I’ll keep it short and sweet, especially since Terra Nova isn’t worth a lot of ink. (Virtual or otherwise.) The show looks amazing, but in actual execution is a horribly typical mess that just barely manages to keep its head above qualifying as “bad” and ends up being mediocre.
While it’s nice to have a show which isn’t filled with backstabbing a**holes with sinister agendas (although there are a few), the whole family approach keeps it perhaps too grounded in mundanity. Despite the dinosaurs and military people running around everywhere, the setting feels more like a tropical island resort than a frontier town of any kind. In fact, that may be part of the problem with the show’s pilot, it really does feel like we’re watching the main characters setting into a resort, not a functioning society, and that really throws things off. There’s no sense of stress, no sense of having to fit in, everything is just handed to the main family like they’ve arrived at some Mexican resort town.
Overall the pilot seemed more concerned with trying to cram as much action in as it could, and left the character side of things pretty sketchy. At heart, the show looks likely to turn into a “cop in paradise” series, with dinosaurs. (I have no doubts this was sold to the network as “Jurassic Park- the Series” and it feels like it too.)
I didn’t hate it, I didn’t like it. I don’t think I’ll watch more.
If you want another view, check out this recap over on Io9 for more details.