‘The Tomorrow People’ Series Premiere Review

Published 1 year ago by , Updated October 10th, 2013 at 12:58 pm,

The Tommorrow People Cast The Tomorrow People Series Premiere Review

Ads for the new series The Tomorrow People run with the tagline “Different is Dangerous,” which, considering this is one of several iterations of the same sci-fi drama over the past 30-or-so years might be saying something about the endless cycle of rehashed ideas, re-imaginings, and recycled plots. But looking at the familiar conceit of a series that follows a group of outsiders who represent the next step in human evolution, it’s not hard to imagine why a television network would be interested in adding that to its line-up.

Launching on the British ITV network in the ’70s, The Tomorrow People popped up in various forms again in the ’90s and early 2000s, and has found its way to CW’s airwaves to be filled with the requisite CW style casting choices that now apparently includes finding a member of the Amell clan. But the show also brings along at least two recognizable faces that can be picked out among the throngs of benignly attractive people who make up the rest of the cast. One of which, Mark Pellegrino (Supernatural, Being Human) will likely have some crossover appeal, whereas Peyton List, who played Roger Sterling’s second wife Jane on Mad Men, may not. That being said, the series obviously plays more to the strengths of Pellegrino’s resume and, as such, relies heavily on the actor’s presence and his ability to sell affable menace in the pilot, as the villainous Dr. Jedikiah Price.

Developed by Phil Klemmer, the series manages a similar tone as some of his past efforts like Veronica Mars and Chuck – as is the case when Peyton List says “We’re called ‘tomorrow people. We didn’t choose the name, we swear.” While that bit of meta-dialogue isn’t too frequent in the pilot episode, it does help lighten things up some and makes getting through the initial slog of exposition a little more enjoyable. To the show’s credit, it seems as excited to get through the getting-to-know-you phase as quickly as possible, devoting roughly the first half of the pilot to explaining the three Ts of Tomorrow People: telepathy, teleportation, and telekinesis, as well as setting up the series’ antagonists in Ultra agents run by the aforementioned Dr. Price.

Peyton List in The Tomorow People The Tomorrow People Series Premiere Review

There is also the domestic component to Stephen Jameson (Robbie Amell), who, in addition to balancing a new life of ostensibly becoming a superhero, has a single mother, a younger brother, a mysteriously absent father, and all the trials and tribulations of high school (i.e., girls, bullies, science class) to deal with as well. Despite what must have been a mind-blowing string of days for him, the pilot manages to find some structure within the bustle of Stephen’s burgeoning Tomorrow Person abilities that also opens up the plot for the storylines yet to come. It is a crowded episode that builds to a crescendo multiple times – all of which allude to a larger aspect of the series, and Stephen’s role in it – and is as ridden with sci-fi and superhero tropes as you might expect. The inclusion of all this information also asks: why now and not later? – but the possible benefits/drawbacks to this approach likely won’t be seen for weeks to come. Besides, given the scale of the pilot episode, it makes sense to cram as much spectacle into that space as possible, as the restraints of a weekly series may result in a heavier reliance on character interaction than dynamic displays of Tomorrowness.

The show might face another roadblock in terms of just how hard-faced and stern most of its characters are presented. Other than Aaron Yoo’s Russell Kwan, the Tommorow People generally come off as slightly weary and overly aggressive – Luke Mitchell’s John Young, in particular – and while that characterization certainly fits with the setting and tone, the show will get a lot more mileage out of that depiction if it’s used in a more strategic manner, rather than a general approach to all things Tomorrow Person.

The cast of The Tomorow People The Tomorrow People Series Premiere Review

But that’s The Tomorrow People in a nutshell; it maintains a certain appeal without necessarily expressing itself in a particularly novel manner. Even a cursory glance at the pilot episode will yield a treasure trove of stylistic and narrative influences from X-Men comics, to The Matrix and beyond (not to mention the series from which it is adapted). And while it’s not dealing with new concepts, or even approaching its ideas them from an original angle, the series could prove to be an interesting jaunt down a familiar path simply by expanding on the traits that are inherent in its DNA. It’s clear in this pilot episode that the show isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel; it’s simply taking it for a spin around a different block.

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The Tomorrow People continues next Wednesday with ‘In Too Deep’ @9pm on The CW. Check out a preview below:

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  1. I liked it, I thought it was enjoyable, yeah nothing new or original, but still something nice to watch wednesday evenings after Arrow. I think ill stick with it for a while.

    • Agreed. Great for a CW show, and definitely worth keeping up with.

  2. I thought it was alright. It’s nothing special right now but it’s pretty entertaining so far. I’ll give it a season and see if, like Arrow, it improves as the season goes on. This series really reminds me of Jumper so it’s not bad

    • It reminds me of Jumper too. I loooove Jumper! Anyway… I will watch this tv series to see how it goes… But it seems a lot interesting.

  3. it didnt play in canada…cheap a$$ networks here

    • You might get it eventually. Not sure when the UK gets it either.

    • yes it did. on CTV.
      it played just before Arrow.

    • it played on CTV at 7:00

  4. eh its not bad simple story line but one that works. It kinda feels like heroes season 5 in a way ha

  5. It was a solid opening. Felt polished for TV scifi.

  6. I’ve been a bit confused about the use of hand to hand combat in this show and also in this week’s episode of Agents of Shield. The heroes enter a heavily guarded property where you’d expect the henchmen to have guns. Somehow though they end up in fist fights and of course get their butts handed to them. Why not start shooting from a safe distance?

    • In this case it’s probably because they aren’t able to kill anyone without having a painful reaction.

  7. I wish they would have just called the show Jumpers because their story is almost the same. I don’t know who was knocking off who but it was very similar to the movie. I’ll give it sometime but there was no wow factor for a premiere that’s for sure.

    • Right, it does have the same storyline. It’s like they decided to continue Jumpers but call it something else but The Tomorrow People is a rebooted show from the 70′s(British TV show with the same name) from what I’ve read online so it looks like Jumpers was actually created from this show, LOL. Interesting

      • That’s true because Jumpers the novel was written in the 90s and I don’t think it was titled jumpers. During those days The Tomorrow People show was very prevalent on the Nickelodeon network in which I use to watch religiously.

        • Definitely “Jumper” with a more complicated back story to carry a series and pretty actors to pull in the teen and sub-teen viewers. So far… bearable!

  8. The pilot hit all the marks of a good sci-fi superhuman show unlike agents of shield. Mark Pellegrino is awesome playing complex and cunning villains.

    • Have you seen the matrix? This show practically plagiarized especially the Jumpers movie. I’m not particularly happy with the show but maybe it’ll evolve into something more but I highly doubt it since this show doesn’t seem like it can carry enough depth to bring some interesting factors to it.

      • Ehem, did you even read the review? Clearly not, because if you do, you would know that this is a remake of a 70′s British show.

  9. I liked it. Should be a solid sci-fi addition to my viewing schedule.

  10. i thought it was a solid update, i loved the original and the 1992 version, this one seems like a fresh take on the story even if it’s not as the article says trying to reinvent the wheel. we’ll see how it progresses but so far so good.

  11. Have to say that this is way better then I thought it would be and 10000% better then Revolution.
    Knowing my luck it will be cancelled and we will be stuck with Revolution for 7 seasons.

    • I agree, while im still watching Revolution (Why?! I dont know) I havent even seen this weeks episode. Especially since it aires on the same day as Arrow and now The Tomorrow People. This is way better than Revolution.

      And hopefully, with the way the ratings are going, we wont get 7 seasons of Revolution. They are like at half the audience they had at this time last year.

  12. “…prove to be an interesting jaunt” – ha! I see what you did there.

  13. I’ll give it a few more episodes but I really don’t like the talking supercomputer bit

  14. i’m not really feeling it. I really just get that vibe of annoyance from the characters especially the current obvious antagonist. I mean don’t get me wrong, Mark Pellegrino is a terrific actor, he was great in Supernatural and Lost. It’s just that, for me there’s a difference between being annoyed, and feeling for a villain, you know where you sometimes empathize with the bad guy and get a feel for his convictions. In Dr. Price case, there is just something in the way how Mark portrays him that I really get annoyed from. And don’t tell me something like “oh you don’t like him? that means he’s doing a great job” because I for one hate Jack Gleeson so much I love him while in Marks’ case it just hate, Sorry :P. I really hope that the character development proves me wrong and get slap by my first impressions hehe. I’ll give it until the 3rd episode before I decide to bail or stay. I just hope to god no love triangle happens even though I’m already sensing the inevitable. I mean why can’t someone just let a normal couple fight with their issues, difference, etc without using any third party, you know just to be different.

  15. The Den of Geek review hit it spot on.
    With how The Tomorrow People ‘is determined to embody every possible cliché of the ‘teenager with super powers’ genre.’ and ‘ I’d like to see it find its feet, and I’d like to see the show build on its better ideas, but right now The Tomorrow People is just a huge pile of clichés glued together with weepy string music and/or generic action techno.’.

  16. What I don’t understand is why the protagonist thinks he’s a freak, especially when there are OTHER people exactly like him. Even if I was alone, I would be excited and use my powers all the time. It would make sense if he was skeptical of his abilities because of a cautious religion he grew up with, but he really has no reason to be upset that he has powers. I just don’t think it’s realistic.