Terra Nova may have gone the way of the Dodo on FOX, but could Netflix revive the serial-soft family drama? Also, Stephen Lang hits out at FOX for the show’s cancellation.
According to reports, streaming giant Netflix and Twentieth Century FOX are in preliminary talks over bringing the short-lived series back to life. It’s too early to say whether discussions will evolve into negotiations but this will undoubtedly be seen as encouraging news for fans left heart-broken over the show’s demise.
The Netflix discussions are hardly a surprise. As soon as the show was cancelled by FOX the studio (with the help of lead Jason O’Mara) announced they would try to find a new home for the series. Whether Netflix can afford to materialize a second life for the enormously expensive Terra Nova remains to be seen, but there’s a logic to their interest. The show is highly is highly DVR’d (an intriguing prospect for a steaming service) and Netflix are already bringing back another cancelled FOX series in Arrested Development.
If a move does materialize, it would be interesting for another reason — Netflix are beginning to make waves in the serialized TV landscape, so a Netflix-based Terra Nova could well see a more serialized Terra Nova. But as stressed above, it’s unclear whether these early talks will actually yield positive results in terms of a second chance (Part II) for the Shannons and Co.
Even so, Terra Nova‘s global viewership will be more heartened today than they were earlier in the week.
In related news, Stephen Lang (AKA Commander Taylor) has lashed out at FOX for being, what he calls, “myopic” over the cancellation of Terra Nova:
“Terra Nova is analogous to the Hubble Space Telescope. Within weeks of a much publicized and ballyhooed launch in 1990, the Hubble was found to have a serious flaw. Yet even with an improperly ground mirror the Hubble delivered extraordinary images. When the flaw was corrected the Hubble delivered images of transcendent beauty and value for many years. So too Terra Nova. Even in it’s flawed first season each episode was full of marvelous moments and beautiful images. With correction, and given the chance, Terra Nova can and will deliver seasons of transcendent images and story-telling. Failing to renew Terra Nova is shortsighted, as myopic as it would have been to scrap the Hubble. Terra Nova is the Hubble Telescope of television.” – Stephen Lang
I think ‘SLang’ is reaching a wee bit with that parallel, but in fairness he at least recognizes that the show had flaws. A second season may well have helped repair the show — I’m pretty sure most cancelled rookie shows would say the same thing — but the question is whether the show would be allowed to get better in its current mold?
In the end, the “beautiful images” and SFX, were not the main problem; it was the story-telling that Lang praises; the contrived dialogue, kiddie-geared storylines, poor character development, and disregard for serialization and science-fiction. Sure, we had the last clutch of episodes that addressed some of those issues, but for many viewers the show was inherently broken from the start and didn’t do nearly enough to instill confidence along the way. Having a lot of ‘stuff’ happen is not my idea of a great finale.
That said, I still believe the premise has potential, and should the improbable happen and something comes of the Netflix talks, I’d be very interested to find out the blueprint for 2.0. Would they give us a ‘grown-up’ version of Terra Nova? Would the procedural episodes be dropped in favor of more overarching stories? Would the ‘two-world’ scenario be better utilised? And the most important question of all — would the go away spider song return? These questions and more would need to be addressed. But let’s see if anything actually happens.
We’ll keep you updated on Terra Nova news as it develops.
Nathaniel Taylor Image: mercsilla