Comic-Con audiences got a first look at Fox's highly anticipated dino-drama Terra Nova, a series about a family that travels back to pre-historic Earth as part of a larger effort to ensure a future for humanity. All they need to do is re-establish society while peacefully co-existing with their dinosaur neighbors.
After screening the first hour and sitting in on the Q&A with producers that followed Saturday, here are six things we learned about the show, executive-produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Jason O'Mara:
1. How soon into the first episode of Fox's Terra Nova will viewers see a dinosaur? Pretty darn quickly. And — without giving much away — expect to see both the friendly type and the, uh, more bloodthirsty variety. "It's a dinosaur show. You will see dinosaurs," co-executive producer Jose Molina said. "We're an expensive show, and you're going to see that money on-screen. It's going to look bad-ass."
2. Are these Jurassic Park-quality dinos? All things considered, the hungry ones are pretty darn ferocious. Getting Terra Nova on the air has been a long process for Fox, one that has included several delays, mostly due to perfecting the look and movement of those prehistoric lizards. Producers said the show's visual effects supervisor Kevin Blank has now created a system to get good-looking dinos on the air on a weekly basis. "It's a challenge, and I think we're getting better as we go along," executive producer Rene Echevarria said.
3. But let's get to it: How many humans will they be eating? "Something you might not realize from watching the pilot is that all of the dinosaurs are from the Cretaceous period, so they're all herbivores," Molina said. Kidding! "Of course we like to kill people... You're going to see some pretty cool dino-on-man action. Epic dino-on-man action." Added Braga: "We'll satisfy your bloodlust." The panel seemed to be pretty serious on this point. "I figure there will be a mandate from the network: one eating per week," co-star Stephen Lang said.
4. Is Stephen Lang finally playing a good guy? That's to be determined. For now, he's nothing like Avatar's Colonel Miles Quaritch. As Terra Nova's Frank Taylor, he's leading the charge to "build a new hope for humanity" back in the past, a time long before mankind has over-polluted the planet. But his intentions may be more complicated. "He's something of an enigmatic figure, and that's quite intentional," Lang said. Joked Molina: "How can you not trust this face?"
5. Also, there are The Sixers. The Sixers? They're a renegade group of humans that continue to try and infiltrate Taylor's camp, or as Echevarria says, "They're kind of our bad guys." In the beginning, that simply means "they have a different agenda than Frank about his building this colony. That's all I'm going to say for now."
6. Terra Nova is not so unlike... Star Trek! Executive producers Echevarria and Brannon Braga met while working on Star Trek: The Next Generation. "I like to say this is a show Gene Rodenberry would have liked," Echevarria said. Added Braga: It has dinosaurs, yes, but it's largely about "second chances and exploring humanity's new hope, but also the baggage they carry with them... That's very Star Trek."
Check out the trailer for the show:
Terra Nova premieres Monday, Sept. 26 at 8/7c on Fox.
(Additional reporting by Natalie Abrams.)