Scene-stealers: The dinosaurs of ‘Terra Nova’

These “Terra Nova” dinosaurs don’t look too dangerous! But they’re not “Slashers” — aka Acceraptors.

In the year 2149, humanity’s only hope for survival on a dying Earth is to travel 85 million years in the past. The Shannon family is among the pilgrims sent back in time to resettle in the colony known as Terra Nova, where political strife threatens this second chance at civilization. But a splinter colony is nothing compared to the man-eating dinosaurs.

“We got a visual effects team together that has literally created new technologies to make it possible,” executive producer Brannon Braga says of the effort required to make dinos come to life week-to-week on the small screen.

“A lot of visual effects houses that were approached about the project said, ‘Can’t be done. Not on time, not on the schedule you’re looking for, no matter how much money you have,’” adds executive producer Rene Echevarria. “Even five years ago, this show would not have been possible.”

The pair credits advances in motion capture and new software for the effects wizardry. They’ve also got Steven Spielberg — who wowed audiences with cutting-edge special effects in “Jurassic Park” — on board as a producer. Remember those Velociraptors? Just wait ‘til you meet the Acceraptor terrorizing Terra Nova.

“The Slashers [the colonists’ nickname for Acceraptors] that you see in hour two are spectacular,” promises Echevarria. “They really do represent the latest paleontological thinking of what dinosaurs might have actually looked like. And you’ve never seen anything like them.”


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