To mark the release, Digital Spy caught up with the terrific Stephen Lang - the show's Commander Nathaniel Taylor - for an in-depth and revealing interview about his time on the show, his feelings over its cancellation and where Terra Nova might have gone in season two...
What do you think it was about Terra Nova that clicked with fans?
"Oh well, I think it's the sense of adventure, of being transported to a place that so many people have a fantasy about going to. I think it's the lushness of it, the purity of it, the danger of it, the escape of it - I just think that all the ingredients were all there for a really terrific jaunt, a great adventure and I think that it is all so interesting to people when the very state of the planet is at stake. So I just thought that people were responding to the premise of the show."
When you first read the pilot script, what attracted you to the role of Commander Taylor?
"Well, I just loved the script - it seemed to me to be a canvas where we could tell wonderful stories and I could develop a really intriguing, ambiguous character over a period of time. And it was a very pleasurable world to be in - I think it was an opportunity to do some very creative acting work.
"Sometimes I was acting against dinosaurs, the stakes were large, it was sort of a wonderful canvas. I felt that the sky was the limit for us and I was very anxious and curious as to see where the story would unfold."
So you must have been disappointed when the show was cancelled after just one season?
"I was more than disappointed, I was shocked and I was chagrined, very much so."
Did you have discussions with the writers about where the show might have gone in season two?
"We certainly had discussions about it and I knew a very basic idea - we were heading out towards the Bad Lands, which is interesting to me because we filmed in Australia and we took good advantage of so much of the lushness that was offered to us on the Gold Coast.
"Of course, so much of Australia is the interior - you don't really have to penetrate too far to get there, and I really did envision the second season being much more rugged and different. I was anticipating all kinds of camouflaged scenes, with dinos and things. A lot of rock and sand and heat, and I liked that idea.
"I thought the show was going to be great, and I thought that things were going to get tougher and leaner. The world of Terra Nova as we joined it... there is a certain amount of prosperity there, and in fact I would say that I was a bit surprised when I first got there to see how it had all developed and how sophisticated the colony was - I had envisioned it being a bit more Swiss Family Robinson, but that wasn't my call.
"It's cool, I totally got on board with that, but I thought after the destruction of the colony and the destruction of the portal, it was interesting - now we can really regress. Things were gonna get tougher.
"But I think that would've happened anyway because of the tone - the show took a long time to find itself, to find its tone, and I think that probably contributed to its demise. That's unfortunate, but I did think that the tone it achieved in the final episodes was a slightly darker tone and a slightly more mature tone and I think that was absolutely right for it.
"It wasn't in any way trying to meet the standards of what we think a family wants to see, and it was actually doing something that gives families a lot of credit. I did feel we were going in a darker direction - which is not to say a less optimistic direction, because of course the hope of humanity is the whole thing.
"They had very interesting plans for my character, I know that there was a touch of madness on the table. I was looking forward to going in that direction."
Are you hoping that this DVD release might bring a new audience to Terra Nova?
"Well sure, I'd be delighted if that happened, but I noted that on the internet that the DVD was announced as 'The Complete Series' and I had to kind of laugh at that. I mean there's an irony because okay, it's all that there is, but to me the show remains incomplete.
"So sure, I'm absolutely delighted that it's out there and I hope that people like it and discover it in the years to come. It's great to give these interviews because there's a real bittersweet quality when I think about the whole thing. I think about what might have been... but I'm not here to bash anybody, I'm glad it's out there and it was a great, great experience and a lot of fun. I really loved the show and I really loved the cast - it was a really, really fun group of actors to work with."
Would you like to work with your Terra Nova co-star Jason O'Mara again?
"I'll work with Jason anytime - he and I are good pals and we communicate with regularity. I don't know when we'll work together again, but I'm sure we will."
You've worked in television and movies - do you have a career plan or do you just follow the great scripts?
"You try to go where the great scripts are if you can or you go where the not great scripts are, because that's what's being offered to you. The idea of being in a television series is a wonderful one to be considered, but you want to make sure it's the right thing for you because if you are fortunate enough to have something go for a long term, you want to make sure that it's something that you really want to be spending a bulk of your time on.
"But I do love the opportunity to work on a character over a really long period of time - even if you were doing a procedural, where it's not really so much about character development as it is a different case of the week. Even under those circumstances, over a period of time there is opportunity and just necessarily implemental evolution of character, and that is really interesting to me.
"I love the idea of it, but then again I love to be working in film. I mean, I'm in a bunch of films this year, I'm moving to Sweden to do a film on Monday. I can't say that it has been part of my plan to go to Sweden, but when the opportunity arose I thought it sounded interesting. I'm delighted to do that.
"So you know, it's kind of improvisation. But if I could have an experience of the level of Terra Nova again? I would be delighted."
Terra Nova - The Complete Series is now available to buy on DVD.