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Terra Nova 2009 script

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This was the script for the pilot episode, written by Kelly Marcel and Craig Silverstein, published on November 22, 2009. It has only minor similarities with the final script.

Script Edit

TERRA NOVA

Written By Kelly Marcel and Craig Silverstein

11/22/2009
TERRA NOVA

Act 1Edit

ACT ONE TITLES OVER BLACK 2149 A.D.

FADE IN:

EXT. URBAN SPRAWL - SUNSET

The sun setting on humanity. We soar over an endless sea of gray concrete high rises that stretch out to the horizon under a blackened sky. We hear a cross-fade of media voices, reporting in all languages of the world; Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, and finally

English. An Ed Bradley-esque, anchor emeritus type voice.

                    NATIONAL ANCHOR (V.O.)  

...And we are approaching the hour, once again, when the eyes of the world are fixed on one place: Hope Plaza, at the base of the Ozarks here in southern Missouri...Our aerial view centers on an expansive plateau completely cleared of buildings, except for one.

(It sits at the intersection of two massive ovals of blinking light - twin particle accelerator rings measuring 40 miles in length.)

INT. HOPE FACILITY - STAGING PLATFORM - NIGHT

Imagine the giant platform at the end of Close Encounters mixed with the crowded anxiety of Ellis Island. A throng of Settlers mill in orderly fashion, dressed in comfortable clothing suitable for a tropical climate. Every adult carries a large hiking-style backpack.

                    NATIONAL ANCHOR (V.O.) 
         One thousand brave men and women, preparing to embark on the most incredible journey ever taken.  

(A thousand faces, a million emotions.)

                 NATIONAL ANCHOR (V.O.) (CONT’D) 
          Some are specialists, chosen for their skills or knowledge.  Most are average citizens, chosen by a global lottery. All carry with them the hope of humanity.   

We focus on one of them: JIM SHANNON, 40, husband, father, everyman. Also killer, soldier, convict, but we’ll get to that later. Right now, while everyone around him is hopping with excitement, Jim is silent and intense, scanning for a face he does not see.

                    ELIZABETH 
         Where is he? 

(Jim’s wife, Elizabeth, the rock of her family, is quietly cracking under pressure. Jim continues to scan.)

                    JIM 
          He’ll be here.  Go to the kids. 

Finally, Jim catches the eye of a TECHNICIAN in coveralls. The Tech holds his look, then walks away, and Jim pushes through the crowd to follow him, passing under a Plasma Screen showing the news coverage.

ON MONITOR - The NATIONAL ANCHOR,

(A distinguished newsman, walks in front of a giant display screen (a la the CNN set) which broadcasts the aerial view of Hope Plaza.)

                    NATIONAL ANCHOR (ON MONITOR) 

For it was at this exact spot on Earth, twenty five years ago, that a coalition of top scientists finally found what they searching for the world over: a tiny fracture in the fabric of space and time itself. A fracture that may be expanded, with the help of the largest particle accelerator ever constructed, into a doorway that leads to an amazing world. Our world, an estimated one hundred and fifty four million years in the past.

ON MONITOR

(The aerial view of technological wonder Hope Plaza Dissolves into a expansive green tropical landscape.)

                                                   CUT TO: 

SETTLER INTERVIEWS - LIVE FROM THE PLATFORM (QUICK POPS)

(26 year old Dude.)

                    DUDE 

Bottle of scotch, thirty year single malt, family heirloom...and my media-drive. It’s solar chipped, so should be good for life.

(50 year old Texas Lady.)

                    TEXAS LADY 
          Just bug spray and the Bible. 

(35 year old Parislan climber.)

                    PARISIAN 
              (in Frence with subtitles.) 
         No, no luxuries for me.  This is our second chance.  We must not make the same mistakes. 

INT. HOPE FACILITY - SERVICE TUNNEL - NIGHT

Away from the crowd, Jim catches up with the Technician near the back wall of the cavernous space, behind some machinery.

                    JIM 
         You’re late. 
                    TECHNICIAN 
          So was your bank transfer.  Hurry up. 

Technician opens a door to a service tunnel, where a large backpack sits identical to the one Jim is wearing. Jim checks the new pack. We don’t see what’s inside, and we can’t read his face. The Tech watches him carefully. Jim stands and shrugs off his pack, hands it to the Technician. Jim hefts the new pack onto his back with some effort. He turns to the Technician, but the man is already walking away. Jim walks back to the staging platform. He does not see the Security Guard who spots him leaving.

                                                   CUT TO: 

SETTLER INTERVIEWS - LIVE FROM THE PLATFORM

(19 year old Hot Chick.)

                    HOT CHICK 
         Like, before, I didn’t even know all the countries were smushed into one supercountry? 
                    REPORTER (O.S.) 
         You’re talking... I think you mean Supercontinent. Pangaea. 
                    HOT CHICK 
         Yeah, I can’t even say it. 

(29 year old African-American Mom, holding her toddler.)

                    REPORTER (O.S.) 
          Our prehistoric past.  What are you most excited to see? 
                    MOM 
          Trees.  Definitely trees. 

(45 year old Japanese Dad, with twin seven year old boys.)

                    DAD 
              (Japanese with subtitles.) 
         Real food.  Fruit.  Real meat. 

(Maddy Shannon, 18, Jim’s daughter. Whip-smart and outspoken.)

                    MADDY 

Well, technically it’s not our past, right? I mean we’re stepping onto a parallel Earth, creating an alternate timeline. But for some reason that’s confusing to people so everyone just says “our past.”

(Her brother, Josh Shannon, 20, leans in front of her.)

                    JOSH 
          I’m excited to kill Dinosaurs. 
                    REPORTER (O.S.) 

(laughs) Let me guess, your re-training speciality is...

                    JOSH 
          Hunting.  Yes, sir. 

(Josh’s smile drops when he sees Jim walk into frame.)

                    REPORTER 
         Ah, and this must be Dad...  

(Jim looks at us, realizes the camera is there.)

                    JIM 
         Not now, sorry. 

(Jim shoves the camera away, faces his kids.)

                    JIM (CONT’D) 
         Where’s your Mother? 
                    MADDY 
         We thought she was with you! 
                    ELIZABETH 
          Jim. 

(Elizabeth pushes through to them. Her face asks a question. He answers by taking her hand, looks at Maddy and Josh.)

                    JIM 
         We’re all here. 

(Maddy looks nervous as hell. Josh mutters under his breath.)

                    JOSH 
         Dad... 

Josh looks over Jim’s shoulder. Jim turns his head. The Security Guard who saw Jim is watching him. Jim looks away, pretending their eyes didn’t meet, but they did.

                                                   CUT TO: 

SETTLER INTERVIEWS - LIVE FROM THE PLATFORM

(30 year old Lawyer.)

                    LAWYER 

No, I don’t think we’re heroes. We’re lottery winners. We’re lucky. CEO Cameron is a hero. Lieutenant Taylor, he was a hero. We’re just the ones who’re gonna make the place ready for you guys to come through...

                    LOUDSPEAKER (V.O.) 
         Attention.  Phase Two sequence has begun.  Please turn off all electronic devices... 

(The Camera quickly turns on the REPORTER himself.)

                    REPORTER 

Okay, we’re gonna have to shut down here in about sixty seconds while the accelerator...

(A huge Claxon blares. The Reporter speaks faster.)

                    REPORTER (CONT’D) 

While the accelerator generates the gargantuan amount of power necessary to open the conduit for just three hour-

(Zip. The image goes black.)

EXT. URBAN SPRAWL - NIGHT

A coordinated Rolling Blackout snuffs out the lights of civilization all the way out to the horizon. The only light is Hope Plaza, the twin particle accelerator loops form the symbol for infinity.

INT. PARTICLE ACCELERATOR TUNNEL (VFX)

(The collider powering up 5,000 gigawatts, reminiscent of the Death Star getting ready to fire.)

INT. HOPE FACILITY - TRANSIT PORTAL - NIGHT

The portal itself is a six by four foot hole in the epicenter of a gigantic MAGNET RING five stories high. It looks like a concentric Mayan Calendar of pure technology. A double-wide catwalk leads straight up to the portal, a pitch-black singularity that no light can penetrate.

                    LOUDSPEAKER (V.O.) 

Conduit Active. Awaiting tightbeam synchronization.

(The room thrums with power. Everyone waits with baited breath. The entire room, silent, on pins and needles.)

                    NATIONAL ANCHOR (V.O.) 

And now they wait for a voice from the other side, from those who have gone before. Reaching out across the divide on a unique frequency called tightbeam. The phenomenon that has allowed us to coordinate our efforts, and hear about the new world, since the first man went through.

(A thin, crackly radio signal comes over the speaker, a voice from the other side.)

                    GENERAL HYATT (V.O.) 

This is Tango November One. Synchronization achieved. We are ready to receive.

Cheers erupt from the platform. On the Plasma Screens, a still-photo of General Hyatt, 50, African American, is displayed to give people at least something to look at.

                    NATIONAL ANCHOR (V.O.) 

And that was the voice of General Irving Hyatt, commander at Fort Taylor, the immediate destination for this heroic voyage - the Tenth Pilgrimage to Terra Nova.

The Screen - shows an “Artist Rendering” of Taylor, a fort-town set in a lush green Eden. Happy Families farm the land. A protective WALL surrounds the enclave. The Settlers start to move through, one at a time in pre-selected order. They cross the catwalk into the portal, their bodies simply disappearing into darkness. One guy raises a Victory Fist as he moves through. The Shannon family moves closer to the portal, in line with the others, but Jim is starting to sweat. He looks over his shoulder to see the Security Guard staring at him, then commenting into his walkie talkie. Jim stares at the portal, willing it closer. Elizabeth notices the security guard walking this way.

                    PORTAL SECURITY 
          Sir?  You with the green pack. 

(Jim makes eye contact with his family.)

                    JIM 
         Whatever happens, keep going. 

(He leaves the line, walks straight toward the Guard, pretending to be jittery.)

                    JIM (CONT’D) 
          I’m not sure, I don’t know, I’m not sure I can do this.  There’s no way back.  It’s forever. 
                    PORTAL SECURITY 
         Alright, take it easy.  Breathe. 
                    JIM 

I need to see a Wellbeing Operative. I don’t, I don’t know.

                    PORTAL SECURITY 

Sir, keep calm, follow me.

(Jim follows the Guard away from the line, away from his family who are shocked. Maddy whispers.)

                    MADDY 

Mom, what’s he doing?

(Josh, nervous, prods his sister on.)

INT. STAGING PLATFORM - SECURITY STATION - CONTINUOUS

(Guard leads Jim up to a door that leads to a hallway.)

                    JIM 
          I know we had months to prepare... 
                    PORTAL SECURITY 
          It’s okay, it happens.  I noticed something was wrong with you. 

(And then Jim pulls the Guard’s gun right out of his holster. Guard spins to find his gun in his face.)

                    JIM 
          Turn around. 
                    PORTAL SECURITY 
          I have a family. 
                    JIM 
          I’m not gonna shoot you.  Turn around! 

The Guard does, hands up. Jim pistol whips his neck, striking the vagus nerve and knocking him out. Jim closes the door, stuffs the gun in his belt, folds his shirt over it and begins to quickly walk back toward the portal.

                    VOICE (O.S.) 

HEY!

Jim doesn’t turn to see who it is. He just picks up speed. Soon he is running as fast as he can, shouldering past people in line and heading straight for the catwalk. Jim bears down and runs right into the singularity, one handheld shot that brings us straight through darkness into the blinding daylight of

EXT. TAYLOR - DAY (TERRA NOVA)

And suddenly Jim is running through a wide-open field, still pumping adrenaline but disoriented from the sensory overload of Sunlight! Tress! Grass! Blue Sky! Wham! A Rifle butt to the gut knocks his wind out and Jim goes down hard. Jim gasps for air. A man with a Grizzly beard looms over him in a faded Marine uniform.

                    GRIZZLY MARINE 
         Where you runnin’ to? 

Jim, trying to breathe, rolls on his side, and takes in a puzzling sight: Settlers having their packs taken by Soldiers with unkempt uniforms and hair nowhere near regulation.

                    MARINE 2 

All packs open for inspection! Your items will be returned!

Most people hand over their supplies, though with confusion, as this was not what they were prepared for. A few people resist. One beautiful woman (Myra) in particular struggles with a Marine.

                    MYRA 
          Careful! That’s delicate equipment! 

He shoves her away, tears open the pack. Myra grabs him and knees him in the groin. Another Marine grabs her from behind and throws her to the ground, puts his rifle to her head.

Scientific gear spills out of her pack and onto the turf. Jim suddenly becomes aware of the Grizzly Marine behind him about to Slice open his pack with a hunting knife. Before he knows it Jim’s gun is at Grizzly’s throat.

                    JIM 
          Don’t. 

(Grizzly freezes. Four more Marines swarm, aiming rifles at Jim, yelling for him to drop it.)

                    ELIZABETH 
         NO! 

(Liz screams as she runs over, Josh and Maddy behind her.)

                    ELIZABETH (CONT’D) 
         Please!  My baby’s in there! 
                    MARINE 2 
         What? 

Elizabeth kneels and opens the pack... And a ten year old girl, clementine, crawls out! Spits a breathing tube from her mouth and crawls into her Mother’s arms, crying. The Marines are stunned. Jim surrenders his gun to Grizzly.

                    JIM 
          I’m sorry.  Here. 

(Grizzly snatches it, stands back with the Marines. Elizabeth tries to calm her daughter.)

                    CLEMENTINE 
         Mommy... 
                    ELIZABETH 
          Shh, we made  it.  We made it. 

(All eyes, and four assault rifles, are on the Shannon family huddled together as we...)

FADE OUT.

                     END OF ACT ONE 

Act 2 Edit

                        ACT TWO 

FADE IN:

(Close on Clementine Shannon being carried by her Dad. Her face turned to the sky.)

CLEMENTINE’S P.O.V. - THE SKY

(Gigantic and blue, filled with a breathtaking cloudscape.)

                    CLEMENTINE 
              (Whispering in Jim’s ear) 

Look, Daddy. Clouds.

                    JIM 

Yeah.

Jim glances up. Then straight ahead. The sky may as well be a dream, because he’s here, on the ground, forced to march along with his family and the other new arrivals into...

EXT. TAYLOR - CENTRAL - DAY

Imagine a border town in the Old West but with modern thinking applied. Solar panels and wind turbines powering technology, integrated with primitive construction. The New Arrivals are directed to sit on the ground in a grassy clearing in front of a Command Compound, a two-story building that looks like a forest ranger headquarters. The Shannon Family is being escorted by four Marines who box them in. Grizzly Marine stops them from sitting.

                    GRIZZLY MARINE 

Not you. You stand.

(He beckons over a bald man with glasses.)

                    GRIZZLY MARINE (CONT’D) 

Tell Frank we got a problem with the count. He’s gonna want to see this one for himself.

The Bald Man nods and heads off. As the new arrivals sit, Jim takes in the citizens of Taylor standing behind them, ringing the plaza. They have been “in-country” for a while, their clothes faded and sometimes mis-matched as evidence of bartering. Some hold flowers and baskets of goods. Jim spots a homemade textile banner reading, “WELCOME 2149!” Their heads are craning, curious to check our the newcomers, whereas everyone new seems anxious and concerned. The Shannon’s feel eyes from both groups, as they stick out with their armed escort. Jim notices three other people (including Myra) being forced to stand just like them. Suddenly, a burst of gunfire snaps everyone’s attention to the building. A man walks out onto the veranda. Piercing blue eyes and rugged good looks, wearing a military uniform and some kind of giant tooth hanging from his neck. The veteran citizens cheer like he’s some kind of rock star.

                    JOSH 
              (in awe) 
         No way.  Lieutenant Taylor? 
                    GRIZZLY MARINE 
          Commander Taylor.  Shut your mouth. 

(Commander Frank Taylor quiets the crowd, smiling.)

FRANK
Citizens of 2149, welcome to Taylor. Apologies for the rough landing, all will become clear shortly. My name is Commander Frank Taylor. This town is named after me, as I was the first to set foot here.

(A buzz spreads through the assembled arrivals.)

FRANK (CONT’D)
Yes, I know. Reports of my death out in the wilderness have been greatly exaggerated. It’s not the only truth that’s been stretched over the tightbeam. Here is the truth on the ground: One, I am in charge. Two, as long as I am in charge, you are safe.

On Jim, who doesn’t feel safe. Frank gestures to General Hyatt, who stands rigid but worn down, humiliated, off to the side of the veranda near more of Frank’s men.

FRANK (CONT’D)
I assumed control from General Hyatt one year ago. It was a necessary action, taken to save lives, because too many good people were dying.

                    (MORE) 

FRANK (CONT’D)
They were dying because they had been lied to. They were told that peaceful coexistence with this environment was possible. It is not. They were told they had to work and live in Taylor for a year, and then caravan to the outer settlements, to make room for the next wave of folks to come through that portal. The outer settlements are gone. Destroyed.

(The New Arrivals are audibly shocked. Frank is grim.)

FRANK (CONT’D)
I was at Triple Junction when it was overrun by Allosaurs. On that day, my mission became clear. Under my protection, none of you will be forced to walk senselessly into death. You are safe within these walls! And you are free within these walls, as long as you obey the law.

(He glances at the Shannons, and other standing lawbreakers. Then gestures at a fat man, Ben Duirwyn, to his right.)

FRANK (CONT’D)
We value hard work and free trade. Ben Duirwyn runs the barter exchange. Register with him, establish a line of credit, and receive points for your supplies.

(Frank gestures to the crowd standing behind the arrivals.)

FRANK (CONT’D)
The good people of Taylor have been as eager to meet you as I have. They’ve planned a welcome week to help get you started. Let me be the first of them to say, Citizens of Terra Nova - welcome home!

The Citizens sweep in among the New Arrivals, helping them to their feet, greeting them with warm smiles and welcoming hugs. The New Arrivals smile back, dazed but relieved as they are brought into the fold. The Shannon Family is prodded to move.

                    GRIZZLY MARINE 
         No hugs for you.  Get movin’. 

(The Shannon’s are escorted up to the Command Compound.)

INT. COMMAND COMPOUND - FRANK’S OFFICE - DAY

Close on a laptop - digital pic and file on James Shannon. Frank Taylor studies the file, scrolling through the rest of the family. Clementine is not in there. He looks up as the family is brought into his office. Their hearts almost stop as they see where Frank is sitting. Reveal his “desk” is set inside the giant skull of a T-REX, jaws open in a silent roar, the flesh polished off the bone.

                    JOSH 
         Whoa... 
                    FRANK 
         You like her, huh?  She didn’t like  
         me, much. 

(Frank approaches the family. Josh offers his hand.)

                    JOSH 

Commander Taylor, it’s an honor.

(Frank glances at his laptop.)

                    FRANK 

You must be Josh Shannon, age 20, five eleven, hundred eighty pounds.

              (to Jim) 
         Which makes you James Shannon. 
                    JIM 

Yes, Sir.

                    FRANK 

Yes, Sir.

              (He walks past the women) 
         Elizabeth Shannon.  Madison  
          Shannon... 

(Frank reaches Clementine and stops. Looks back at Liz.)

                    ELIZABETH 

Clementine.

                    FRANK 

Shannon.

                    JIM 

Let me explain.

FRANK Why? You don’t think I get it? Law caps families at two offspring, you broke the law. Then you broke it again by smuggling her here. How’d you swing that, by the way?

                    JIM 

We didn’t expect our application to get through the lottery. Clem was living with my sister when we found out it did. On that day, my mission became clear. I wasn’t gonna leave my daughter behind.

(Frank sizes Jim up, after hearing his own words back at him.)

                    FRANK 

You’re a man of action, aren’t you James? According to your file, you’re a shift supervisor at the Protein Twist factory in Boulder...

                    JIM 
         That’s right. 
                    FRANK 

And this isn’t your first brush with the law. Spent some time in prison, for manslaughter. What was that about?

(That catches Jim up. He doesn’t like to talk about that in front of his family. Clem looks up at him. She didn’t know.)

                    JIM 

That was twenty years ago. A different guy.

(Frank holds up the gun that Jim took from the Security Guard.)

                    FRANK 
         That right? 
              (off Jim’s look) 

It’s okay, James. We need men of action in Terra Nova. But the right kind of action, understand?

                    JIM 

I’m a father. I’m just trying to give my family a future, and there is no future back home.

                    ELIZABETH 

What would you have done?

                    FRANK 

I wouldn’t have had the third kid.

(He stares hard at her, then softens for the family.)

                    FRANK (CONT’D) 

Look, I don’t really care about population control laws that don’t apply here. But the people expect me to keep the peace, and a lot of them are gonna hate on you for bringing this one.

(Jim steps forward. The Marines tense, but Frank stays them.)

                    JIM 

You need to do justice, I get that. I just ask that you do it to me, and not my family.

(Frank studies Jim. Turns to the Marines.)

                    FRANK 

Why don’t you show Elizabeth and her children to their home. I want a moment with James, here.

(Jim turns to his family as the Marines escort them out.)

                    JIM 

It’s okay.

(Jim faces Frank alone. Frank walks to his laptop.)

                    FRANK 

We receive a detailed file on each and every settler, in the months leading up to translation. I study it, and make a list of people I think are going to be problems. Who might challenge what I’m trying to achieve here.

              (beat) 
         You were not on my list. 
                    JIM 
         And I don’t intend to be. 
                    FRANK 
I like you, James.  Tell you what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna help you.   
                    (MORE) 

FRANK (CONT’D)
I’m gonna put you on perimeter duty, it’s the most important job we have here. First line of defense against these sons of bitches, planting land-mines in the outer boundary.

(He gestures to the T-Rex skull. Jim looks apprehensive.)

FRANK (CONT’D)
Everyone will see you’re out there for them, and proving your worth.

                    JIM 

Thank you.

                    FRANK 

No, Jim. Thank you. My best to your family.

(Off Jim, screwed...)

EXT. TAYLOR - HOUSING - EVENING

Jim is escorted by Grizzly into the “suburbs” of Taylor, a campground of quick-build tent houses like the ones in New Orleans. Individually decorated and lamp-lit.

                    GRIZZLY MARINE 

344. Tenth down on the left.

(Grizzly drops Jim off at a row. Jim makes his way down.)

INT. SHANNON HOUSE - EVENING

Liz pumps a solar-powered shower for Clementine, who cleans up behind a blue curtain. Maddy and Josh are arguing.

                    JOSH 

Taylor’s doing what he has to do.

                    MADDY 

You’ve just got a crush on him.

                    JOSH 

Actually, I remember you having a crush on him.

                    MADDY 

I was twelve. And he was like Neil Armstrong then, the whole world loved him. Clearly before he went psycho dictator.

                    CLEMENTINE 

(from behind curtain) Who’s Neil Armstrong?

                   ELIZABETH 

He’s an explorer, like Christopher Columbus. He was the first man on the moon.

                   MADDY 

She knows Christopher Columbus but not Neil Armstrong?

                   ELIZABETH 

“She” is your sister, and she is in fourth grade. (Clementine’s wet head pokes around the curtain.)

                    CLEMENTINE 

Columbus day is a holiday. There’s no Armstrong day.

(On Jim, entering.)

                    JIM 

Good news is there won’t be a quiz on this for a hundred and fifty million years or so.

                   MADDY 

Dad!

(Maddy runs into his arms. Liz stops pumping the shower, hands a blanket around the curtain.)

                   ELIZABETH 

Towel off. Clothes are in there.

                    JOSH 

You okay?

(Jim nods, looks to Liz.)

                    JIM 

You guys okay?

                   ELIZABETH 

Someone had stolen our welcome kit by the time we got here. No food.

                   MADDY 

Dad, admit to Josh that we’re doomed. As a race.

                    JIM 

What?

                    JOSH 

She thinks Taylor’s the devil.

                   MADDY 

It’s not just him, it’s everyone going along with him. Sixty million square miles of land, more than enough space to re-settle the world and he’s got everyone locked down into this five square mile prison camp.

                    JOSH 

Did you not hear the part about the dinosaurs killing everyone? The outer settlements are gone.

                   MADDY 

Why do you believe him? He staged a coup, he’s obviously lying to the government over the radio...

                    JOSH 

How do you know the government’s not the one lying to everyone else?

                    JIM 

Alright enough.

                    JOSH 

If people knew the truth back home they’d freak out. The Government needs Terra Nova to work, it’s our last hope. The escape hatch. The only thing preventing world war!

                    JIM 

I said enough. It’s not our problem. We’re here now, and we’ve got enough trouble. I’ve got to report to the perimeter tomorrow.

(Elizabeth stands, feeling her stomach drop.)

                   ELIZABETH 

What do you mean?

                    JIM 

It’s gonna be okay, it’s part of a clear-and-secure program, making room for new housing...

                    ELIZABETH 

You mean outside the walls?

                    JIM 

Until they extend the walls, yeah. It’s okay, I gotta do it. (Liz begins to tear up) Liz, stop. You’ve got to do everything else. Okay?

                    ELIZABETH 

(pulling herself together) Okay. Okay.

                    JIM 

First order of business is food.

(Clem steps out of the shower, re-dressed in same clothes.)

                    CLEMENTINE 

Mom?

                    ELIZABETH 

Not now, honey.

                    JIM 

Which means all of you have to find work, or something to barter.

                    CLEMENTINE 

But, I have food.

(Everyone turns to see Clem take out five Protein Twists from her pocket, the synthetic food of the future.)

                    JOSH 

Twisties...

                    CLEMENTINE 

I took them before we left.

Josh and Maddy grab one. Jim grabs Clementine and scoops her up, peppering her cheek with kisses. Clem cracks up, giggling. Elizabeth allows herself a long exhale, wiping tears from her eyes.

                    JIM 

Come outside, I want to show you guys something.

EXT. SHANNON HOUSE - NIGHT

Jim leads his family outside. They are immediately struck by the sight of an incredible Night Sky, glittering with stars.

                    ELIZABETH 

Oh my God...

                    JOSH 

Were there more stars in the sky back then? I mean, now?

                    MADDY 
          Think we can just finally see ‘em, past the smog. 

(Clem, in her Father’s arms, presses a finger to her temple.)

                    CLEMENTINE 
          I am going to remember this. 

(Jim looks at her, amused.)

                    JIM 

You’re deciding to remember this moment?

                    CLEMENTINE 
         Yeah. 
                    JIM 
         Me too. 

(Off the Shannon’s, feeling nothing is impossible...)

                                              DISSOLVE TO: 

EXT. MAIN GATE - DAY

Night becomes day. An armed SENTRY patrols a catwalk above the fifteen foot high main gate, just down the way from Central Plaza. Below, the Warden, a mean Scottish bastard, hands a duffle bag filled with MINES to Jim.

                    WARDEN 

Shannon. Babymaker. You get the mine bag.

(Warden hands two shovels to a nervous looking guy, Fraser.)

                    WARDEN (CONT’D) 

Fraser. Veggie Thief. You get the shovels.

                    JIM 

What do you get?

                    WARDEN 

I get the shotgun, to watch you lot. Also, the disarmer. (to Bardo) Where’s our last scrub?

Bardo, an aboriginal Maori guide, shrugs. He wears camo pants, no shirt, and has thermal goggles. Jim hefts the mine bag, approaches his family, kneels in front of Clem.

                    JIM 

Stay near Mommy, okay?

(She nods. Jim stands, looks Josh in the eye.)

        JIM (CONT’D)                         JOSH 
         Find work.                       Get a job. 

(Jim turns to Maddy. Nods to Central Plaza behind her.)

                    JIM (CONT’D) 

You, too. And stay out of the politics. (to family) We keep our heads down, we don’t give anyone trouble, we don’t give anyone a reason to give us trouble. (to Liz) I’ll see you at sundown.

                    LIZ 

Bet your ass.

(They kiss, hard. The kids don’t look away.)

                    WARDEN 

Finally, we’re all here. Let’s go!

(Jim turns to see the beautiful Myra reporting for duty.)

                    FRASER 

Whoah. Wonder what she did?

The main gate opens, moaning, and Jim steps out with the motley crew into Terra Nova. He turns, a last lingering look back at his family as the gate shuts.

EXT. OUTER PERIMETER - CONTINUOUS

Directly outside the main gate, they pass through a no-man’s land of cleared ground - the forest has been cut here, the mines removed. Sentries on top the wall provide armed cover. Jim passes marking for new homes laid out in rope. They soon reach the forest wall. Jim glances at Myra. She is trying to remain stoic, but even she can’t help but be awed by the beauty of this place.

                    WARDEN 

(points to Jim and Myra) Alright, you two are team one. Bardo, you dig with the vegetable thief. We’re walking into a live field here, scrubs. Follow our footsteps unless you wanna go boom.

(Warden and Bardo slip on thermal goggles. Jim, Myra, and Fraser huddle behind them as they head into the jungle.)

EXT. TAYLOR - CENTRAL - DAY

A different kind of jungle. A bustling hive of activity, half Farmers Market, half Black Market/bazaar. Citizens mix with New Arrivals, who marvel at the sight of animal hides and real food - meat smoking on a grill, fruit in baskets. Someone is doing an impressive set on a primitive drum. Find the Shannon family in a long line leading up to an open tent - the barter exchange. A woman, Jan, walks along the line with a basket full of yellow-orange Wild tomatoes.

                    JAN 

Welcome Week Special! Free tomatoes! One per person, please!

The Shannons take the tomatoes. Josh and Maddy hand theirs to Liz, who quickly pockets them along with her own (save them for later). But Clem is already biting into hers - her eyes light up as juice runs down her chin. Jan smiles.

                    JAN (CONT’D) 

(to Liz) My favorite part. The look on their faces. (to Clem) First taste of real food, eh?

(Clem nods, stunned.)

                    MADDY 

Is it really that good?

Clem nods, stunned. Maddy and Josh look to Liz, who sighs, hands them back their tomatoes. They bite, unaccustomed to the skin and juice of non-synthetic fruit. Josh, his senses alive, notices two girls his age (veteran citizens), walking the market and sizing up the new boys.

                    JOSH 

I’m gonna do some networking. See if I can find a line on some work.

(Liz nods, uneasy as he walks off into the crowd.)

                    MADDY 

Me, too.

                    ELIZABETH 

Not yet. Stay by me.

                    MADDY 

You just let Josh go.

                    BEN DUIRWYN (O.S.) 

Next!

                    ELIZABETH 

Josh is twenty.

                    MADDY 

And I’m eighteen.

                    BEN DUIRWYN (O.S.) 

NEXT!

                    ELIZABETH 

(Squeezing Maddy’s hand) Just stay by me, okay?

(Elizabeth steps up to Ben Duitwyn, the Barter Master. A one man craigslist meets Jabba the Hutt, but less moral. He stares down over his laptop, impatient.)

                    ELIZABETH (CONT’D) 

Shannon. (Ben scrolls through his files.)

                    BEN DUIRWYN 

Shannon. Shannon... oh, the lawbreakers. (Liz feels eyes on her. She pulls Clementine close.)

                    ELIZABETH 

We were cleared by Commander Taylor...

                   WOMAN’S VOICE (O.S.) 

Don’t trade with ‘em! (Liz speaks to Ben, but loud enough for everyone to hear.)

                   ELIZABETH 

And we’re prepared to work harder to pull our weight. My husband is on perimeter duty, right now. (lower) We want our supplies like everyone else.

                    BEN DUIRWYN 

You don’t get your supplies. You get points to buy ‘em back, and I assign the points. Based on the value of your items and what you have to contribute. (regards laptop) Now, it says here you re-trained in medicine, specializing in botanical and herbal remedies. (looks at her) What was your job before that? Lemme guess. Dancer?

                   ELIZABETH 

Librarian. How many points do I get?

                    BEN DUIRWYN 

Well, that depends on what you’re willing to trade, and like you said, how hard you’re willing to work...

(He looks her up and down. Liz nods, she understands.)

                   ELIZABETH 

You know what, it’s too bad. In your condition, you could’ve used my help. Come on, Clem. (She takes Clem’s hand to leave. Ben sits up straight.)

                    BEN DUIRWYN 

What?

                   ELIZABETH 

We get it, you don’t want to deal with “criminals.”

                    BEN DUIRWYN 

Condition. What condition?

(Liz stops, slowly turns back.)

                   ELIZABETH 

That sore. On your hand. (he looks down at it) How long’s it been like that?

                    BEN DUIRWYN 

This? I don’t know, a week? It’s not really a sore...

                   ELIZABETH 

There’s a quick way to tell. Show me your gums. (Ben grins, it’s gross) Open up. (Ben opens his mouth) Are you urinating more frequently this week? (Ben closes his mouth. She just nailed him.)

                    BEN DUIRWYN 

Like a race horse...

                   ELIZABETH 

It’s alright, it’s not serious yet. Though you should come see me sooner this week than later. We’ll clear it up for you.

                    BEN DUIRWYN 

I have some time tomorrow...

                   ELIZABETH 

Fine. (walks away, turns back) Oh, and I don’t accept credit, so bring our stuff, okay? (She and Clem get a few steps away.)

                    CLEMENTINE 

That was good, Mom.

                   ELIZABETH 

Thanks. (Liz’s smile drops as she realizes Maddy has slipped away.)

                    ELIZABETH (CONT’D) 

Where’s your sister?

EXT. FOREST - DAY

Close on a mine, as Myra plants it in the ground. A thick millipede crawls nearby as she arms it, sweating. Jim stands by with a shovel. He alternates from focusing on the mine, to scanning the primeval forest around him. He's never been surrounded by so much life. A giant dragonfly the size of a turkey buzzes right by him. Jim ducks, almost whacks Myra with the shovel.

                    MYRA 

You mind? Trying not to die here. (Bardo the Maori looks up from planting his mine.)

                    BARDO (re: Dragonfly) 

No danger. He’s harmless.

                    JIM 

Whatever you say. (Jim shovels dirt on top of the mine. Myra pulls a new one.)

                    JIM (CONT’D) 

You don’t seem too phased by all this. My guess is you weren’t on the lottery, like me. (beat, no reply) Paleobotanist?

                    MYRA 

Seismologist.

                    JIM 

Earthquakes, right. Figured you were a specialist. What’s your name?

                    MYRA (cold) 

How about we get this done and flirt on the way back.

                    JIM 

Okay. I mean, I just asked your name. I wasn’t flirting.

                    MYRA 

Myra. Happy now?

                    JIM 

I’m Jim. James. I’m married.

                    MYRA 

Congratulations, Jim-James.

                    WARDEN 

Less talking, more planting!

(Jim grips the shovel, stares at Warden, who dead-eyes him back, hand on shotgun. Jim keeps his head down, and digs.)

EXT. TAYLOR - CENTRAL - DAY

(Josh is chatting up the two girls, Jessica and Kim. They are flirting, hungry to talk to new guys, and Josh is cute.)

                    JESSICA 

Miami, originally.

                    KIM 

London. Jess was on the fifth pilgrimage, I was on the seventh.

                    JOSH 

Yeah, I think I remember you from TV. Were you on “Travelers?”

                    KIM 

I was. Is that still on?

                    JOSH 

Yeah, they follow a new group of kids every year, in the months leading up to the jump.

                    JESSICA 

What about you, Josh? What’s your story?

                    JOSH 

Well, that’s what I’m here to figure out, right? You guys are the experts, I was hoping maybe you could show me around, point me in the direction of some Hunters.

                    KIM 

Are you a hunter, Josh?

                    JESSICA 

We love our hunters.

                    JOSH 

It’s what I trained in. I want to apply to the Raptors Clan. (Kim and Jessica exchange a grin.)

                    KIM 

We know where they hang. Come on.

(Josh smiles and takes her hand.)

EXT. TAYLOR - CENTRAL - SAME TIME

In the center of the bustling plaza, Maddy has wormed her way into a democratic circle of concerned citizens, both new and old, who are asking many of the same questions as she is.

                    NEW ARRIVAL 

I just don’t understand why were weren’t told.

                    MADDY 

Isn’t it obvious? They don’t know. They only know what they’re told over the tightbeam.

                    VETERAN CITIZEN 

Government lied to us, Taylor’s just returning the favor.

                    PARISIAN 
              (accented English) 

To me, it seems he’s doing everything wrong. Overpopulation...

                    MADDY 
         Over-use of resources.  I agree. 
                    VETERAN CITIZEN 

Guys. Guys. I’m telling you, Taylor saved our asses. My family was set to caravan out to Triple Junction one week before he came back. We would’ve been wiped out.

                    WALTER 
         Triple Junction still stands. 

(Everyone turns to look at WALTER, 55, gnarled and bitter.)

                    VETERAN CITIZEN 
          Oh, give it a rest, Walter. 
                    WALTER 

So do the other outposts. They’re alive and well, they just been cut off by our glorious protector.

                    MADDY 

Why?

                    ROBBIE 

You guys need to keep your voices down. (Robbie, a young, intense man, looks directly at Maddy.)

                    ROBBIE (CONT’D) 

People who ask the wrong questions, or ask them too loud, tend to disappear.

                    VETERAN CITIZEN 

Oh, come on. (Veteran Citizen leaves the circle. Robbie looks at Maddy.)

                    ROBBIE 

And to answer your question - no one knows. Just like no one knows what really happened to Frank Taylor while he was out there for two years.

                    WALTER 

Robbie here is right. Taylor is hiding something, I’m not sure what. All I know is those land-mines are meant to keep the sheep in, more than the wolves out. (leans in, whispers) Don’t be fooled by the fear mongering. The real threat ain’t out there. It’s right-

Screekawww!!! A dark leathery blur wipes frame, ripping Walter into the sky and knocking Maddy, Robbie, and the rest of the circle to the ground. Maddy, dazed, looks up to see Walter is gone. Someone screams. Then an alarm bell sounds across the square. Everyone in the Central Plaza scatters in every direction, running for cover, ducking under carts, into buildings. Maddy rises to her feet in the middle of the chaos, finds herself unable to move, paralyzed by fear.

                    MADDY 

MOM!

                    ELIZABETH 

RUN!

(Maddy sees her Mom barreling toward her with Clem. Liz grabs Maddy and they run together, across the square.)

                    JOSH 

Mom! Under here! Under here!

They turn to see Josh, hiding under a Textile cart with Kim and Jessica, and a few other Citizens. The Shannon women duck under with them. The sound of automatic gunfire draws everyone’s gaze up to a Sentry Tower, where a Marine fires bursts into the sky. High above, we can see the shapes of three Pterodons circling, riding the thermals. The gunfire scares them off, and they fly away, having grabbed one treat. Josh can’t help but be awe-struck by the creatures.

                    JOSH (CONT’D) 

Unbelievable...(Clementine cries into Elizabeth’s shoulder.)

                    CLEMENTINE 

I wanna go home! (Elizabeth holds her tight as we...)

FADE OUT.

                     END OF ACT TWO 

Act 3 Edit

                       ACT THREE 

EXT. FOREST - DAY

(Jim stops digging for a moment, listening. He can barely hear the Alarm in the distance.)

                    MYRA 

Come on. Hurry up.

                    JIM 

Shh. Do you hear that?

(The Warden listens to a report on his radio.)

                    WARDEN (to radio) 

Copy. (to mine party) Alright, listen up. I just got a report there was a critter attack in town. Finish your next mine, and we’ll pack it up.

                    MYRA 

Now will you hurry?

                    JIM 

What attack? Did it come from the south? What kind of “critter” gets past the minefield?

(Bardo points to the sky. Everyone’s head cranes up. Shit. Jim starts to dig faster.)

INT. TAYLOR - TOWN SALOON - DAY

Everyone is crowded inside places now, like this bar. Anyone new to Terra Nova is still shaken, but everyone’s who been living here is used to this kind of thing by now.

                    BARTENDER (O.S.) 

All clear! All clear!

(Find Josh as he brings some waters to a table where Liz, Maddy, and Clem are decompressing.)

                    JOSH 

I think we’re safe now.

                    MADDY 

Oh, great.

                    CITIZEN ONE 

Aerial attacks are rare, honey, it’s just bad timing. The lookout shoulda seen that comin’.

                    CITIZEN TWO 

Frank is gonna kick his ass.

                    ELIZABETH 

My husband’s still out there, on the perimeter.

                    CITIZEN ONE 

Don’t worry, they’ll bring him back early.

                    ELIZABETH (to her kids) 

Let’s go wait for him at the gate.

                    KIM (O.S.) 

Josh!

Josh turns to see Kim and Jessica waving him over to the bar, where they are hanging out with some rough looking MEN in painted kevlar. They look like a gang.

                    JOSH 

I’ll meet you guys there. I gotta see some people about a job.

                    CLEMENTINE 

Be careful, Josh. They look like bad guys.

                    JOSH 

Thanks, Clem. I will.

                    MADDY 

And those girls look like skanks.

                    JOSH 

Knew that was coming.

(Josh tries to appear tough and cool as he crosses to the bar. Kim and Sharon are flirting with four of the Raptors.)

                    JESSICA 

My heart always starts pounding after an attack. Feel my heart.

(Wood, a killer with spiked hair, happily obliges. He nods to Josh as he approaches.)

                    KIM 

This is Josh.

                    WOOD 

Kim tells us you’re looking to join Raptor Clan.

                    JOSH 

I've trained in hunting techniques for the last five months, logged over 300 hours in the simulator. That's more than anyone you'll meet in this new crop. Everyone knows Raptor Clan is the best, I want to be with the best.

(Wood looks to Haysbert, the imposing leader of the Raptors, who turns from his seat at the bar and looks Josh over.)

                    HAYSBERT 

Your women seem shaken up. Maybe you should be with them.

                    JOSH 

They’re not... they’ll be okay.

(Haysbert turns back to the bar. Wood offers a drink to Josh.)

                    WOOD 

Here. On the house.

(Josh downs the fuel-like moonshine, gags on it. Wood and the other Raptors laugh. Wood claps him on the back.)

                    WOOD (CONT’D) 

You’re in luck, kid. We’re recruiting right now. C’mon.

(Wood exchanges a look with Haysbert, then leads Josh out the back of the bar along with another Raptor.)

EXT. FOREST - DAY

(Jim finishes putting dirt over the last mine.)

                    WARDEN 

Alright, that’s it. Fall in line behind Bardo and me, go slow and we’ll make it back in one piece. (Myra catches Jim smiling.)

                    MYRA 

What?

                    JIM 

My Terra Nova training was in farming. Planting crops. (He nods to the minefield. She smiles a little.)

                    FRASER 

Yeah, well my re-training was in carpentry. So much for three years of law school, right? (Jim gives Myra a deadpan look. She smiles a little more. A deep boom sounds in the distance. Five heads turn.)

                    JIM (to Myra) 

Earthquake?

                    WARDEN 

Oh, no...

Boom. Deep in the forest they see an explosion. Then an inhuman Wail echoes, like an exotic bird but much bigger. Then Boom Boom Boom! Everyone ducks. Three distant mines detonate, rocking the perimeter. Things are coming this way.

                    BARDO 

They’re not stopping.

                    WARDEN 

Quickly now!

(Warden, Bardo, and Fraser take off running. Jim has dropped his shovel. He finds it, picks it up, starts to run.)

                    MYRA 

WAIT!

(Jim turns. Myra is standing there, frozen with fear. Jim looks around. Nothing is here.)

                    JIM 

What? Run!

                    MYRA 

I think I armed it.

(Reveal she has stepped on a mine. One they just planted. Jim turns. The others are fleeing further into the forest.)

                    JIM 

HEY! STOP! ( They don’t. Either they can’t hear, or don’t care. Jim turns back, locks eyes with Myra, caught in a dilemma. A pure human moment of truth.)

                    JIM (CONT’D) 

Okay. Okay okay. Don’t move.

                    MYRA 

You think?

                    JIM 

I’m gonna get them. The Warden.

                    MYRA 

No.

                    JIM 

Yes! He has a disarmer.

                    MYRA 

No, Jim, NO!

                    JIM 

If you move, you’re dead!

                    MYRA 

I’m already dead! (Boom. Another mine explodes in another part of the forest.)

                    MYRA (CONT’D) 

Damn it, I can’t believe this. You have to listen to me, okay? There’s something I have to tell you. Something very important.

                    JIM 

You don’t have to-

                    MYRA 

I’m not a seismologist! (That wasn’t what he expected to hear.)

                    JIM 

What?

                    MYRA 

I work for the government, do you understand? That was my cover, I’m not a god damn seismologist, I’m here for a mission. That mission has an objective.

                    (MORE) 
                    MYRA (CONT'D) 

The objective must be achieved, and I can’t let my death get in the way of that.

                    JIM (Head is spinning) 

We don’t... we don’t have time for this.

                    MYRA 

You’re right. So you need to listen up. Because in a minute, you are going to leave me. You’ll have to, to survive. And you must survive.

Off Jim...

INT. COMMAND COMPOUND - FRANK’S OFFICE - DAY

(General Hyatt leans in to an old school military microphone, connected to a state-of-the-art communications console.)

                    GENERAL HYATT 

This is Tango November One. Tightbeam localization has been synchronized. Over.

                    RADIO (V.O.) 

Synchronization achieved. Mother Earth is online. Over. (Reveal General Hyatt is reading off a script on a laptop.)

                    GENERAL HYATT 

This is General Irving Hyatt of the Terra Nova advance command party, on behalf of United Earth Government. It gives me great pleasure to report that the tenth wave of the repatriation program was a one hundred percent success. (Reveal Frank Taylor standing over him, supervising.)

                    GENERAL HYATT (CONT’D) 

We look forward to the next wave in six months, God Willing.

                    RADIO (V.O.) 

We have a request for follow-up on the security breach. Over. (Hyatt looks up at Frank, who clicks the mute button.)

                    FRANK 

Guy smuggled his damn kid through. The breach was on their end. (points to laptop) Ask them this.

                    GENERAL HYATT 

The breach was contained. A full report is forthcoming...

Hyatt grips the microphone. He is dying to give a full report - that there’s been a mutiny. Frank, losing patience, pulls a gun and crosses to a door guarded by a Marine. He puts his hand on the doorknob. Hyatt nods, defeated. He leans into the mic.

                    GENERAL HYATT (CONT’D) 

We have a query regarding the Uranium our science lab requested. (reads off laptop) It seems to be that less than half the required amount was sent. (There’s a pause on the line. Then...)

                    RADIO (V.O.) 

That’s an affirmative. We crunched the numbers on our end, and the amount received should be more than sufficient for the experiment described. (Frank, frustrated, runs his finger across his throat.)

                    GENERAL HYATT 

Copy that, Mother Earth, and God Bless. Terra Nova out-

Frank cuts the signal. He stares at Hyatt for a long beat. Then he motions to the Marine, who opens the door. A four year old boy, Henry, runs across the room into General Hyatt’s arms. Hyatt holds him tight, emotional.

                    GENERAL HYATT (CONT’D) 

Hey, bud. How’s Mommy? She okay? (Henry nods.)

                    FRANK 

Your Daddy did a good job, Henry. He’s a good listener.

                    GENERAL HYATT 

What the hell do you want with Uranium, Frank? What are you doing?

                    FRANK 

Play with your son, Irv. You’ve got ten minutes. (Frank exits.)

                   MYRA (PRE-LAP) 

CEO Cameron has suspected something’s wrong for months now...

EXT. FOREST - DAY

(Myra and Jim, still in their mine-stalemate.)

                   MYRA 

They sent me here to find out, and report back.

                    JIM 

Report back how?

                   MYRA 

Portable Transmitter, broken down and concealed in my pack. The antennae is inside the tripod...

                    JIM 

Oh, man...

                   MYRA 

Listen. The tightbeam synchronizer is hidden in the seismograph. And the third piece, the Encoder Beacon. (She removes a small white component the size of a pillbox from her belt. The encoder beacon.)

                   MYRA (CONT’D) 

You can take with you right now.

                    JIM 

No.

                   MYRA 

You have to do this, Jim. You have to warn the future, so they can send a damn battalion through that portal. I can’t do it.

                    JIM 

Wrong. You’re gonna do it. I’m gonna save your life, and then you can go save the day. Just stay alive till I get back. (Jim turns and heads off after the Warden.)

                    MYRA 

Jim! (He looks back. She throws him the Encoder Beacon. He catches it.)

                    MYRA (CONT’D) 

Just in case. (And we follow Jim running through the forest, leaving Myra standing there, alone, vulnerable. The sun is setting...)

FADE OUT.

                    END OF ACT THREE 

Act 4 Edit

                        ACT FOUR 

EXT. MAIN GATE - SUNSET

Liz, Maddy, and Clementine wait for Jim at the main gate.

CLEMENTINE The sun is almost down.

                    ELIZABETH 

Don’t worry, he’ll be here.

(Liz squeezes Clementine’s hand. Maddy notices all kinds of Citizens heading past them down the way to Central Plaza. We can see people gathering down there, not too far away.)

                    MADDY 

Where are all these people going?

                    ROBBIE (O.S.) 

There’s a welcome concert tonight.

(Robbie, the guy Maddy was talking with before, approaches.)

                    ROBBIE (CONT’D) 

Sort of a town mixer. Part of rush week. That’s where they’re going.

                    MADDY 

Hey.

                    ROBBIE 

Hey. Lost track of you before, just wanted to make sure you’re okay.

                    MADDY 

Yeah, yeah , I’m good.

                    ROBBIE 

Also, I didn’t get your name.

(Maddy blushes. Liz looks at her.)

                    MADDY 

Madison. Maddy. This is my Mom, my sister Clementine. Mom, this is Robbie.

(Liz smiles, shakes his hand.)

                    ELIZABETH 

She remembers your name. Hi.

(Maddy is appropriately mortified. Robbie nods to her.)

                    ROBBIE 

So, I was hoping we could finish that conversation we started.

(Maddy wants to, but...)

                    MADDY 

We’re waiting for my Dad.

                    ELIZABETH 

Why don’t you go, Maddy. Everyone’s right over there. When Dad comes in, we’ll join you guys.

(Maddy looks at her Mom, grateful.)

                    MADDY 

Okay, I’ll check back in.

                    ELIZABETH (to Robbie) 

Nice meeting you.

(Robbie smiles, and Liz watches them head off toward Central along with everyone else. Liz looks worried.)

                    CLEMENTINE 

Don’t worry, Mom. He’ll be here.

(Clem squeezes Liz’s hand. Liz tries to smile for her.)

EXT. OUTER PERIMETER - EVENING

(Jim emerges from the forest wall into the cleared area of No-Man’s land. He hollers for the rest of the group.)

                    JIM 

WAIT!

Wide angle of No Man’s land Jim is a small figure, running across the field toward the three figures of the mine party, who stop. His figure joins them, and we watch all four together for a beat, bathed in the glow of the setting sun.

Angle - back on the group Jim has just breathlessly finished telling them about Myra. The group takes it in for a beat, grim.

                    WARDEN 

Well, she’s dead, then. Nothing we can do about it.

                    JIM 

She’s not. We can go back, you can disarm it.

                    WARDEN 

Are you daft? That’s suicide.

                    JIM 

I promised her I’d get help.

                    WARDEN 

Then you lied. She was a sweet piece, I’ll give you that, but get your head on, man. Situation was reversed, she’d probably be here saying, (high-pitched voice) “Oh he didn’t make it.” Warden laughs, starts to walk away. Fraser and Bardo follow. Jim looks back to the forest, back to them.

                    JIM 

Look, I’ll go by myself. Just give me the disarmer.

Warden chuckles as he walks, doesn’t even turn back. Jim heads for him, intense.

                    JIM (CONT’D) 

I said.

(Warden turns and comes at Jim, bringing up his shotgun.)

                    WARDEN 

You want to die, I can arrange it-

Jim closes the distance, traps the shotgun, and cracks Warden in the face with it, then jams him in the gut and kicks his knees out from under him. Warden goes down. Jim stands over him, shotgun in the man’s face.

                    JIM 

Give me the damn box.

Warden, cowering, moves to give him the disarmer. Jim grabs it, backs away, turns for the Forest.

                    BARDO 

Hoi, Mate.

(Jim turns back. Bardo tosses him his Thermal Goggles.)

                    JIM 

Thanks.

(Jim slides them around his neck, heads for the Forest.)

                    JIM (CONT’D) (to himself) 

What the hell are you doing?

(As he runs...)

INT. STORAGE TRAILER - NIGHT

(Josh steps in to a trailer, led by Wood, the Hunter. Immediately, Josh feels a chill - the trailer is refrigerated like a big meat locker. Three other HUNTERS in here.)

                    WOOD 

Okay, Josh, you want to be a Raptor, here’s where you start. Meet your first prey of the night.

Wood steps aside to reveal the corpse of a dinosaur on a metal table. It is five feet long, greenish-grey, with a Raptor-like look to it. It is the first prehistoric reptile Josh (or we) has seen up close, and he is transfixed.

                    JOSH 

Coelurosaurus...

                    WOOD 

Think you can handle him?

                    JOSH 

It’s already dead.

(The Hunters laugh. Wood grins.)

                    WOOD 

Hope so. We bagged him in the outer boundary. Bolt through the head. Live ammo’s for bitches.

(Wood pulls a large hunting knife, hands it to Josh.)

                    JOSH 

What do you want me to do?

                    WOOD 

What do you think? Gut it. Strip it. You want to hunt the big game here, you better understand it from the inside out. Brains go to Sci-Lab, Liver to Med-Lab.

                    (MORE) 
                    WOOD (CONT'D) 

Flank meat to the Butcher. That too much for you, simulator-boy?

Wood steps back with the Hunter who is now spared from this duty. They smile and kick back to watch Josh, who stands over the dead dinosaur holding a hunting knife, stunned...

EXT. MAIN GATE - NIGHT

Liz and Clementine wait at the gate. Suddenly, there is a strange horn sound, like a Shofar blast, and the Gate begins to open. Liz and Clem step back, anxious. The Warden stalks through the opening, glowering and holding a rag to his bloody mouth. He walks right past them. Bardo and Fraser follow after. The Gate begins to close.

                    ELIZABETH (to Fraser) 

Wait a minute. Wait a minute, where’s Jim? Jim Shannon. Where’s my husband?

                    FRASER 

He’s still out there..

                    ELIZABETH 

What? What do you mean?

(She grabs Fraser’s arm. He pulls it free.)

                    FRASER 

It was his choice! (Bardo lays his hand on her shoulder.)

                    BARDO 

Your husband’s very brave. The spirits have him in their hands. They will return him. (Elizabeth stares at him. Clem, overwhelmed, runs away.)

                    ELIZABETH 

Clem!

(Elizabeth runs after her daughter.)

                    ELIZABETH (CONT’D) 

Stop!

(She chases Clem down, stops her. Has to kneel to the ground to restrain her as Clem resists, crying.)

                    ELIZABETH (CONT’D) 

Stop. It’s okay. Daddy’s okay.

                    CLEMENTINE 

No, he’s not, he’s dead! Because he’s there! Because of me!

                    ELIZABETH 

Listen to me. Look at me. You never say that. You never say that. (beat) And your father is coming back, do you hear me? He is coming back, and when he does, we are going to be waiting for him at that gate.

(Elizabeth makes Clem looks into her eyes.)

                    ELIZABETH (CONT’D) 

Where are we going to be waiting for him?

                    CLEMENTINE 

At the gate.

                    ELIZABETH 

Come on.

(She lifts Clem into her arms, willing it to be true.)

EXT. FOREST - NIGHT

(Jim runs through the forest which is ALIVE with chirps and clicks of strange nocturnal animals and insects.)

JIM’S P.O.V. - Through thermal goggles

(The forest is a cool blue world, dotted with red patches that signify land mines. Jim avoids them. Up ahead, he sees the thermal signature of Myra. Still standing. Still warm. Still alive.)

                    JIM 

Myra?

                    MYRA 

You. Dumb. Bastard.

(Jim flips up his thermal goggles.)

                    JIM 

Good to see you, too.

                    MYRA 

You still have the encoder beacon with you?

(He takes out the disarmer. Instructions on the side.)

                    JIM 

What? Oh, your thing. Just relax, you’ll get it back in a second.

                    MYRA 

You need to turn around, you need to go back. You need to find my gear and assemble the transmitter. The mission depends on it.

                    JIM 

Your mission. Now shut up, I’m trying to figure this out. (reading instructions) Insert into soil near mine, no more than ten inches from the...

KLIK KLIK KLIK KLIK.

Jim looks up as hears that sound. Something is there, in the dark, past Myra, behind that tree. Jim slowly lowers the thermal goggles back over his eyes. A heat signature blooms. The unmistakable silhouette of a Velociraptor. Myra clocks Jim’s body language.

                    MYRA 
         Jim? 

(Jim takes an involuntary step back.)

                    MYRA (CONT’D) 

Jim?

(Jim reaches for the shotgun. The Velociraptor charges, a thermal blur. Myra screams as it pounces on her. The landmine detonates.)

                    END OF ACT FOUR 

Act 5 Edit

                        ACT FIVE 

INT. STORAGE TRAILER - NIGHT

Blood and viscera everywhere. Josh is having a terrible time trying to dissect the dinosaur, which is the point of the hazing. The Hunters are hardly paying attention to him anymore, drinking and chatting off to the side. As Josh tries not to gag, we can hear Wood shooting the shit in the background, standard Terra Nova gossip:

                    RAPTOR 

How much ammo came through in the re-supply?

                    WOOD 

I don’t know. Most of it went straight to Taylor’s men, anyway.

Josh throws up in a nearby bucket. The Raptors applaud, proforma, like they have every time he’s done this. Josh, frustrated, feeling like a dupe, heads back to the Dino. He lets the knife clatter on the table, about to give up...And then he sees it. A tiny glimmer. Inside the meat of the dinosaur. He picks up the knife and prods. What is that? The Hunters have gone back to their gossip. They don’t notice. Josh leans forward, working the knife.

                    JOSH 

What is that?

Whatever it is, it’s behind the heart. Josh grabs it with his fingers, pulls it out. It’s...A tiny golden crucifix. Josh holds the trinket up to the light, examining it, thinking, “What the fuck?” We’re thinking the same thing...

EXT. FOREST - NIGHT

Silence. Smoke. The first thing we see is Jim, rising to a crawling position. His clothes torn, his head buzzing. There is blood on him. His? He checks himself. He’s whole. He struggles to his feet, takes a few shaky steps, trips over something and goes down. It’s the smoking body of the Velociraptor having taken the brunt of the explosion. Jim stares at it. Its skin covered in feathers, not scales. Jim hears a groan. He turns to see Myra lying in the tall grass nearby. He crawls over to her. She is alive. Barely.

                    MYRA 

Did...you... see that?

(Her right arm has been blown off. It is her blood on him.)

                    JIM 

Oh, God. Myra. Your arm...

                    MYRA 

Wha...?

                    JIM 

It’s okay. It knocked you out of the way. You’re gonna... I’m gonna get you out of here. Jim looks around for how he’s going to do that.

                    MYRA 

The encoder...

                    JIM 

Shh. Save your strength.

A sound of grass being crunched. Something is coming. Jim looks around frantically for the shotgun. A torch appears, and with it Bardo. Two more Maori Rangers, his sons, are with him.

                    JIM (CONT’D) 

Bardo! She’s hurt.

(Bardo motions his sons toward the Velociraptor. He kneels down next to Jim and Myra. Examines her wound.)

                    BARDO 

Have to cauterize that.

Jim leans back, alarmed, as Bardo lowers the torch to her. Myra’s mouth opens wide in shock, and then she passes out. Jim feels for her pulse. It’s there. He exhales.

                    BARDO (CONT’D) 

Your wife wants to see you.

(Jim blinks at the matter-of-fact Maori for a beat.)

                    JIM 

Let’s not keep her waiting.

They heft Myra up between them, carrying her off. Tilt down to the grass, to show the little white pillbox component, Myra’s encoder beacon, has fallen out of Jim’s pocket to the forest floor, left behind...

EXT. MAIN GATE - NIGHT

Two Marines and the Warden walk up to Elizabeth and Clementine.

                   MARINE 2 

Ladies, I’m gonna have to ask you to leave this area.

                    CLEMENTINE 

My Dad is coming back.

                   ELIZABETH 

We’re waiting for Jim Shannon.

                   WARDEN 

So are we. We’re gonna arrest him, the second he comes in those gates, if he ever does.

                   ELIZABETH 

Why? I heard he went to rescue someone.

                   WARDEN 

He’s a security risk. He took my gun.

                   ELIZABETH 

He has a gun?

                  WARDEN 

He has my gun.

                   MARINE 2 

We’ll let you know when he arrives.

(Elizabeth picks up Clementine, carries her away.)

                    ELIZABETH (hopeful) 

He has a gun.

                    CLEMENTINE 

Is that good?

INT. STORAGE TRAILER - NIGHT

(Wood enters, followed by Haysbert, who he went to fetch.)

                    WOOD (laughing) 

You gotta see this, boss.

Reveal Josh standing in front of the metal table. Behind him, the Coelurosaurus is a mess. A disaster. But Josh is smiling, confident, even a little smug.

                    WOOD (CONT’D) 

Say it again, kid. What you said to me.

                    JOSH 

“All done.”

(Wood and the other Raptors break up laughing. Not Haysbert.)

                    HAYSBERT 

You think this is the funny? This is a game?

                    JOSH 

No, Sir. I think it was a test.

                    HAYSBERT 

And you think you passed?

(Josh steps forward.)

                    JOSH 

Let’s just say, I found religion.

(He holds up the tiny gold cross. A silence falls over the room.)

                    HAYSBERT 

Where did you get that?

              JOSH 

Right where you put it for me to find.

(He points to the Dinosaur innards.)

                    JOSH (CONT’D) 

Right here. Behind the heart. I mean, there’s no way this thing got digested and ended up there. It had to be planted there, deliberately, by whoever killed this puppy. (beat) Namely you guys.

                    HAYSBERT 

May I see it?

Josh hands him the gold cross. Haysbert looks at it, then looks at Wood. Wood draws his combat knife, looks to Josh. Haysbert shakes his head, “no.” Josh realizes they are silently debating whether to kill him or not. He realizes how trapped he is in here. Haysbert steps close to him, holding the tiny cross up between them.

                    HAYSBERT (CONT’D) 

You never found this. You never saw this. Understand?

(Josh nods.)

                    HAYSBERT (CONT’D) 

So say it.

                    JOSH 

Never found it, never saw it.

(Haysbert smiles coldly, pockets the cross, pats Josh on the shoulder.)

                    HAYSBERT 

Welcome to the Raptors.

(Haysbert turns and leaves. Wood and the other Hunters follow him, some throwing glances to Josh. Josh stands alone in the trailer, bewildered and shaken.)

EXT. TAYLOR - CENTRAL - NIGHT

The Welcome Concert is in full swing. On the veranda of the Command Compound, a few musically inclined citizens are playing an acoustic version of an ancient oldie by Fleetwood Mac. The strange effect of pop music in Pangaea doing wonders to bring together the New Arrivals and veteran Citizens, who mingle together on the grassy plaza, under torchlight, breathing in the clean, tropical air. Find Maddy and Robbie off to the side. Maddy is enjoying the music, and Robbie’s company, though she is still wary of what is going on here beneath the surface. So is Robbie.

                    MADDY 

Look at him up there.

She nods to Frank Taylor, who is holding court on the veranda of his compound, sitting in a chair almost like a throne, surrounded by women. He is spraying champagne into the crowd, someone’s luxury item they had brought over.

                    MADDY (CONT’D) 

Here we are, back at the beginning, before the beginning... and we’re already screwing it up again. Meanwhile, everyone’s dancing.

                    ROBBIE 

Not everyone.

(She looks at him, picking up on a more serious tone.)

                    ROBBIE (CONT’D) 

There’s a group of us who see the truth. We’ve been getting together, and we’ve been talking.

                    MADDY 

About what?

                    ROBBIE 

About a plan to do something about it.

                    MADDY 

How many of there are you?

                    ROBBIE 

More than you think. I can introduce you.

(Beat. Maddy remembers what her Dad said. Then ignores it.)

                    MADDY 

Yeah. Okay.

(She sees Josh approaching.)

                    MADDY (CONT’D) 

Here comes my brother. Don’t mention this to him.

(Josh is in a somber daze. He hardly notices Robbie.)

                    JOSH 

Hey.

                    MADDY 

Hey - God, what happened to you? You smell terrible. Is that blood?

                    JOSH (flat, empty) 

I joined the Raptors. Hunting Clan. Should give us some barter power.

(Robbie leans in.)

                    ROBBIE 

Well done. Haysbert doesn’t usually take on new guys. You must’ve done something right.

(Josh looks to the stage.)

JOSH’S P.O.V. - HAYSBERT

Haysbert approaches Frank Taylor on the veranda. He whispers into Frank’s ear, while pressing something into his palm. Frank looks down at it - Josh is sure it’s that mysterious cross. Frank’s smile fades and he whispers something short back to Haysbert, who heads off, grim.

                    MADDY (O.S.) 

Mom!

(Josh snaps out of his intrigue, turns to see Liz coming toward them, holding Clementine. Maddy goes to them.)

                    MADDY (CONT’D) 

Mom, what’s wrong?

Liz looks at them, not wanting to answer. Before she can...We hear that strange horn sound that signals the Main Gate is about to open. A buzz starts at the back of the crowd. Suddenly, people begin funneling out of the plaza and down toward the Main Gate. The Shannon’s go with them. On the veranda, Frank stands to see what’s going on.

EXT. MAIN GATE - NIGHT

Liz, Maddy, Josh, and Clem move fast as they can to the gate. People part like the Red Sea to reveal an exhausted Jim Shannon carrying an unconscious Myra in his arms. Behind him, Bardo and his sons drag the shredded body of the Velociraptor on a net. Two Doctors take Myra from Jim’s arms, transfer her to a primitive stretcher made out of bamboo. Jim sees his family. They see him. He makes his way to them, bloodied, dirty. They push through to him. Then someone grabs his arm. The Warden. With the Marines.

                    WARDEN 

Remember me, hero?

                    FRANK (O.S.) 

Let him go!

People make way for Frank as he walks up to Jim. The Warden steps back, cowed. Frank looks at Jim, looks at the Raptor. He nods, impressed.

                    FRANK (CONT’D) 

Nice work.

He extends his hand. Jim doesn’t want to shake it, but he does. Frank suddenly lifts Jim’s hand into the air, turns to the crowd.

                    FRANK (CONT’D) 

Citizens of Terra Nova! Listen up! I want to introduce you to James Shannon, from Boulder, Colorado. He just got here yesterday, and he’s already defended our town, and bagged a ‘Raptor.

(Cheers erupt all around Jim, who grimaces.)

                    FRANK (CONT’D) 

If this is the kind of grit we can expect from our new arrivals, then the future of Terra Nova just got a whole lot brighter!

Another cheer. Jim pulls his hand free of Frank. Frank’s grin falters, but only for a moment. He applauds with the rest of the crowd as Jim wastes no more time in walking up to his family. And hugging the hell out of them.

INT. SHANNON HOUSE - NIGHT

A bounty of food; exotic fruit and vegetables, spills over the sides of the low-set table in the Shannon’s tent-house. They sit on the floor (there are no chairs), eating. Jim has changed shirts. As he figures out how to peel a strange kiwi-like fruit, he notices Clementine staring at his old shirt in a bucket of water, soaking out the bloodstains. Jim glances from Clem to the others, realizes they are silent because he still is. He breaks the ice, casual and dry.

                    JIM 

I was really worried about you guys today.

They stare at him. He swallows a smile. Liz throws a piece of fruit at her husband. Everyone laughs, relaxing a bit.

                    MADDY (gesturing to the food) 

Can you believe the people here? Last night someone steals our welcome basket, neighbors won’t look us in the eye. Today it’s like, Dad kills a dinosaur, and they back up the food truck. Hypocrites.

                    JOSH 

How about the night before, when we were having dinner in a different geologic era? Everything’s changed, Maddy. For everybody. We’re the ones who have to adjust.

(Jim is disturbed by the “hair” on his kiwi fruit.)

                    JIM 

Easier for some things than others. (to Clementine) You got any more of those protein twists, honey?

                    CLEMENTINE 

You ate ‘em all.

                   ELIZABETH 

Once I figure out how to cook this stuff, it’ll be better. I’ll make a, you know, “stew.”

                    JOSH 

Even better, once I get out on a hunt, I’ll bring us back some meat.

                   MADDY 

I thought we all agreed to go vegetarian here. We don’t know how human presence affects the food chain yet.

                    JOSH 

Um, I do. We’re a the top of it. You don’t wait for research to tell you that. You just go out there and take the title.

                   MADDY 

Now you sound like Frank Taylor.

                    JOSH 

Survival of the fittest, sis.

                   MADDY (under her breath) 

We’ll see.

                    JOSH 

What’s that supposed to mean?

                    JIM 

You’re right, Josh.

(They both look at their Dad. What?)

                    JIM (CONT’D) 

Everything has changed. Doesn’t mean we have to let it change us. The only people we can trust in this town, are sitting at this table right now. Remember that.

(Liz senses an extra edge to Jim. Something hidden.)

                    ELIZABETH 

Jim, what really happened out there today?

                    JIM 

What Maddy said. Bagged a dinosaur, bought us some dinner.

(Liz stares at him. He grabs a cup, changes the mood.)

                    JIM (CONT’D) 

Let’s make a toast. What should we toast to?

                    JOSH 

To survival of the fittest.

                    MADDY 

To getting it right this time.

                    JIM 

Clem?

                    CLEMENTINE 

To... whatever... comes next. I don’t know.

(Jim looks at Liz. She nods, picks up her cup.)

                    ELIZABETH 

To whatever comes next.

                                                   CUT TO: 

EXT. TERRA NOVA - NIGHT

P.O.V. FROM ON TOP OF THE HILL

And we are looking down on the settlement of Taylor from about a mile away. From this vantage point, it is a small cluster of light in a vast dark valley. We can faintly hear the music from the concert, drifting across the prehistoric wilderness. A tiny explosion (at this distance) pops up on the outermost perimeter, about a half-mile from the town. Something wandering into a land-mine. A pained bellow sounds and something huge limps away, shaking the trees as it does. Nobody in the town probably heard or noticed.

Suddenly another shape bounds up the hill toward us, moving quickly off to the side, and stopping just out of camera view. But we can hear it right there to our right, breathing, rustling. Then a quieter thump of something landing on the ground, or…dismounting? We hear footsteps, lighter, bipedal, human, walking up to us, and then something is tossed and caught by a human hand, belonging to the P.O.V. of whoever we are. Our P.O.V. tilts down to inspect the object - a small white component the size of a pillbox. The Encoder Beacon. Our hand rotates it, curious, and on the back of our wrist is a tattoo of a cross. We pocket the device. Then our view swings left to take in the first light of dawn breaking over a breathtaking natural landscape that stretches out as far as the eye can see, the sun rising on Terra Nova.

FADE TO BLACK

                      END OF SHOW

Start a Discussion Discussions about Terra Nova 2009 script

  • Terra Nova 2009 Script: likes and dislikes

    19 messages
    • Fenrisulven13 wrote: I agree the show would have been bad though strangely it may have made those who now bash it happier since they obviou...
    • True they could have kept some but not that much. Had they used the entire original story the show would have been the usual recipe and/or...

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