The pilot episode of the long-awaited Terra Nova debuted on Fox this past Monday night. The show is set in 2149, on a dying Earth threatened with extinction due to heavily polluted air and extreme overpopulation.
Fortunately, scientists manage to discover a rift in space-time that allows people to travel 85 million years back in time to the prehistoric Cretaceous period of a (supposedly) alternate reality – or separate time stream.
As the show has only just kicked off, there are understandably more questions than answers, prompting Terra Nova executive producer Brannon Braga to talk with CraveOnline in an attempt to help fill in some of the back story and other relevant details.
Braga confirmed that there were (obviously) limits to what supplies the colonists could take with them, as the portal only stayed open for 18 minutes. The rest of the structures and objects are built or obtained from scratch on the new world.
“[There are] trees and metal, meteoric iron. One of the first metals ever used by humans came from meteor hits so there’s a meteoric iron quarry that they’ve developed and stuff like that,” said Braga.
“It’s a community, it’s more communal at first but free trade is encouraged in terms of exchanging goods. [But] there’s no currency yet. Not yet.”
The executive producer also addressed the “butterfly effect,” or how the action of the colonists will affect the space-time continuum.
“There’s tons of fun to have with that stuff, believe me… It’s not going to be the focus, but we can’t ignore that there is time travel in this show and there are going to be unexpected twists and turns that occur as the series goes on for sure.”
Finally, Braga discussed the “expansiveness” of Terra Nova’s rather expensive sets, emphasizing that there was a whole town of people for the show to introduce in subsequent episodes.
“We have 1,000 people, 1,000 characters. Think of this as Gunsmoke. There will be people in town. There are plenty of people to do stories about in this place… Maybe people who snuck in under mysterious circumstances or bought their way in. There are all sorts of stories to do. Then we’ll have other people arrive and that will be the equivalent of people riding into town.”
Terra Nova can be watched online here. The next episode, titled “Instinct,” will air on October 3.