Terra Nova is way more challenging than expected

After much delay, Terra Nova will finally debut this September. However, the first season will only feature 13 episodes due to inordinately high production values.

Terra Nova is about a community of people who, in order to escape the overpopulation of a future Earth, travel back in time to an era before human development.

To make sure they’ve gone back far enough to avoid disturbing the current human population, they head back to pre-cataclysm days when massive dinosaurs still roamed the earth.

The show will focus on the dangers and hardships of living with dinosaurs and other pre-historic features.

Despite past delays, the series is apparently now on track now and will be delivered by the new deadline. Many of the postponements stemmed from budget-related issues and unfamiliarity with new technology. Indeed, producer Brandon Braga and team are making a film-quality program on a television budget – which obviously requires some innovative solutions.

“It simply wasn’t possible to do this show until now,” Braga said. “We’re literally creating things as we go along.”

Producer Rene Echevarria added: “A lot of production houses we approached said, sorry, it can’t be done, not on the time frame we required. Even five years ago this show simply wouldn’t have been possible.”

When asked what the budget actually was, Echvarria remained silent, but when the rumored $100m/season number was mentioned, he laughed and said “No, absolutely not even close… I so wish I had a budget like that.”

Some of the show’s solutions have apparently originated with Steven Spielberg, who is one of 13 producers. According to Braga, Spielberg “will take a sequence and analyze it in such an instructive way. The show is filled with elements like that. He’s weighed in on visual effects of course, on scripts, on casting, on the look and feel of the show.”

Because of the difficulties with the shooting and post-production, the first season of Terra Nova will only boast 12 episodes (including the double-episode premier, so 13 total TV hours). Though the initial contract stipulates 22 episodes for the second season, the show might continue with a reduced number of episodes as it progresses.