Causality And FX

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Alternate Title: Tera Novella

Before you jump up my ass, YES I know they wrote off the possibility of a paradox in the pilot of Terra Nova by saying the past they travel to is in an “alternate time stream.” More on why I think that’s bullshit later.

Ok, so I gave the Terra Nova pilot a shot. The short version is that it’s Jurassic Park meets Avatar with a little bit of Lost thrown in for good measure. There’s dinosaurs and humans juxtaposed, there’s escaping a dystopian Earth in favor of a hostile but majestic jungle environment and there’s “no matter what you were, you get a second chance on the island in the past” to round out the premise. There are even a group of  “others” to add a little mayhem and mystery.

Let’s start with the shitty future humanity traps itself in. Fans of sci-fi will find nothing new about the present day future of Terra Nova. It’s all well trodden ground. Humanity destroys itself with greed, overpopulation and environmental devastation. The air sucks, the living quarters are tiny and only the most wealthy and connected don’t live on the brink of extinction. Through a coincidence, seemingly caused by parking two supercolliders next to each other, scientists discover a “fracture” to 85 million years in the past. A probe is sent through, assuming it will automatically show up somewhere in the present. When it doesn’t they determine this past is in a different time line, so it’s ripe for exploring, and settling and butterfly stepping on without fear of paradox… IN OUR UNIVERSE. What about the present of the parallel Earth whose past they are invading? Maybe they didn’t fuck up their planet. Maybe the first person who goes through that portal commits planetary genocide. Why is that not a concern?

Anyway, they decide the only future for humanity lies 85 million years in the past so they start sending settlers through the portal to establish a new colony. It isn’t explicitly stated, but I assume the idea is “Our Earth is fucked. Everyone on it is going to die. Screw those guys. The people in the past and their descendants are going to be the only humans to survive long term.” Seems a bit short-sighted. Why didn’t they just invest all that future know-how into a more advanced space program and work on terraforming and colonizing Mars? Oh… right. Because then they wouldn’t have a show where people get chased by dinosaurs.

The dinosaur effects are passable, but shockingly NOT up to snuff with the original Jurassic Park. How does that film keep aging so well? All in all, the 2 part pilot was rather enjoyable but rife with confusing, nit-picky plot holes and story difficulties that could prove too big to overcome without alienating the hardcore sci-fi fan (again, the “alternate time stream = go nuts, do whatever we want” thing will never stop bothering me). I will say the characters and the pacing are a DRASTIC improvement over Spielberg’s last genre TV outing Falling Skies. There was a decent dose of family drama, but it didn’t weigh the whole show down like it did on Falli… 7th Heaven + Aliens.

I will probably give Terra Nova at least a good 4-5 eps to show me what it’s got, though I find it nearly impossible to concentrate on the plot with all the Jurassic Park jokes I keep making while watching it. Every time General Avatar showed Main Character Cop/Dad a new area of the compound (especially his living quarters which looked suspiciously like a page out of the IKEA catalog), I couldn’t stop myself from blurting out “Spared no expense!”

COMMENTERS: Did you see Terra Nova? Any thoughts? [posting mine in a few minutes, check back and refresh]

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133 Comments

  1. Why would a civilization with population problems not be willing to bring Mrs. Super-doc's third daughter.. you know, where there's room. Also, why didn't butthead kid who never drank his medicine get sick off prehistoric booze and stuff like he was supposed to?

  2. I have yet to watch it, but I will. Not because I'm particularly keen on it, but because a lot of it was filmed in/near my hometown, and I have to watch it and see how many places I recognise.

  3. The ethics of changing the future of an alternate timeline are something you… Honestly can't worry too much about. After all, right now every action you take is wildly changing our own future. Take a couple of minutes longer than usual to get home from work because you stopped for a soda? Bam. The Great Collapse of 2438 is all your fault. Or maybe you prevented World War 3.5 by wiping out that colony of ants in your kitchen. Who the heck knows. So what's different doing it in another timeline instead?

    • Buuuuuuut…. I'm acting within my own present. I can make whatever choices I want without reprimand from a temporal standpoint. I think it's safe to assume a parallel earth would be in a parallel time. 2149 here = 2149 there. They are choosing to meddle in someone else's past.

      • But that reasoning pre-supposes an absolute "present," now doesn't it? We are meddling in someone else's past too! There are billions of years ahead of us right now.

        • yes, but in doing so we are innocent. You have to act on your own present. I am not traveling forwards (other than at the same rate as everyone else) or backwards, so my actions are in sync with my time line. From my perspective I am effecting a future that hasn't happened yet, based on a past that is already set in stone. Its semantics, sure but how else can you argue time travel?

          • What if their travel isn't too anyones past, but the current time in the alternate dimension. It just looks like the past. Sort of traveling sideways instead of forwards or back. Like those cheezy theme hotels, one room Sci-Fi Sex- next room Flintstone Fornucation.

          • That's the main difference – if these guys are going into the past of a concurrent Earth, then they *know* what the future of that Earth is going to be like (evolution etc) and they are fucking with it while completely informed. As Joel says, we're innocent now because we have no idea what the future holds. In the show? Not so much.

            • Who says they know what its future will be? Much as Einstein refused to accept it, there is an element of randomness in the universe. A subatomic particle hits an asteroid here instead of there, and Earth has a near-miss with an asteroid and the dinosaurs shrug and carry on with their lives. New universe = new roll of the dice. But you're asking actual people in the actual present to suffer and die because of people that might maybe but honestly probably won't someday be.

          • How do you know it's not a portal to a parallel earth in which the universe started 85 million years later? What, functionally, would be the difference?

            I don't think we have any obligation to people 65 million years in our future, regardless of how we got there.

      • I'm with Nentuaby on this one. Right now, if I go step on a butterfly, I could be wreaking major havoc (or causing world peace!) on dudes 65 million years in the future on Earth.

        Once I enter the alt-timeline, I'm still acting in my own present, and whatever humans might exist 65 million years in (what is now) my future are just as hypothetical and mostly-not-my-problem as humans (or other beings) in 65,002,011 AD are as I write this. In fact, that applies even if it's the same timeline, except that some of those humans happen to be responsible for my being here, so if I don't bang my Mom and then make her fall in love with my "Dad", I'll start fading out of existence, so I've got a *practical* (not ethical) reason to avoid all interference.

        Anyway, the whole thing seems to be mooted by the last bit, where the Sixers imply that this _is_ the same timeline, and *surprise* their's a coverup afoot.

        • (Ethically, in either timeline, or without time travel, it's hard to argue I don't have some measure of responsibility to improve the future, or at least not to harm it (whatever that means), but I don't have a duty to refrain from affecting it at all. And since the effects of any action become harder to predict with time, the degree of responsibility must decrease similarly, such that I have fairly large responsibility to the Earth of my kids' or grandkids' time, but a wholly imperceptible duty to the Earth 65MA in the future.)

          • Gdamn I was trying to "like" this but slipped. I should give up liking things on my phone on this site because l keep messing it up and it's infuriatingly un-fix-able. Thought you should know

    • I think you're all putting far to much effort into finding complicated reasons why there shouldn't be an ethical problem here. All in all, I agree with Joel, that altering someone elses times line is messed up, and basically erasing the countless lives that were. Look at it as this, if aliens came to our world, saw it was already occupied/used up, traveled back in time to claim the planet for themselves, stopping humanity from ever existing, would they be just as innocent as our "hero's" from this story?

      ANYWAY, the whole, "time traveling to an already existing different dimension" is a cheap plot device to avoid having to deal with paradox, anyway. And the "other dimension that just happens to be behind us chronologically" is even worse.
      Especially when BOTH ideas are so needlessly complicated, when there's a much more logical and simple (and well established) idea of; traveling to the past creating a split/separate time line. No paradox, no ethical questions, you're not changing your or any other times line, because it basically started when you got there.

  4. I am willing to accept the "going back and doing whatever the hell we feel like because it's not our timeline" idea because that sounds like something the government would actually do. "Hmm, maybe this is causing universal distress somewhere else? Who cares! America rocks!" Also, I'm not altogether sure that it's not the same timeline and they've just been lying to people in an dumb attempt to fix things somehow with their science hats.

    What I'm more concerned about is why no one is thinking long term as in what's going to happen when a giant meteor or flood that kills all the dinos comes.

    But overall, I'm willing to give it a pass because the story's tighter and the characters are more likable and smarter. And they did a nice job of setting up tension and intrigue. LEAGUES beyond failing skies.

    • I was thinking about the extinction too, and what I came up with is if it is an alternate timeline there's no guarantee it will happen, and if not the higher ups are probably working on something without exposing the fact it's the same timeline.

    • The 'giant meteor' supposedly hit the planet 65 million years ago. So, they have 20 million years to find a solution. I think that is an acceptable sink-or-swim period for a society that starts out with hand-held super computers.

    • They traveled 80 million years in the past. The meteor impact that wiped out the dinosaurs was 65 million years in the past. They probably figure having 15 million years to prepare for it is plenty of time.

  5. Another thing that bugs me, but I didnt add it to the post since I didnt bother to do any research on it: I know they are about 20 million years from when our dinosaurs would have died out, but wont there be some pretty terrible and drastic planetary changes between now and then anyway? Or did they hit a "sweet spot" in the timeline where things are relatively calm for a 100,000 years?

    • 100,000 years? Heh, that's a hell of a lot longer than the stability of our current epoch. We've had terrible and drastic planetary changes within recorded history- the Sahara desert is only slightly older than writing at all, and was much smaller when we started keeping track of it. The last glaciation period was only about 10k years ago. In fact, human evolution itself is thought to have been triggered by how wildly Africa's climate was fluctuating about 70k years ago, causing evolutionary pressure to reward versatility rather than suitability for any one climate.

      80M.Y.A. may or may not very stable, but it's unlikely to be any wilder than the Holocene…

    • They made a similar point in Jurassic Park when talking about the various plants populating the island. If the Terra Nova writers are smart enough to comment on the different star alignments in the past, why can't they also explain how different the atmosphere and plants are 85 MYA? Sure they mentioned "orientation", but that kid skipped it – so shouldn't he be dead from… Time madness? (Or whatever.)

    • Doesn't the alternate dimension which makes it not OUR past mean there's a good chance those planetary changes won't / didn't happen there?

      Or am I misunderstanding time travel in alternate histories?

    • This was my first thought when I saw the ads for this show too; what about the asteroid that may/may not have killed off the dinosaurs? Won't they just be back to square one?

      • Im guessing the goal is to advance far enough in the 20 million years or so to stop the asteroid or other planetary killer, or move on to another planet.

    • Considering we went from the start of the steam engine to their departure time in about 350 years (1800-2149), starting from their small population but with advanced technology concepts, they should be able to completely screw up the ecology of the planet in say, a thousand years? Then they just have to build two super-colliders next to each other and move back to the time of….

    • As far as the "alternate time stream" business goes, current science theorizes that it may be possible to travel to an alternate timeline, but impossible to travel to one's own. And if someone were to travel into our timeline in the past, it has already happened and they can't change our present, because they already did that. Two competing theories exist: one is that you travel to a parallel reality on a separate development timeline from our own (a la Michael Crichton's "Timeline"), and the other is that you travel through time, but the very changes you make mean that the world you know will never exist and therefore you can't screw up the future, because just existing in the new time stream means it's already gone forever.

      Also, I'm pretty sure the general's son intends to find a way to "re-merge" the timelines so that the Sixers can control the future. And since it's a science-fiction show, there's nothing to say they can't do it. That's the beauty of TV. It doesn't have to be realistic to be entertaining. But it does help.

      Also, I'm pretty sure their plan is to develop their civilization to the point that they can survive any planetary trauma (assuming the new timeline will still suffer from a meteoric impact, ice age, etc. on schedule). Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if they don't believe that they can find the tear in space-time to continue doing this over and over again if necessary. They are supposed to continue receiving supplies from the future, as far as I understood it.

      What I didn't understand was how 118 days passed when the General traveled and no one else experienced a similar time-dilation.

    • Interesting points there Joel. Also consider:

      It took humanity only 2-3 million years to get to a point where we have the technology and knowhow to theoretically -prevent- asteroid collisions. Also, the point in time in which these people are traveling is pre-ice age, meaning it is significantly warmer and (presumably) a lot more climate-stable. If you consider that the ice age was probably caused by whatever impact wiped out the dinosaurs….and if the "new" civilization in the past manages to prevent that, they could enjoy billions of years worth of environmental stability, assuming their civilization doesn't fuck things up again. Of course, they'd also have to deal with permanent dinosaurs.

  6. What I don't get is where they got all this fancy colony-building material from if the future world is messed up and depleted.

    I also don't get how the older daughter got her hands on River Tam's red linen dress, but I guess that's neither here nor there.

    • And for that matter, is their colony at all sustainable without a constant supply line from the future? What happens when that chain gets cut off?

        • well that's why they had the blue milkshake that the son refused to drink. I fondly hope episode 3 or 4 has him dying of some sort of horrible gastric distress.

      • Since they have one pilgrimage a year I'm assuming that's the only time they get supplies as well, I don't have a clue about why there is that limitation or why they couldn't constantly be sending people back (or even why it's a one-way trip) but I imagine that they're pretty self-sustaining in the mean time.

        • Im guessing its a one way trip because its the dual super colliders creating the doorway. Youd probably need a set on both sides to make it a two way trip.

            • I have not seen the show at all, but my prediction is that it will be "precise Sun-Earth-Galaxy Center chrono-gravimetric alignment only happening on the same day each year. Going any other day will drop you (or supplies) somewhere into space-time, never to be seen again!"

  7. You should eat ice cream as you watch it too.

    And use that version of Unix with the kick butt graphical point and click GUI interface.

  8. SPOILERS:

    So theyve made it pretty clear that the whole point of Terra Nova is more sinister than it seems. Something about "control the past, control the future." But it ISNT their past, right? Or is it? Are they going to try to pass messages to different points in the future from 85 mil years in the past? Like are they going to write on a mountain in 100 ft high letters that say "dump your stocks in 1928"?

    • Just because one character said it's not the past, doesn't mean it's not. Maybe the government told everyone it's a different time stream, but was lying. I wouldn't be surprised if General Avatar himself destroys the probe by the end of season one.

    • To be honest my first thought upon seeing the trailers was "the reason they went to 85 million years is that the mass extinction events and whatnot would probably mean any mucking about with causality would be significantly dampened since most everything is going to be destroyed in a few million years anyway." I think the alternate timeline thing is a lie.

      • Good point. They certainly wrote off the probe rather quickly. "Well we did find it, so it must be an alternate earth." Who's to say it wasnt vaporized in 100,000 volcanoes?

        • Yeah this would be the first time ever scientists just agreed "One data point that produced a non-result, yeah, that seems good enough."

    • I took that phrase to mean the goal is to open up a 2 way door between worlds. Right now it is too risky to send the rich powerful people back en-mass, so they use military and scientists as dino bait. If there was a 2 way door then the rich could do two things. One, take vacations back for fun. Two, harvest all the tasty vittles and resources a 'new earth' would provide and bring them to the future to be squandered.

      On an aside, raptor riding military cavalry would be awesome so I can hope in that this season.

  9. In the alternate timeline 'model' I'm familiar with, going back in time causes a new timeline to branch from where you went back to. So in this case, terra nova is on a a new timeline branched off our timeline 65 million years ago. But this is a brand new timeline so there is no future timeline to consider: the future is just as non-yet-existent for terra nova residents as it was not-yet-existent for them when then lived on the original timeline.

      • I think the Doctor would crap his pants and blow his fez/stetson/hat-name-here off over how wrong this whole mess is. Remember how freaked he was when he, Rose, and Mickey accidentaly landed on that parallel Earth? Or is time in flux on terra Nova as well?

        P.S. I totally forgot about Falling Skies! They cancelled it by now, didn't they?

  10. My unwilling-suspension-of-disbelief: How do they know it's "the past" at all, other than the dinosaurs? If it's another timeline, it could be just another planet that has dinosaurs in "the present." OK, I can get over it…until the magic scratchings turn out to be a "formula" that will fix present-Earth in the series finale.

      • Huh, a cameo by Darkseid in a non animated DC project? It's bold, brash, and just crazy enough to work for sweeps. I like it.

        But considering this is airing on Fox, the part of Darkseid will have to be changed to a sultry latina with a big chest and pouty lips. You know…for diversity.

      • Is that how it worked? I thought that was something else etched into rock for millions of years by Anthro and Batman. I gotta read Final Crisis again.

    • There was a bit at the end about the stars not being in the right place, so it's not the present if it is in fact earth. I suppose it could be a future earth instead of a past earth though, but all it would take is someone saying they did the calculations on the stars' positions.

  11. The next plot twist will be the discovery that all Earth's problems will come from an alternate timeline messing arounnd in our own past!

  12. To answer you Jurassic Park question: Jim Henson Studios did the animation and puppetry for them. ILM did all the texturing, but all the movement and animatronics (of which there were a lot) were done by JHS.

    • Yeah, I think that's a huge part of it. Back in Jurassic Park there was a combination of CGI and practical effects, plus tons of input by folks that were tremendously experienced with making non-living objects give the impression of being alive. Here all we have is all-CGI, all the time.

      • which probably makes the effects team more nimble. Jurassic park folk probably had longer to work on effects rather than "we have a new dino scene we need for next week"

  13. I don't really think time can be altered. So, if they're in another universe, then it's the present, and they'd never have been able to go into its past if they'd seen its present… or something along those lines.

    HOWEVER it seems that the selling point of the show is, "It's the past! (Of another universe.)" I dunno. I haven't seen it, and the previews I saw made it look like a thin premise for a soap opera / interpersonal drama-based show but this time not in a normal setting (or outer space)! If I get enough people recommending it, I may watch it, but I gave up on Lost in season two and never looked back. We'll see how this pans out.

    • The thing with time travel shows, is that time works however the people who wrote the show want it to. All you can hope is that they decide it works in one specific way and stick to it. If you're really lucky they'll also add in some exposition to explain what their chosen way is.

      I'm on the wrong bit of the planet to have seen this yet, but from the chat here, sounds like they're going to pull a 'Planet of the Apes' somewhere in the season anyway.

      • I am dreading more the possible multiple conflicting expositions that more than likely will be brought forth "for story mechanics" as they did with transporter technology in the iterations of Star Trek, well before the "insert techno-babel here" writing at the end.

    • Yeah, what makes this funnier is that they're apparently OK with "The Dad" having an English wife but they won't let Jason O'Mara use his own native Irish accent. To me, that would make the show more entertaining right off the bat.

      I mean, hell, his character's name is Jim Shannon. Sounds pretty Irish to me. Bring on the brogue I say.

    • Huh. I was too distracted by his weird resemblance to Matthew Morrison to notice his voice. I kept thinking he would burst into song or turn up in a sweater vest.

  14. The thing that bothered me was that if we assume it is an alternate timeline and causality is fine, then why do the pilgrimages keep going to the same place, but later? Surely every time they go though there should be nobody there because they just branched into another timeline. The fact that they keep sending people to the same place means they keep going to the same time line. This seems to me that its not time travel and they are just going to another parallel universe or just some other planet. Either that, or they are effecting causality and chaos theory is wrong. Or some other science facts, really the writers just want you to think "it's the past" and the alternate time line thing was just thrown in to stop people from complaining.

    • When they cut to the control room of the departure gate, they talk about the event horizon being dilated "x micrometers".
      It could be that the facility keeps the wormhole/fracture open microscopically (or nanoscopically, even) at all times. And opening it up for another pilgrimage takes such a vast amount of power that they can only do it periodically, for a relatively short duration.

  15. Did anybody besides me simply like it as an entertaining show? Sure, it's Jurrassic Park meets Lost, but so what? It kept me from changing the channel during commercial breaks, and at the end I thought the "imminent plot twist" foreshadowing sufficient to make me set series record. Maybe I just take that whole suspension of disbelief too seriously when I watch science fiction…either way, Stephen Lang is a BAMF and I really enjoyed the show.

  16. Hmm.. my biggest issue was what always bothers me (in an entertaining way) about horror flicks. That some people seem hellbent on making the WORST decisions ever, totally ignoring any sense of self-preservation and any hint of common sense. Now, I get that some people are stupid, but this goes way beyond that (and they implied that the kids involved were actually neither stupid nor inexperienced with the area). Nothing that happened was beyond anything they could/should have expected, in fact there are still ways their little booze-ride could have gone to hell that are fairly expectable that didn't happen

    First episode was entertaining, though, I just hope the incident was just forced to show how dangerous Dinotopia is, and they will cut back on the "OMG, I'm gonna go get myself killed, LOL"-behavior in the future.

  17. Okay, here's my biggest nitpick with the show:

    It's stated that the portal is a one-way trip. You can't go back again to get your girlfriend. So how do they even know it's a portal to the past? How did they figure this out in the first place? How do they know this isn't just a great big disintegrator portal and everyone going through it is dying instantly?

    • Basic premiss for every forced migration in the past.
      Tell the immigrants it's a one way trip so they put actual effort into putting down roots and doing a bit more than just surviving till they get back home.

    • well, General Avatar said he isnt telling the other side about his suspicions about… something… cant remember what, until he knows who he can trust. The sixer problem I guess. So Im thinking they can get messages to them some way.

      • It might be something along the lines of Stargate. In Stargate the wormhole itself is one-way (though you can open another one-way wormhole to travel back. Despite all this, data and transmissions (radio and other types) can be sent both ways through an open wormhole. It's possible there are periodic check ins from the Earth facility, making sure that the Terra Nova facility is still active and secure. Novans may not be able to return, but data can somehow traverse through the wormhole in space-time to Earth.

  18. OK I liked over all BUUUUT..

    1) WHY THE F'KING 3rd KID!! why would you do that! Protection cant have gone down hill if they think the can viably have only 2 kids. Think about the money issues and the problems keeping her hidden? What about the sh*t hole your bringing her into to! How the DOCTOR even get away with it at work?

    2) Um, why is the son white? Do we have Disney genetics going on here?

    3) Son moves on quickly- AND OMG whiney brat!

    4) SOOO lets throw the Kid and Husband into the system that'll cost us resources RATHER than back in Time with Wife who we decided to throw into a world where IT WOULDNT MATTER! Why even pick her if worried about "rewarding" criminals

    5) What is the limit to sending things back in time? Why havent they sent through some tree cutters and cut a clean path down to the field and set up some security around the rift to allow more materials to be shipped down to base? People are going through without protection, so whats the issue?

    this leads to-
    6) LOUSY protection of the base. One line of fences that looks to be made of wood with large gaps! The houses look safer! Hardly any turrents also. OH and cars with removable plates- nice thinking there.

    7) UM forest filled with dinosaurs? HOW cant those dip-sh*t teens get that! Seriously those kids SHOULD be dead! Dam "kid" force field!

    8) SOOO due to not finding a Probe we sent through unprepared back 85 MILLION YEARS (Batteries, protection from elements ie METEOR!) you go "OH must be alternate time line". Seriously, HOW were you expecting to find it! I'd believe "cant change past" more likely than Alternate timeline. We are talking 85 million yrs of massive environmental changes ie tectonic movement, meteor, iceage.

    This with the statement by Head SIXer, leads me to believe they probably are in our past and the "alternate" timeline is a cover story.

    • I think you're pretty spot on with all of your points. I think the reason for the 3rd kid will come out eventually. it has to be something more than, "we wanted to throw away our lives for fun."

      Regarding the son moving on fast, mark my words that his old girlfriend will be coming through on a future pilgrimage.

      • Within 5 episodes of his hooking up with the Temptress. Extra points for heavy handed writing if it's the same episode.

  19. Maybe they'll go the same route that the "Time Machine" movie from around 10 years back went. where you can change the future by mucking around in the past, but it's actually NOT POSSIBLE to prevent certain future events from happening, since they would prevent you from building the time machine in the first place……Lotsa folks didn't like that flick, but I thought it was pretty cool from that aspect alone.

    • When my wife saw the pictograms on the rock, she got excited about the possibility of Sleestaks. Then the writers dashed her hopes by claiming that the General's son carved the diagrams. I would have liked the pictoglyphs to have remained mysterious for a few episodes, whether they were carved by sleestaks or whiny human brats.

  20. The show lost me before the bad time-travelling logic because the set-up for their three kids was so poor. I just finished Ringworld, so I'm puzzled by the lack of fertility laws in the future. Did the government really think a "A Family is Four" ad campaign would keep people from mating? And why not "A Family is Two, Maybe Three" or "The World Sucks Now, Don't Bring More Kids Into It" campaign?

    Loved the alt text.

  21. Part of me wants to say "This is exactly why Sci Fi shows never last on television."
    Because sci fi fans are so willing to tear it to shreds instead of merely enjoying a genre piece televised in prime time.

    • Geeks deconstruct things, but not always in a bad way. When you get to the point of the "SGUSucks" jerks, that's a different story. But when you understand and know science, it's fun to pick at it. I like to watch Big Bang Theory now for all of the geek (Star Trek and comic book mostly) references they purposefully get wrong.

  22. Call me crazy but I just get this sneaky suspicion that they didn't go millions of years into the past, so much as millions of years into the future instead. I know the show wasn't done by M. Night Shamalamadingdongalon, but, WHAT A TWEEST!

  23. Can we please talk about the 20 ft wooden log fence that's supposed to be their protection from the outside world…of DINOSAURS!! It's logic like this that just becomes insulting. The first 2 hours sucked and I don't plan on watching any more.

  24. Yeah, the family comes across as the weak link in this show. Give us more of Avatar General…or as I like to think of him "The Most Interesting Colonel in the World" and maybe let some velociraptors much on CopDad.

  25. What really pulled me out of my suspension of disbelief was only a second long but TOTALLY destroyed the entire show for me: warm-blooded dinosaurs! WTF!!! If you're wondering when, it's the part when the rescue party find the kids and scare aware the dinos, you see wazzhisfaceobviouslyripofffromavatar with a thermal imaging cam.

    In general I found the whole thing OK, but unless it gets a better plot then I'll switch off pretty damn quickly. I'm getting seriously annoyed with these writers who come up with a good premise and then realise they can't go anywhere with the initial plot they've written (Lost, Heros, etc).

  26. Probably one last thing.. I also was really annoyed by the cops in Chicago storming our hero's house without a search warrant. This is still America, dammit!

  27. I spent all Monday reading terrible reviews saying the plot was terrible, the characters were weak, and the dinosaurs looked like something Spielberg got out of a grocery store vending machine for a quarter.

    I was surprised to find that I did not agree. The dad (the characters names don’t get places in my memory until the 4-5 episode trial period has passed) was a pretty strong character and actually reminded me of the character Sheriff Carter from Eureka; slightly goofy yet effective. His wife was a little rusty, but I generally believed the passion. Rebellious teen son was annoying, but 5 year old feed the dinosaur girl captured my heart right away. Teen daughter didn’t really feature except for showing off her encyclopedic knowledge of everything. Maybe she’ll get a dog named Brain and help her dad solve mysteries.

    I’m not too upset about paradoxes and alternate time lines because time travel is just a plot mechanic and not one I feel the need to nitpick. EVERYONE does time travel wrong except the move Primer, but that might have been because I didn’t understand what was happening.

    I’m definitely giving it 4 or 5 episodes, which is better than I can say for Alphas.

  28. I thought Connie Willis had a tidy answer to timeline paradoxes in Blackout / All Clear. You can't create a paradox. You can't ask, "but how did it happen the first time?" because it _is_ the first time.

  29. Those kids bouncing around and screaming inside that transport vehicle — it's like, you're behaving like human squeak toys, and you wonder why the slashers or whatever are so determined to eat you?! Yes, they smell his blood, and your sweat, and they hear your squeaky annoying voice, and they want to eat you so you'll stfu.

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