Jason O'Mara, Stephen Lang

After what seems like 85 million years of anticipation, Fox's dinosaur adventure Terra Nova finally premieres tonight. To mark the occasion, Fox has given TV Guide Magazine this exclusive piece of promotional art. The shot mixes a live-action photo of series stars Jason O'Mara and Stephen Lang (taken on location in the Australian forest) with a computer-generated image of a rampaging carnosaur — one of the first dinosaurs to be seen tonight.

The special effects team knows that its dinosaurs could make or break the show. "Once audiences see the best [of CGI], they expect to keep on seeing it," says Lang, who plays Nathaniel Taylor, commander of the Terra Nova settlement, 85 million years in the past. "It makes our job very tricky, but we take that mandate seriously."

They'll show off their work again in the October 3 episode, which features a pack of killer pterosaurs that dive-bomb the colonists; Taylor and ex-cop Jim Shannon (O'Mara) must fight to save their paradise from utter destruction. "We're all dying to see how the episode turns out," says Lang, who spends many a day battling creatures that aren't really there. "I just shot a scene that took three full nights — a face-off between my character and a pair of mating dinosaurs. It's painstaking stuff but always a thrill and a gift when we see the finished product."

The two-hour series premiere of Terra Nova airs tonight at 8/7c on Fox.

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