People who complain bitterly about “The Walking Dead” might complain less so if they had “Terra Nova” as a comparison point. The Spielberg-produced series basically had all the problems of Darabont’s “The Walking Dead,” times 100. There were a quarter as many dinosaurs in “Terra Nova” as there are zombies in “The Walking Dead,” the forward action on “Terra Nova” is somehow even more glacially paced than “The Walking Dead,” and “Terra Nova” — with the exception of Stephen Lang — had actors five times more wooden and bland than anyone on “The Walking Dead.” It’s almost impossible to imagine that a sci-fi series produced by Spielberg that involved deadly dinosaurs, time travel, and an alternate universe could be as boring as “Terra Nova,” but somehow, they managed that feat.
The series debuted last fall with middling ratings, and never managed to catch on with the family audiences for which it was aimed. In the network universe we live in now, middling ratings might have kept it alive but for the fact that “Terra Nova” was a wildly expensive show with a very long production cycle. Fox is cancelling it.
The sort of fun irony here is that Fox renewed “Fringe” last season despite significantly lower ratings than “Terra Nova” (granted, it was on a Friday night compared to Monday night), but even still, ratings for “Fringe” haven’t been as good as ratings were for “Terra Nova” since “Fringe’s” second season. The reverse backstabbing irony, however, is that “Firefly” also had better ratings than “Fringe” does now, and yet it was canceled after 13 episodes were aired out of order.
The lesson here, as it is in all cases where Fox is involved — whether they made the right decision or not — is, as always: Screw Fox.