I’ve watched the first few episodes of Terra Nova. I haven’t yet decided if I like it. But the show does have an interesting premise. In the 22nd century, Earth’s atmosphere has become so polluted that the human race itself appears doomed. However, at the aptly-named Hope Plaza, a rift in spacetime has been discovered. (Pictured below.) Entering the portal allows travel to 85 million years in the past. There is no possibility of those in the past altering the future, because the rift opens to an alternate timeline. (That’s a nice way to keep the show plausible!)
The show centers on the Shannon family. The mother (played by Shelley Conn) is a medical doctor, and the father (played by Jason O’Mara) is an ex-cop and prison escapee. (I won’t go into the details about that.)
What I found especially interesting in the first episode is the scene in which O’Mara’s character emerges from the portal into the world of 85 million years ago. He has difficulty breathing; it looks like he’s having an asthmatic attack. His wife, the doctor, understands what’s happening. She yells out, “He’s going into hyperoxic shock. CO2 infuser, now!” His lungs aren’t used to having so much fresh air. He needs a little carbon dioxide to make the adjustment.
The symbolic parallels to our own lives are numerous. We can become so accustomed to a toxic atmosphere that, when we’re exposed to clean air, we can’t handle it. We can be so enmeshed in a poisonous environment that we believe we’ll die without the toxins with which we’re familiar. We drink venom as though it were pure water.
We just have to hold on and breathe the air!