Terra Nova Wiki
Nathaniel Taylor
Actor Stephen Lang
First Seen "Genesis"
Last Seen "Occupation-Resistance"
Name Nathaniel Taylor
Status Living
Family Ayani Taylor, wife (deceased)
Lucas Taylor, son
Skye Tate, adoptive daughter
Job Commander, Terra Nova

Commander Nathaniel Taylor is the head of the Colony established in Terra Nova. He is also Skye's guardian.


Before Terra Nova

Taylor enlisted in the military and trained under General Richard Philbrick. The two became good colleagues. Taylor later married Ayani and the two had a son named Lucas. Taylor and his family later fought in the war in Somalia and Ayani was killed in August of 2138 when she, Nathaniel and Lucas were captured. Nathaniel was told he could only save one family member and he chose his 14 year old son, Lucas. Lucas was forced to watch as the guards took their time killing her. Later on in the war, he and several other soldiers were outnumbered on an island and only a bridge connecting them to the mainland. Taylor and the others decided to destroy it to avoid any other soldiers from getting on the island despite it meaning he and the others were trapped.

At Terra Nova

First to Arrive

Taylor was the first human sent through to Terra Nova, leading the First Pilgrimage, which departed in 2142. He led a group of unknown size, but arrived ahead of his team for unknown reasons. Taylor spent 118 days alone, surviving the savage jungle of Terra Nova, before the rest of the people in his group arrived. It is said that he lived in Pilgrim's Tree during his time alone, but Malcolm mentioned this could just be a story ("Vs. "). He mainly ate on fish, as they were the only creatures who didn't hunt him back ("Proof").

His son came on the Second Pilgrimage, and was assigned to the science division. Some time before the Third Pilgrimage, Taylor then found out that his son was trying to figure out how to make the Time Portal go both ways to help in a unknown group to plunder this world. Taylor then destroyed his son's research. Two days later, Taylor followed his son as he went OTG. When Taylor caught to him, Lucas told him that he was waiting for someone. Just then the portal opened and out came Taylor's mentor and superior officer, Gen. Richard Philbrick. When Philbrick told Taylor that he came to relieve him of his command, Taylor refused to do so. Philbrick tried to shoot him, but Taylor shot him dead. Lucas then held a gun at his father's head, but Taylor subdued him. Taylor, knowing that he could not shoot his own son, casts Lucas out of Terra Nova ("Vs."). After that Taylor listed him as missing, with Nathaniel keeping hope that he will one day repent and return.

The Shannon Family Arrives

Nathaniel welcoming the new arrivals to Terra Nova.

After 7 years of leading Terra Nova, Nathaniel discovered Jim Shannon and his family. He informed them that he didn't mind population crimes from another period of time, but he did tell them that he minds having individuals who cannot provide wellness for Terra Nova.

He had a conversation with Jim privately, and after Nathaniel considered throwing Jim out of the settlement, they soon reached an agreement that assigned Jim to help with agricultural duties.

Nathaniel observing Jim.

Jim's first assignment was to cut some weeds from the fences. After he was finished with his job, he celebrated while Nathaniel watched him from a distance.

Near-Fatal Attack

A Sixer attempted to kill Nathaniel after he took a gun from a security guard, but he was tackled by Jim before he could kill him.

Tour of Terra Nova

Nathaniel gives Jim a tour of Terra Nova.

After being saved from the assassination attempt, Nathaniel invited Jim to take a hike and tour Terra Nova. They climbed up a waterfall, with Taylor explaining that his assailant's group, the Sixers, are a rebel settlement formed from members of the Sixth Pilgrimage. One fateful day, they decided to become their own society, stealing an amount of supplies and weapons. With no explanation of their motives, Taylor holds little trust in their people.

Taylor looking down at the Colony

From high above Terra Nova, Taylor and Jim viewed the great land. Taylor explained that the land they peered upon is what they're fighting for. He then invited him to join Terra Nova's security forces.

Sixer Attack

Taylor soon noticed two Sixer vehicles approaching Terra Nova and both he and Jim began chasing them in their own vehicle. It was not long until Taylor noticed a Carnotaurus after them. He stated his hatred for them as one killed a Sixer, soon continuing to chase the two.

Taylor had Jim take the wheel as he leaped from the vehicle and faced down the dinosaur alone, giving the security guards at the gates of Terra Nova time enough to ready their weapons.

Taylor leapt back into the vehicle and told Jim to step on it. They sped through the closing gates of the settlement as weapons above them fired at the Carnotaurus until it fled. Taylor was next seen negotiating with Mira, leader of the Sixers. Mira tells Taylor that she wants Carter back, though Taylor says that Carter was shot. Mira, however, knows that Carter is still alive and is in his brig, saying that they still have few friends in Terra Nova. Mira's men and Taylor's men then hold each other at gun point. Mira proposed a trade: Meteoric Iron in exchange for Carter, medical supplies, and ammo. Taylor agreed to everything except the ammo.

There must be some 'History' between Mira and Taylor.

After Mira left with her man and supplies, Taylor then called Jim in. Taylor told and showed Jim that his son and few other kids had gone OTG with a stolen jeep and that they have lost contact with it. Taylor then organized a rescue team take Jim and his wife along with.

As Taylor and his rescue team make their way through the Jungle, they find Guzman's daughter Tasha. After Jim figures that Tasha went through water to get here, Taylor then figures that the others are at the ford near the falls. Taylor is successful in rescuing the others from the Slashers. Taylor and Jim then try to take the wounded Sixer in the abandoned jeep, but Mira got to him first. After returning to Terra Nova, Taylor then asked Skye what she was doing out there, saying that she and her friends were drinking. Taylor then asks Skye if they went near the Waterfall, to which Skye denies that they did.("Genesis")

Taylor talking to Skye

Pterosaur Attack

When Terra Nova lost contact with one of supply jeeps, Taylor and Jim went to investigate. Along the way, Taylor asked to Jim to try and find the sixer spy, since he's a soldier and Shannon's a cop. Taylor and Shannon then find the jeep, but Lt. Okuda and his men were killed, not by sixers but by something else.("Instinct")

Unknown virus

Taylor investigated the communication blackout at Outpost 3 and became infected with a pathogen that partially erased his memory. Believing he was back in Somalia in 2138, and that everything he was seeing was some psychological experiment. He went to Terra Nova thinking it was an enemy stronghold. Taylor confronted Lt. Washington in the command compound. Upon learning that his wife died years before, he attempted to slit his own throat, but was stunned by Lt. Washington.

The Runaway

Runaway Mira Leah.jpg

Taylor met with a Sixer girl, Leah Marcos, and asked her some questions about the Sixers, and when the Sixers showed up, Taylor had his troops out in full force and refused to hand Leah back to Mira, despite Mira having Washington and Dunham. When Taylor found out that Leah had been sent to Terra Nova to retrieve an item, he was betrayed and had Malcolm examine the item. Despite that Jim had disobeyed Taylor's orders and left the colony to find Leah's brother, Taylor let it slide as Jim had reunited the two children.

Murder in the Colony and Empirosaur attack

Taylor had Jim and Wash investigate the apparent murder of Ken Foster, and Taylor was forced to banish Howard Milner who confessed to the murder to protect his wife. Taylor let him back in when it was discovered that one of the security officers, Curran, had killed Foster and beat Foster out of the colony, telling him not to come back. When a meteor caused an electromagnetic pulse, Taylor had the security force on alert and he and Jim used bows to fire flaming arrows to scare off an Empirosaur that the Sixers had herded to the colony while they infiltrated and removed Mira's item.

Occupation of Terra Nova

Taylor's speech

Taylor prepared the colony to welcome the Eleventh Pilgrimage, holding a speech about the colonists sticking together. He and his soldiers followed the pilgrimage procedure to the letter, despite knowing a threatening army hired by his son may enter the portal instead of new pilgrims. A few colonists arrive, including Kara (Josh's girlfriend), but a colonist comes through after her, who says "Help me," before revealing he has a bomb strapped to his chest. Before anyone can react, the bomb goes off, sending everyone flying.

Afterwards, an army called Phoenix Group take over the colony, making everyone hostage after taking 26 lives before the colony surrendered. Their goal is to take Taylor down and control the colony. Taylor, however, fled and set up a hideout camp outside the gates with some of his men. He planned to take the colony back, and with Washington's advice, he was remembered of the battle in Cu Lao Cham, where he and his men were outnumbered on the island. The only thing connecting them to the mainland was a bridge. Taylor made the tough decision to destroy the bridge to prevent any more enemy soldiers from coming on. He made the decision to make the same in Terra Nova, meaning destroying Hope Plaza and cutting 2149 off for good, which would stop more Phoenix Group soldiers from coming through the portal and draining Terra Nova of its resources.


Nathaniel is shown to be strict when it comes to doing his job. He will make sure he gets things his way, as long as they help Terra Nova, in his eyes.



Lucas Taylor

Although they have some serious familial problems, Nathaniel loves his son, Lucas, very deeply and is greatly concerned for his welfare. By the time that Terra Nova has been established, their relationship has somewhat deteriorated. When Ayani Taylor is killed during the war of Somalia, a devastated Lucas begins to strongly resent his ashamed father because he could not save her. Eventually, Lucas' resentment starts to turn to a very deep hatred especially after his arrival to Terra Nova on the Second Pilgrimage. During this time, Nathaniel and his son did seem to put the past behind them and get along fairly well. They even helped each other build the colony and at one point, they went fishing together. However, when Nathaniel discovered that his son was actually working against him and helping an evil corporation rob Terra Nova of all its resources, Nathaniel was enraged and destroyed all of Lucas' work. This brought their relationship to a flash point. Lucas later went OTG and his worried father followed him, but only found that Lucas had contacted the future and had his father's mentor, General Richard Philbrick, come to relieve Nathaniel of his command. But, Nathaniel angrily refused to step down and was forced to shoot the General in self-defense. Nathaniel, ashamed and disappointed in his son, banished him from Terra Nova and told him to never return. After five years, Nathaniel reunites with Lucas, but their relationship has really deteriorated to the point where the vengeful Lucas actually wants to kill his father as he believes, by doing so, he will avenge the death of his mother, whom he has not stopped mourning for. Nathaniel was unable to prevent the Phoenix Group from taking over Terra Nova and was forced to seek refuge in the jungle while his son desperately tried to find him. Nathaniel and his fellow soldiers eventually destroyed the Time Portal to stop the enemy from proceeding. Later, Nathaniel confronts Lucas in the jungle and a vicious fight breaks out between the two. Nathaniel is able to beat Lucas, but he then starts to cry, blaming himself for his mother's death. Nathaniel admits that he does indeed love Lucas and they embrace, but Lucas then stabs his father and prepares to kill him. However, Skye shoots him twice in the chest, supposedly killing Lucas. As Skye tends to Nathaniel's wound, they both suddenly notice that Lucas has disappeared, hinting he may still be alive.

Ayani Taylor

Nathaniel was once married to a woman named Ayani and he loves her a great deal. Together, they had a son whom they named Lucas. In the episode "What Remains" when Taylor's memory is affected and believes he is back in Somalia after his wife has been killed he states "Ayani's dead. Why would I wanna remember that?" pulls his knife and moves to cut his own throat but is stun-shot by Alicia Washington. On August in 2138, enemy soldiers killed her, and he and Lucas both mourned her, deeply. Her death is the strong reason why Lucas hates his father because he didn't save her, their son never found it in his heart to forgive Nathaniel. Nathaniel was heartbroken by his wife's death and never truly got over the pain of losing her. He is greatly ashamed of himself because he failed to protect his wife and so he is determined to protect his estranged son from harm at all costs. When Terra Nova is built, Nathaniel still misses Ayani very much.

Skye Tate

Skye is Nathaniel's surrogate daughter following the suppose death of both of her parents and they love each other deeply. Despite their differences, they seem to have much respect for one another. They confide in each other, but it appears that they also hide secrets. Skye tries her hardest not to disappoint Nathaniel, but when she disobeys the laws of the colony, he did seem to be disappointed and indifferent towards her. When she was revealed to be the Sixers' spy within Terra Nova, feeding information to the Sixers, he was distraught and horrified by the revelation. Although, her mother is revealed to still be alive, he still refused to speak to her, and she was deeply saddened by this. However, he later forgives her when she saves him from being killed by Lucas.

Alicia Washington

Nathaniel had a very close and respectful relationship with Wash. He looked at her as both a fellow soldier and as a good friend. She had served with him for many years and she also seem to fill the hole in Nathaniel's life after he lost his wife. Wash also fought alongside him in the war of Somalia. When Terra Nova was first established and Nathaniel became the Commander of the colony, he made Wash his second-in-command. He cared very deeply about her and he would do anything to defend her when she is threatened. When she dies, he is devastated, mourning her death greatly and is comforted by Zoe Shannon.

Jim Shannon

Taylor and Jim have a very good relationship. They trust and respect each other greatly; they didn't get a good start when they first met since Taylor was hostile because Jim and his family broke the law by having a third child. But, Taylor nonetheless did allow them to stay in Terra Nova, but assigned Jim to the agricultural duties. However, when Jim intervened and saved Taylor's life from a Sixer, Taylor grew a newfound respect for him and allowed him on the security team. They don't always see eye-to-eye, but will always be there for each other in times of Great Sorrow. This is proven when they team together to defeat the Phoenix Group and save their home.


  • He was the first person in the Terra Nova universe, and he stayed there for 118 days alone.
  • He is Skye's guardian.
  • For some unknown reason Nathaniel switched his holster from the chest to a similar fashion as his character in Avatar.
  • In the earliest developments for the show, Nathaniel's first name was "Frank".
  • In a deleted scene from "Genesis", there is a scene revealing that Skye had approached Josh to gather information about the Shannons for Taylor, who wanted to know how Jim got into Terra Nova. Even though Skye did not know why Taylor was so interested in the Shannons, she was willing to help Taylor.

Photo Gallery

Series Characters
Jim Shannon Elisabeth Shannon Mira Skye Tate Josh Shannon Maddy Shannon Malcolm Wallace Guzman Zoe Shannon Nathaniel Taylor