I've been hanging out for a good sci-fi show for nine years - ever since you know what was canceled. So I've been watching Terra Nova. It's 2149, the world is a horrible place to live, and a one-way time portal is discovered that goes back 85 million years. Dinosaurs - yay! (We are asked to ignore the point that living among big hungry dinosaurs without adequate weaponry to deal with them is kind of silly.)
Deadly dinos aside, the world of Terra Nova is a nice one - these people are essentially colonists on a new world, and I'm up for that. They appear to live a self-sustainable lifestyle without being too annoyingly hippie. I've enjoyed most of the episodes although they are remarkably forgettable.
In a recent episode we discovered the (alleged) true agenda of the "Sixers" - a band of outcast rebels working for evil people back in 2149. What is the evil agenda of these evil people? To mine resources from Terra Nova and bring them back to the future once a two-way portal can be developed. Billions of people need these resources to survive. Taylor, the leader of Terra Nova, finds this idea abhorrent and refuses to cooperate.
Some awkward plot holes are apparent in light of these revelations. Firstly, the evil ones have had multiple opportunities to send back an army to take over Terra Nova and do with the past whatever they want. Instead they sent a bunch of rebel misfits who are now banished and live in tree houses, talking tough but accomplishing nothing. Another time they sent an elderly one-armed general to kill Taylor, and Taylor promptly shot him. That's it. That's all they've done to forward their grand mission.
Secondly, just because your plot is all conservationist and such, doesn't mean it's right. What is so bad about sending resources back to 2149 to help humanity, which is facing extinction? It's been established that Terra Nova is a different timeline, so it won't affect the future. There are only a few hundred people in Terra Nova and they don't need a planet's worth of resources. Nor do the dinosaurs. Apparently there are no plans to send everyone in 2149 to Terra Nova - presumably it's not possible - so why not use Terra Nova to save the bulk of humanity?
The lucky ones in Terra Nova are only there in the first place because they're rich, clever, or lucky (a few won the lottery for a ticket). Why should those privileged few get all the goodies and leave billions of innocent people to live miserably and die too soon? Isn't that exactly what's happening in 2149 as well?
I just don't get the moral dilemma here. (Brannon Braga developed both Terra Nova and Star Trek Enterprise - I've had problems with the latter's weird ethical code too.)
On the positive side, the show is filmed in Australia's tropical north-east and it looks great (it should - it's very expensive).