Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Terra Nova Debuts

Terra Nova debuted on Fox tonight.  It bears some similarities to Falling Skies over on TNT this summer - Spielberg involvement, families under duress, female doctor, human enemies and other kinds of enemies, and more.   But in Terra Nova the Spielberg influence is most seen in the dinosaurs - ala Jurassic Park - and the mechanism is time travel not (yet) aliens from outerspace.

As readers of Infinite Regress know, I love science fiction, and the time travel precincts of science fiction even more.   Terra Nova has a nice set-up - a crack in time which allows humans, suffering in the 22nd century from an environmental apocalypse, to send small groups of people back in time, some 85 million years.   This is intelligently done - not only does the time sieve drop people into the past, but into a new, alternate reality.  This allows the story to avoid the paradox of how if we travel to the past the future (our present) isn't immediately changed - perhaps to the point where travel to the past becomes either unnecessary or impossible in the first place, so why and how did we travel to the past in the first place?  And the alternate reality conforms with one way of surmounting that time travel paradox - a solution which says that every voyage to the past instantly creates a myriad of new realities, with the result that the travel to the past in Reality A need not conflict with or be erased by the new Reality B created by the time travel.

Meanwhile, even you're not as big a fan of such metaphysics as I am, you'll still find lots to like in Terra Nova.  The dinosaurs - ranging from long-necked leaf eaters to deadly raptors - are top drawer.   There's a group of humans pretty much at war with the Terra Novans - the sixers - and there's evan a guy (son of the commander) who went missing a while ago, and is apparently trying to unravel the complex time lines and perhaps control the future on his own.

I'm all for all of it, and I'll be here with reviews of every episode.

For more on time travel, see my The Enjoyable Trouble of Time Travel, not to mention all the time travel reviews in this blog, which you can find by clicking on the label below.

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The Plot to Save Socrates

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