Remember The Tomorrow People? It was a show that ran in the 70s with a bigger budget than Doctor Who, or at the very least it had better special effects. The series received an update and appeared on the CW this past year.
It had sexy stars saying sexy things, some with their shirts off, while floating objects telekinetically, communicating telepathically, and transporting themselves all over town with but a thought. It was a ton of fun and some of the most suspenseful scifi television this past year.
Of course, being on the CW means that there were boys with their well honed bodies posing shirtless while girls slinked about sexily. I suppose some of you might not consider any of that “the best scifi television”, but since the naughty behavior was never explicit, CW wasn’t afraid to dish it out every few episodes. That is the downside of casting adults in teenage roles. They don’t often act like teenagers, but you aren’t likely going to be bothered by it. Why?
Because they can move things around with their minds, man! The cast could have run around naked, and all I’d be interested in was “Show me more psionics!” In fact, I found the romance rather distracting and unrealistic. Yes, the romance was more unrealistic than people lifting drinking cups with their thoughts.
We start with Stephen Jameson, a high schooler on meds who keeps finding himself in his neighbors’ homes at night. He hears voices, too. Soon, Cara (a hot Professor Xavier with long hair and high heels) reaches out to him. With the help of John, her lover and leader, they convince him he is not crazy, but actually a tomorrow person. That means he has the three T’s: telepathy, telekinesis, and teleportation. Once he gets going with his powers, Stephen shows them a fourth T: temporal manipulation. Stephen can stop or shift time, just like his dad. This a key plot point that is dealt with later in the season.
The Tomorrow People find themselves running from Ultra, a police-like organization that has self-appointed itself the regulator of all things psionic. This means that if you don’t join them, they will take away your powers or kill you. Although it once was an altruistic organization, their venture capitalist angel, simply called the Founder, turned into a devil who wanted to eradicate all homo sapiens.
This didn’t sit well with Stephen’s dad who was psionic but liked humans, and Stephen’s uncle, Jedikiah, who was human and resented homo superiors. Once Stephen’s dad was taken out of the picture, Jedikiah turned his psionic troops into black clad agents who performed his every whim. Meanwhile, The Tomorrow People hid in the subway tunnels and sought to help “breakouts”, or other newbie tomorrow people, before Ultra got them.
One thing that the CW does well is not mess around with a show’s intended order, something that Fox could learn a lesson from. The Tomorrow People establishes a world in the first few episodes, explores it, and leads over the course of twenty-two episodes to a heady climax that is certain to thrill you. The conflict with Ultra is made even more intense when Stephen works undercover at Ultra as a double agent for his Uncle, exposes the dark designs of Ultra, and ultimately teleports a monkey wrench into the works.
The characters are strong, the dialog often clever and witty, and the action scenes high octane. Although there are plot holes here and there, and some character dynamics that defied belief (like Astrid, Stephen’s human friend, being only slightly miffed that Stephen liked snogging the Ultra agent who tried to kill her family. In the real world, that amount of insensitivity would destroy friendships), for the most part the show captures what it would be like to have psionic powers in a mundane world. I can’t wait for season two to begin next Fall.
Update: The CW cancelled this series.
Original Air Dates: October 9, 2013 – May 5, 2014 (USA)
TV Parental Guidelines Rating: TV-PG
Network: The CW
Alcohol/Drugs: 3 (frequent alcohol usage, some illicit drug sales)
Language: 2 (D’s & H’s)
Nudity: 1 (there was a nekkid man in a cryo chamber, and shirtless boys)
Sexuality: 4 (lots of smoochin’, spoonin’, occasional bed scenes)
Violence: 4 (frequent executions, fisticuffs, gunplay, death)