The plot of "Terra Nova" follows a family from 2149, when the Earth is dying, transported 85 million years in the past. There, they join Terra Nova, a colony of humans looking to rebuild civilization.
"Terra Nova" follows the Shannon family, with parents James and Elisabeth played by Jason O'Mara and Shelley Conn, respectively. They have three children: Josh, Maddie and Zoe, played by Landon Liboiron, Naomi Soctt and Alana Mansour, respectively. Elisabeth is a doctor, and due to her medical expertise, she and her family are selected to assist in the colonization of Terra Nova. James, previously imprisoned for breaking population control laws, escapes and is reunited with Elisabeth and their children. He is not arrested, as he convinces Commander Nathanial Taylor, played by Stephen Lang, that he is essential to the colony.
One the Shannons arrive at Terra Nova, they encounter a revolutionary group known as the Sixers, who object to the policies of Terra Nova. It is eventually revealed that Taylor's estranged son, Lucas, played by Ashley Zuckerman, is the leader of the Sixers. Over the course of "Terra Nova," the colony comes into increasingly conflict with the Sixers, culminating in Lucas perfecting time travel so he can attack Terra Nova with assistance from the future. However, James destroys Lucas's machine, saving the colony.