Terra Nova

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Terra Nova TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Big-budget supernatural thriller with family at its heart.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 19 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Both the old and new worlds are filled with problems, hinting that humanity is inherently flawed. But the ideals of Terra Nova seek to reverse the greed, war, and ignorance that destroyed planet Earth. Other important values in the new world include family, collectivism, and, to some extent, environmentalism/conservation.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main characters stick together as a family to survive, and if they do something that's considered illegal by the powers that be, they're doing it out of sincere love for each other. Both male and female characters also have critical jobs within the colony, and the rebel faction is led by a powerful woman.

Violence

Some blood and sudden violence. A few characters carry weapons (guns, tasers, etc.), either for security/protection or to assault other people. The new world also houses meat-eating dinosaurs that attack and kill humans.

Sex

Some light kissing, caressing. Some romantic tension. Hints at sexual activity between a married couple. Potential for romance between teens.

Language

Occasional cursing like "damn," "hell," "bastard," and "son of a bitch."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

In one episode, teens make their own moonshine and drink it, but there are negative consequences to their actions. Rare social drinking among adults.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sci-fi drama drives home positive messages about the importance of family and working together, with a focus on both teen and adult characters. That said, there's regular violence (including shootings and bloody dinosaur attacks) that's likely too intense for younger viewers. You'll also hear low-level cursing -- from "damn" to "son of a bitch" -- and see a little light romance. There usually isn't much in terms of drinking, but in one episode, teens make moonshine and drink it, only to learn a valuable lesson.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJohn_Baw May 2, 2020
Adult Written byaubreyb1 September 20, 2015

Enjoyable

I often watched this show alongside my 10 year old.
Kid, 10 years old June 12, 2016

SSSSSS-UUUUUUUUUU-PPPPPPPPPPPP-EEEEEEEE-RRRRRRRRRRR

I really like it, and I think that it's similar to Jurassic World, but it's more interesting
Teen, 16 years old Written bymore2watchandread December 15, 2015

Content on Terra Nova

Terra Nova is about a man and a woman who have more kids than they're allowed in a strict dystopian society (they're married, of course). The guy assa... Continue reading

What's the story?

In the year 2149, a family of five (Jason O'Mara, Shelley Conn, Landon Liboiron, Naomi Scott, and Alana Mansour) moves mountains to stick together when they're selected to travel to TERRA NOVA, an experimental community that's being built 85 million years in the past. But living in prehistoric times presents a brand-new set of problems, from carnivorous dinosaurs to a rebellious splinter colony with murky motives.

Is it any good?

Thanks to Steven Spielberg's backing, Terra Nova had plenty of buzz behind it well before it aired. And while hype like that can prove premature, in this case, it's surprisingly accurate, for in addition to mixing weighty themes, gripping action, and a well-paced plot with stellar production values, Terra Nova is largely family friendly, too.

 

It's particularly challenging to craft a series that will interest today's parents and teens. But Terra Nova rises to the occasion by giving adult and teen characters near-equal screen time, creating entry points for a variety of tastes. And if all else fails, well ... there's always the dinosaurs.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the show's sci-fi premise and whether some of its themes are really that far off. What are the real-life consequences of greed, war, and ignorance? What actions can you take to ensure that the world you live in remains safe and habitable?

  • How accurately does the show portray relationships between parents and their kids, particularly teens?

  • Is the violence you see on this show any less impactful simply because it takes place in the sci-fi realm? What forms does violence take on planet Earth vs. Terra Nova?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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