratings were on a continual slide downward.

Plus, its all about what the audience wants. They want more shows like “American Idol”, “The X-Factor”, “The Sing-Off”, “The Biggest Loser”, “Celebrity Apprentice”, “Jersey Shore”, etc. Eventually, the vast majority of shows will be of the talent and reality variety. Even cop dramas, lawyer shows, and crime procedurals aren’t drawing the audiences they once used to. One day, those shows will have a tough time staying on the air.

242. Jon - March 7, 2012

Good discussion to have…chiming in a bit late here :) .

My 2 cents:

TN was OK and definitely getting better towards the end. Sure, some of the characters were bland and the effects needed some work, but the premise was interesting enough to keep me coming back. And I felt that the potential for even more greatness existed if the show was given more time.

But, as with so many shows these days, the majority of viewers just don’t seem to have the patience for a show to “get going” as it were…they expect it be perfect within the first couple of episodes, reveal everything almost immediately, and then stay perfect forever.

So many great shows took their time before finding their stride, and not just sci-fi shows. A good sampling that comes to my mind would include the gamut between Babylon 5 to Cheers to King of the Hill. Even ST:TNG took until about the 3rd season to really hit its stride, and most of us agree that the last couple of seasons of TNG were overall not the best. Oh sure, there were some good shows in there, even some great ones (i.e. “The Inner Light”), but a good portion were just OK/mediocre.

I’ve also noticed this trend with the new show that took TN’s place (Alcatraz). My wife and I have been enjoying it quite a bit, but most folks around the web seem to constantly bemoan the fact that everything isn’t being revealed immediately as to why the prisoners are appearing in 2012 and all other relevant plot details aren’t being revealed fast enough either.

By these standards, one of my favorite shows of all time (Babylon 5) would never have survived…I didn’t even realize that I was enjoying B5 as much as I was until about the middle of the second season during its original airing, and the anticipation for each episode kept me coming back with baited breath, even if each episode did not reveal “everything.” Looking back, I really enjoyed the “waiting” as it inspired my own imagination as to what could be going on, and I enjoyed chatting with others online on the subject all of the time as we formed an early version of an internet fan club I suppose.

I miss shows like this terribly, and now whenever one comes along like Alcatraz or TN that doesn’t “do it all” in 2 episodes, everyone is jumping ship faster than cheetah on steroids.

I am quite tired of all of the cop and lawyer shows, and I cannot stand ANY of the reality and/or American Idol (and clones) shows and am quite proud to have never watched any of them. IMHO, the latter are dumbing-down our entire country, and I cannot help but think sometimes that we are headed towards the dismal future postulated in Mike Judge’s underrated “Idiocracy” movie from a few years back. If you haven’ t seen it, check it out sometime.

But I do acknowledge that your average, garden variety American Idol show is cheap to produce and garners the ratings even if I just do not get it, nor have any interest. So if I were a suit, I would have no choice but to keep producing them even if I personally thought of them as garbage for the unwashed masses (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

I for one will miss TN, and I say this as a person who is no fan of Mr. Braga as I consider him and Mr. Berman primarily responsible for the demise of modern Trek through their inability to recognize when it was time for them to step aside for new blood, but that’s a well-worn subject and a different argument :) …

But networks are of course driven by their bottom lines, so I’m not surprised that TN is done and I cannot blame the suits. It is too bad that more viewers didn’t give it more of a chance…

Again, the above is my 2 cents only…yours may differ :)


243. Jay - March 7, 2012

#241 Thank you. Exactly the point of the article.

This has nothing to do with good writing, or good acting, or good stories, or whether or not Star Trek is better than Terra Nova.

It has to do with money. Reality TV and contest shows are far, far cheaper to make than sci-fi, or just about any other type of show, but sci-fi especially. Just like westerns are expensive. Any show that shoots on location alot, has alot of props, costumes and sets is expensive. Throw in special effects heavy shows like sci-fi have and it’s even more expensive.

There is just no motivation for a TV network to produce those kind of shows when audiences watch reality shows in such large numbers. They can spend a fraction of the production cost and make alot more profit.

244. Red Dead Ryan - March 7, 2012

BTW, FYI, both Snooki and JWoww are starring in a new “Jersey Shore” spinoff. I gurantee that show will get higher ratings than “Terra Nova”. Because its what people want to see. Bitches getting drunk and being obnoxious. The studios know this, and its why reality shows are going to dominate the tv landscape from now on. And its only a matter of time before premium cable channels like HBO get in the game.

I’m actually a bit surprised that we haven’t seen a whole slew of reality-themed movies at the theatres yet.

“Jersey Shore: The Movie”. With full blown sex and nudity, violence, foul language, obnoxious behaviour etc. It would probably make $200 million worldwide easily on a budget of only $1 million. Better hope to hell that it doesn’t happen. Otherwise, its going to spell the end of true movie making.

245. Jay - March 7, 2012

#244 So true, and exactly why hope for a new Star Trek TV show anytime soon is fading fast.

Not just Star Trek, but any good show.

There have been a ton of articles written about the take over of reality TV. The bottom line is that TV networks make a killing off of these shows because they are so cheap and easy to produce.

Paying writers to develop a new show is expensive. Then building the sets, props, making costumes. makeup (especially if it’s fantasy or sci-fi), just on and on. Reality like Jersey Shore or Big Brother, etc. has none of that virtually. Therefore the profit margins are through the roof. Even if the ratings are lower than something like House.

It’s sad, but true.

246. THX-1138 - March 7, 2012

OK, we get it. Terra Nova was expensive. But how much money did it lose? Did it lose any money in reality? What are the figures?

If you are using this comparison to Star Trek, then it’s not accurate. Terra Nova was filmed in Australia. How much of an impact on it’s budget did that have? Also, there didn’t seem to be the capacity for “bottle” shows like Star Trek. That can save a lot of money as well. And Terra Nova wasn’t helped when you figure in that the execs at Fox might not have liked the show all that much.

Comparing Terra Nova’s lack of success to the potential for Star Trek to return to the small screen is something of an apples to apples situation. Star Trek is a proven commodity. 6 series, 11 movies (going on 12), and a generational fanbase bear that out.

247. Holger - March 7, 2012

I for my part have pretty much given up SciFi on TV (except for Doc Who, nothing has convinced me over the last few years). It seems TV is not the proper place anymore for the sort of ideas and writing that was fueling shows like Star Trek and Babylon 5. It seems TV shows have to be all about emotion, family, troubled character backstories, character conflict and action these days. But these ingredients alone are not sufficient for good SciFi. You could only play these ingredients in what is merely a SciFi-ish setting.
I have turned to SF novels and comicbooks.

248. Jay - March 7, 2012

#246 Well, obviously we don’t have those numbers, but for the sake of arguement, lets say this:

Let’s say at 10mil viewers on average (and the advertising revenue based on that) the show made a 5% profit. So, it’s very successful ratings wise and it’s making money, but not alot.

If the execs see that, and see a reality show that costs 1/4 to produce, but makes a profit margin of 30%, even on 6mil viewers….. well, guess what they will choose.

It’s easier to make a larger profit on the reailty show because it doesn’t have to get a huge audience.

It’s easy for the TV network to look at that expensive Terra Nova, for example, and say “Well, if the ratings slip much at all we will be losing money.”

It’s easier to get the 6mil viewers to watch garbage than to get 10+mil to watch something good.

249. Jay - March 7, 2012

#246 Also, your support of Star Trek doesn’t apply. When Star Trek was successfull was largely before the reality TV show world that exists today. So you can’t say that it’s a “proven comodity”.

To TV execs, Star Trek is another sci-fi show, therefore it is a labor intensive and expensive show to produce. Sure you can cut costs. Execs look at formulas. They know that cutting costs only works to a certain point before it affects ratings. They have a formula that says if a show costs Xmil to produce, we have to get ratings above Ymil viewers to make a profit margin that they deem acceptable.

250. Vultan - March 7, 2012


It’s funny you say sci-fi may go the way of TV westerns, because there are several western series in the works right now—for network TV and cable.


Hopefully, these shows will succeed enough to pave a new way for the more expensive genres, namely science fiction. So… Trek could be back in the saddle sooner than we realize… uh… well… hopefully.

251. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire. - March 7, 2012

I did see the Pilot of Nova and I did not like it. The thing that got me was the so called Global Warming and such and the China like no having a 3rd chld. That there blew it for me. Some of the things they did with the Jurasci park was ok. But all in all. Poorly done and porrly acted.

252. GraniteTrek - March 7, 2012

Network TV has never been a good home for sci-fi shows with a big budget for effects and production. Not ever. Name me the last big budget sci-fi show to last on Network TV. Lost wasn’t that expensive, most shots were jungles and real world stuff with a few effects thrown in. Same for The X-Files. TOS failed. The first BSG failed. Space:1999 (syndicated in the USA but on a British network) failed.

Big budget TV sci-fi reached its zenith in the 80’s and 90’s when syndication let shows not have blockbuster ratings because what ratings they did get was acceptable to the smaller outlets compared to their other shows, and since there was no one network to answer to, there was no network interference in casting, scripting, etc either. TNG, DS9, the first four years of Babylon 5, Andromeda (just off the top of my head) all survived by being syndication shows.

Voyager was on a new network that was all former syndication outlets, where its was okay during the seven years it was on to have middling ratings too – but at the same time it introduced more network suit interference, something TNG and DS9 didn’t have, and that led it to be TNG Lite. Big budgets, higher ratings expectations, and more network interference doomed ENT. Babylon 5 could only survive one more season on TNT Network and network interference, low ratings, and big budgets doomed its sequel, too.

Now that there are more cable networks and fewer outlets not networked, syndication isn’t an option anymore. And that’s what leads to the end of big-budget sci-fi shows. Because a lot of mainstream Americans won’t watch these shows because they’re small minded and think they’re just for geeks.

253. Jay - March 7, 2012

#251 Kinda confused by your statement. Are you saying it was too real?

IMO the premise was very believeable. Just have to look at current events to see the possibilities. Not far fetched at all.

Not saying things have to go that way, but certainly is believeable.

But as I said before, saying the show was poorly done, or the story or premise was bad is just not the point and not the problem for this show. It’s costs in comparison to the ratings was the issue, and has been a growing issue in TV for a while.

There are a ton of articles on TV entertainment going the way of “Idiocracy” because that’s the easiest way to make money for the networks.

254. sean - March 7, 2012


According to official sources, the average viewing figure was 7 million (http://tvseriesfinale.com/tv-show/fox-2011-2012-ratings/). The pilot had around 9.22 million.

The thing is, that’s not a great number for a show with TN’s level of hype and expense (not to mention sharing Monday nights with House). Consider that Lost had a series low at 12 million viewers (and that number didn’t last long). Falling Skies has an average of 6 million, and that’s a huge success for a cable show.

What I’m saying is that if the show had perhaps been better written, it might have had higher ratings, which may have led to further seasons. I don’t feel that suggestion is unreasonable.

255. GraniteTrek - March 7, 2012

The only way big budget sci-fi will succeed on network TV is for the show to have very high ratings to justify its high budget. Meanwhile, reality shows have piddling budgets and very high ratings. Some of the cop procedurals don’t have super high ratings but their budget isn’t too high either. Network TV is big business and the bottom line is what matters there. Maybe a well written Trek show might make it, or a live action Star Wars series, since both bring audiences with them, but other than that, I can’t see how any new franchise would be so good to bring in such high ratings that the networks will live with the big budget.

256. Jay - March 7, 2012

#254 Hmmm… seems to be a discrepancy as the EW article says it averaged 10.1mil viewers.

Either way, it is a very logical example to use as to the prospects of a Star Trek show. It has nothing to do with if you think Star Trek is a better idea, or show than Terra Nova. Or if you think the writing would be better or not.

To TV execs, Star Trek is another sci-fi show and those are expensive to produce. And in today’s TV world, I believe what constitutes “expensive” continues to decrease. In other words, what use to be considered mid-range 10 years ago is considered expensive today because of the proliferation of reality TV shows that are so so cheap.

Even Lost has proven impossible to recreate. So I’m very skeptical that a network will put up the money it would take to do a good Star Trek show no matter how good the pilot story was.

257. sean - March 7, 2012

I think any future Trek show would have to look to HBO, Showtime, Encore, AMC, etc. That’s where most of the quality is these days. I don’t think such a move means a Trek TV show needs nudity or tons of swearing just for the heck of it. If you look at a show like Mad Men, they often have adult situations, but it’s hardly Californication, where it’s just constant sex scenes and expletives.

258. Jay - March 7, 2012

#255 I agree. More over, I think that the margin is only growing. Maybe a network would have been happy producing a Star Trek show 10 years ago that had a 10% profit margin. But today, IMO because of the large profit margins of reality shows, they want 20% or they cancel it.

Maybe not that drastic, but you can see my point. I think reality shows are such easy money that the standards applied to all other shows are affected. They have to have bigger profit margins than they would have in the past.

259. sean - March 7, 2012


I think we generally agree Jay, just that we have differing opinions on TN’s quality. Money is the bottom line, and if you can’t make a profit execs will stand ready with an axe.

Though I have to give FOX some credit, they have stood by Fringe. It might not have survived on another network, and that would have been a real shame.

260. Jay - March 7, 2012

#259 True, I just don’t think it had so much to do with the quality.

With Fringe, maybe the execs like that one and that’s why it has stayed. You could say that goes to quality, but that is so subjective.

I don’t think from reading the article that TN was losing money. I just don’t think it was making enough money, and that combined with the execs not being fans of the show spelled it’s doom.

It could have been making 5% profit margin for example, and Fringe 5%, but the execs just like Fringe and didn’t like TN, and they decided it just wasn’t worth the trouble basically. They can easily replace that 5% profit margin with a stupid reality show of people getting punched in the groin for an hour for alot less trouble.

261. AJ - March 7, 2012

Whatever happened to the “Make 7 seasons and get rich from syndication” rule? Shows are now canceled so quickly, that they will never see the light of day again in syndication or even home video.

262. Aurore - March 7, 2012


So far so good ; no one has suggested the possibility of a Star Trek reality show, on these boards……yet…


263. William Kirk - March 7, 2012

@38 “What Does This Say For Future Of Sci-Fi & Star Trek TV?” Uh, don’t hire Brannon Braga?

That was my first thought after reading the text :-D

264. Danpaine - March 7, 2012

257. sean – March 7, 2012

Good point about a show like Mad Men. And Breaking Bad. And The Walking Dead (which also has zombies = bonus:). The writing is SO good on those shows, the characters SO compelling, you can’t WAIT until the next episode. And you don’t need the over-the-top HBO/Showtime language and sexuality (though I have nothing against it) to keep people watching. Just suspense and great stories. Even Justified is fun to watch and successful, though a little more light-hearted.

Frankly, I can’t imagine a Trek show being so addictive to the masses, and I’ve been a fan since the 70’s.

IMO, of course.

265. Jay - March 7, 2012

I may actually subscribed to HBO if they did a Star Trek series. I think that may be the best place for it also. They will spend the money to make a good show. I guess that’s because of subscription fees. Maybe that’s why they haven’t fallen into the garbage reality show world.

Otherwise it would be something like Sci-fi channel or those others, but then I think the budget would be so stripped down that I wouldn’t like it.

I just have little hope that network TV will spend the money to make a good Star Trek tv show and stick with it.

266. Al Roberts - March 7, 2012

Terra Nova could’ve been good but I thought the characters were completely uninteresting, a prime example, is when one of the major military characters died I really didn’t care at all and if the show was fulfilling its dramatic purpose then I really should have. Also the Eco-terrorist quasi-villains were cheesy in my opinion. I gave it a chance and I did watch every episode but I found the sci-fi aspects really thin it was more of a preachy drama than sci-fi. It really didn’t raise many scientific or technological ideas and explore them.

267. THX-1138 - March 7, 2012

Network TV hasn’t produced a Star Trek TV show since TOS.

Let’s say for the sake of argument that not every TV show aired is a reality show. Because in actuality not every TV show aired is a reality show. It’s pretty easy to just toss off a statement saying that Star Trek is not a proven commodity. It’s more difficult to prove it when the facts get in the way. Is it as hot as it was in the late 90’s? No. But that does not preclude it from being a viable option for renewed small screen interest.

I stand by what I said about Star Trek being a prospect of interest for a future series. Terra Nova was cancelled, not science fiction on television.

268. Jay - March 7, 2012

Star Trek is not a proven commodity anymore. Times have changed, and while not 100% of shows are reality shows (not sure where that came from), most of the successful ones are and their numbers are growing.

I’m not the only one saying this. Go read some articles on the TV entertainment industry in general and you will find many, many observers and critics complaining about the lack of quality programming and the fact that reality shows are making up larger and larger portions of network programming. The reasons are very clear and simple. Those shows require very little creative intellect and very small production budgets, and they get big ratings which translates into huge profit margins.

It doesn’t take a genius to see the connection between Terra Nova and other sci-fi shows and Star Trek. There is a very clear and real lesson here that network TV is not interested in sci-fi. But it goes beyond sci-fi. Anything that requires any kind of substaintial budget is going to be very diffictult to get on network TV. and that will only get harder as reailty shows continue to dominate.

Add to that the fact that the last couple Star Trek shows were not huge hits, did not produce big ratings either, and you can see why network TV execs would be very resistant to putting up the money to make a Star Trek series.

269. Goosenecked Fan - March 7, 2012

Again — why produce a series for network TV when you can syndicate or go cable?

270. Embarrassed to be a Trek fan - March 7, 2012

The show failed because it sucked. It deserved to fail–it was badly written, directed, edited and acted. Pretty much everything about it was awful.

271. dmduncan - March 7, 2012

150. sean – March 6, 2012


The thing is, the show had an episode where the camp is attacked by flying prehistoric creatures, and was incredibly vulnerable. It was an actual plot point in the show, which indicated the writers realized it, but then it was immediately ignored by the next episode and no one ever talks about the ‘no roof’ problem again.


It is no more a “roof problem” than people who live out in the country with no solid 15 foot high brick walls around their property to protect them from dangerous animals who will attack and eat them or their children — like bears, cougars, wolves, coyotes, or alligators — have a wall problem.

You deal with the wild by understanding and adapting to it. You don’t need to live in an impenetrable diamond shelled bubble.

And besides that, you just don’t start off a show with every problem already being solved. You need something to tell stories about, especially on a TV series.

So, for example, maybe in season two or three they could have suffered a spate of aerial attacks that convinced them they needed to do something.

But instead of a ceiling, they put up a tower that tracks large incoming flying objects and sends out a signal that pterasaurs hate and which drives them away, while simultaneously alerting residents.

The episode could have been about capturing a pterasaur to perform tests to see if there’s a frequency that repels them; they find it, they rig a tower, they let the creature safely go free.

272. dmduncan - March 7, 2012

What about a Star Trek reality TV show?

273. Aurore - March 7, 2012

272. dmduncan – March 7, 2012
“What about a Star Trek reality TV show?”

……..I knew it was just a matter of time……


274. Vultan - March 7, 2012

I seem to remember a TNG episode that mentioned television dying as a form of entertainment in the mid-21st century.

Um… yeah, I could see that.

275. sean - March 7, 2012


Dinosaurs are not coyotes. I don’t find the two situations particularly comparable. But assuming they were, I would definitely say those folks out in the country had a wall problem if they’re continually under attack from predators and fail to build some kind of deterrent.

Again, it’s not the only reason I didn’t like the show. The characters were the real problem. It’s just that without characters to care about, one’s mind tends to pick apart the weaker aspects of the show because it has nothing else to engage with.

276. Jack - March 7, 2012

159. It doesn’t have to be dark and nasty or all sexed up and filled with curse words — but, to me, an adult drama means real characters with real conflicts and real emotional resonance. Fringe qualifies, at its best.

The characters on Voyager and Enterprise were, at their worst, really flat, boring and not really defined. They were names on a script, doing whatever the plot needed them to do.

V, while fun, was ridiculous. It was campy and over the top, but I didn’t buy a single character on the show.

277. dmduncan - March 7, 2012

275. sean – March 7, 2012

“Dinosaurs are not coyotes.”

And a house in the woods is not a giant fortress in the Terra Nova jungle. All things scaled down. But death is death. The principle of learning how to live with the wild is the same. If you have small children you’d better beware of coyotes and if you live around bears, it’s something you ought to keep in mind.

Terra Nova had big freakin walls to keep out the really bad stuff. And you could probably make the case that the logs were STILL too thin. But come on. Ya gotta give a little. You don’t have an unlimited supply of money to make these shows.

I’m not saying it was a great show. But it had good production values and I tuned in every week for it because I also liked the people and what they were up against.

278. dmduncan - March 7, 2012

273. Aurore – March 7, 2012

I could not resist!

279. Jay - March 7, 2012

#270 Just not true. It had good ratings. Better than other shows that are still on the air. Again, like I said before, if it cost half as much to make, it would not have gotten canceled. It’s a matter of the profit margin. The ratings, while decent, were not over the top good enough to justify the high cost of production.

This is completely different than the show just sucking.

Yes, if the writing/acting/etc were alot better, then yes you would hope ratings would have been higher. But that just illustrates the point more. For a sci-fi show that has a fairly large budget to succeed, it needs very high ratings. Something that is very unlikely to happen. Even for Star Trek.

280. N - March 7, 2012

274. The 2040’s iirc

281. Jay - March 7, 2012

Just read the article…. the show premiered to strong ratings and good reviews. it likely will be the highest rated show canceled.

The critics seemed to like it. The ratings were good, indicating people liked the show.

While I understand those that did not like the show and thought it was terrible, the facts show that is not why it was canceled.

The article goes on to say that “the high cost of production” always made the show at risk of cancelation.

That tells you the main issue was cost. Not ratings or quality.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t think the show was that great, but I see the point of the article. That sci fi is expensive and networks don’t like taking risks on expensive TV shows unless they are more proven commodities like dramas, cop shows, etc. Sci-fi has not proven to be able to get the huge ratings needed for networks to feel justified in the expense.

282. THX-1138 - March 7, 2012

Jay, you keep pointing towards the budget but you still ignore the part of the article that states:

” Fox higher-ups weren’t too fond of the show.”

So, I don’t think that budget was the entire reason Terra Nova was cancelled. It played a part to be sure but it also stands to reason that they could have not been too fond of the show because they didn’t like the direction it was going creatively. Perhaps two dimensional characters were a part of this. Perhaps a derivative overall plot-line was a part of this.

I understand you’re reasoning behind the budget and making the conclusion that it is endemic to all science fiction television. But I just don’t agree that it sounds the death knell of televised science fiction. As a business owner myself I understand the importance of maintaining the bottom line. But I also understand that a savvy business man knows that to reap greater rewards one has to take greater risks. Say what you will about TV execs, but I don’t think any of them would have enjoyed any success if they had played it safe all the time. And perhaps I am naive but I also believe that even at the highest levels of television there are those who think creatively just as much as they think financially.

Star Trek on TV is not dead. There is hope, Trek fans.

283. Doppelganger - March 7, 2012

Terra Nova was a steaming pile of Dino dodo. To say that it’s demise is a sign that Trek would not be able to do well is nonsense. This show was silly, was an obvious attempt to cash in on the Jurassic Park/Avatar concept. And, as someone mentioned, this was a Fox show, the same network of imbeciles that cancelled Firefly.

284. Woody - March 7, 2012

I think it just says that Terra Nova was an awful show.

285. denny cranium - March 7, 2012

Terra Nova was crazy expensive to produce. Filming outside of North America is a hassle to the networks.
It TN averaged 10 million viewers per episode thats successful in my books.
The suits just hated signing the checks I guess.
Reality shows are dirt cheap in comparison to TN and Fox said where’s the return on our investment?

286. sean - March 7, 2012


It just didn’t work for me. And you point out another issue I had, which was a fence MADE OF WOOD. Why exactly would that stop a 6 ton dinosaur? I’m sorry, but it just seemed ridiculous to me. But again, if I’d actually liked anyone on the show, I probably would have excused it.

287. dmduncan - March 7, 2012

Jay is probably right that the show got cancelled because it wasn’t profitable ENOUGH. That’s probably also why the suits didn’t like it. It was probably making money, but not ENOUGH money. Greed. That I could believe.

288. dmduncan - March 7, 2012

286. sean – March 7, 2012

It would stop a 6 ton dinosaur the same way you running into a 6″ diameter tree would flatten YOU.

If there was an issue with it, it wouldn’t be the material. Wood is strong. It would be the thickness.

289. nscates - March 7, 2012

Well, that’s too bad. It wasn’t great, as others have observed but it was one of the few shows I could sit down with the whole family and watch without hating myself (at least most of the time). My daughter will be very disappointed.

I agree that the special effects were pretty uneven. Some shots were quite well done, others surprisingly bad. That was kind of what I expected. Even though Jurassic Park was made 20 years ago with inferior technology, they had *lots* more time to massage each FX shot until it worked. The problem with CGI is that it can take a while before you know that what you have is crap and has to be re-done. Not sure what the post schedule was but I doubt they had more than a couple of passes at each shot. After that, they have to call it done in order to deliver on time for the final edit.

The pace at which they revealed things was a bit slow and some of the plot threads were not all that interesting (or just plain dumb).


The cast was good – at least most of the principles were – and the last couple of episodes hinted at a departure from the “problem o’ the week’ and into some interesting areas. It seemed that they were finally making good on the promise the concept had. I would have watched season 2. At least until it got stupid again. Oh well.

I hope the next Jason O’Mara show does better. I can’t fault his performance. Before Terra Nova’s one season was Life On Mars, which strangely had a lot of the same strengths and weaknesses and lasted just as long.

290. dmduncan - March 7, 2012

Hey, looks like Tera Nova might not be extinct just yet:


291. dmduncan - March 7, 2012

From the above link:

“It was an exciting bet to take, and I think it’s proven that it was worthwhile,” Reilly told the assembled reporters. “Everyone kept saying, ‘Doesn’t it have to do huge ratings?’ The fact is, if this is all we produce, we made money on it, the studio made money on it, the audience enjoyed it, the show looked fantastic.”

292. N - March 7, 2012

Terra Nova always struck me as a dumbed down spielberg imitation of Primeval.

293. dmduncan - March 7, 2012

Terra Nova is a show I think I can actually write for and do some interesting things. I’ll never get the chance, but I hope they find another home for it.

294. sean - March 7, 2012


Ahhh, if only they’d been able to keep David Fury (though I can see why he walked away). He’s a great writer who knows how to develop his characters.

295. Marvin the Martian - March 7, 2012

I suffered through the pilot of Terra Nova, and swore off the show after that.

Great effects and an intriguing premise couldn’t outweigh cardboard acting, really uninteresting characters (I didn’t find one of them to be engaging or likeable), and annoyingly predictable plot developments.

Once the bad guys showed up, spouting one-liners, I was done. I’m not surprised it was canceled.

296. Montreal_Paul - March 7, 2012

I have a question for you guys… I can understand the comparison to Jurassic Park. But where the heck do you get a comparison to Avatar???? Is it because an actor played in both?? Other than that, there is no similarities what so ever. I don’t get it guys. I saw Avatar. I watched Terra Nova. I see no similar plot points. Avatar was based on another world with blue aliens. Did I miss the blue aliens in Terra Nova?

297. jamesingeneva - March 7, 2012

Oh Oh, I got an idea to save Alcatraz ***Insert Delerious Chuckle***, let Section 31 or the Temporal Integrity Commission be the ones involved in the mysterious appearance/disappearance of the inmates/gaurds and they’re doing it because they’re trying to change some stuff up to undo Nero’s mess and with the finaly they could drop a carret for star trek 20XX where B4 is Captain of the Enterprise E.

OK, queue flaming lmao…

298. sean - March 7, 2012


If I were to guess, they’re probably noting the similarities between Stephen Lang’s characters in both films. Other than that I’m with you, I don’t see any obvious similarities in plot/setting.

299. Keachick - rose pinenut - March 7, 2012

The problem I have is with the whole premise of humans being able to live in the time of the dinosaurs. Small mammals were only just emerging and found life difficult. It just seems that there was no scientific basis at all, just what seemed to me to be some sort of fantasy nightmare come silliness.

I believe that the earth was quite a bit different 65 or more million years ago from it has been like in the last one million years, which is when the evolutionary scientists believed the first humans appeared. The earth years were shorter than they are now, the carbon-dioxide to oxygen ratio was different to what it is today, much of the plant life was very different and so would the bacteria and viruses around then been a whole lot different. I doubt that humankind, whether time-travelling or not, would have stood a chance of survival, given these basic environmental conditions. There was a reason there is no evidence of human life having existed in that time period.

If the people had gone back, maybe 30 or 40,000 years ago, then the premise may have had more merit. The Australian Aborigines were supposed to wandering about at that time. There were also a lot of animals around then that no longer exist today and the variety of life would have been greater and the earth would have been able to sustain some human life, even those going back in time – possibly.

I often wonder where the fabled stories of dragons and unicorns and other such mythical creatures came from.

Frankly, I wanted those dinosaurs to chew up and spit out every last human for the having the gall, stupidity and arrogance to be where they had absolutely no business being in the first place…

I think that everyone (including myself) would be in total awe if we could witness one of those massive creatures standing before us in a field or forest… That is what the Jurassic Park movies captured – the awe of actually seeing some of those creatures made “real”, presumably doing what they would have been doing all those millions of years ago…

An idea could be if the Enterprise finds a planet not unlike what earth would have been like 65 or more million years. This could make for an interesting story/sub-plot. Sensors would detect life not unlike the dinosaurs that inhabited this earth. Perhaps with 23rd century technology a small camouflaged research station, self-contained and environmentally controlled might be built where study could take place. One or two scientists might be able to go outside for a small amount of time, if given the right *hypo-spray to help with breathing, to collect samples etc. (*Think Kirk in TOS Amok Time). Of course, the Prime Directive would be in force.

Who knows what some planets might contain and what our young captain and the Enterprise might come across?

300. dmduncan - March 7, 2012

296. Montreal_Paul – March 7, 2012

1. Stephen Lang’s presence invites the comparison by occupying similar but not identical roles.

2. People in a compound surrounded by a hostile environment with lots of things that would like to eat them. Pandora-like.

301. Basement Blogger - March 7, 2012

Terra Nova wasn’t a bad show. I liked the premiere. But it became clear they were aiming for a teenage audience. The series had two teenage love stories. That takes away from the plot lines. I think they saw the Twilight numbers and thought we need teenagers in love.

The one thing that saves sci-fi TV is the use of CGI. EW reported that more fantasy and shows that require specific sets were using more CGI to cut costs. Maybe sci-fi shows belong on cable networks like SyFy or TNT.

302. Basement Blogger - March 7, 2012

In case you haven’t seen it. Stephen Lang and Funny or Die have fun with one of Lang’s famous lines from Avatar and I think it was in Terra Nova. Check it out.


303. Dennis Bailey - March 7, 2012

That skiffy fans are so quick to pick apart and bitch about shows like “Terra Nova” is one really good reason that smart network executives avoid the genre like the plague – the core audience is cranky and difficult to satisfy, and no one else really cares.

304. sean - March 7, 2012


I agree SciFi fans can be picky, but I have my doubts about network executives avoiding SciFi shows because fans bitch on the internet. If SciFi shows get ratings, execs will continue making them, fan bitching be damned.

305. George - March 7, 2012

It’s a shame that good quality Science Fiction has no place to go. The Syfy channel don’t have any shows worth watching. They have a chance to do another Battlestar series and they want to do it as webisodes which sucks. But the SyFy channel keeps prodoucing these low budget B movies, scratch that they don’t even rate as B movies more like C-. and throw it at us as Science Fiction.

306. Red Dead Ryan - March 7, 2012


And let’s not forget about the astroid hitting the earth and the simultaneous and numerous mass volcanic activity that led to the extinction of dinosaurs. Were the people who went back in time to the dinosaur era (presumably Cretaecious) going to start developing techology to prevent all that from happening? Or were they going to continue the behaviour of their future selves in their new past, i.e mass population, urban expansion, exploitation and depletion of natural resources, and the man-caused extinction of many species of dinosaurs?
And all-out war between the groups of people over what remains?

It would have been interesting to see how that played out, but there was no evidence that the writers were going to go that route.

307. sean - March 7, 2012


Since they were in an ‘alternate past’, it’s possible they could have used that excuse to skirt the asteroid issue.

308. Red Dead Ryan - March 7, 2012


Yeah, that would have been Braga’s reasoning. I don’t recall how soon or how far off the asteroid impact was from when the humans first arrived. Was it a few years prior, or few million?

309. Montreal_Paul - March 7, 2012

300. dmduncan

Wow, people are really stretching on that comparison!

310. dmduncan - March 7, 2012

I don’t think they were in an alternate past. They found something like a wormhole. They went through and that is the place it went to, which at least answered the question of why, of all places, they would go to live in a dinosaur infested past — which is something I made fun of before the show was aired. But they covered that base.

311. Vultan - March 7, 2012

If memory serves, Terra Nova took place 80 million years in the past.
The asteroid hit around 65 million years ago.

So, that really wasn’t an issue for them.
The real danger was teenagers.

312. Vultan - March 7, 2012

Okay, I looked it up.

The show was set 85 million years ago—20 million before the mass extinction event that killed the dinosaurs.

313. Red Dead Ryan - March 7, 2012

Ah, thanks for the clarification. I guess they didn’t have anything to worry about. Except for the dinosaurs. And cancellation! :-)

The show I miss is “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”. Boy, the second season finale left me hanging! There should have at least been a conclusion. Ah well.

314. Keachick - rose pinenut - March 7, 2012

“They found something like a wormhole. They went through and that is the place it went to, which at least answered the question of why, of all places, they would go to live in a dinosaur infested past”

Yet another reason why the premise of the series was so very daft. So wanky…LOL

315. Bill Peters - March 7, 2012

IF I understand it right Enterprise was Canceled because of a Mix of Low Ratting and because the Excudive Producers who were not Manny Coto were not willing to let Manny Produce a Season 5 of Enterprise solo while the first two Producers moved on, Season 4 was great up tell these are the Voayges, and a Season 5 could have given us a look at the Romulan- Earth War and the founding of the Federation, but it did give us Star Trek 2009 and the squeal so I am thankful for that.

Star Trek could do well on Cable, Star Wars The Clone wars does well on cable, as does Doctor Who on BBC America and several Shows on Sy-Fy .

316. Bill Peters - March 7, 2012

Also for my other part a Star Trek DS9 Min-Seres that ties up all the lose ends on Cable would be great get Bejamin Sisko out of the Temple of the Prophits and give him a good ending Story line and tie up the other lose ends that happend with the end of DS9 Give everyone a happy ending.

317. Nano - March 7, 2012

BSG had a great run. It was a great character driven program. Something Trek has lost in all its tech babble. Imagine Voyager done in the BSG style. So I disagree I think well conceived Scifi has a market.

318. Greenberg - March 7, 2012

What does it say? Are you serious? It says that bad TV will get canned!

If they’re going to make new Trek, make sure it’s good, or it’ll get shafted.

319. Starfleet Command - March 8, 2012


Totally with you on that. Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles was superbly written, I was always looking forward to the next episode.

I was bemused as to why T-TSC was cancelled, as this, along with Fringe, are/were by far the best Sci-Fi on TV at that time.

Regarding BSG it started off amazingly then kind of lost it’s way a bit. That’s not to say that it wasn’t good though.

320. N - March 8, 2012

T:SCC was great, iirc it was cancelled for Dollhouse which itself got cancelled. BSG was brilliant too and felt like it got a natural run.

To be honest, I think I prefer a series to get cancelled too soon than for it to last too long and stop being enjoyable (Buffy)

321. Jai - March 8, 2012

If “Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome” is released on television and turns out to be as good as BSG at its peak (and the Caprica finale), there’s hope for sci-fi and Star Trek on TV.

If not, then…the prognosis ain’t good. Unless someone decides to make a TV drama about “Halo”, because that has a ready-made epic story and millions of people around the world are already aware of it because they own the game.

Same with Iain M. Banks’s “Culture” novels, which obviously also have huge potential if given the television treatment.

It would depend a lot on who the screenwriters are, though, because unfortunately there are plenty of ways that even something as adult and complex as the Halo or Culture stories can be screwed up if it was in the wrong hands. I think that the team responsible for bringing “Game of Thrones” to television is the best group to deal with all this, assuming they can handle the sci-fi genre as brilliantly as they’ve handled fantasy.

322. Jai - March 8, 2012

A couple of people upthread mentioned “Human Target”. The first season was great.

Something that really struck me is that Mark Valley would make a perfect post-Chris-Pine Captain Kirk.

323. P Technobabble - March 8, 2012

If they let Robot Chicken produce a new Star Trek series I have no doubt the budget would be extremely low. No actors’ salaries. No high-cost FX. Most of the budget would probably be spent on play-dough.

324. Death Machine - March 8, 2012

Not sure if anyone else has touched on this (not going through 323 comments to find out), but Netflix is currently talking with Fox about resurrecting Terra Nova and having it run exclusively through them. Time will tell if the deal moves forward.

325. THX-1138 - March 8, 2012


You bet I’ll post it on an internet board when a highly hyped genre style show turns out to be garbage. If sci-fi fans or other genre fans just accept crap shows like good little obedient consumers then we get space shows with talking carrots. You see, here’s the deal:

As a sci fi fan I have at my disposal millions of stories that I can access just by going to the library and checking a book out. Being a fan of genre gives me the capacity to use my imagination and enjoy written work. I can also enjoy DVD’s and movies through the internet or from my own collection.

They had some decent FX on Terra Nova. But the writing just was not there. And it was derivative in an obvious fashion. And in the end it just wasn’t that enjoyable to watch for me.

326. sean - March 8, 2012


They specifically addressed being in an alternate past in the show. I remember a specific episode where they talked about it, because it meant they didn’t have to worry about altering their own future and causing a paradox or collapsing the universe, etc (in fact, I think it was in the pilot). Though it’s entirely possible they were wrong, the people in the show believed it was true.

327. sean - March 8, 2012



328. Deanna - March 8, 2012

Folks who put together sci-fi on TV have forgotten that “it’s about the characters, dummy.” Why does TOS still hang together after all these years? Because the characters are strong and the stories are thoughtful. Special effects aren’t anywhere in that equation.

329. Nano - March 8, 2012

I think Target Earth would make a great Trek Spin off series, as it was conceived so many years ago by Gene.

330. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - March 8, 2012


Very true.


Mmh, I have to say that I didn’t watch it, and I was not even remotely interested in it. I’m not a huge Sci- Fi/Fantasy fan, but I’ve tried watching many of these kinds of new shows when they’ve come out and none of them worked for me: I either tried watching an episode or watched at least one episode of Flash Forward, The Event, Stargate Universe, Caprica, Awake, and a few others and all I can say is no. Grimm and Once Upon A Time were ok, but I don’t watch them, and they are purely fantasy shows.

I think being derivative is a problem, but only when the show that’s doing that isn’t trying to do anything new with the old concept. TNG and DS9 were derivative, but they worked because of the characters and the fresh take on an old concept that the brought to the table. I think the same is true for Ron Moore’s BSG and SG-1 (based off of a movie) and SGA. Where these sci-fi/fantasy shows have failed these past few years is in having not the best characters or any real freshness in concept and delivery. I mean, I couldn’t get through the pilot of Flash Forward without thinking it was kind of like Lost not on the island and with less compelling characters. The Event just felt like oh no, not another disaster show… (And by disaster, I mean catastrophic event.) This is how I felt hoping to like these shows when walking into them.

Terra Nova did make me think it wad going to be Jurasic Park: The series for the most part, and I just wasn’t interested.

Perhaps it was a good show, perhaps not. The fact that Fox was the network that let it go while it was doing okay or well is not surprising. Isn’t Fox the network that canned Firefly? Seems like maybe Sci-Fi can’t win. If the show is fresh and still getting it’s footing, then it’s cancelled because it didn’t grab people fast enough. Or, you have shows that seem to use gimmicks and ‘built-in’ fan bases to start out with goid numbers, hut when push comes to shove, they just don’t have enough going for them to stay aloat. That what I think Terra Nova’s cancellation might be reflecting about sci-fi on tv nowadays.

These are just my thoughts. Sorry to offend if anyone likes the shows that didn’t work for me.

331. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - March 8, 2012

Typing on the run means typos galore… :-/

332. VZX - March 8, 2012

Maybe a new Star Trek show could have a future on Netflix or iTunes. Arrested Development is coming back on Netflix, and the rumor is Terra Nova might be as well.

I think that could be the future of TV: a sorta pay-per-view. Still have ads within the show to cheapen it a little, but I think it could work.

If the show prooves its worth through this method, it could come back to network TV. It worked for Family Guy.

333. Mikey1091 - March 8, 2012

Antoehr Sci-Fi show cancelled by the SYFY Channel. I’m sorry, but why are they cancelling ever damned sci-fi show/movie that comes across their desk and making their own craptacular movies/shows. In my opinion, SyFy is continually shooting itself in the foot, and it began with then adding wrestling, which has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with Sci-Fi, to their programming. Then the name change. Then throwing basically everyone else’s but their own craptastic work. I can’t wait to see them put the final nail in their own coffin, and they’re basically going towards doing that at full steam. Thank God I don’t watch that channel anymore.

334. Jack - March 8, 2012

328. Agreed. The original Trek was about telling stories, not Star Trek stories (in the sense that they weren’t trying to check off a list). It was a time when there were a lot of good sci fi stories out there (in print and on tv) and, heck, good standalone stories on police and western shows. A lot of what worked on Trek had already worked on westerns.

BSG worked because of interesting ideas and good stories (and I stopped watching when the plots became a bit too convoluted — I didn’t care who the cylons were, strangely… It might have been that I’d missed a couple of eps and didn’t catch up… but I just kind of lost interest once they started getting into a lot of detail about how the cylons worked). I liked Caprica (but lost interest when it started getting a little mired in specific details about the various cultures and religions). It’s like the myriad Vulcan, Klingon, borg episodes in later Trek series — i have no interest in the minutia of these fictional cultures unless it’s part of an interesting story.

A show that combines stand alone eps with a larger mythology is Fringe, and it does it well.

But yeah. Characters, conflict, relationships — all are important, but I don’t want a soap opera. I didn’t care whether Kate ended up with Sawyer or Jack on Lost, as long as the stories had depth and resonance.

Shows like Flashforward and V, well, all I saw when I watched was actors reciting lines and fairly mediocre CGI (and storylines without any end, or point, in sight).

Meanwhile, the BBC has a bunch of genre shows that are doing well (and which are good) so I don’t think the problem is television sci fi.

335. Bender Bending Rodriquez - March 8, 2012

For me, I just couldn’t get over the whole time travel thing as a series. I like the time travel episodes of Trek because they are episodes. You know they are going to get back to the present. My understanding was that they were there to live. It would have been interesting to me if it was a team sent on a mission to take certain things from the dinosaur era and apply them to the present. That way you get to see the “future” as well as the “past”. But a bunch of people slogging around in the mud while fighting dinos? No thanks.

336. Nano - March 8, 2012

Speaking of SYFY why have Wrestling & Disney cartoons? SYFY I recommend Farscape reruns, or perhaps a reboot of “Space Above and Beyond” sorry I thought it had potential. I heard something about BSG Blood & Chrome but I have doubts about the success of prequels hence Caprica.

Target Earth – Aliens influence (Gary Seven) out to stop Earths Eugenic development and Khan’s consequential war would be great T.V

337. Vultan - March 8, 2012

Looks like Netflix is interested in bringing Terra Nova back for a second season:


338. dmduncan - March 8, 2012

Wow. That’s what I’m talking about. Netflix is now making TV series.

339. Dinofan - March 8, 2012

WHY? WHY cancel Terra Nova? I seen all of the episodes and i actually enjoyed it! Why cancel such a good show? Ratings? Man i liked it! I don’t care what they think! I demand to see more seasons!

340. Jenny L - March 8, 2012

Brannon Braga: where good ideas go to die.

341. Red Dead Ryan - March 8, 2012

FOX is NOT going to sell “Terra Nova” to another network or Netflix. Why would they risk a rival making money off of its (former) property? Another network could very well be given a potential hit, and FOX would look bad.

FOX is going to continue to hold the rights. They cancelled the show because it was a money loser for them, and there is no way in hell they’d risk seeing another network, or Netflix, make a ton of money. NO WAY IN HELL.

“Terra Nova” is done. Finished. Fini. Extinct. Dead and buried. FOREVER.

342. Vultan - March 8, 2012


Fox has already sold the rights for a fourth season of “Arrested Development” to Netflix. They also sold—if that’s the right word—“Futurama” to Viacom’s Comedy Central.

So a resurrection of “Terra Nova” is in the realm of possibility. Not a sure thing at this point, but it is possible.

343. Montreal_Paul - March 8, 2012

341. Red Dead Ryan

FOX is not the production company. 20th Century Fox & Amblin Entertainment are. FOX (as well as CITY TV in Canada) bought X number of episodes for air. They cancelled it and decided not to renew the contract for broadcast rights. The production company can and will shop it to other networks if they feel it will be worth their while. This is not the first time shows have changed networks. Terra Nova may NOT be done.

344. Canadianknight - March 8, 2012


Fox cancelled a Sci-Fi/Fantasy tv show?

That’s so unlike them!

345. AJ - March 8, 2012

Once again, I look at “Game of Thrones” as what is the latest version of ‘genre’ to be pasted to a TV.

For once, we are not pandered to with a “just like Jurassic Park” message that will resonate with 11-year-olds as well as their ADD parents.

The gamble, taken on a complex series of books, with a budget, and fully realized characters galore, is paying off for those of us who watch with switched-on minds and imaginations. The success of the series points to the fact that there is an audience of such individuals capable of supporting that show to the point that a second season, which looks just as ambitious, is premiering on HBO in three weeks.

Granted, there are no spaceships or orcs, but the show throws us headlong into a world which is both frightening, amazing, and somehow real. People kill, die, have sex, and explore the motivations which drive mad ambition and the desire for power (and the result of gaining it).

In the end, ‘Star Trek’ should be re-fashioned for TV as a more ‘adult’ series which no longer says “Let’s see what’s out there!” or quotes Peter Pan, but looks at real human motivations, hopes and dreams. Real peril is needed, without stories that revert to the status quo after 43 minutes.

The Federation is using its military arm, Starfleet to continue to police the existing order, while expanding into new systems (the last 5 series). There are competing empires. Make sure the humans are aware they are no better or worse than the Klingons or the Romulans, despite the blah-blah Federation propaganda machine, and make it more like real life.

346. Holger - March 9, 2012

Re 345: I respect your preferences, but I couldn’t disagree more with the call for “more like real life”. That seems to be a common theme in current SciFi shows and it may work well for near-future science fiction. But Star Trek is not near-future science fiction (perhaps with the exception of Enterprise). It’s very implausible that humans in the 23rd or 24th century should resemble Americans from the year 2012. IMO it’s simply bad science fiction to assimilate the far future to the present. All you would get is a run-of-the-mill TV show which is (implausibly) set in the 23rd +x century.
You seem to assume here that “real human motivations, hopes and dreams” are more or less constant throughout human history. I really doubt that, but however it may be in truth, I already know (to a degree) the motivations, hopes, fears and dark sides of PRESENT people. From science fiction I expect an imaginative view about how things could be different (not necessarily better) in the future.
Also, shows like Firefly, BSG re-im, Terra Nova, Flash Gordon re-im, and others have gone with “closer to home”. Without very good success.

347. Ian B - March 9, 2012

I don’t think it says anything about sci-fi on TV. What it says is that it doesn’t matter how much money you throw at a TV show; if the writing is poor, the characters cliched and unengaging, and there is no spark that makes the show worth watching, the show will fail. The basic scenario of TN had a lot ot potential, but none of it was explored. I admit I am only basing my opinion on the first few episodes, as I stopped watching it.

But, in a “castaways” type show, it would be so nice to see some thought put into the economics and practicalities of resources and production in such a community. Instead, there was just a simplistic sort of communism; people are put in work teams by central command, and stuff is just available, like nice middle class houses to live in. The result was that instead of people struggling to carve out an existence in a difficult situation- which might be engaging- it was more like watching an upper middle class family on a wilderness holiday. This might just be a problem that Hollywood writers can’t really understand any class and life existence other than their own experience.

In a sense, it’s like the problem with ST Voy. If only that whole series had been like Year Of Hell; instead there was never any real sense of peril or shortage.

We need show creators who are prepared to push boundaries and think up new and engaging ideas. That’s the problem. TN was simple a big barrel of cliches and derivative, by-the-numbers writing. I was particualrly struck by the absurd business (in, I think the pilot episode) in which, in this alien jungle landscape infested with carnivorous dinosaurs, we have a cohort of bog-standard middle american teenagers with- oh good grief- an illicit alcohol still in the woods. They may have gone a zillion years into the past, but they never really left Middle America, did they?

348. Ian B - March 9, 2012

Also, I agree with the above that Game Of Thrones is a great example of good TV. Also, The Walking Dead, even if its pace has been a bit lacking at times.

349. Dr. Image - March 9, 2012

Why do they continue to let Braga near any SF properties????
Kiss of death.

350. Red Dead Ryan - March 9, 2012

The thing is, in reality, humans will most likely be the same in the 23rd and 24th centuries as we are now. We’re really not all that different from our counterparts in the 16th and 17th centuries. Sure, our technology is way ahead, and in many ways our way of life is easier, but the nature of man himself is still the same. War, mass murder, racism, sexism, egotism, elitism are all still rampant in our societies. Global warming is getting worse, and the escalation of human populations is choking off the natural balance of the Earth. This will continue.

Realistically, in the 23rd century, women would be raped/assaulted/harassed en mass at the academy, murders and domestic violence would occur frequently on starships, lying, cheating and stealing would happen in overall everyday life, whether on Earth or on colonies. Starfleet/Federation would no doubt launch illegal wars against those they percieve as a threat, while contradicting its own philosophy by condoning the use of torture during interrogations.

Yeah, Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a totally peaceful and altruistic human race is nice, but it isn’t realistic. It’s total fantasy.

351. Ian B - March 9, 2012


Yeah, Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a totally peaceful and altruistic human race is nice, but it isn’t realistic. It’s total fantasy.

So is your description of the current state of humanity, frankly, if negative “dark” fantasy. Is this really the way you see the world?

women would be raped/assaulted/harassed en mass at the academy, murders and domestic violence would occur frequently on starships

Do you really believe that women are raped “en masse” at current educational institutions? That you couldn’t today put 400 or so professional, trained human beings in one place without “frequent” murders and domestic violence?

Humans are not perfect. But we really are a heck of a lot better than you take us for. You seem to have a worldview entirely shaped by activist propaganda. Or else you live in the Mirror Universe. One or the other.

352. Vultan - March 9, 2012

But that’s why we watch Star Trek, isn’t it? For the fantasy? For the HOPE of a better world and a better human race? At least that’s one of the things I like the most about it.

If Trek were as dark and gritty as every other show out there, then what would be so special about it? Roddenberry’s fantasy would be like… every other show out there. People murdering, raping. People stealing. People being ignorant and anti-intellectual. People starting wars for profit or for backward ideological reasons. People with no moral center….

Might as well watch the news.

353. Red Dead Ryan - March 9, 2012


I’m telling it like it is. The world is a harsh place. There are a lot of good people, but a lot of bad ones too. That fact hasn’t changed over the centuries. And it likely won’t change in the next several centuries. I’ve had times of darkness in my own life. So I know.

The thing is, a lot of people are taking Gene Roddenberry’s vision of hope as a prophecy. It isn’t. It’s fantasy. A good, refreshing fantasy, but a fantasy nonetheless. My problem is with folks who are assuming that “Star Trek” is going to happen the way it has been depicted in the various shows, movies, books, etc. It isn’t.

Women can’t go to universities, colleges, military academies without worrying about being harrassed, raped or even murdered. Domestic violence continues to escalate, stealing and fraud continue to occur all the time, and as we see in Syria right now, the threat of mass murder continues to be alive and well. Global poverty is rising at an alarming rate, while the rich get richer. The overall pie is getting smaller.

It’s the truth. It hurts. Unfortunately, most folks like you turn a blind eye to it all. Its why we really haven’t made as much progress as we’d like to think. Only about 5% of the really bad stuff is reported. Because we’re all too busy watching sports, texting fluffy messages to each other, and couldn’t be bothered to read a newspaper once in awhile.

“Star Trek” has never really addressed how these issues “will” be solved. It just assumes it all went away. Which is a total fallacy and illusion.

354. Vultan - March 9, 2012


Fallacy and illusion? Welcome to science fiction—or better yet, welcome to fiction. I don’t think Roddenberry was trying to lay out a point-by-point plan for the future. His was just a wild, optimistic take on the possibilities that people have demonstrated in the past, and he knew they—we—could do more to improve ourselves. We have that ability.

Forgive the hackneyed metaphor but, Trek (and things like it) are a compass, not the map.

And of course, there are problems in the world. There always has been and always will be. But that doesn’t rule out room for improvement. The fact we no longer burn people at the stake or drown “witches” or, more recently here in the States, hang black people from trees for minor offenses is proof that things have improved. And they can improve further.

355. Captain Hackett - March 9, 2012

I am not surprised that the show got canceled.

Whenever Brannon Braga gets into a new show, the show usually gets canceled enough quickly; for example: Flash Forward.

Even everytime he gets involved in any running shows, their life gets much shortened.

God, he better not be involved in ANY new Star Trek series, should it be created.

356. dmduncan - March 9, 2012

347: “if the writing is poor, the characters cliched and unengaging, and there is no spark that makes the show worth watching, the show will fail.”

Knight Rider, The A Team, and Dukes of Hazard argue the opposite. And that’s just a few examples.

On TV, success is not necessarily a measure of quality.

357. AJ - March 9, 2012

“Encounter at Farpoint” points out that humanity is ‘arrogant’ in its presumption of true advancement away from its barbarous past, and Q engages Picard in that debate before lobbing him the softball which is the ‘Mystery of Farpoint Station.’

Star Trek can successfully be about humanity in its current state, showing the possibilities and the pifalls. Except for ‘no money’ and the apparent end of hunger and any kind of bigotry, the characters are quite similar to us in the 21st Century. Kodos exists in that world, as does Garth and Gary Mitchell. “A Taste of Armageddon” shows how the presumption of advancement of one’s society is both limited to, and defined by, the animal instincts of the species, which do not go away, no matter how elegantly the mass murder is processed.

The “Game of Thrones” idea is meant as a suggestion that a ‘Star Trek’ show is created that doesn’t insult the adult base, and brings in more risk, and sense of peril. No swords or dragons needed. Just intelligent drama.

358. Jack - March 9, 2012

353, 354:

The “we’ll have solved everything by then” stuff didn’t really start, full force, until, well, later TOS and TNG, didn’t it?

As a little kid, growing up in suburban isolation in the mid-’70s and basing my view of the world on TV, I thought we really had solved racism and sexism, at least compared to how it had been in Star Trek’s time (which was really only about a decade before) and I thought Star Trek had predicted this/ maybe even helped instil this new tolerance. I thought we’d come eons from the red scare and the McCarthy witchhunts. And, yes, I was 8 or 9 — so that was my excuse.

359. Christopher Roberts - March 9, 2012

315. & 316. Bill – I soooo wish your ideas could have happened.

360. Rickindc - March 9, 2012

Terra Nova SUCKED with lame writing.

361. N - March 9, 2012

Humanity isn’t enlightened, peaceful and tolerant in Star Trek at all, it’s just Earth that is. Some of the colonies are brutal.

362. N - March 9, 2012

It’s almost exactly the same as today but instead of having better and worse off countries, it’s expanded to planets.

363. Robman007 - March 9, 2012

@ 358…actually, I think the solved everything deal happened with TNG. TNG was quite sappier in that regards, possibly due to the direction that the TOS movies were going and the intention to try and seperate TNG from TOS.

I happen to prefer the future that Babylon 5 paved out. That seemed like a very realistic way that man kind would be during the 23rd century, still heavily flawed and destructive towards one another, yet with some hope in the far distance.

364. dmduncan - March 9, 2012

I never thought of TOS as projecting a utopian future. I thought they had solved some serious problems, but they were still people with the root personal problems that ultimately led to epic public problems.

I kinda doubt that there can be some plateau of public perfection. I think it’s more like a persistent effort to keep chaos from penetrating TOO far into the circle of human society.

If you live under sea level, you have to watch the levies.

365. Vultan - March 9, 2012


Well put.

I like the improved society of TOS, but yeah, TNG went a little too far with the “we’re perfect now, those people in the 20th century were so barbaric” kind of stuff, particularly in the early seasons. Thankfully, DS9 threw some darker reality into the mix, while still maintaining the original spirit of TOS—and it ended up with a nice balance, I thought.

But overall I look at it this way: if the James Bond film series, another product of the ’60s, is the ultimate male fantasy, then Star Trek is the ultimate societal fantasy. No more, no less.

366. Aurore - March 9, 2012

“I happen to prefer the future that Babylon 5 paved out. That seemed like a very realistic way that man kind would be during the 23rd century, still heavily flawed and destructive towards one another, yet with some hope in the far distance.”


367. Vanilla Monkeys - March 9, 2012

Terra Nova. Dinosaurs. Time Travel. The hollywood blockbuster experience. All on the small screen. I actually had a new show since the finale of LOST to look forward to on TV again. And I loved every minute of it. Fox made money off of it, and it took them 3 months to decide whether to renew it or not. It was obviously a difficult decision. Terra Nova put up a good fight, they gave it their all. I was very disappointed that Fox made us wait this long just for a cancellation, however I will forgive them if this Netflix thing works out. Fingers crossed.

368. Barb - March 9, 2012

Science fiction works as a game, maybe as a movie one-shot, but not as a TV show if it is done entirely for entertainment. It needs a point. It needs THINKING. Never watched the show, and neither heard nor read anything about it that made me want to watch. People destroy the earth so they go back in time to an ancient earth… without destroying their own time line? Their germs alone would have completely changed the history of the planet. Nothing I read about it made me want to give it my time. I couldn’t sit through a single episode of Lost In Space, either. Barely made it through the original Jurassic Park movie. I’d rather read a science journal or a ‘human drama’ unless the drama explores the human side of science. Just a ‘human drama’ set in a sci fi setting? Why? Just to run up the show expenses?

369. Red Dead Ryan - March 9, 2012


370. Red Dead Ryan - March 9, 2012


371. SonOfMohg - March 9, 2012

This is the inevitable consequence of reality TV shows. They are cheap to make and attract the demographic that spends the most cash on junk.

ST:TNG and DS9 would never have gotten past a 3rd season either had they been on a Network. The success of those 2 shows is the only reason why VOY lasted 7 seasons on UPN.
ENT wasn’t so lucky.

WTF is Fox doing putting Fringe on Friday nights??? 3rd season of TOS?
Trying to kill it???

Bring back syndication!

372. Aurore - March 10, 2012


Regarding Babylon 5, I also liked the fact that there was no such thing as a “reset” button.

Sometimes, the choices the characters made could have disastrous, and, lasting consequences. Which made for some really heart – wrenching moments, since their fate mattered ( to me ).

373. Ian B - March 10, 2012


Women can’t go to universities, colleges, military academies without worrying about being harrassed, raped or even murdered. Domestic violence continues to escalate

This is simply in defiance of reality. There are certain activist groups in our society who would have us take such a negative view, for their own political reasons, but that doesn’t make it true. Yes, occasional events occur. But it is like saying, “people can’t go to restaurants without getting food poisoning”. Some people do get food poisoning, but to characterise that as a normal or routine consequence of eating in restaurants would be absurd. Compared to pretty much any point in history, modern societies are incredibly safe places to be.

To go to the extreme, the male murder rate in the kind of primitive tribal societies idealised by romanticist idiots like Cameron in “Avatar” is upwards of one in five. Think about that.

The idea that we have not improved and cannot improve yet further is simply wrong.

374. Ian B - March 10, 2012

356 DMDuncan-

347: “if the writing is poor, the characters cliched and unengaging, and there is no spark that makes the show worth watching, the show will fail.”

Knight Rider, The A Team, and Dukes of Hazard argue the opposite. And that’s just a few examples.

None of those shows were exactly Shakespeare, but they were fun and had appeal to their target audiences. And the latter had Catherine Bach’s legs in it, for heaven’s sake :)

They were shows you watched at teatime for some jolly fun, and worked well at that. OTOH, I cannot fathom who the audience for Terra Nova was meant to be, or where the show was trying to be pitched. Spending that mammoth budget on it (that would dwarf the Dukes Of Hazzard et al) and twinning that with such mundane writing and lack of thought seems to me to be phenomenally inept. If it had been a moderate little teatime show, okay. But it wasn’t, it was a big spectacular “look at me!” show and then they went for “meh”.

Heck, we all remember Boss Hogg and Enus and Mr T. Those shows were good, in their markets. What was the market for TN? No idea.

375. denny cranium - March 10, 2012

Interesting to see posts that state TN was crap etc from people that never watched an episode!
If any SF is good we should watch it and encourage others to watch it.
The better SF tv does the better the chances are for more Trek on TV
TV execs will follow the $
If they see people are watching SF they will produce it.
As far as Braga goes – he must be the go to guy to get these SF shows shot on time and on budget.
In the business hes probably considered capable not great or as I’ve said before inspired.

376. The art of film is dead. - March 10, 2012

As a TREK fan I’ve enjoyed TREKs run on television, and was hugely entertained until VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE, so not sure I understand why so many want TREK to return to the medium I feel is the minor leagues compared to film which are the majors. That’s going backward. I know many feel TREK works best on TV, but as I stated above, that is not a good or fair comparison until TREK has been done well and consistent at the movies, and it clearly hasn’t. Hasn’t even come close.

Assuming Abrams next two TREK movies continue an upward spiral—both critically and commercially—and the movies are doing 500 to 600 million worldwide–which I think is easily possible–there is no way Paramount is not going to want a fourth movie. That puts a fourth TREK movie around 2019… 2020. Then, you have to add at least 2-3 years to produce a TV series. That means no live action TREK TV until 2022…2023.

Of course, this is also based on the assumption that Paramount isn’t foolish enough to once again run a live action TV series with it’s movie series. I hope they have learned how stupid that is and resist greed and temptation.

377. sean - March 10, 2012


Ian, I’m going to guess you are not a woman. This fear is very much a part of reality. It may not be a part of your reality, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Our society devalues the female experience and treats women as second-class citizens. One need simply look to the recent (and absurd) contraception debate to see that.

When it comes to rape, what do we (as a society) tell women? We tell them they’re wearing the wrong thing. We tell them they were walking in the wrong place. We tell them they behaved in the wrong way. How many rape prevention tactics actually go after the rapist? We don’t spend enough time telling our young men that this entitled and disgusting behavior is unacceptable, and we spend entirely too much time telling our female victims that they should stop acting so darn slutty all the time.

Our society has progressed, unquestionably, but we still have some serious issues to work out. I will disagree with RDR in one way: by the 23rd Century, this will not still be a problem. Why? Because I simply don’t believe that women will put up with this crap for another 300 years.

378. dmduncan - March 10, 2012

374: “None of those shows were exactly Shakespeare, but they were fun and had appeal to their target audiences. And the latter had Catherine Bach’s legs in it, for heaven’s sake :)”

They sucked. Big time. Terra Nova was light years better than any of those.

And to that list I’ll add Dynasty, Dallas, The Love Boat, and 90210.

There are no shortage of examples of sh*tty TV shows that are also successful.

Nice try, though. ;-)

379. Ian B - March 10, 2012


I’ve just deleted a long reply. This isn’t the place for this kind of argument. I would just ask you to consider whether you are describing reality, or merely repeating what you have been encouraged to believe by people with particular ideological purposes.

380. Dovile - March 10, 2012

I’m watching Terra Nova right now, and only after 4 episodes I can see why it was canceled. I liked the pilot, but I was actually more interested in the world they left behind, than the one with dinosaurs. The series seems to be a cross between Lost and Primeval, but if you take away the stunning FX, there’s not much to make you watch it. It’s entertaining, but I won’t be re-watching it.

381. Red Dead Ryan - March 10, 2012


The problem is, people like you have their heads stuck in the stands, or actually believe that the overall crime (not just rape) rates are going down. I guess you’ll believe anything your media will say about bad behaviour supposedly being on the downswing.

I have news for you. Numerous independent sources have indeed noted a continued rise in overall crime, most noticeably, and dramatically, violence against women. I am no activist. But I do see an increased sense of entitlement among not only young people, but middle aged folks as well. The tough economic times has apparently given many people license to do whatever they want.

We live in an age where people make videos of a mob beating up an innocent man which then gets posted online for entertainment.

382. Ian B - March 10, 2012


As I said, this isn’t the place for an argument of this nature. It’s a Star Trek blog, not a social issues blog. You are free to believe what you want to believe. I won’t try to dissuade you further. In practical terms, to do so would require extended articles to be written, not blog comments.

Back on Star Trek though, I think perhaps the way I see its zeitgeist is that it was the product of pragmatic optimists; the creators of it were not Boomers, but members of the “Great Generation” who had, for instance, defeated the Nazis, as were the people who changed the American civil rights situation for the better. As such, they were people who believed in progress. They could say, “well, things are pretty good now, but there’s this bad thing here, so let’s fix it up”. They were do-ers.

The Boomers and Gen X on the other hand, are defeastists; not only can nothing be fixed, but everything is going to Hell in a handbasket; humanity is not just not perfectible, but not even capable of being decent, as we see in Red Ryan’s comments Thus they submerge themselves in narratives of imminent apocalypse and worsening chaos, of society collapsing into anarchy; millennialist nightmares and dystopian excesses.

Take the future in Terra Nova; apparently pollution has been allowed to turn the skies permanently dark. Apparently there’s no hope. It’s like nobody ever passed a Clean Air Act in history, for heaven’s sake.

383. Keachick - rose pinenut (F) - March 10, 2012

Onto a more pleasant topic – Where I am, it is now 11 March 2012, which means that Anton Yelchin turns 23 years old.

Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns, Anton Yelchin!

384. Fubamushu - March 10, 2012

I would not take Tera Nova’s cancelation as a sign that there is no place for SciFi on network TV. Think of it as a sign that there is no place for crappy SciFi on network TV. I tried watching the pilot and first couple episodes of the show and I just did not like it at all. I thought that beyond the big special effects, there was not much to the show at all.

385. Vultan - March 10, 2012

Back to the subject of Trek’s rosy future, there’s an interesting (and timely) article in the latest issue of Popular Mechanics that discusses this very issue, titled “We Need to Dream Big Again.” If you can pick up a copy, I highly recommend it. Trek isn’t mentioned directly, but it does go over in some depth the decline of optimistic science fiction novels in favor of darker dystopian fantasies, and then the possible signs of a resurgence of the former.

In short, the article’s author says to people, kids in particular: get off facebook and build a rocket—get active.

I agree.

386. sean - March 10, 2012


Ian, I don’t have a particular ideology that I subscribe to. I’ve simply read the rape statistics and studied the math. I don’t feel one needs an ideological indoctrination to feel the #’s paint a shameful and embarrassing picture about how we, as a society, treat women.

I would encourage you to examine the Dept of Justice’s own findings, which by their own admission (and the AMA’s) are incomplete due to the fact that rape is considered the most under-reported violent crime. Then consider that even if you go by the official #’s, 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. And 76% of the time, it will be by their partner, a friend or a family member.

We’ve come a long way, but we also have a long way to go.

387. Azrael - March 10, 2012

Alf was better SciFi than Terra Nova.

388. Winston - March 10, 2012

Maybe the show got cancelled because it sucked?

389. Ian B - March 10, 2012


Don’t start with the throwing statistics around malarkey. This is the end of a long thread about a lousy TV show. I really won’t change your mind because you’ve been taught to see the world a certain way, and to choose evidence that supports that view. I used to see the world that way too, so I understand what it’s like. I know this sounds patronising. You have to step back and look at the society as if you were an alien with no understanding of our mores, and how you would describe it objectively.

We do not live in a patriarchy. Our society is best described as “matrist”. It holds women to be superior, partiuclarly in moral terms, to males, and deems them worthy of far greater esteem and protection. It thus treats any breakdown of that esteem and protection to be the gravest crime; a far greater crime than any against men. Males are marched off to war and blown to pieces, but we only get angry if a woman gets raped as well. A ship sinks, and our biggest complaint is that the men didn’t volunteer to drown in preference to the women. A woman attacks her husband; he attempts to restrain her; he is hauled away as a wife beater. A man kills his wife and is condemned; a wife kills her husband and every effort is made to excuse her. A woman kills her child, and it is explained away by psychological abberation.

Here in the EU, a convention has been signed which, according to the Guardian newspaper, may well lead to the criminalisation of “sexist speech” or wolf whistling. We have apparently now reached the fever pitch of hauling away men to prison for mere impoliteness.

We are all trained from birth to believe that this elevated position of women over men is normal; we thus feel the most horror at any transgression of it. It is thus easy to stir withing us a “shameful and embarrassing” picture of our society because we are mortified when a woman momentarily loses her rightful place on a pedestal. Anyone who dares question it is presumed to be a “hater” of women, however fond he may truly be of them.

Men bear the brunt of violence in our society. Men spend their lives in the service of women; protecting them, supporting them, taking orders from them, trying to be what women want them to be. We know that a large proportion of rape allegations are false, and yet we bow our heads and dutifully skew the court system against the defendant, because of a constant shrill cry that there are never enough convictions.

And me, personally, anecdotally? I can think of at least three experiences in my own life when I was sexually assaulted- as a young man. Twice by older amorous women, once by a very drunk gay friend (he at least was mortified and apologised the next day). I have had a girl throw a screaming fit at me for being so rude as to turn her sexual advances down. In public. I have had a girlfrend, in that miserable period as a relationship is nearing its end, threaten to accuse me of rape, when I’d not laid a finger on her. And come to that, known my partner’s brother be accused by his wife of molestation during acrimonious divorce proceedings, just because she was so furiously desperate to make a “new start”.

It’s a big issue. Not fit for this thread. But really, it’s more than a few carefully culled statistics can describe. Sexual assault is a broad category. 1 in 6 sounds rather low to me.

390. Red Dead Ryan - March 10, 2012

Remember, the destruction of many prior civilizations came gradually, not necessarily as a sudden plunge into anarchy. Most often, it happens when cities/countries lose sight of their priorities and (intentionally or even worse, unintentionally) end up laying down a new path that leads to complacency, laziness, and ultimately, forgetting past lessons that allow for the eventual downfall to take place, whether its by internal corruption or external factors, like environmental destruction or foreign conquerors.

391. Vultan - March 10, 2012

Riker: What do we do now, Captain? With their monitoring our every move and every word?

Picard: We do exactly what we’d do if this Q never existed. If we’re going to be damned, let’s be damned for what we really are.

392. Red Dead Ryan - March 10, 2012

BTW, the Toronto Maple Leafs still suck. So its true that some things just never change.

393. sean - March 10, 2012


I think we’re definitely done.

394. Ian B - March 10, 2012


Well, I did warn you.

395. elrushbo - March 10, 2012

It’s not just the raatings it’s the merchandise, and I’d bet Star Trek has sold more merchandise than ‘Friends’ or ‘House’ or any other tv show in history

396. Wayne Hope - March 10, 2012

perhaps the concept story was a bit limited.Star Trek wouldnt be :-)

397. Jack - March 11, 2012

“Men bear the brunt of violence in our society. Men spend their lives in the service of women; protecting them, supporting them, taking orders from them, trying to be what women want them to be…”

Wow, is this targeted to everybody or specific people in your life?

Strangely, I think this isn’t necessarily the wrong place to talk about issues of justice, sexism, wrongful conviction, gender politics etc. (they’re all fodder for Trek, I’d say) but rampant generalizing is just that: generalizing.

398. Jack - March 11, 2012

And on the whole A-Team etc. thing. Yeah, some ridiculous shows are (or were — most of those examples are 30-years-old, and were targetted to kids, generally) insanely popular, partially, I’d argue, because they are so ridiculous — as long as they’re entertaining. Watchable, fun TV (or fun anything) doesn’t have to cure cancer. Heck, Fringe isn’t changing the world or society, oreven television – but, generally, it’s watchable, fairly clever and compelling.

And all teh popular nonsense shows have had, arguably, memorable characters. Would Knight Rider have worked without the cheesiness of Hasslehoff and the snarkiness of Kitt’s voice?

Heck, I just came from John Carter and it was ridiculous, entertaining, mostly pointless fun (and there have been equally ridiulous movies which I found nearly unwatchable, like Prince of Persia [boring, dreary] or even the popular The Phantom Menace). It was a great, silly, darnedwatchable popcorn flick.

399. Jack - March 11, 2012

Just bought the TN season on itunes so I can actually sort of pretend to know what the heck I’m talking about, for once

400. Azrael - March 11, 2012

Any of you guys know that Jonathan Frakes was on the Dukes of Hazard? He played a Hogg.

401. Ian B - March 11, 2012

398 Jack,

I think there is good cheese and bad cheese. The A Team, and Dukes Of Hazzard were not Tolstoy, but they were good at what they set out to do. There are numerous shows made with similar intentions that we don’t remember (or at least don’t remember fondly) because they failed as cheese. Heck, what’s wrong with cheese? :)

I’ve always thought that populist mass-market media is underrated. It’s very hard to write, I think. In fact, it’s like pop songs. Writing a pop song is easy. Writing a good pop song that people will remember 30 years later, that is hard.

402. dmduncan - March 11, 2012

401: “I think there is good cheese and bad cheese. The A Team, and Dukes Of Hazzard were not Tolstoy, but they were good at what they set out to do.”

Yes, all those shows I mentioned were good at being stupid mindless entertainment. But then, that makes my point, not yours, when you said crappy shows will be cancelled. I wish.

Firefly was a great show. Great characters and fantastic writing. One season. That’s all it got. While the freakin LOVE BOAT got almost 9 YEARS of airtime!!!!

Terra Nova at least set up an intriguing premise that wasn’t mindless at all. It set up a contrast between an old society that had squandered its potential, and a new society that had the chance not to do the same, and that premise gave the show some interesting idea to explore.

I also had no problem identifying the show. It was an interesting mixture of Avatar, Jurassic Park, and Swiss Family Robinson — and in my view it worked. It could have been better, and I was hoping it would get that way in the second season.

403. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - March 11, 2012

Firefly didn’t get one season. It got a half season plus the pilot. Sad.

At least someone realized their mistake and let Joss do a movie to wrap things up. The fact that he was able to tie up all of yhe necessary loose ends with Serenity is just a testament to his brilliance there.

404. gingerly - March 11, 2012

“It’s been a long time, I shouldntna’ left you…
without a dope beat to step to…”

Anyway… :) I think Terra Nova had some good actors and characters, but ultimately failed the cheese and IQ test, that’s why it failed.

405. denny cranium - March 11, 2012

@392- you’ve got that right!
Gave up my Leafs nation thing years ago!

406. Red Dead Ryan - March 11, 2012

“Terra Nova” had a good concept, no doubt. But it all came down to the writing: it sucked. Brannon Braga may be good at coming up with ideas, he isn’t a good writer. Now if Ron Moore and Manny Coto had been involved, things could have been better. Perhaps Abrams collaborators Jack Bender and Carlton Cuse should have been hired. The casting could have been a lot better too.

BTW, I’m watching “Game Of Thrones” season one right now. Great show. A lot of stuff going on. So many characters and conflicts. The sex scenes are a bit much and over the top, though.


Yeah, outside of a couple of decent playoff runs in the last twenty years, the Leafs have stunk up the joint for the better part of 45 years. Yet the hockey media continues to revolve around them like wasps around a pile of dog shit!

Leafs fans sure know how to live in the past!

407. Red Dead Ryan - March 11, 2012

Damn, I was responding to #405, not myself.

408. Trekboi - March 11, 2012

5 days with no new stories on treKmovie.com while they are filming another trek movie?
Is this another unexplained drought?

409. Jack - March 11, 2012

409. Total guess: that’s probably exactly why there’s no news — they’re busy filming. Nearly all the crumbs we’ve had have been taken by spies. Then they’ve got nearly a year to put it together. I’d say there’ll be at least 6 months until we see a teaser trailer, but I’m just talking out of my ass, really.

410. Jack - March 11, 2012

407. Agreed on Game of Thrones. And yeah, I don’t mind seeing a little skin but, yeah, some of the sex scenes were, well, distracting and seemed like they were just there to titillate. I was all for the Jason Momoa stuff though — a little motivation for me at the gym. :)

411. NCM - March 11, 2012

I see the conversation’s been laid to rest… ‘shouldn’t’ even have ‘been,’ but I can’t resist.

@389. Ian B – March 10, 2012:

Our society holds women in “far greater esteem” than men?–As evidenced by what ? History books, art history, religious practice, Nobel awards, pay, high office? When did we inherit elevated status? What pedestal, where?! The Pieta’s the only image that comes to mind; but there is only one virgin mother!

“Males are marched off to war and blown to pieces, ” Yes, typically by other males, and war often isn’t much kinder to women. furthermore, women who wish to serve their country in similar fashion are admonished for trying to do a man’s job, and for being too weak (can’t win, I guess).

“A ship sinks, and our biggest complaint is that the men didn’t…drown in preference to the women.”

Naval and merchant tradition, even the in absence of women, holds a captain responsible for placing crew/passenger safety, first–often, a ship founders on captain error. A vessel’s crew, be they captain or those of the highly touted stewardess class, is expected to ensure passenger safety, first.

“Men bear the brunt of violence in our society.” Yes, and far out perform women in perpetuating it; would you disagree?

“Men spend their lives in the service of women; protecting them, supporting them, taking orders from them.”

If you refute reports that women spend more time working/doing chores/caring for others and enjoy less leisure time than men, than you’re one hell of a catch (and you probably are), or you’ve never been married with children;).

Sounds like your experience is shaped by women of deplorable character. If I identified with them at all, I’d be ashamed.

Tempting as it can be, I couldn’t seriously suggest that either sex is better or lesser. I used examples unfavorable to men simply as counterpoints.
If you believe the merits of men are too often over-looked, I would agree with you.

412. Keachick - rose pinenut (F) - March 11, 2012

Just a quibble because all is quiet. I’ve just seen an article posted by TMZ (3/10/12) where some journalist refers to Spock as DR Spock. WTF? After nearly 46 years, the average papz journalist is still so uneducated not to know that Star Trek has a vulcan/human character by the name of MR Spock, and that he has nothing to do with a real person called Dr Spock who was a pediatrician who wrote a book about parenting or something. Duh.

That a journalist could make such brain-dead mistake in 2012 about a well-known television character in popular culture could be considered *bothersome*, to say the least… One wonders just how much other information of greater import do these journalists get wrong.

413. Mikey C - March 11, 2012

I watch the first few episodes of Terra Nova but was not too impressed. It is side though that there is not much sci fi on tv now and less good sci fi at that.
Fringe and Alcatraz are the only one that I watch. Would be nice to see some new Trek on the tv in some form but I know it will not happen until the current Abramsverse films have concluded.

414. Jack - March 12, 2012

Okay, I made it through the first six episodes. The problem ain’t that it’s SF, it’s that it’s (so far, at least) really clunky. Take the (spoilers, ahoy!) ep with the dinobirds, where the scientists have struggled behind the scenes to figure out what in the heck is behind the migration, a word they repeat about 600 times (“Anyone here a great great great grandkid of Tippi Hedren?” wasn’t used, alas) — could it be another predator, or are they driven by some sort of iinstinct, say, to, I don’t know, breed or something? What could it be? Why are they migrating!?” and we get this response, more or less, from Captain Avatar and company:

“Come to think of it, we chose the site for this entire camp because it was covered in TRILLIONS OF EGGSHELLS. We thought it would be great for gardening. Wait, is that relevant?”

Sadly, Craig T. Nelson didn’t burst in and start shaking the guy for building Cuesta Verde, er, Terra Nova “Without moving the goddamned eggshells!”

Maybe it’ll get better. There’s promise there, but, really the stories so far just seem like an excuse for that giant, permanent-looking set, all the “okay guys, look delighted to be potting plants and handling fruit instead of dying from pollution!” gee whiz extras and a (very) few decent TV-grade CGI dinosaurs (more Flinstones than Jurrassic park) doing predictable dinosaur stuff (mostly appearing, suddenly). I’m still not thrilled by The Others Lite, the Mysterious Equations, or the Avatar Guy’s Secret/Who Should We Really Trust? but maybe that’ll all be more interesting than it seems right now.

The teen/family stuff on this show makes me want to apologize to Will Wheaton for decades of Wesley gripes.

But I kind of hope somebody takes it and gives ’em some better stories and more interesting things to do. They’ve already spent a fortune on those sets.

415. Jack - March 12, 2012

Er, Flintstones, among other typos.

BTW, should I be watching Alcatraz?

416. gingerly - March 12, 2012

@ 411

Haha, yeah that Dr Spock thing is a common mistake.

@415 Yes. I love good scif-fi noir (Bladrunner, Gattaca, Inception et al) and this show is quite decent.
Plus, Hurley and Sam Neil are in it!

Hey, trekmovies regulars, I just want to let you guys know that my mom is seriously ill, right now. If you’re of faith, prayers would be much appreciated, as well as good thoughts from those who aren’t.

417. Aurore - March 12, 2012

My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your mother, Gingerly.

418. Vultan - March 12, 2012


My thoughts and prayers to you and your mom, gingerly.
Stay strong.

419. Scott G - March 12, 2012

Boring is all I can say, I tried to like it, but it Terra Nova would have better fit on a saturday morning. I was a kiddy show with a big budget, speaking of Speilberg and his TV track record, well not to good.. Anyone remember Earth 2? wasnt that his? One show that was pretty decent, but was from Sean Cassidy was Invasion, pretty good.(ABC) Fox doesnt give Sci Fi shows a chance. Remember way back when Fox was starting out, they had a show called Space Above and Beyond, I thought that was great. but even way back then in the 90’s fox wouldnt stick with anything sci fi. So the network that has been surviving on American Idol and House for all the years is starting to crumble, cya American Idol. LOL LOL LOL

420. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - March 12, 2012

I think they should reboot Buck Rogers in the 25th century.

421. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - March 12, 2012

When are they going to reboot ALF.

422. Craiger - March 12, 2012

Airwolf and try Knight RIder again.

423. Craiger - March 12, 2012

I guess it comes down to how much of the general public who watches TV likes Scifi? That’s where you could know the ratings for a Scifi show and if it would fail. I would think the next Trek series would have to get and maintain NCIS ratings to stay on the air for 7 or more seasons.

424. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - March 12, 2012


Sending prayers your way.


I know it’s Mr. Spock, but I don’t mind the Dr. Spock thing so long as I know what the person is getting at, and context gives that one away.

Chances are, as a science officer (probably the chief science officer?), he has a doctorate in something or the equivalent… Lots of doctors can have the same name or same last name, so no biggie to me, even if people are making a mistake. It’s the thought that counts to me, and I think people who make this mistake are mainly guilty of trying to be respectful, even if they should/could know better.

425. NCM - March 12, 2012

Gingerly, wishing you and your mother the best possible outcome.

426. ARH - March 13, 2012

Let’s face it. TV networks like Fox are trending to the ‘Idiocracy’ standard of viewable shows. Apparently a mediocre laugh track and fluff content for a show will win over the hearts of any Fox exec and ratings poll. Maybe if the show had more boobs, butts and nubile primitives as regular ‘cast members’, Fox would run it for a decade. “We have lost our ability to create fire. Let’s lose our clothes and share body warmth until the commercial break.”
Gotta love a ‘myopic’ network. (quote borrowed and embraced).

427. Jack - March 13, 2012

So, I made it through the whole season — the finale wasn’t perfect, but it had me wanting more (despite the gee whiz family ending). Heck, it might have made a decent pilot for the show.

And I’d forgotten that I wasn’t thrilled with Fringe’s first season (I stopped watching). It seemed clunky and filled with stock-ish characters. I didn’t care about the mystery, the apparently diabolical Massive Dynamics, the whereabouts of William Bell, Olivia’s boyfriend, Peter’s bad boy past or any of the X-files-y freak of the week episodes.. But, eventually, it caught me. Now, I never miss the thing.

428. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - March 13, 2012


Well, Jack, we’re a bit reversed on Fringe. I couldn’t wait to see it when it was new, and now I hardly watch it at all. I still hope it does well and gets the ending it deserves when the time comes, though. I’ve been told to go back and keep watching it where I left off. Maybe I will one day…

429. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - March 13, 2012

I don’t mind some nudity or love scenes if they make sense for what’s going on and the “action” itself doesn’t seem to be the whole point of the scene. Once again, it all comes back to quality characters and strong character moments. If boobs, butts, and primitive (at least in my opinion) characters were all it takes for a show to do well, then there are some shows that would still be on the air in my opinion.

I agree with the people here that spoke about a show doing what it set out to do and fulfilling its purpose. If a show is supposed to be a fluffy piece of fun, and it does that, then of course it’s going to be a winner for the audience that wants that. I know I haven’t always wanted to only watch deeply serious shows or only light and fun shows. Lots of people like a mix, either within one show, or they watch 2 or 3 that are starkly different. Nothing’s wrong with that.

I think the problem is when the show doesn’t do what it set out to do, or even worse, it looks like the people making the show don’t know what the show is supposed to do. That’s a big problem, and sex, boobs, butts, jokes, and whatever else gets thrown at it can’t fix that.

430. DevlinC - March 13, 2012

Is that seriously a screenshot from Enterprise at the end there? I don’t remember the CG looking quite so like a mid-90s video game.

431. Trekboi - March 14, 2012

what happened to the news on this site?

432. Christopher Roberts - March 14, 2012

They should reboot Enterprise. Within reason, there’s even a built-in explanation for any differences. The Temporal Cold War hasn’t happened. So there’s an NX-01 that wasn’t launched before she was ready. A different crew assigned to her and yet, familar characters (and the actors who played them) in and around Starfleet, given different postings.

433. Trekboi - March 14, 2012

as for tera Nova, it was a stupid idea to start off with- It was an insult to my intellegence- let’s put dinosaurs in it- that will be sci-fi!
maybe for 7 year olds.
lets go back to create a safe new world, in the middle of Dinosaur season ugh!


434. Phil - March 14, 2012

Okay, I’m going to throw something out there…there were a substantial number of studio trailers and other equipment at Ontario Airport (outside of LA). It was early, but as the new terminal is a fairly futuristic liiking building (white, lots of glass) does anyone with their ears to the ground think this might be connected to the ST shoot? Ben Affleck was shooting Argo at the old facility a few months back…

435. XON - March 14, 2012

What would a Star Trek series look like if it were on a primium network like Starz, HBO, or Sho Time? That would be somthing!

436. Jack - March 14, 2012

428. ;). I was super into it at the start, and then stayed hoping it wouldget better. Somewher along the line I started really caring about the characters. And, yeah, dragged out mysteries get on my nerves sometimes. So, what turned you off the show?

433. I was hoping they’d get into the whys of it a bit more eventually, apart from it having resources and clean air and a chance to start fresh. How was this going to benefit the future government people? How big were they going to allow TN to get? Was it really an alternate timeline? Was all of humanity going to come through? Were they the cause of the extinction of the dinosaurs? Were they doing research at TN to help the future society (no evidence of that). Was the idea that, yeah, there’ll be a mass extinction event, but it will be in millions of years instead of, well, right now, as it is in the future? Was it just a PR stunt? And, yeah, the evil corporate guys just wanting to strip mine and pollute the whole planet (and the show suggested they could do it in notime), was heavyhanded (but probably what would happen). It was all so barely sketched out, though. fine, let the revelations come throughout the season, but it was all so niave and gee whiz that, well, it was really tough to care.

437. T'Cal - March 15, 2012

While I’m not a prude, I would be worried if Trek went to a premium cable channel because that would likely mean that the series writers would include crude and foul language as well as gratuitus sex scenes – if only because it could. It bothered me in ENT’s first episode when Archer, the main hero, told the Vulcan he would knock them on his “ass” – a relatively mild oath but one out of character for what I see as a captain of a starship.

My view on Trek has always been that the main cast of characters were written as heroes who stuck to their values, morals, and ethics regardless of the circumstances. The best stories were ones in which the morality choices they had were of the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” type.

438. Really?! - March 15, 2012

While I’m not a prude, I would be worried if Trek went to the big screen because that would likely mean that the series writers would include crude and foul language as well as gratuitus sex scenes – if only because it could. It bothered me in STIV when Kirk, the main character, told the angry cab driver “A double dumb-ass on you!” – a relatively mild oath but one out of character for what I see as a captain of a starship.

I was aghast, “Double dumb-ass”?! Such language! I feel as if my whole world was stripped away and laid bare, my virgin ears chafing at the very thought of someone saying.. the ‘a’ word, heaven for fend! If Trek could get away with such wanton acts of depravity in THE 80’S then I truly fear for todays children when that plain-clothes demon JJ Abrams gets done with it, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

439. Red Wind - March 15, 2012

17 – SPACE: 2099, the SPACE: 1999 reboot is in the works, but I don’t know what form — series, or film.

Unfortunately, it will be returning as a remade series. Like Battlestar Galactica and V before it, this classic is about to get ruined by another re-makeover.

Hollywood has no imagination, whatsoever!

440. Jack - March 16, 2012

440. Ruined? Meh.

441. DonDonP1 - March 17, 2012

#435 Respectfully, I wish either CBS or The CW would air a future ‘Star Trek’ series that may be set in any era and any reality.

442. Azrael - March 17, 2012

@438. Also in an early episode of TNG (2nd Q ep) Riker yelled the words Damn it to Hell. There are many other examples throughout Star Trek, even on TOS (not many), and I haven’t noticed it getting worse over the years. I also don’t think having Star Trek on HBO or some such would give the writers a feeling that they could just start having Starfleet personnel dropping F-bombs at will. Just my opinion.

443. Alice - March 18, 2012

Brannon Braga STRIKES AGAIN!

This show was horrible. There was NO doubt that it would be canceled and not see S2.

Message to Braga: QUIT your day job and find something else! OH wait you got a head start already…you were fired.


444. Craiger - March 18, 2012

They should combine Fox and FX into one channel.

445. Steven - March 19, 2012

Perhaps I am an odd ball…..


I Also LOVE SHERLOCK…. LOVED TNG…. LIKED the first 2 seasons of TORCHWOOD… LOVE the BBC’s BEING HUMAN (the syfy version is horrible) DOCTOR WHO lost me after the latest Doctor and the reversion to kid friendly shows.

IN Short, I want to be entertained, thought provoked, and occassionally WOWED!!!.

I think that trek moving to HBO or, better yet, STARZ (BOSS and SPARTICUS are great!!!) or even AMC would not be a bad thing. I also think that the writers would know that the language would not need to become vulgar or profain, as a basic concept of TREK is that Humanity has evolved andso has society. I whole heartedly would like to see one of these companies, take on even a limited mini series in the TREK Universe

446. Basement Blogger - March 21, 2012

One sci-fi TV show that is returning is Falling Skies, another Steven Spielberg production. The difference between it and Terra Nova, is that I found the adults in Falling Skies to have more compelling stories. Yeah, there are children and young teenagers in love in Falling Skies, but they don’t pander to the teenage demographic. Take for example the Pope character (Colin Cunningham) who is a criminal. Can he be redeemed? I find him a complex individual.

What science fiction on TV needs is to stop pandering to teenagers. After all, there are a large number of adults that watch TV. It needs to stop the long serial story arcs where if you miss a show, you’re in trouble. Networks may not be the best place for science fiction shows due to the extreme pressure for ratings success. When was the last time a network was patient to a show like Cheers?

The success of science fiction in movies (eight of the top ten movies last year were sci-fi or fantasy) should still encourage science fiction TV. It may require future science fiction on TV to be on cable networks like TNT, or AMC or HBO.

TV is for adults, movies are for teenagers- NPR storyhttp://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130612646

447. Basement Blogger - March 21, 2012

Oops, sorry about the link. Here’s the NPR story about who goes to moivies (teenagers) and who watches TV. (adults)


448. mojomonkey - March 22, 2012

This was a half-assed idea that sounded like Seaquest meets Seventh Heaven & Jurassic Park. It’s this dumb notion of SF that keeps killing it on tv.

449. Ed - March 23, 2012


As others have pointed out, a good Star Trek show does not need to be expensive.

The original Star Trek (TOS) is the best TV show ever made, and it was rather low budget.

A good show is about the writing and the characters, not the effects.

Sure, people today tend to expect “good” effects, and some people (such as those with minds capable of being entertained by reality shows) may tune out a show without great visuals.

However, the special effects of the fan-made “Phase II” Star Trek shows are plenty good enough for those looking for a story, and they can’t be all that expensive.

Hopefully there are a sufficient number of people bright enough to enjoy a good story, good characters, and the experience that is Star Trek.

By experience, I mean the vision and hopefulness for mankind’s future.

Also, for those people wanting a Star Trek that moves from ship to ship, and crew to crew: I definitely disagree.

Much of the reason that I like TOS and Stargate-SG1 is due to becoming attached to the characters. To the fact that these were “good guys”, who cared about each other. I want to see the same characters, to have a chance to become attached to them.

The camaraderie, friendship, and loyalty of the characters is something I like.

And, in a broader sense, the friendship of humans and other sentient species – which makes man not alone – also appeals to me.

450. Aurore - March 23, 2012

“I want to see the same characters, to have a chance to become attached to them.
The camaraderie, friendship, and loyalty of the characters is something I like.
And, in a broader sense, the friendship of humans and other sentient species – which makes man not alone – also appeals to me.”

Very well articulated.
I concur.

451. James - March 29, 2012

Not enough sci-fi on tv. I hope it finds a new network. I really liked Terra Nova. And after the season finale I was looking forward to seeing the new direction of the show.

This is why I really don’t like FOX. They’ve canceled a lot of shows before they ever had a chance to reach full speed. But hey, maybe they could add another cop or forensic show. You can never have too many of those right? Good job FOX. You make sure your line-up looks exactly like the other networks.

God forbid you air something different!

452. Jonny - April 16, 2012

So many of you criticize this tv show . and still this show was realy good in in my point of view. it had dinos space travel action love it had it all justy see all the episodes and look for what it have and stop comlaining for something othere people make do something better if you all can. O bow for this show it was awsome. and im sad this is cancled :(

453. Freddy4 - May 10, 2012

I’m huge sci-fi fan and watched a little of terra nova. I thought it was OK but am not surprised it was canceled.

If ABC’s Flash Forward was canceled then no show is safe IMO. I have no idea how Flash Forward could have been canceled after the first season.

454. Ron - May 14, 2012

Terra Nova failed in large part because of its cast. Stephone Lang was great but the rest were really bad. First you had a main character that was weak. He was a pansy and his inter racail inter cultural relationship was completely unbelievable. There was no chemistry at all with his wife. His son was a whinning little spineless jerk. His daughter was arogant and unrealistic. Character protrays and the cast killed the show. And it didn’t help to push a multicutural agenda. It was too forced.

455. Kim - June 9, 2012

I am not a Syfy watcher but I just googled to figure out when this show was going to be on and :( Found out it is cancelled. I actually found a Syfy kind of show I enjoyed. I am in my 30s and it seems they are cancelling a lot of great shows for these really lame TV dating shows etc.

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