Patterico's Pontifications


Is Terra Nova Eco-Fascist? (And Is It Boring?)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:50 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Sorry for the light blogging, but in the last few days I have been dealing with a plumbing emergency.  You ever hear the term “sh*t happens”?  Yeah, it’s been happening.  Oy vey.

But in between breaks from dealing with that, I have been catching up on watching the new show Terra Nova.  Probably the fact I fell behind is a bad sign for the show, because I could find myself barely caring from week-to-week what happened on it.  I continue watching because frankly I could see how the show could suddenly become good, maybe even compelling, and I am hoping it does.  (I remember, for instance, it took Star Trek: The Next Generation years before it got good.)  But right now I am thinking that there aren’t nearly enough dinosaurs for a good “Jurassic Park: the Series” suggested by early promotions, and the human drama is just playing it a little too safe to create good human drama.  If you go over to the great cutting edge dramas found on basic cable these days, you get a sense of the kinds of things that Terra Nova could be doing, but isn’t.

The premise of the show is actually kind of interesting.  It starts in the future, when the whole Earth is screwed up with pollution (thus a little eco-propaganda slipped in), but someone has discovered a one-way time portal that leads people back to the age of dinosaurs on an alternate earth (avoiding time paradoxes).  So people get the idea of starting a colony there to give humanity a fresh start on a new world.  With velociraptors.  The story centers on a policeman and his family who broke the law by having more than two children who breaks out of prison and sneaks back into the time portal to this new world.  (It’s probably a bad sign that I can’t remember any of their names as I write this.)  Which sounds like it could be really cool, with evocative language in the promos saying humans would be back in the food chain, etc.  It suggests that they would be leading a meager existence struggling for their very lives against dinosaurs big and small and if we are lucky some human drama, too.  But the show so far has never lived up to that potential and I think its failure can be summed up in one image:

Don’t bother with the characters and what they are doing, I want you to look at that house they are living in.  This family goes 85 million years into the past to a colony that is around 8 years old, and then the moment they get through the wormhole they are given a home, completely free of charge, with the only deprivation being that two of the kids have to sleep in the same room because typically people expect families to have only two children (because of that two child law mentioned above).  That’s it.

By comparison our sixteenth president was born in a building somewhat like this:

Seriously, look at that Terra Nova home again!  Look at how ridiculously nice it is.  It is nicer than my home.  They are supposed to be living out in a new wilderness, and this place could be literally anywhere in suburbia (indeed, probably is on a sound stage in some Hollywood studio lot).  When you watch people talking in a place like that you get absolutely no sense that nature is outside ready to crash in and kill them all.  Everything feels a little too safe, even outside this home.  In this sense it all reminds me of another Spielberg-produced TV show “Sea Quest” which had all the ingredients that should have made a great show, beautiful sets and excellent special effects and bored its audience to death in part because you never felt like anyone was in danger.

But the title of the post tells you that I don’t want to review the show generally as I just have, but instead I want to talk about a specific issue: whether Terra Nova is eco-fascist.  It was watching last week’s episode “Vs” that really drove home this issue to me, so there will be a lot of spoilers concerning episodes over a week old. So we’ll continue below the break.

Still with me?  Okay, first the title has a bit of a double meaning.  After all, there are two Terra Novas.  There is the fictional colony on the show and then there is the show itself.  And the fictional colony?  There is no question in my mind: it is definitely an eco-fascist society.

And it really was their recent episode “Vs” that crystallized all my misgivings about this fictional place.  It was sort of their “Thanksgiving” episode, only of course they don’t call it Thanksgiving but instead something like the “Harvest Festival.”  And then much like our Thanksgiving, kids are asked to put on a play depicting early events in colonial history.  Only instead of depicting Plymouth Rock, they are depicting their own colonial beginnings.  Specifically they are depicting the trip that the leader of the colony, Colonel Taylor, took to establish their colony.

Which sets off two warning bells at once.  First, for all the weeks of the show there has been no suggestion of any government at all, just the rule of a military man named Colonel Taylor (starring the excellent Stephen Lang who played the oddly likeable bad guy in Avatar).  For instance, in a previous episode where a person was murdered, he served as judge, jury and executioner.  The show briefly toyed with the idea that this was wrong, somehow, to let one man apparently make the laws and then execute them, by having Taylor first exile the wrong man.  But the problem was never the process that was depicted as wrong: after all, the innocent man confessed to the crime.  So it was just depicted as a mistake that could have been made with or without due process.  And when the innocent man recanted, Taylor was convinced to rescind his banishment and then Taylor went on to find the right killer and banish him and that was depicted as harsh, but justified.

Second, you have this colony idolizing this generalissimo with that school play, another warning bell.  Oh, isn’t that cute the way the little girl wore a fake gray beard to pretend he is their dear leader, Colonel Taylor?  Um, no, it’s creepy.  Living leaders should not be praised like that.

The action in the episode, meanwhile, revolves around two threads.  First, there is a spy giving information to a rival group called the Sixers and they have been wondering for weeks how that communication had been occurring.  Well, that week they got a giant clue: a prehistoric dragonfly that was trained to follow certain sonic signals.  So they set up an experiment where they placed a tracker on that fly and saw where it went.

At the same time, the cop guy (I looked it up on Wiki, and it turns out his character’s name is Jim Shannon) learns from a black market dealer that Colonel Taylor killed a man and if they ever found the body it would threaten his rule.  So he digs up the body and tries to find out who he was and why he was killed.

And remember that dragon fly?  Well, it just happens to find its way to Shannon’s home and Jim is thrown into jail, just as he was closing on the truth about the dead body (the viewer is left wondering if it was because Jim’s son actually was working with the Sixers).  In a pivotal scene, Taylor offers him a deal: drop the investigation about the dead body, and he will let him slide on the spying issue.  “I’m sure this is all a big misunderstanding,” Taylor says (paraphrase).  But Shannon won’t give it up and by then he knew who Taylor had killed: his superior officer General Philbrook.  So he asks why he did it and Taylor confesses and explains it to him.

You see, General Philbrook had come back in time to relieve Taylor of his command.  But Taylor knew that if that happened then evil corporations from the future would change the mission of Terra Nova, from being a new start of humanity, to instead being a source of natural resources for the future.  This would be accomplished by changing the time portal from a one-way door two a two way door.  So Taylor had “no choice” but to kill Philbrook, so save the environment and all of that.

So you got that?  The lawful authorities back on Earth decided to take things in a new direction.  And this military man decided he didn’t want to follow their orders and killed his commanding officer.  So he wasn’t even supposed to be in charge anymore; he held on to that power by murdering the person who should have been in charge.

Now, you might rationally say that the future Earth people had no right to make any decisions about the colony any more than England had the right to rule the American colonies.  I can definitely see that argument, but how does that translate then into Colonel Taylor having the right to be in charge?  He was no longer the lawfully appointed leader by the future Earth government and the people living there had no say in the matter as far as I could tell.  So where did he get the right to rule this place?  Indeed as a military man from America, wouldn’t he have sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution.

But all of that had been thrown aside and Taylor held onto this power with no legitimate authority.  And what was his justification?  He says it right there: because we can’t let humanity screw up this new world just like the old one.  And Shannon, depicted as the everyman cop and family man, accepts that and joins Taylor’s cause and is released from jail.  Indeed, they implicitly agree to keep the truth about Philbrook from the people to keep Taylor in power.

Oh, and as an extra kicker, remember that dragon fly?  Well, it turns out that it was attracted to a sonic emitter planted in Shannon’s house by Colonel Taylor.  So in order to maintain his junta, Generalissimo Taylor was even willing to frame am innocent man of a crime.

So I think it’s obvious that Terra Nova the colony is eco-fascist; the only question is whether the show is, too.  One should always be cautious in assessing whether a depiction of a thing is necessarily an endorsement of it, when it comes to art or entertainment.  I mean no one who watched The Shield thought that the writers approved of the myriad of crimes committed by the cops ranging from drug dealing, theft, police brutality, murder of their fellow officers and sex with underage prostitutes.  No, a huge part of what made the show downright compelling was this depiction of deeply flawed characters and the consequences of their choices, and its winding, organic continuing plot lines.

And there is some sign that the writers might be aware of how troubling this “utopia” really is to people who believe in democracy and due process.  After all, the very first episode depicted this family working hard to keep their illegal third child hidden by the police.  There is a creepy sequence when the police come into their house with guns to investigate the possibility that they have a third child.  They grab the daughter, terrifying her and dad assaults a few police officers and ends up in prison for it.  It is a stark depiction of fascism in the name of the environment that I think most people know in their gut is just wrong.  And as I said, in the episode where they banished a man for murder, there was some question among the characters whether it was okay to have Generalissimo Taylor determine guilt or innocence and then carry out the punishment.  So there is the possibility that someone at some point might decide that however well-intentioned, Taylor’s rule is wrong.  But honestly I am not getting that vibe so far.

But to shift this post back from a critique of the eco-fascist tendencies of the colony depicted to a review of the show itself, let me offer a suggestions to make it good.  I am sure that the entire first season has been shot already, but if you get a second season, let me suggest you guys really start to shake things up.  For starters, take these eco-fascist tendencies and use it.  Make it a problem that this society is fascist and depict a real struggle for power between Taylor and pro-democracy colonists.  Indeed, maybe even take a page from the recent Battlestar Galactica and depict a scummy character (Zarek) who takes advantage of that genuine grievance to gain power.

And then destroy that perfect house.  In fact, trash the whole colony.  Indeed maybe it was because of the struggle between Taylor and the pro-democracy forces that the colony is smashed.  And now everyone in the colony is in much more primitive conditions, with a real danger of a T-rex making them dinner.  Finally, they can depict humans being in the food chain.  Then you might have a show that from week to week is compelling viewing, because wholly apart from my political critique, the show is just plain boring.  It’s a show taking place in a world full of dinosaurs and they actually managed to make that boring.

(As if anyone from the show would care what I have to say about it.)

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

61 Responses to “Is Terra Nova Eco-Fascist? (And Is It Boring?)”

  1. You would think that with a whole new world to populate (births are valued highly in Terra Nova), they could, oh, bring back a few more thousands of those teeming millions. Gawd knows that if the megagovs (population control!) of the 22nd century have regulated everything into the abyss, there would be millions and millions of volunteers.

    But no, they need to limit migration to “good people.” Sheet. I’m thinking we need to form “Friends of Mirra”. happyfeet can be prez.

    (and if they really wanted to save Earth, dumping a few billion folks into dinosaurland might be a good evil strategy. See The Marching Morons.)

    Kevin M (563f77)

  2. yay! I’m a be president!

    But yes it’s dreadfully boring with stupid plastic characters you don’t care about but it has high enough production values to cover over it.

    It’s about the same as that Falling Skies dreck.

    Serviceable but wholly forgettable.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  3. I’ve dubbed it ‘Jurassic Avatar’ and root for the dinosaurs.

    narciso (87e966)

  4. On the side-subject of megagovernment failures like the Terra Nova future, take a look at the Jupiter 2 launch sequence in the Lost of Space movie. Note the failure to understand aerodynamics and/or the concept of “the pointy end.” No wonder they’re doomed.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  5. Speaking of “Lost in Space” (tv), it’s clear that Irwin Allen would have done much better with Terra Nova than Speilberg has.


    Kevin M (563f77)

  6. No Man in Black, no Smoke Monster, the mysterious mathematical writings looked like they’re from a guy and not from the Sleestaks which I was really hoping for…

    I got bored and turned it off.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  7. For someone who professes not paying much attention, you surely know a lot about it. Look, it’s just a low budget series that probably won’t last long. The protagonist os a Mel Gibson look-alike who does a tolerable job. The plots are contrived dramas just like any soap opera tailored to the jungle with a few dinos thrown in for good measure. Yes, it’s eco-fascist in a completely obvious eye-rolling way.

    My grandson, who is ten, loves it. It’s for children. Adults are allowed to watch it.

    Schuyler (aa4745)

  8. It reminds me of Hitchhiker’s Guide, where the supposedly unimportant people are told the world is ending in order to get them to go to another planet… a scheme to leave more for those who stay.

    steve (369bc6)

  9. schuyler

    i didn’t say i wasn’t paying attention, i said i was behind, and yeah, couldn’t remember several characters’ names.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  10. Right, but in HHGTG, the scheming planet all died in the end, when they contracted a disease caused by unsanitized telephones.

    aphrael (5d993c)

  11. So, it’s a ONE-WAY worm-hole.
    How does anyone know what stuff to send through?
    Did someone make out a list beforehand, presciently listing everything that they would need in their unknown future home?
    I hope they remembered to bring with them all of the equipment they would need to manufacture smokeless powder/primers/bullets for their small-arms to deal with the ongoing preditations of those velociraptors – after all, eventually you’re going to run out of ammo if you can’t make more.
    It reminds me of the H.G.Wells’ “Time Machine” film with Rod Taylor, where he disappears back into the future at the end of the film after going back for some books:
    Which books would you take to a world that you had to re-create civilization in?

    AD-RtR/OS! (685ad4)

  12. How does anyone know what stuff to send through?

    I think it’s kind of like Stargate SG1 (except they can’t dail back)… when the wormhole’s open, you can communicate via radio.

    malclave (4f3ec1)

  13. Terra Nova is stupid. There are only two decent time travel stories: H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine, because it was the first, and he was a pretty good writer, and Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “All You Zombies” because after that story everything else is dull and unimaginative. The script writers have used time travel the way every other lousy writer has, a cheap unimaginative means to get out of a problem (or in this case, start an adventure). The rest has been a cross between “Jurassic Park” and “Lost.” and only the former came very close to being any good.

    A. C. (c77050)

  14. Actually, it seems to me that they could be setting up some sort of democracy theme: Commander Taylor is a complete autocrat, albeit a supposedly benevolent one, and Jim Shannon, the policeman who broke the rules, was thrown in prison, and then broke the rules again to get to Terra Nova, is now the top cop, and was put in command in Monday’s episode while Commander Taylor was away from the colony. Note how Mr Shannon, although it looked like he was going to try to enforce whatever the law is concerning Commander Taylor, would up willingly accepting his explanations, and falling right in line.

    The housing doesn’t bother me; it looks like you’d see some sort of futuristic modular development, so I can understand that one.

    The Dana who watches Terra Nova. (3e4784)

  15. One thing that does bother me about Terra Nova, as well as every other different time series — including the various Star Trek’s — is that the clothing and language are always completely contemporary with the time the show was filmed. One of the characters used the appalling neo-word “ginormous” on yesterday’s show, yet he was supposedly a teenager from 2149. Arrggghhhhh!

    The annoyed Dana (3e4784)

  16. Commander Taylor?
    Say, isn’t there a “leader” named “Taylor” in the dock at the Hague right now?

    AD-RtR/OS! (685ad4)

  17. Yes, but that Taylor is black. As is Mirra!


    Kevin M (563f77)

  18. Well there’s Bradbury’s ‘ Sound of Thunder’ which was made into a very decent segment on HBO, and
    a truly horrid film, that Ben Kingley should never
    have signed on to.

    narciso (87e966)

  19. Ecotastrophe


    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  20. The key is that the real “enemy” as revealed in the episode that Aaron rightly criticizes is a shadowy faction that evilly wants to use the “resources” of the past to … you know … actually feed, clothe and shelter the billions in the future.

    Most of the time, the colony uses weapons that are some sort of “sonic” weapon ( reminding one of the stupid weapons in the lame Lynch directed “Dune” ) that are utterly ineffective against anyone and any dinosaur.

    Extra Lame Eco-nonsense with cheese.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  21. Actually, ginormous isn’t all that new. A hundred years old at least.

    Slang keeps coming back, forever young.

    Maureen (06d8a1)

  22. Crichton, in his own time travel tale, argued every
    act that occurs when you go back in time, branches
    into another mulitiverse, so like Heraclitus you can never go back from whence you came.

    narciso (87e966)

  23. B-but using resources to feed yourself is teh greed

    /Sarc off

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  24. Cain’s ignorance on things=A more troublesome problem.

    More than a bunch of lying women accusing him of having an affair and insisting that they were paid off when they willingly shut their mouths.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  25. They don’t have to pay anything for the land, so they can afford a better house there. But why does the alternate earth have to be in the past?

    Isaac Asimov once wrote a short story somewhat like this: Living Space.

    Clarence Rimbro owns the entire planet Earth. This is no great accomplishment as, thousands of years in our future, anyone can do it. There are an infinite number of possible Earths, each existing in its own parallel universe. If the chance of life arising on any one of them is about 50%, then half the time a random choice of a parallel universe will lead to a dead Earth. [Carbon dioxide atmosphere – no intelligent life and also no danger from animals]

    Since there are a trillion people living in this time, it would be almost impossible for them to live on one Earth, so each family sets up its house and garden, protected by a force field and running on solar power, on a dead Earth. Clarence enjoys total independence for his family, and an entire planet’s worth of living space. As there are still an infinite number of dead Earths, they can never be filled up, and nobody is worried about the population becoming two trillion in fifty years or so.

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)

  26. I guess the premise here has to be that not only are the children illegal, but this colony is also illegal. And secret.

    Yet they’ve really established themselves.

    It’s a military colony?

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)

  27. Surprised Eric isn’t insisting the norway shooter is right-wing even though he quoted JFK.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  28. Dude did you know the main antagonist in Terra Nova is Herman Cain his 9-9-9 plan involves raping the ecosystem.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  29. If they’d been sent back in time from the early 18th century, their settlement would have been more like Lincoln’s birthplace and less like Epcot.

    Dave (in MA) (037445)

  30. doh

    is it true you were a pedophile?

    EricPWJohnson (d84fb0)

  31. In the show he preys on weak women and uses them to murder Mother Gaia.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  32. doh,

    are you listed as a sex offender?

    EricPWJohnson (d84fb0)

  33. doh

    making the statements you make abbout me isnt a whole lot of fun when it gets thrown back?

    Of course we dont know if any of this is true or not its just your comment pattern could be suggested that a more serious problem lies underneath?

    You’ve wished me dead, you’ve accused me of terrorism, when is there a limit…

    EricPWJohnson (d84fb0)

  34. So I’m just asking questions here – doh

    EricPWJohnson (d84fb0)

  35. When did I accuse you of terrorism?

    Eric are you listed as a reality offender?

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  36. Doh

    oh you dont remember what you write?

    but lets get back to you, whats with the death wishes for me and Happy? why did you all DRJ a C#nt? And Bachmann as well?

    EricPWJohnson (d84fb0)

  37. Why did you call them those names Doh?

    Whats with the death wishes?

    come on now speak up

    EricPWJohnson (d84fb0)

  38. knock knock doh? cat got your tongue?

    EricPWJohnson (d84fb0)

  39. notice how doh goes dark when asked about his comments….

    EricPWJohnson (d84fb0)

  40. I didn’t call DRJ a cunt you idiot remember you said that I didn’t.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  41. Okay, #39 is incredible. How many times have other people asked this silly troll with poor typing skills to back up an assertion…and he doesn’t reply?

    Honestly, you would think he would be ashamed to write things like that. Which simply underscores my theory that he is just a silly troll.

    Simon Jester (bf8c3e)

  42. Oh, and Doh?

    EPWJ also said that *I* had called him a terrorist. I asked him to back that up with a link…and…and…


    He is just a troll who wants to stir the pot.

    I also think that he posts while drunk or stoned. How else to explain the spelling and syntax issues, which seem to vary depending on the time of day. 0 Beer 30 or something?

    Simon Jester (bf8c3e)

  43. Good grief, the comments go gutter even on a light post about a t.v. show…

    Anyway, I watch very little TV but I’ve watched a few episodes of this w/hub, and what struck me in the beginning was pro-life depiction of the main family. In the series, the law permits two children and they have three, with the third child kept a secret from the inquiring authorities.

    Unlike so many in China who find themselves with an unlawful baby and subsequently abort, this family opted not only to risk having the baby and keeping her existence a secret, but also took an even greater risk in escaping earth to Terra Nova with her hidden inside a large duffle bag. I like the affirmation of life. (Yes, it’s a corny sci-fi show, but affirmation of life comes so rarely on TV…you take it where you can get it).

    Dana (4eca6e)

  44. Do you think that Patterico is aware that his blog has lost its mind?

    elissa (34e9fa)

  45. Racist

    JD (3d0bb5)

  46. Back atcha, dude.

    elissa (34e9fa)

  47. Elissa, you have reason to complain, having been maligned by a troll. Jeez.

    Dana, that was the part of the show that surprised me. I honestly didn’t expect that “pro-life” viewpoint.

    The other show that is oddly interesting is “The Walking Dead,” which is more Peyton Place Meets the Zombie Apocalypse.

    Good news about that show? The protagonist’s wife, thinking her husband is dead, gets busy with his best friend, and feels all angsty about it. My students are all really unhappy with her, saying that she was a mother, and shouldn’t be acting like that. Which is hopeful, given the culture wars?

    Anyway, “Terra Nova” has its faults. But I am trying to give it some room to develop.

    Simon Jester (bf8c3e)

  48. I’m not sure if I want to root for the Sixers or for the Dinos.

    Actually, neither. I want a great adaptation of “Tunnel in the Sky”. They can have Helen Walker over on a different planet (new each week) teaching survival skills to clueless newbies, and we sometimes get to see these in action. Fanboys and fangirls will have big arguments about whether Rod should have been played by someone black, white, or Native American.

    htom (412a17)

  49. That would be nice, htom. And it could be filmed pretty easily. Sigh.

    Simon Jester (bf8c3e)

  50. the CGI sucks, BIGTIME. If they want me as a viewer, they’d better use alligator lizards and iguanas and dress them up in triceratop frills and horns like in those old Doug McClure movies.

    Colonel Haiku (89a861)

  51. Colonel, see if you can find the splendidly cheesy movie “Valley of Gwangi.”

    Simon Jester (bf8c3e)

  52. In the second season, they cut the time link completely, then have to scramble for resources to stay alive. Fortunately for everyone, the Others Sixers have a secret open-pit coal mine and the colony is saved.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  53. it’s by no means a low budget production I don’t think

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  54. Gwangi is one of my faves, Simon!

    Colonel Haiku (89a861)

  55. There won’t be a 2nd season, it’s rating is an abysmal 2.2. I’d be surprised if it’s not canceled before the season is over.

    Capitalist Infidel (13ac93)

  56. capitalist

    the rule with fox is that if it is any good, it will be cancelled. and if we are lucky, then picked up by comedy central (futurama) or made into a movie (Firefly).

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  57. Yes, they moved Firefly around more than the MX,
    harsh REalm, the X files was the exception,

    narciso (87e966)

  58. sex with underage prostitutes.

    Ah, I’ve seen the entire series, and I don’t recall that episode. There was a suggestion that, if a girl’s body was found, it would be made to look like that had been done in season 4 or 5 (I forget), but, IIRC, there was never any actual suggestion that sex had occurred with anyone underage in Vic’s crew… They crossed a lot of lines but most of the time the people whose lines got crossed were at least as bad as Vic and the guys.

    Sometimes, there were repercussions that affected innocent people but it wasn’t Vic, et al, doing it, it was evil people that Vic had crossed trying to find out who had done what.

    Even to the end, almost everyone Vic personally screwed were at least as bad as he was (He did not screw over, for example, Lem).

    That was one of his strengths as an anti-hero, he had a substantial set of pseudo-honorable rules for who could and could not be directly victimized by his actions. Probably the worst even was the guy he shot in the first ep, and even that had a certain “coppish” attitude about it to justify it.

    Not saying I like Vic by any means, but he always did have certain limits that kept him from being truly evil. At best/worst, he qualified, in classic “D&D” terms, as “Chaotic Neutral”.

    Vic was a classic example of the dictum that “Your opposition is rarely a villain in their own eyes.” He certainly saw what he did as necessary to protect those who actually WERE innocent against the evils in his world, and that the rules as-they-were would only allow the evil to succeed even more than it did.

    Smock Puppet, Official Patterico Libtard Chanelling Expert (2fb1c2)

  59. Which books would you take to a world that you had to re-create civilization in?

    1) US Army Field Survival Manual, or its equivalent from some other service.

    2) A full set of the 1905 Encyclopedia Britannica. Right about the time they started removing “basic” knowledge to add second generation stuff.

    3) A full set of the EB from around 1960-1970.

    4) “How it’s made” in several versions and formats.

    5) A few WWI military field medical books.

    You mostly want stuff that does not require a massive and modern industrial base in order to use it. Along the lines of why that house is idiotic.

    a) The less mass you have to send back, the more critical stuff you can send. The more basic machine tools, for example, which would include both modern power tools as well as older style unpowered tools. So obviously you’re going to send back stuff that allows you to make what you need back then from what is present back then, not send back stuff that will be useless without a modern infrastructure to support it.

    b) RAH detailed in Time Enough For Love what he would “bring” for settling on a new planet, much of it stuff that would “make more of itself” from raw materials, like horses.

    I’d say the Lincoln type log cabin is a bit cruder than they’d have to make “then” because they would have much higher grade machine tools available… probably the result would be a turn-of-the-century farmhouse or its close approximate.

    But until you’ve found out what the stobor are, you are probably going to live in more of a family style barracks or “Koresh compound”, for sharing basic goods (stoves, and the like) as well as for general defense. Having your own stove and such is for rich societies.

    So your society in this show is more of an idealized eco-fascism than a vaguely realistic one — one that keeps all the “nice stuff” from a rich society without giving up any of the stuff you really have to give up in conditions as described.

    Smock Puppet, Official Patterico Libtard Chanelling Expert (2fb1c2)

  60. Colonel, see if you can find the splendidly cheesy movie “Valley of Gwangi.”

    It’d have a heckuva lot better chance of success if it stuck Alessandra Ambrosio and, oh, Scarlet Johannsen into fur bikinis most of the time. 😀

    Smock Puppet, SF/Sci-Fi Critic (2fb1c2)

  61. Extra Lame Eco-nonsense with cheese.

    That the name they’ll market it to the Dutch under?

    They are on the Eurolib system, they wouldn’t know what the eph a “New Terror” is.

    Smock Puppet, SF/Sci-Fi Critic (2fb1c2)

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