'Terra Nova' first look: Watch out for invisible dinosaurs

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Just hours after announcing its May 23 premiere date, FOX sort of took the steam out of "Terra Nova" by confessing that the first promo screened at the Television Critics Association press tour would be free of special effects.

Turns out, it's still spectacularly awesome without them. FOX debuted three minutes of the of the Steven Spielberg-produced series, which just wrapped pilot production before the new year, and it's even compelling, sans dinosaurs.

The spot opens with a post-apocalyptic future, apparently 2149. And despite the fact that even hobos have iPads, everyone is miserable. People are wearing steampunk gas masks and looking grumpy. A chosen few are sent to join a colony on prehistoric earth, and the latest expats are the Shannons. They seem to be escaping their circumstances as well as themselves.

But the past turns out to be so pretty and fun! Your estranged parents fall in love again, and women take off their clothes and invite you swimming... until ominous noises start coming from the bushes and bodies and equipment are stolen away into the jungle.

It's a teaser in every sense of the word. And producers hope the lack of creatures doesn't discourage viewers, because the whole people thing might be a running theme in the show.

"At it's core, it's very emotional," says executive producer René Echevarria, "and I hope that came across in the clip. It's about a family, a frontier family trying to get a second chance."

Wait. We're still getting dinosaurs, right?

"You're going to see dinosaurs you haven't seen before," says director and executive producer Alex Graves. "We're filling in some blanks with evolution."

In other words: double the dinosaurs.
Photo/Video credit: FOX