Despite having Hollywood’s finest actresses at his disposal, Steven Spielberg picked little known British actress Shelley Conn to star in his new 13 part TV series Terra Nova.
The sizeable budget makes it one of the most expensive shows in broadcasting history.
She appears alongside Avatar star Stephen Lang and Irish-born actor James O’Mara, who played Sam Tyler in the US version of Life on Mars.
Spielberg’s decision to cast Miss Conn was a surprise as she is only just making a name for herself in the UK.
Miss Conn, 34, plays Elizabeth Shannon, who along with her husband and three children, is battling for survival in 2149 where humans are on the brink of extinction.
The planet is overdeveloped, overcrowded and overpolluted leaving mankind in a perilous position so a team of scientists create a portal to the past and select a number of people to send through.
The Shannon family are chosen to be transported back 100 million years to prehistoric times to join the Terra Nova colony of people who have been given a second chance to re-build civilisation.
Terra Nova is Spielberg’s biggest TV show to date and uses some ideas from his 1990s blockbuster Jurassic Park.
The series employs state-of-the-art special effects similar to those used in hit film Avatar, which is why the budget is already so high.
The land is filled with dangerous dinosaurs, and other prehistoric threats, as well as sinister external forces intent on destroying the new world.
It is already being tipped as the must see series of this year. Executives in America have been looking for a new hit after popular long running series Lost and 24 drew to a close.
© Daily Mail London