The Tomorrow People are here today on U.S. television, soon to be shown in the UK in 2014. The Tomorrow People is a 1970s British Speculative Fiction series created by Roger Damon Price, who also created You Can’t Do That on Television. The Tomorrow People followed the adventures of a group of Homo Superior, the next stage in human evolution. The titular Tomorrow People were an ensemble of three to five children and young adults born with special powers, primarily telepathy and the ability to teleport or “jaunt”. Using these abilities, the Tomorrow People fought to protect earth from home-grown and extraterrestrial menaces, while keeping their own existence secret from world governments that would misuse their powers, awaiting the day when they could (very politely and bloodlessly) take control of the world away from the “saps” (short for homo sapiens). (Source: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/TheTomorrowPeople?from=Main.TheTomorrowPeople)
Three episodes into The CW’s The Tomorrow People – a blander but still mightily improved version of ITV’s 1970s sci-fi kids show – and we’ve just had our first genuinely decent episode.
Now, all things are relative, of course. The first episode, which saw the teleporting, telekinetic, telepathic next step in human evolution get given the American ‘family’ treatment, was a decent cross between the original show, Smallville and Arrow, with thankfully no aliens, robots or anything that would ping Operation Yewtree’s radar. It suffered the usual flaws of such shows, with minimal attempts to give anyone except the two central white male characters much to do and a reliance on CGI and efficient but hollow martial arts scenes, but it was decently done for what it was.
Episode two was… episode one again. Same plot, pretty much the same conclusion, just with a smaller budget.
But episode three was a much improved affair, developing the show in new directions, giving the female TP a combination of the interesting (pre-break out deafness) and the boringly typical (someone tried to rape her) for a backstory. We also got some of the show’s almost unique traits: a willingness to discuss human evolution and how it works, with signs that the TP’s powers are variable in quality, not entirely perfect and vulnerable to other factors. It’s a near-original touch for a show that could simply have been Mutant X all over again.
Yet, it’s still not a strong sell. John, Stephen and Jedikiah are just not that interesting as characters, none of the cast apart from Mark Pellegrino has an ounce of charisma, the action is only above average, and there’s nothing truly compelling about the story that sets it out from any other shows in which a group of goodies have to escape baddies in black suits.
And, it has to be said, compared to the original’s title sequence, the new title sequence is just a bit limp (despite the head nod here and there):
The Tommorow People are doing well today in the United States. The show will be seen in the UK in 2014, but from what critics say, it may be a short-lived endeavor. It seems that the show is not living up to it’s hyped-up promotions. You’ll have to watch for yourself to make your own opinion.