A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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.
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?
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love sci-fi
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.