SDCC 2011: Terra Nova panel recap
DS – 10.54am: This show was supposed to premiere at Comic-Con this time last year, but was pulled at the last moment because the footage wasn’t ready. Similarly, the pilot was due to premiere in May this year on Fox but got pushed back to September. Let’s hope they have their act together today! (If not, perhaps they could just show Jurassic Park).
10.56am: Speaking of Jurassic Park, did you see the news yesterday? A fourth movie is on the way! I read part of the draft for a script for this a while back – it was pretty messed up, with clever dinosaurs wielding guns. Let’s hope Spielberg has binned that draft now.
10.59am: Fun fact: Terra Nova boasts no fewer than ELEVEN executive producers. They could field a football team.
11.00am: Oooh, this is a screening rather than clips. More from me in a bit.
11.55am: I’m guessing we saw more than 50 minutes of the two-hour premiere. The verdict? It’s alright. The script is decent but not especially original, the visuals are stunning, the pace is pretty slow-going.
11.56am: Out come a quartet of exec producers (where are the other seven?) as well as star Stephen Lang, who plays badass Commander Taylor.
11.57am: Exec Brannon Braga is asked about the number of 24 alumni on the production team. “There are a lot of people from 24,” he admits. “It’s a pretty different show, although both are fantasies. It’s a very different world, as you can imagine.”
11.58am: A very good question about whether the delays to the pilot caused by the grand visual effects would be a concern going forward. Apparently they have “a pipeline to service the show and created some new technologies” to help deal with this. They also promise that it is “a dinosaur show” and will “look badass”.
11.59am: Lang on his character’s importance to the overall plot arc: “We’re suggesting a future and past that has mystery, questions to be answered. Taylor is something of an enigmatic figure and that’s intentional. Hopefully it creates a certain interest in the character. The challenge here is to create a weekly event and at the same time create an arc, which is suggested in the pilot.”
12.01pm: Lang on the challenges of acting with imaginary dinosaurs: “It’s difficult, it just requires focus and imagination, and really specific guidance from the director. It helps to have great confidence in the creativity and expertise of the special effects team. It was not so different doing the creatures in Avatar.”
12.03pm: Will the show be set permanently in the past or will they cross back to the future world? Braga: “Some of our storytelling will take place in the future as things get worse there, and increase the pressure on Taylor and the colony. The first batch of stories are primarily about the Shannons and how they settle into life here in Terra Nova.”