Tiffany Vogt

Posts Tagged ‘Terra Nova’

R.I.P. – Remembering 2011’s Memorable Television Character Deaths

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Miscellaneous, * Showcases on December 28, 2011 at 2:55 pm

The following are a few characters we fell in love with and lost in 2011. We salute the actors who endeared them to our hearts and wish them well as they venture on to new series and projects.  We will remember you fondly and hope to see you soon!

Mags Bennett (“Justified”)  – portrayed by Margo Martindale

Sheriff Graham/The Huntsman (“Once Upon A Time”) – portrayed by Jamie Dornan

(Though Jamie Dornan may return as The Huntman in the fairytale world — his final fate is T.B.D.)

Sofia Peletier (“The Walking Dead”) – portrayed by Madison Lintz

Ned Stark (“Game of Thrones”) – portrayed by Sean Bean

Vincent-Nigel Murray (“Bones”) – portrayed by Ryan Cartwright

Henry Burton (“Grey’s Anatomy”) – portrayed by Scott Foley

Aunt Jenna (“The Vampire Diaries”) – portrayed by Sara Canning

Rose (“The Vampire Diaries”) – portrayed by Lauren Cohan

Captain Montgomery (“Castle”) – portrayed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Castiel (“Supernatural”) – portrayed by Misha Collins

(There is rumors of Castiel’s return later in Season 7, but whether Misha Collins will return is speculative at this point.)

John Gilbert (“The Vampire Diaries”) – portrayed by David Anders

Gemma Butler (“Ringer”) – portrayed by Tara Summers

Daniel Grayston (“Revenge”) – portrayed by Josh Bowman

(Since the series is shown in flashback, Daniel Grayston is only presumed dead in the pilot episode.  He continues as a regular for 2012 as the show continues in flashback-mode.)

Tara (“True Blood”) – portrayed by Rutina Wesley

Nick Armstrong (“The Secret Circle”) – portrayed by Louis Hunter

Dr. Vera Juarez (“Torchwood: Miracle Day”) – portrayed by Arlene Tur

Esther Drummond (“Torchwood: Miracle Day”) – portrayed by Alexis Havins

Mitchell (“Being Human”) – portrayed by Aidan Turner

Drogo (“Game of Thrones”) – portrayed by Jason Momoa

Andie Star (“The Vampire Diaries”) – portrayed by Dawn Olivieri

Antonio Betz (“The Chicago Code”) – portrayed by Manny Montana

Lt. Alicia Washington (“Terra Nova”) – portrayed by Simone Kessell

Jasmine (“The Nine Lives of Chloe King”) – portrayed by Alyssa Diaz

Brian (“The Nine Lives of Chloe King”) – portrayed by Grey Damon

Steve Jinks (“Warehouse 13″) – portrayed by Aaron Ashmore

(Steve Jinks may be revived in 2012, but as of the end of 2011, he remains dead.)

Aunt Marie (“Grimm”) – portrayed by Kate Burton

A Reflective Look at TERRA NOVA’s First Season as It Gears Up for War In the Fall Finale

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Showcases, * TV Addict, Terra Nova on December 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm

It has been a pivotal first season of the sci-fi drama backdropped in a world where dinosaurs still roam.  TERRA NOVA ambitiously set out to show us the story of a family that was willing to travel back in time in order to stay together and have a chance at a better future for humanity.

But paradise is only beautiful on the surface.  There have been bumps and bruises along the way as each of the Shannon family members struggled to find their place in this new world and tried to figure out who they could really trust.  Utopia is a wonderful ambition, but human beings always bring the element of surprise and unpredictability as their emotions sway their decisions — for better or worse.

For Jim Shannon (Jason O’Mara), the former police narcotics detective turned prison-escapee desperate to keep his family together and to ensure the safe-keeping of his youngest daughter, there was literally no place left on Earth to hide.  Fortunately for him, he married the right woman, Dr. Elisabeth Shannon (Shelley Conn), a trauma surgeon who the government recruited for colonization in an experimental settlement comprised of scientists who would safeguard the planet 85 million years in the past.  The colony of Terra Nova sounds ideal, but humans rarely can agree on how to best shape the future, let alone protect the planet.

When the Shannons arrived, they discovered that things were not as idyllic as promised and that there was a rebel force known as the Sixers who were working covertly to crack the code to open the time portal in both directions — thereby allowing an unknown faction to swoop in and exploit the resources of Terra Nova for their own nefarious purposes in the future.

This first season has been one of both wonder and discovery.  There was the wonder of the amazing animals and dinosaurs that populated the planet before time erased them from existence.  There has also been the sad realization that humans can still be bought and blackmailed into doing things destructive to the entire human race.

Mira (Christine Adams), head of the Sixers, is the hired gun/strategist who is motivated to find a way back to 2149, where she has left her 4-year old daughter behind.  With the time portal only working to allow them to travel back into the past, it is her mission to ensure that Commander Taylor’s son, Lucas (Ashley Zukerman), can crack the formula to open the portal from the other side.  Mira’s motivation may be money or fear for her own daughter’s safety, but Lucas’ motivations were even darker.  Lucas blamed his father for his mother’s death and swore to undermine everything Commander Taylor (Stephen Lang) stands for by opening the portal from Terra Nova back to 2149.

Reluctantly aiding Mira and Lucas in their dastardly plan is the mole within Terra Nova, the lovely and oh-so-innocently looking Skye (Allison Miller).  Coerced into helping the Sixers into providing intel in exchange for medicine for her mom, Skye is the lynch-pin in the TERRA NOVA story.  From the very first moment in this amazing world, Skye made sure to welcome the Shannons and integrated herself into their lives.  She instinctively knew that they would both provide a great cover for her and that ultimately one day she may need them.  Skye’s instincts did not fail her.  She repeatedly exploited her friendship and good esteem with the Shannons to keep her actions from raising suspicion.; thus, proving that the best disguise is the friends you keep — and Skye had perfected the art of making friends in key places.  It also gave her an escape plan if things turned dicey in the high-stakes game of espionage with the Sixers.  Skye always knew that befriending Commander Taylor and the Shannons would be the one thing to save her if she were ever discovered.

So TERRA NOVA’s first season has slowly peeled back layer-after-layer of the dangers of living in a world without the full resources the settlers were accustomed to.  From fighting with the local wildlife to combating new contagions to meteors with detrimental soundwaves, life in this new world was unpredictable and dangerous.  Even with the modern technology brought with them, it is not enough to truly protect them from “mother nature” and all she has to throw at them.  Though, at times, she helped to level the playing field with the Sixers and it forced them to work together from time to time in order to survive.  Humans have never quite fully figured that out:  our very survival depends on cooperation and mutual appreciation, or we will not survive.  Alas, as most recently seen, all it takes is one blindly-determined angry genius to topple peace on Earth.

Lucas Taylor’s rage was converted into a hatred that opened the door to war.  With the portal gate now functional from both sides, at Lucas’ whim, all Hell is about to break loose.  For nothing will appease Lucas and assuage his boiling anger more than to see his father’s work destroyed and everyone who stands with him taken down.

How will Commander Taylor, Jim Shannon and the settlers of Terra Nova survive when confronted with the advanced weaponry of the future?  It was not a war they were prepared to fight.  Their mission was to travel back in time to preserve the planet for the future — not have to defend the planet from armed resistance and exploiters from their home timeline.

Suddenly, the ferocious, native dinosaurs seem to be the least of their problems.  Who knew that humans would steep so low as to destroy the planet before they would ever be born?  It could create a time paradox that is monstrous.  This is not a mere “butterfly effect” to worry about — it is the end of the planet as we know it.

To see how the Shannons, Commander Taylor, Skye and the rest of the Terra Novians fare as hostile forces approach, be sure to tune in for the 2-hour finale on Monday, December 19th at 8:00 p.m. on Fox,

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Experience the Wonder and Excitement of TERRA NOVA: Why You Should Give Fox’s New Dino-Drama a Chance

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Sci-fi columns, * Showcases, * TV Addict, Terra Nova on September 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm

If you are at all dialed into the television world, you have been hearing about the new television series TERRA NOVA for nearly two years.  But like fermenting wine, it takes time to create as detailed and magnificent a visual creation as TERRA NOVA.  Simply put, TERRA NOVA is a feast for the eyes.  All the time, money and passion poured into this show is evident from the first time you see it across the screen, and in a word, it is extraordinary.  The creators and talent behind the show have created a world that looks real.  It brings to life both a dystopian future and a dinosaur-infused past.

From the first moments you see a future in which Earth is so smog-ridden that the air is poisonous to breathe; and that world is over-populated and in desperate need of basic resources like food, water and air.  So when a miraculous discovery is made opening a portal into the past, humankind is quick to exploit the opportunity to go back in time and preserve the planet for future generations — giving humanity and the planet itself a second chance.

TERRA NOVA is a two-fold story: it is a story of our future and a story of our past, seamlessly woven together to create a tale of how one remarkable family makes that journey together and what they find there.  As seen through the eyes of a family struggling to stay together, TERRA NOVA is not only a second chance, it is their last chance.  Jim Shannon, played by Jason O’Mara, is a cop who finds himself on the other side of the law, is willing to anything to save his family. When an opportunity arises to give them a fresh start if they voyage to the unknown world of Terra Nova, neither he nor his family hesitates.  So in the midst of this larger than life story, we get to experience what it is like to travel into the unknown, back in time and to come face to face with dinosaurs.

The one small wrinkle is mankind’s own duality.  A select group is sent back in time with one mission: preserve the planet.  Yet, with an open wormhole to exploit, those that want to save the planet are not the only ones who can slip through.  Somehow a rebel faction is also sent back and a small war is brewing — or at least a battle for the limited resources in Terra Nova, such as medicine, food, fuel and weaponry.  With an indigenous population of dinosaurs, not all of which are friendly, weaponry and fuel are precious commodities.

So TERRA NOVA sets up a large array of stories to follow: the challenged Shannon family, the divergent groups of settlers vying for occupation of old Earth, and the murky politics and agendas of the world of the future.  The heroes of TERRA NOVA are the Shannons and they try to align themselves with the one man who can keep them safe in the strange new world, Commander Taylor (played by Stephen Lang).  Alliances are just as important as having a useful skill in a community that needs every person it can get in order to keep the balance in their mission.

TERRA NOVA may look and sound like a science fiction series, and it is based on solid sci-fi concepts, yet the true foundation of the show is the family drama.  To make the experience more real, gripping and relatable to the audience, the story focuses tightly on the Shannons.  It would be impossible to appreciate the beauty of TERRA NOVA if it were only seen through a military or science perspective — to grasp the wonder of it all, it must be seen through the lens of a family.  It is only then that one can take the time to gawk at the sheer magnificence of each and every dinosaur, cringe at the simplistic living conditions and understand how daunting it is to make such a trip risking their lives and everything they have known just to be together.  For everyone else in the Terra Nova world, they were selected and chose to go back in time.  For the Shannons, it was their only hope.

But like any answer to prayer, there can be a cost.  Terra Nova may be their salvation or it may be the one thing that destroys them all.  Leaping into the unknown is risky.  TERRA NOVA is at its heart a story of one family taking that leap of faith and both the joys and danger they encounter once they reach the other side. You will root and cheer for them as they face each new challenge — and you will sit on the edge of your seat with each ferocious dinosaur encounter.  TERRA NOVA may be beautiful, but it can be vicious and dangerous as well.

You are invited into the world of TERRA NOVA and see for yourself what compelled the Shannons to take on such an adventure and how they survive once they get there.  There will be moments of joy and moments of terror, but in the end, it is about their ability to stand together and the love they share for each other in the face of it all.  Join the Shannons and see where the journey leads.  TERRA NOVA airs its 2 hour premiere on Monday, September 26th at 8 p.m. on Fox.


“A Reflective Look at TERRA NOVA’s First Season as It Gears Up For War In Its Fall Finale”

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