“Terra Nova”: Part “Jurassic Park” part “Blade Runner”

a href=”http://spielbergfanclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Terra-Nova-cast-photo.jpg”>Ecosalon: It’s the year 2149, and the Earth is like a brown dust ball rising in space. On land, things aren’t much better. The Chicago skyline crumbles into a Blade Runner-style landscape. Sallow citizens breathe through dark mouth filters. Teenagers greet a single orange with an enthusiasm currently reserved for Justin Bieber tickets. “At the dawn of the 22nd century, the world is on the verge of an environmental collapse,” reads the ominous opening credits. “Mankind’s only hope for survival lies 85 million years in the past.”

This, my fellow TV watchers, is the first reason why FOX’s latest drama Terra Nova is awesome. Welcome to one big “I told you this would happen” smug fest for environmentalists. The Steven Spielberg-produced drama takes us back 85 million years into the past, where humans are colonizing pre-historic Earth because we have royally screwed up the environment.

In 2149, the Earth’s air is so toxic that everyone is forced to walk around wearing a portable air filter attached to their face. Families are only allowed two children because “Overpopulation equals extinction.” Trash litters the streets and people live as the homeless, despite impeccably beautiful skin and muscle tone.

Our delight in environmentalist finger wagging is cut short when our heroes, the Swiss Family Shannon, make a break for a new life 85 million years into the past. They arrive at Terra Nova, which looks something like an eco-resort plucked into the middle of the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios. Still, the show continues to deadpan a utopian – or is it a dystopian? – view of the future. Or the past. Past future. And here’s why it’s awesome.

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