troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Headscratchers: Terra Nova
  • If the trip to Terra Nova is indeed a one-way trip as is said in the pilot and there is no going back once you are through, then how the hell did they even find out what was on the other side? The probe didn't transmit/come back/get found millions of years later, so, what, they just sent a human being into the alternate universe portal? And when he didn't come back, they just decided, "Hey, you know what? Let's send in more people through so they can establish a society on the other side! I mean, sure, for all we know we could be evaporating their bodies the second they enter the portal, or be sending them into, like, frickin' Mars or something where they'll suffocate and die, but that's cool, let's go ahead and give it a shot!" Further, if that's the only portal in and it only goes in one direction, then how is communication possible between the two societies?
    • It only sends people in one direction. Energy, like transmissions, is two-way.
    • Also, if you pay attention, they sent back a probe and then found it after it took The Slow Path.
  • How exactly did they get the figure of 85 million years ago? The leader was the first person through, thus theoretically the first to make an estimate. Best I can figure is from how close the moon is.
    • They apparently knew how far back it was when they sent in the first probe. I'm guessing that the equations governing the physics let them know the span.
    • Plus, the year can be extrapolated from a view of the night sky.
  • They brought through jeeps, but not flying machines? I would think one trip in a helicopter just to map the surrounding area would be darn handy.
    • True. On the other hand, it's a heavily forested area, so mostly what you'd see from the air is just a jungle canopy.
    • But they keep having situations where one of their transports breaks down and they need to rush out to rescue people. That would be a lot easier with even one helicopter. Also apparently they have remote outposts that they run supplies to overnight, it seems like that's altogether a bad idea, but made worse by the lack of aircraft.
    • It's probably easier to send a jeep than a helicopter. With a jeep, you can just drive it through. A helicopter would need to be broken down and then reassembled on the other side. Plus, they'd have to deal with all those flying dinosaurs and need a substantial area to house, refuel, and takeoff/land.
      • A helicopter would also break down far more often, however well engineered, because it would solve too many easy problems, and the writers probably weren't allowed to use any hard complex problems.
      • Helicopters and aerial machines in general also chug fuel a lot faster and in greater quantities than land vehicles. Pragmatism says this would be a good reason to skip them until they have a good supply on hand and in excess, no matter how much they want it. Though having one 'for emergency' in some form or fashion wouldn't be a bad idea.
    • That said, during the pterosaur episode, they do bring up that they have a number of hot air balloons that they use for surveying and such. So it may be that they -do- have aerial machines around but between the canopy and limited fuel, they're basically used for research and general scouting.
  • They set up a search area to find the kids, but with most daily things taking place inside the fence how many roads can there be to search??
    • The kids were in an all-terrain vehicle. They were clearly not on one of the established trails.
  • How the hell did the little girl get in the backpack? Sorry if this was explained on the show, my friends and I were talking a lot and missed a few things.
    • I don't blame you. And don't worry because they never DID explain how she got into the backpack, let alone show how the hell Elisabeth would trust a shady dealer to take care of her daughter until Jim escaped.
      • Because she had no choice. The entire plan was an act of desperation. Trusting a stranger to help smuggle the daughter in was the only option they had, as much as it sucked. As for how she got into the backpack... does that really need an explanation? You open the zipper, put the kid in, and then close it.
      • How did they not have to go through some sort of security that would have detected the kid in the backpack? It's 2011 and you probably can't smuggle a kid through airport security. Are we really supposed to believe that in 2149, it's that simple to get a kid in?
      • Didn't dad pick up the kid after he was already pass the check-in area where all the bags are checked? I assumed the smuggler (who looked to be in uniform) was some sort of security guard who can get things into the "boarding area" without going through an x-ray.
      • Simple answer: money, money, money. Elizabeth is implied to have a LOT of money, enough that Taylor asks her why she came to Terra Nova at all when she could live comfortably in 2149. Since money is of little use in Terra Nova, it can be assumed that she liquefied a good portion of her wealth to use as bribe money to get Zoe through security.
      • Actually, the second episode has established that Terra Nova does have a currency-based economy...which makes some sense as they have quite a bit of scarcity in the colony.
  • Why go back that far? Especially given that the premise is of creating a divergent timeline, go back only 500,000 years where the fauna and flora is more compatible to humanity. Little things like would crops have any way to pollinate given that many rely on insects who have a relationship with modern plants.
    • Because they don't have any control over it. All they can do is send people through, they can't adjust when they arrive.
    • Maybe they didn't want to screw over ancient humans?
    • What ancient humans? For all we know this parallel dimension never suffers the Dinosaur Killer impact and life goes merrily on for dinos for the next hundred million years.
  • How did Josh and Skye survive jumping into the falls without even the slightest injury? Neither one had any sort of form, and the water was at least 50' down from where they jumped. While both of them likely would have survived without issue, the impact would have at least caused some minor injuries.
    • Soft Water?
    • Ask the Stunt Doubles
    • Note that the water was being disturbed pretty significantly and they, more or less, hit it in a dive. These things alone would help since part of the reason hitting water can hurt is the surface tension.
    • Actually, a 50-foot dive is not that much of a challenge. When I went through boot camp 20 years ago, one of the tests needed to graduate was to complete two dives. The first was only around 20 feet, but the second was 50 feet. If you are on an Aircraft Carrier, there are two reasons for diving into the drink, you either go voluntarily (abandon ship), or involuntarily (man overboard). Either way, you have to know how to make that dive the right way because the freeboard of an Aircraft Carrier is around 50 feet. Mind you, it is not that hard, just step off the side like you are jumping off a low wall and stay vertical the entire drop. You are not going in headfirst, you are going in feet first. Another reason I know a 50 foot dive is not as dangerous as you think is when I was a kid, I use to swim at a local lake, and me and my sisters, cousins, etc use to dive off an abandoned bridge, which was 50 feet off the water. It is not the height that is the problem, it is how deep the water is. If the water is shallow, you might have a problem. 15 or 20 feet depth should be good enough.
  • The supposed "proof" that Terra Nova is located in an alternate timeline doesn't hold water. "We sent a probe through the time fracture. When we didn't pick up a signal that proved it was in another time-stream." Uh, no, all that proves is that the probe wasn't hardy enough to survive eighty-five million years on a planetary surface that will undergo an extinction-level collision between then and now!
    • If it was in the same time stream, wouldn't they find some fossilized human skeletons?
      • The odds of any individual animal being fossilised are literally billions to one. That's just on average. It's even less in a largely damp environment - like the one they're in. And the chance of finding those fossils is even lower.
    • Presumably they designed the probe specifically to be able to survive 85 million years and transmit its signal then. It's easy to ensure that something would survive the K-T extinction event if you know in advance that it's coming. Think of stuff like ferns and rodents that survived the meteor and went on to become pretty successful...if they could do it, why not a durably built probe created with knowledge of the meteor strike in mind?
      • It's a two-foot-wide metal probe. Even if you generally know where the continents are going to end up, good luck finding said beach ball when you've got an entire planet to search. It could easily be deep in the oceanic crust, or buried/melted in a lava flow, or destroyed by any number of other nasty geological fates that befall basically anything that isn't deposited in low-energy environments that miraculously remain undeformed to the modern day. (Pressures at depth make diamonds out of carbon deposits; a little tin can is nothing against that.) A flood could come along and wash it somewhere you don't expect. A tropical paradise might end up buried under a multi-kilometre-thick glacial ice cap. Some dinosaur might come along and decide it makes a wicked soccer ball or a nice light snack. End result: a literally billions-to-one chance that the probe would even survive 85 million years of geological time — not counting (A) the unlikelihood of the probe still having any battery power to transmit and (B) the sheer difficulty in scouring the planet for wherever it might have inserted itself.
      • It also overlooks the possibility that someone in the Terra Nova colony might have deliberately destroyed the probe, to ensure the colony's history would unfold as we've seen it. In which case, showing us the probe in the pilot episode would be a Chekov's Gun for an act of sabotage we'll see later.
    • The way I see it is that they figured out someway to track the particles of the probe, so that if the tiniest piece of this probe was anywhere in the world in 2149, they could track it.
      • Then either (A) you need particle-sized batteries and transmitters that survive 85 million years intact in order to actively put out their signals, or (B) you need the entire probe to be radioactive so that its pieces, once found, can be accurately dated no matter the size. There's still the challenges of just finding said particles in the vastness of a tens-of-thousands-of-kilometres-wide geologically active planet, as well as being able to identify minute fragments as part of the specific probe.
    • Probably the probe was just the first clue that the portal opened to a different timeline. Maddy never stated that it was the only proof. I figured she was simplifying the story for her siblings. Also a way of letting the audience know that Terra Nova was (or supposed to be) in a parallel timeline without pontificating.
    • And now this one's been resolved, what with the probe being blown up during the Phoenix Group's invasion of the Terra Nova settlement in the first season finale. Evidently, Terra Nova probably is in the "real" Earth's timeline.
      • Considering that it was so fragile that an average, man-made explosion could wreck it one has to wonder exactly how well it was engineered and whether or not the scientists involved just said "meh, why bother actually trying to find the dumb thing".
  • Just because Terra Nova is built in an alternate timestream and won't erase the future of our heroes, doesn't that mean they are committing potential genocide against the future humans (or whomever would have evolved) native to that reality?
    • They're probably assuming/hoping that the meteor will wipe the slate clean when it arrives in twenty million years, leaving things back to schedule and ready for humans.
    • My theory is that the Sixers are actually from the Terra Nova's future, come back in time to stop these bastards from mucking up their timeline.
    • You can't perform a genocide against somebody who hasn't been born. Otherwise you could argue that we are performing potential genocides with every action we take, since practically anything can impede a civilization from forming in some unforeseeable future. That kind of concern is purely academical, with no practical application.
    • From what I see, Time works like this - Every event can cause a number of effects, which in turn cause their own effects, spanning and turning around to follow around to create a similar event with a different cause. This, in turn, repeats the cycle until time becomes less a line and more a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey... stuff.
  • The penalty for having a third kid is a fine?? The way they were hiding the baby in the beginning seemed like it was a death sentence if the kid is found.
    • Yes, a fine. then they probably take the kid away and put them in an orphanage or something.
      • Well, Zoe and the rest of her family (aside from dad) didn't act like they have been living apart for the last 3 years.
      • "A family is four," according to the sign. Mom plus three kids minus dad equals four.
      • Elizabeth was a highly respected doctor so that may have weighed in their favour as far as potentially being let off with a fine went. The son did say that they "might" have been let off, so there was no guarantee. Maybe the fine was so huge that paying it wouldn't be an option for any family that wasn't wealthy, and their third children would be euthanised. It could also be that a fine wasn't always an option, and that it depended on the judge or whoever made the call. The Shannons didn't want to take the chance of losing Zoe so they tried to hide her.
      • Maybe they were worried Dad would lose his job as a cop for breaking the law. Of course his temper made that all academic.
      • IIRC, Josh says something (during a fit of temper) along the lines of 'if you hadn't punched that cop, we might have gotten away with a fine'. Taylor seemed to think that Jim took the heat for having Zoe, so his jail time may have been deemed sufficient punishment for Zoe's existence, and, as mentioned above, his absence made the family 'four' again. Josh's assertion could have been an impression he gained after the fact - that because the family did pay a fine, and no one took Zoe away, that would have been the end of it if his dad had kept his cool. He's not necessarilly correct, though.
      • Right. Josh is a dick teenage kid that is convinced all the problems in his life are the fault of his parents. So, y'know, his view of things may not be the one you want to judge the actual legal situation on.
    • As the first reply said, they would probably have taken the girl away. She would have been raised as a ward of the state or... we don't know exactly how bad it is, it's entirely possible she may have been euthanized. So no, it's not Jim having a "temper", he's in desperate fear of his daughter being taken away to god-knows-what fate. Him freaking out is completely understandable.
  • If the government is so fanatic about Zero Population Growth, why donít they just sterilize either or both parents after the second child? A reversible procedure could be used if the future society offers waivers or such.
    • For that matter, how did they manage to hide nine months of pregnancy in such a tightly regulated society?
      • Elizabeth seems to bring in a lot of cash. Some vacation time, a move, having trusted colleagues and bribes handle her medical needs, and pretending to simply gain weight are all feasible. On top of which, not all women display their pregnancies as dramatically as others.
    • Probably because the government isn't a dystopia that can forcibly do that sort of thing?
      • The government is quite explicitly a dystopia. It's just a dystopia that some people are willing to accept, as your own comment proves. "Don't have any more kids after the first two" is much, much easier to swallow for the average person as being the action of a benevolent, concerned government than "after your first two kids, we force you to be sterilized", even if it works out to the exact same thing. People are much more willing to accept limits on their freedom depending on how you go about limiting it, even if the end result is exactly the same.
  • So Terra Nova can communicate with the future somehow, as Col. Quaritch claims he didn't want to report the Sixer rebellion because he couldn't trust the people on the other end. But, if you don't trust the people in the future, wouldn't that make it more likely that he should report it? What if waves 7-10 were reinforcements for the Sixers? He seems to welcome subsequent waves into the camp with no concern at all. The future kind of has him by the balls here, they're behind a one-way portal. If they really wanted to take Terra Nova, they could send armed men through whenever they wanted in order to seize it by force.
    • If Taylor doesn't know that the Sixers can apparently talk to the future, too then he may be playing it close to his chest for exactly that reason. He figures that if the enemy knows their infiltrators were found out and driven from the colony, they might attempt more aggressive tactics to gain control. Also, note that the portal isn't inside Terra Nova. An assault force would almost certainly be able to take the escort crew, but once they were through, they would need to deal with the fact that they A: couldn't get back, B: were stuck in a location where the only habitable settlement is controlled by their enemy, and C: said enemy has the loyalty of its people. Even if they followed in the Sixers' footsteps and pretended to be ordinary pilgrimages, they'd still need to gather weapons at some point; Taylor would very likely be on the look-out for that sort of thing. Note how quick the escort time by the portal were to react when they realized Jim had a gun on him, and that Taylor didn't trust him at all until Jim saved his life.
    • Also note how the Sixer's behaved as told by Taylor. They first blended in and stock piled supplies and such (makes sense since they couldn't smuggle big amounts through the gate). Also note that not everyone in the future is with the Sixers (and we saw how the gate works - it's heavily guarded and a massive complex) - an outright attack force would not likely succeed. Chances are, Taylor assumed that if there were more after the Sixers, they'd need to operate much like the Sixer currently do - through subterfuge rather than overt attacks.
  • Cross-timeline Communication: Exactly how are the people of Terra Nova able to establish proper/efficient communication with people from 85 million years later (the people of Earth in the year 2149) in an alternate timeline? One would think that communication would be very limited... It could be plausible if both Terra Nova and Earth were of the same timeline, such as requiring the put-object-in-one-place-and-unearth-object-in-same-place-in-the-future method (if anyone has seen the part in Xiaolin Showdown where Omi freezes himself in one spot in the past with the Orb of Tornami and waits many years to awaken for the crisis in the future, you'll have a rough idea of what I'm talking about), but contact between differing timeline is a bit out there... From what I see, Terra Nova makes it seem like communication between the two time periods/timelines is as easy as chatting on the phone with someone in the room next to you...
    • Well, the way I understood it, was that the rift in time-space or whatever it is they use to travel to Terra Nova was not created by the scientists, merely discovered and then "tamed" by them. They just somehow stabilize it to make crossing over possible, they don't generate it. So, if it was already there, maybe there is information leakage, so perhaps radio signals can cross on both directions much more easily than solid matter -they do mention humans can't cross back-. In fact, if there is some information leakage, like particles, that could have been the explanation of how they found the rift in the first place.
    • Right now I'm going with the Stargate situation where radio waves goes both ways through the portal but matter only go one way.
    • Seems that they wait for a pilgrimage to come through and send a transmission back to the future the instant pilgrims step through the 'portal'.
  • Between the rebreathers (into which the government/corporations could slip in any "purifying additives" they wanted), the fact that nobody would probably notice another chemical in the air, and just controlling what's in the tap water, why hasn't the future society dosed up the population with chemicals to dull their sex drives? That would DRASTICALLY reduce the number of unauthorized conceptions.
    • Maybe they do. Maybe medical professionals know about it and tend to counter such measures, either out of general dislike, or because they have some unpleasant side-effects. Elizabeth is a doctor, after all.
    • Maybe the future isn't a complete dystopia. After all, they could have very well sent out their leaders into the rift and then closed the gate if they wanted to simply live in comfort (or ignore the masses completely). But they didn't so there's at least some level of concern for their citizens. And the general population could very well be -for- the population control; if the environment is really that bad (and the society just as - Josh mentions three of his friends committed suicide in high school), it may very well be that people see having more than two kids as down right irresponsible.
      • How exactly would they live in comfort without sending people back first to build comforts for them and an infrastructure for them to be comfortable in? You're giving future-government waaaay too much credit.
    • Also, note what Lucas and the General said to Taylor about Hope Plaza (the source of the Pilgrimages). They do not know about the true nature of Terra Nova. This suggests that most of the effort is genuine and that it's only part of the future that wants to exploit Terra Nova. The rest are actually trying to do something beneficial about the situation.
  • Okay, the viewers know that the stowaway fugitive is actually not too bad of a guy, but still: giving an escaped prisoner a job where he has a machete? One can only assume it was a Secret Test of Character...
    • Well, the commander was apparently watching him the entire time, so that sounds about right.
    • The commander apparently had access to his criminal record from the future, I guess the future types must have sent it back. Recognizing that he was an ex-cop whose crime was defending an illegal baby, he probably decided to give him a chance.
    • Yeah, Shannon doesn't seem like much of a threat even to the cautious eye. Worst comes to worst, he's still got his kids to look out for. With nothing but unforgiving jungle around them, Taylor already pretty much had him by the balls; the guy wasn't going to conquer the colony with one sharp and pointy object.
  • Why wasn't the future willing to let the locked-up prisoner go with his family to Terra Nova? Not only was his crime not THAT bad, but they wouldn't have to pay to feed him anymore.
    • Humans Are Bastards. Also, a lack of rebreathers for prisoners means they wouldn't have to feed him for very long (because, again, Humans Are Bastards).
    • Because people ignoring environmental protection laws for short sighted personal gain (for 150 years) is why the planet is so screwed up. And the first thing we see Jim doing is ignoring enviromental protection laws for short sighted personal gain. The people in charge of a dying planet have very good reasons for not liking people like Jim.
    • Same reason why they wouldn't let Elizabeth take Zoe with her. Because they didn't want to seem to be rewarding people who broke the law, and Terra Nova isn't a penal colony. It's a place to send their best and brightest to avoid repeating past mistakes (or so the official claims go).
    • Because the people in charge don't want people that have displayed too much tendency to think for themselves and act on their thoughts going to Terra Nova. They much prefer people that have explicit reasons to be loyal to whoever's in charge... whether it's effectively holding their families hostage or just because they have a tendency to do what whoever controls the money and the machinery tells them to do. People who want nasty, selfish things like control over their own bodies and their own families are dangerous to building a calm, obedient society that can be ruled over with minimum effort.
  • Why are the weapons so ineffective at bringing down the dinosaurs? I mean, we're really good at killing things now, to say nothing of that far into the future. And why would the dinosaurs look at us like food? Especially after getting a few magazines emptied into them?
    • They have guns to defend against smaller animals and human enemies. For the larger dinosaurs, they have sonic weaponry; guns can also provide a temporary distraction to run away.
    • Bullets essentially kill by brain damage and/or blood loss. Unfortunately, if you don't hit the brain, large dinos have a LOT of blood. The guns are almost certainly killing them, just not quickly enough. Also, if the guns were effective, or they knew how to use them properly, the dinos wouldn't be threatening.
      • But bullets are also very good at tearing flesh to pieces, and that happens to hurt. High powered rifle bullets can cause hydrostatic shock, causing massive traumatic tissue damage in areas of the body that are not necessarily in the wound channel. A predator who has just had half of its shoulder muscle ripped to shreds is not going to get angry and redouble its efforts. It is going to run away.
      • Unless it doesn't feel pain very well, and tends to ride its adrenaline bursts even to its own detriment. I would imagine that dinosaurs are not terribly sensitive.
      • That makes... absolutely no sense. An animal which cannot feel pain until after it has torn giant gaping holes in its muscle tissue will quickly drive itself to extinction. Pain is a very important stimuli for making sure we don't cause irreparable tissue damage that will kill us before we manage to spread our genes. Unless these Slashers have also evolved the ability to stitch up wounds and suppress bleeding.
      • To be effective on the larger dinosaurs, you'd need a lot of stopping power. And we don't know how thick or tough their skin is. It may even be possible that they simply don't have the ability to make the bullets necessary anymore since they probably killed off big game animals centuries prior. Why maintain techniques for ammunition that because obsolete.
      • A crew served, or vehicle mounted, heavy machine gun of the sort mounted on the Sixer jeep firing .50BMG or 12.7x108mm rounds has a lot of stopping power. These weapons are basically rapid firing miniature artillery pieces that can tear through even light armored vehicles with sustained fire. This bullet is the kind used in anti-materiel rifles, after all. Smaller, man-sized dinosaurs like the Slasher or Nykoraptor should by no means be able to withstand small arms fire, because you forget that thick hides are by definition heavy, and more weight is an evolutionary disadvantage for a predator who is supposed to be swift and agile. As for why we would maintain techniques for ammunition that is obsolete, you might want to ask those people who continue to make swords, spears, or crossbows. The knowledge is very easily available, and our materials science is more than advanced enough. It takes some trial and error to redevelop some kind of large caliber magnum cartridge, but it is not impossible. And, yeah, the "future" is 2148. Only room for one century in there.
      • Weight does not necessarily need to be a disadvantage. It can be an advantage for something that relies on speed and agility. Some very fast predators hunt by basically jumping on something and then letting their body weigh down the prey to exhaustion. Some predator birds use speed and weigh to stun on impact. And some simply weigh more because they have built in airbags (basically) that let them go faster without killing themselves.
  • What do they plan to do about the meteor?
    • If the meteor happens at all, it won't be for another 20 million years, by which time man will either: a) be wiped out by other means, b) taken to space exploration again, or c) don't worry about something that far ahead.
  • Haven't watched it yet, but was wondering: where they get their electricity and how do they power their vehicles? Do they invent some Applied Phlebtonium that cleanly powers the cars? Or do they not explain it? Cause it's a little silly to be driving cars powered by the animals you're surrounded by, mostly because the original source of that fuel won't be ready for use for millions of years, not to mention that you'd have to refine the crude oil before using it first.
    • Terra Nova has several windmills and the cars are probably run by hydrogen fuel cells, or some other more efficient power source (they come back from the future, after all).
      • But is the car situation explained or just assumed? do they sound like they're running from pistons? Also hydrogen fuel cells are efficient to use but extremely inefficient to make. it costs more to make them than what you get out of it...although I guess it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to assume they've figured out ways around it. And yes, it is in the future, but how the heck did the future get so polluted if they had such efficient fuel sources?
      • A wizard did it.
      • They figured them out too late, or were unwilling to pay the extra cost, or because they had a world war with chemical weapons, or any of the other googleplex options.
      • This was more or less explained first episode. The needed a powercell (battery) to get the little jeep going, suggesting the cars are electric or fuel cell.
    • That and oil is mostly decayed algae and bacteria, which have been around long enough that there should be significant deposits by the Cretaceous.
  • Just how does Jim manage to stay ripped and in optimal physical shape after sitting two years in a jail cell breathing pollution?
    • One would assume he got let out occasionally for exercise.
    • Meta reason, it's an action series, and you can't have your action hero protagonist spending the entire first season getting back to a point where he's able to run for a few seconds without collapsing. In universe reason... hell, I don't know, maybe some of the pollution acts as steroids and keeps his muscles from atrophying?
  • Why is there grass? Grass-plants evolved well after the dinosaurs. And alternate timeline doesn't cut it. That big change in evolution should be extremely visible in all wildlife.
    • The people filming the series don't want to lawnmower/spray herbicide over everything every time they want to shoot an outdoor scene.
    • There are still places on this Earth with trees and bushes but no grass. Some of the 3D animated dinosaur documents of the yesteryear were filmed in such places.
      • While that may be true, it doesn't mean it's practical or within the budget to do so.
    • The thing to remember here is that the show takes place in the LATE CRETACEOUS. Grass was definitely around by that time, or at least grass-like plants: [1] They became widespread near the end of the Cretaceous. So it's more a case of Reality Is Unrealistic.
    • Also, MST3K Mantra. In fact, most of this page can be settled with MST3k Mantra.
  • If they have the technology to tinker with DNA and use viruses, and to use a modified cold virus to combat a different issue, why didn't they have a cure for the common cold in the first place?
    • Probably because it's not a deadly disease.
    • Two possible reasons: 1) The rhinovirus (which causes the common cold) wouldn't exist 85 million years ago, so they'll be dealing with something that causes cold-like symptoms (unless the writers didn't do the research). 2) Viruses constantly evolve. Curing it one year will just mean you'll be dealing with something new another year.
    • One of the reasons that it's called the common cold is because we get it repeatedly. For that matter, we get annual flu vaccinations. Part of recovering from colds and flus is developing antibodies.
    • Also probably a matter of practicality and reasources - spend what may be precious research time, resources, and what not developing a cure every year which may amount to hundreds of dollars per person... or let someone get the sniffles for a few days and eat some cheap soup that costs next to nothing per person.
  • Why didn't they electrify the fence? Especially after those pterosaurs perched on them en masse.
    • Electrifying the fence wouldn't affect the pterosaurs for the same reason birds can sit on high voltage wires. Also electrifying the fence would probably lead to several civilian casualties.
    • The fence seems to be largely made of wood, a cheap and abundant building material. Difficult to electrify wood.
      • Again with the fence. Why would they build a fence out of a few wooden logs? People can sneak in and out pretty much at will. Wood doesn't do anything to stop high velocity rifle bullets, which means it's lousy for cover, security troops already have clear fields of fire the towers. Those half dozen logs wouldn't do anything to stop a charging Carnotaur. Why are there no makeshift dragon's teeth to break up the flat ground and keep larger dinosaurs from building up speed? Terra Nova's perimeter security is a joke.
      • They have to work with the resources at hand. Given they already have sonic cannons that can drive away the larger beasts reliably, they don't need dragon's teeth. The fence will certainly keep out most larger predators and the smaller ones are generally a nuisance if they can fit through. The Sixers were an unknown variable, and now they aren't in a position to build a better fence.
      • So you have a fence that can reliably stop smaller dinosaurs. Whoopdey-doo. Sure, sonic cannons are useful for deterring larger dinosaurs... in limited numbers. It took concentrated fire from two cannons just to head off two Carnotaurs. Imagine a herd of medium to large dinosaurs stampeding towards the fence. The active defenses would be overwhelmed in short order, and the passive defenses wouldn't last 5 seconds without being destroyed. Not very useful if you ask me. And then there are human infiltrators. Sure, the Sixers were not in the initial mission plan. But there have been 4 pilgrimages since then, and nobody has done a thing to make the fence impermeable to humans? Not to mention the security response is so lousy, Sixers could easily insert infiltrators just by buzzing the walls on one side of the camp and sending their spies in the other side.
      • Where are they to get the materials to build such a fence? From their willingness to trade a hostage for a box of meteoric iron, they can't have too much metal. That means it'd have to be made of wood. The colony is huge, so they'd have to clear cut a lot of forest to shore it up properly. Then there's the issue of the Sixers picking off their hugely vulnerable workforce during all this. They made a fence that could reliably stop the local wildlife. Now they're in a position where they can't rebuild it.
    • Perhaps itís just fond memories of Impossible Creatures clouding my judgment, but the fence doesnít seem to need to do anything but support some sonic weapon and/or sonar towers. And it happens to break up herds of big animals just fine, kind of like wood based dragon's teeth.
    • Taylor and others have also mentioned the use of sonic mines. So while they have the fence and the cannons, those are not their only line of defense. As far as "Sixers could easily insert infiltrators just by buzzing the walls on one side of the camp and sending their spies in the other side"... well, that actually -does- happen so it's not like Taylor is being stupid. He just may not have the ability to do much about it (or it's a long slow process of upgrading things). Also, remember that this is a civilian colony as well - at some point, if you make these massive imposing walls, you're not just making something to keep things in... you're giving the impression that you're keeping people -in-. And Taylor would not want that either; this isn't a prison. More than that, Taylor may want people to constantly remember what's outside and use the resources they have wisely to avoid the situation where they simply throw more technology at a solution without really bothering to think about the cost... the exact situation they left the future for.
    • Or, instead of leaving easily exploitable weaknesses in place, they could take all those guys doing nothing in the fruit markets and the bar and put them to work fixing the holes in the defenses? Considering that if the wall is breached the squishy civilian filling is pretty vulnerable?
      • Probably because Taylor doesn't want to run a gulag? If nothing else, Taylor has shown he expects everyone to treat everyone else with respect and he leads by example. He's not going to round up people and put them to work; Marcus is science officer and he's got jurisdiction over that to an extent. He's going to have his soldiers do that and given the high mortality rate, he may not have people to spare all the time. Or they may not have people to spare period - they're pretty much constantly getting stuff just in time to avoid problems.
  • Does it bother anyone else that Jim and Elizabeth intended to raise Zoe in a cupboard? I can't for the life on me understand what they thought they were going to do. Homeschooling?
    • Yeah, that bugged me, too. Maybe they planned on faking records of a dead relative and pretending that she was their niece or something. What I can't figure was why they thought having a third child was a good idea, not for the dangers that they would face, but for Zoe's lack of prospects. Hopefully this will be addressed at some point.
      • Probably for the same reason it happens in the real world in countries with similarly fascist laws: people just want another child, and sometimes that want outstrips their rational thinking. Likely they weren't thinking of "raising her in a cupboard"... she seems to be perfectly okay being out and around all the times when there's not jackboots stomping up the front walk. They may have planned that by the time their eldest daughter went to college (she seems about that age in the series proper) that they could falsify a background for Zoe, claiming she was a relative's only child that had come to live with them, or something like that.
  • In the prison, they couldn't afford window cleaner, but they gave Jim all the razor blades he needed?
    • Maybe they made him shave during his weekly trip to the showers or whatever so that he'd stay recognizable to the guards.
  • What kind of idiot would design a gene therapy treatment for a neurological disorder with a highly infectious viral vector? And how exactly does this virus expand to fill a volume of air? It's not a gas, after all.
    • Never heard of an airborne virus? Depending on what virus he used as a base, it could easily be transmitted through the confined space of the lab.
      • Aerosol transmission requires coughing or sneezing. Neither of those were symptoms of the "memory virus".
      • You never sneeze or cough when not sick?
  • Why, WHY did Jim and Elizabeth, a freaking law enforcer and a highly educated doctor, decide to violate population control laws and have a third child when they knew that a) the law was in place for a REASON and b) they could be in serious trouble if they were found out? "It seemed like a good idea at the time" is a bullshit excuse. An accidental pregnancy that they couldn't bear to abort (maybe they're Catholic?) makes more sense. The writers had better come up with a damn good excuse in later episodes or it'll just be like Zoe's existence was an Ass Pull to create drama.
    • It probably was an accident that they just decided to run with. Jim's flippant excuse was probably just his way of answering without making it seem like he was trying to dismiss it. He knew it was wrong.
    • First, someone already asked that above. Second, people tend to rebel when you tell them they're not allowed to do what they want with their own bodies and their own families, even if it is "for the greater good".
  • Why does a civilization with incredibly advanced technology use leeches for medical treatment?
    • Same reasons as listed several times above. Lack of resources and infrastructure to create such things combined with the high demand for practically everything.
    • But they've got holograms, touch screens, and other advanced technology with them, why not just do whatever the heck they did to get that stuff there to get whatever would replace the leech there?
      • We use leeches in modern day, too. They're handy, cheap and simple. There's no need for unnecessarily complex high-tech solutions when you got something that works just as well, and can be found almost anywhere.
      • Precisely. Note in the episode where the EMP kills all the electronics, it takes them all of five minutes to revert back to physical procedures. It's probably that they have advanced tech for the difficult stuff but to avoid using up valuable resources on something simple, they use renewables. So that when they really need stuff for difficult stuff, they'll have more than they need.
      • Also, that's a logical fallacy, just because they have holograms and touchscreens doesn't mean they have dermal regenerators. "They have some standard sci-fi equipment" doesn't mean "they have all standard sci-fi equipment ever". May as well ask where all the full-body conversion cyborgs are.
  • Why do people approximately 138 years into the future wear styles worn in summer and fall of 2011?
    • Sounds more like a IJBM.
    • Fashion is cyclical, some styles (like the t-shirt) are effectively eternal, and they don't want to have people wearing what will look like the equivalent of a shiny silver bodysuit in twenty years.
  • Alright, on 10-31-11, why did the real killer murder his soldier buddy? Or more importantly, why did they let Boylan just walk free? Maybe I missed something, but didn't Boylan order the murder with the payment being Boylan ignoring the killers debts because the victim owed him money? And Jim basically says "Next time Boylan" and lets him walk?
    • From what I understood about that episode, the guy didn't murder his buddy because Boylan ordered it, the guy murdered him because he owed the victim money (I would assume that he borrowed money from him to gamble and lost, or bet against him and lost, or something along those lines.) They knew that Boylan was doing illegal stuff there, but as Boylan pointed out, his bar is the one place in Terra Nova that people can get out from under his fist, which is a good thing to have, so he allows it to exist because it isn't really hurting anything (he probably doesn't know about communication and trade with the Sixers). Everything about Boylan getting arrested and the soldiers tossing his place? That was all an act, designed to get the murderer to incriminate himself (they didn't say it in the episode, but generally speaking, you don't kill someone who owes you money. Then you don't get the money, so they knew that Boylan didn't do it.) Hope that clears things up. Also, the episode is called "Bylaws".
  • Episode 7: No EMP-shielded vital circuits? Or shielded storage facilities? No traditional firearms or mines? No team of engineers on standby to make new electronics whenever needed? Basically, Terra Nova is made to be a society almost absolutely dependent of care packages sent from the doomed future, and no-one saw a problem with this? Really? The only person in the whole colony who can replicate a microchip is a crooked businessman, and the colony can barely function for a day without electricity? Also, what possessed the architect in the computer room to only put a manual switch on the outside of the room?
    • Hardening everything is impractical; it's costly and prohibitive. Maintaining a stockpile of antique firearms and mines to a level that is useful effectively doubles their armory ... but also means more than double the infrastructure required to maintain it. And having a team of engies on standby would be wasteful. Besides, they -have- engineers already that very quickly acted to start fixing things (same with the doctors; they switched to old-fashioned methods in all of 5 minutes). And the chip manufacturer was essentially a minor hurdle. As far as not functioning? They functioned very well comparatively - practically everything in the modern house hold is electronic (fridge, car, computer, clock, stove, etc). Would you really bother to harden your alarm clock or stove in the off chance of an EMP?
      • So it's perfectly fine to leave your most valuable electronics unshielded because "Why bother"? Remember that up the timestream the world is in a state of cold war. Leaving your weapons vulnerable to such an exploitable weakness seems to be fairly illogical. And the chip manufacturer was a single point of failure, whose failure led to the completely neutralization of every defensive system the colony possessed. You'd think the colony would hold on to an extra. Why is it that the local holodeck is hardened against EMP, but the device with which you could fix everything is not? I don't know about engineers in 2149, but most modern engineers would rather live by the maxim of "Better safe than sorry". This means multiple redundancies. This means backups. This mean ruggedization. Especially when the community in question happens to be completely cut off from assistance besides a supply/personnel drop every few months or so. That's plenty of time for the entire thing to be completely wiped out due to some kind of shock.
      • And in a resource scarce military, all it means is your major resources are going to the guys in the future and everything's being made by the lowest bidder. Not to mention, given the true purpose of Terra Nova, it doesn't seem like they expected any sort of resistance anyway. What's good engineering (which I agree, makes sense) isn't always what happens... isn't that why disasters (like what happened in the episode) happen?
      • Um, no. While national militaries are notorious for seeking to cut costs in personal equipment however they can, there's also an (obvious) incentive to purchase weapons that actually work. An army whose guns don't work is a losing army, after all, and the threat of EMP on a future battlefield is something you can be damn sure military planners would be concerned about. The brass might not care about PFC John Doe, but they would care that their armies are losing battles because their weapons have an easily exploitable vulnerability. Mind you, this wouldn't be a new discovery here. The uptime powers are in a state of cold war, with the odd proxy wars breaking out here and there (Somalia). That such a major vulnerability in something as basic as military service weapons remained unfixed is baffling.
      • Maybe they are fixed... in the future, where EMP is realistically a problem. In the technology-devoid past, however, you can afford to outfit the troops with unshielded weapons.
      • Also, they may use electronic weapons because EMPs are difficult (or rare) to create in enough quantity to be useful (after all, if it was easy to disable such weapons on a wide-scale, they never would be common place to begin with). That said, the above statement does mention an important fact - electricity in the past. Given that practicallty everything in TN is electric, they may very well have been given electric weapons in order to be 'greener'. And given that we know that part of the TN effort in the future is under control by bad guys, they may very well have suggested electronic guns in order to help their eventual invasion by having a way to shut down any opposing weapons. It may also be that the weapons and such -were- hardened against EMPs but the strength of the EMP meteor was greater than they were designed to withstand (ie greater than any possible EMP weapon currently available to them).
  • Firearms with electronic firing pins? This would be fine with these weapons had an exceptional rate of fire or whatever, but from all appearances they have a cyclic rate similar to modern weapons. And using electricity means batteries, and circuits, and finer parts which might be vulnerable to crappy conditions in the jungle. Why?
    • Well only part of that is true. Electronic firing mechanisms would be more durable than physical ones, if for no other reason than the lack of moving parts. It's the same distinction between flash drives and disc-based hard drives. The weapon itself would be pretty simple - the majority of the parts would be fairly small and durable (think of the power of your cell phone). As far as fire rate, at some point, you hit the wall of human durability and aiming capacity - even if you can fire 10,000 shots per second, it's unlikely you'd be able to control it without it being mounted and computer assisted. As for power... well, that's a concern with modern electronic weapons. It may be that they've simply got more efficent and compact batteries in their time. We get 36 hours from our cellphone batteries now. Ultimately, an electronic weapon wouldn't really be 'better' just more advantageous in various circumstances. For the show's part, it's probably more to give off the sci-fi vibe rather than any real consideration.
      • Less durable. It's easier to use a mechanical firing mechanism with parts you can machine relatively easily than it is to use electronic firing mechanisms where the parts that break would be microscopic circuits. Which would be much harder to replace. And, oddly, completely vulnerable to EMP, which means that a non-nuclear EMP weapon could render an entire army disarmed in short order. Also, I don't know if anybody's actually tested a cell phone in battlefield conditions, with dust, grime, the concussive shock of explosions, and so on. But I know of no military who would appreciate a weapon that stops working if you drop it in the water.
      • Electronics have no moving parts however other than the bullet - the only reason knocking aroudn your computer is bad is because of the harddrive (which is mechanical) whereas your iPod (which uses flash memory and is purely electronic) can be bounced aroudn all day long. And this is not new - there are stories of the original Nintendo Gameboy being left out in the snow and rain over months of winter and working just fine afterwords. At worse, mechanical weapons are equally durable and prone to failure. And if you're down to having to machine parts (which must be done to pretty precise specs), then it doesn't matter if it's electronic or mechanical - your gun is screwed. As for cellphones on a battlefield... yes, actually. That's pretty much how much of the US military works these days. As far as waterproofing, same issue - not every gun can fire after being dropped in water, mechanical or otherwise. And waterproofing a electronic firearm is easier than it sounds since the mechanisms would be entirely self contained (heck, look at a flashlight or similar device used in such conditions). Additionally, an electronic firing mechanism is not 'always on' (the targeting computer and other such things on the other hand, if they had those) - what happens is that when the user pulls the trigger, an electronic signal goes off that sets off the powder in the bullet. Thus - just like a mechanical gun - unless you happen to be firing the weapon underwater or when it's still damp, you're not in any real danger. Also, given that it seems a good portion of the TN's weapons are 'sonic' and don't have any real ammunition to speak of, there may not be an alternative if they want to use sonic weapons.
  • Regarding the pilot episode, how was Jim able to escape from prison and reach the portal? I get that his wife smuggled in a cutting laser (how she did so is a Headscratcher in itself) but presumably there are guards, cameras, locked doors and other security past his prison cell. And one would think there would be huge security around the portal itself, with so many people wanting to go there. You'd expect ID checks, DNA or other tests to verify it was the right person, plus the armed guards would keep a very close eye on everyone. I'd also think that Elizabeth would, at the very least, be a suspect for helping him escape and her portal pass would be suspended or revoked.
    • You're thinking too small. This wasn't some half-assed operation. His wife clearly put a lot of thought into it. They had a setup to smuggle their third kid, credentials and such to get him to the portal undetected, plus whatever other supplies they needed. It wouldn't be a stretch to assume she paid off a guard or something to keep his escape under the radar (or write him off as dead) to buy time.
    • You're also assuming that they cared enough about the prisoners to zealously watch them even more than prisoners are watched in the modern day. The prison honestly seems more like where they dump practically any criminal in hopes that they'll quickly die and free up the bare concrete cube for another citizen they've found an excuse to murder. They probably figure that most of the prisoners are too weak and full of pollution to do much of anything after a relatively short time, and thus that putting heavy locks on the doors and bars on the windows is plenty to keep them from attempting anything. Why spend extra money and resources into what is effectively a very large and very slow gas chamber?
  • The would-be Planet Looters behind the Sixers have overlooked a far greater potential gold mine. Rather than trying to loot Terra Nova for quick profits, they ought to be looking into ways to create more terminus links, so as to open up trillions of other alternate worlds for colonization, resource acquisition, or any other purpose imaginable. What are one lone planet's resources worth, compared to that?
    • The suggestion is that the fracture is fairly unique and nothing they can create, only control.
  • How the hell did Kara die? She was still very much alive and a fair distance away from the suicide bomber when she and Jim were running away and were thrown to the ground. Jim survived with a three-day quasi-coma and a bad case of tinnitus — and we're supposed to believe that someone in better physical shape got offed by the same explosion at the same range? Was it the supposed offscreen dinosaur that dropped by when the budget couldn't show it?
    • For that matter, the unfortunate guy in the explosive vest was between Jim and Kara, who were running away, and the portal, so shrapnel wouldn't have readily been flung in their direction. There also weren't any trees close by either as the portal was in the middle of a clearing. The pressure wave could have done it, but it seems a bit much of a stretch.** Jim was wearing armor, Kara was not. She probably got hit by more shrapnel. Shrapnel from the bomb itself, that is—lots of explosives are packed with nails or whatever to make them more dangerous to infantry.
    • Point, but from all indications, neither of them got hit as they were both pretty much uninjured in the last shot of them falling to the ground. Jim's armour was not particularly extensive, but it's possible he just got lucky. Then again, if the Phoenix group were going for an anti-material/incendiary bomb in order to wreck the portal, would they have bothered mixing in specific anti-personnel elements?
      • They almost definitely intended for the bomb to take out personnel as well as the portal. Most of Terra Nova's military was waiting in front of that gate, so it would make sense to try and kill as many of them to lower the colony's defenses.
      • Reality Is Unrealistic, bombs and shrapnel don't operate in a way that seems "logical" to the average person, who's used to media that tends to treat them like a video game's Area of Effect attack ("Everything in this circle is 100% fucked, everything outside of this circle is 100% fine").
  • Why do they say that they're cut off from 2149 forever when Hope Plaza is destroyed? The Fracture is supposed to be a natural occurence that was then harnassed. Shouldn't the people of 2149 be able to eventually re-do what they did the first time and start sending people (be they mercenaries or colonists) back to Terra Nova?
    • A massive particle accelerator, thoroughly destroyed at that, would be rather prohibitive to recreate, especially in a resource-scarce future. It'd be doable, but they're probably banking on any rebuilding being so labor-intensive that the villains could not possibly hide their activities.
      • The villains could plausibly mask their reconstruction of Hope Plaza as a "charitable" act, not only regaining access to Terra Nova but also the goodwill of the 2149ers. For all we know, people in 2149 have no idea what Evil Inc. is actually up to. Besides, the presence of the sailing ship's bow/figurehead implies the existence of at least one more fracture, though from all indications, the 2149ers would probably have to build an offshore platform to access and harness it.
  • Why weren't the stated and actual goals of the place made the same? Considering the state of the future it seems strange that people would be so against the ideas of trying to reduce the population, make a home where things are better and ease the problems of the future.
    • Because large groups of desperate, hungry people don't react rationally when a big oppressive government sits them down and starts explaining how things are going to be. More than that, the government is clearly trying to exercise control above all else... control of public perception, control of information, control for control's sake. It's what happens when governments feel they're losing control, they start trying to control everything just to prove that they can. (Witness the UK, where they'll arrest a woman for selling a goldfish to a supposedly underage kid, just to prove they're serious about the laws they made.)
  • How come the society in this show never considered the idea of rewarding people that don't have more than two children, after a given amount of time, to be able to live in Terra Nova, while those that continue to have children must stay in the Crapsack World? Or in simpler terms, We should take all the people that have two or less kids, and push them to Terra Nova!
    • Punishing people is easier than rewarding them, and often more profitable for those in power. Does the government tax you for buying things that are bad for you, or give you extra money for eating healthy?
  • In a scene where the new arrivals are being given survival training, they are asked how they would figure out which way was North without a compass. Nobody knows until Maddy pipes up that you can tell because moss only grows on the north side of trees. And Washington commends her for it! Clearly, somebody who has grown up in a heavily polluted, environmental catastrophe of a world might never have seen a tree, and might not be aware that moss doesn't care what side it grows on, but Wash should be better informed. There are specific mosses that favour particular sides, but you would have to be able to distinguish them from all the other, almost identical, mosses growing on that tree.
    • Perhaps this is true for the particular varieties of moss that grow in the area around Terra Nova, and thus its applicability in other, much further-off areas where different kinds grow is a non-factor, as it's highly unlikely they'll be expanding into other, much further-away settlements within anyone present's lifetime.
Teen WolfHeadscratchers/Live-Action TVThat '70s Show

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
67834
29