The Tomorrow People Gets UK Premiere Date

Back in June we posted a sneak peek of The Tomorrow People, a remake of a British series that aired under the same name in the 1970’s.

Joining Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on the E4 super-power roster, the show will have its UK premiere on 8th January at 9pm. 

The series will consist of 22 one hour episodes (the first two of which have already been reviewed by our resident geeks).

The plot follows Stephen, a teenager who starts hearing voices and teleporting in his sleep, never knowing where he might wake up. Questioning his sanity, Stephen starts to listen and follow the voices, discovering others with powers just like his. Calling themselves “The Tomorrow People,” this genetically advanced race have the abilities of telekinesis, teleportation and telepathic communication.

As he learns to control his own powers and accept his place among his new companions, Stephen discovers that the Tomorrow People have been forced into hiding, hunted down by a paramilitary group of scientists known as Ultra.  This sinister organisation sees the Tomorrow People as a threat to humanity and would set out to isolate and eradicate them all.

Stephen must decide where his loyalties lie, as he soon finds out the danger is closer than he could have imagined

On the surface, the plot doesn’t exactly scream originality (Heroes? Misfits? X-Men?), but the talent the show has on board should be able to carry it.

Stephen is played by Robbie Amell, whose TV credits include White House sitcom 1600 Penn, teen mystery-thriller series Pretty Little Liars, and crime drama CSI:NY.  He is joined by Aussie soap graduates Luke Mitchell and Payton List (Mad Men, Flash Forward),  who play fellow Tomorrow People John and Cara.

The series’ antagonist Jedikiah  is played by Mark Pellegrino, who many will recognise from roles in Lost, Supernatural and Revolution.

The show’s creative team also includes producers Greg Berlanti, Julie Plec, Danny Cannon, Phil Klemmer and  Melissa Kellner Berman, who have had  success with the likes of Arrow, The Vampire Diaries and Chuck in the past.

Here is what the cast and crew have to say about their experiences working on the show:

Mark Pellegrino (Jedikiah) on playing dark characters…:

You know what? I would love to ask this question to the people who cast me. “What do you see in me that makes you feel that I’m right for these characters?” I hate to sound like a cliché, but I think there’s something misunderstood about these characters. They are more passionate about getting what they want in life than I am. Maybe some of the casting people see that in me? Maybe they see a tint of fanaticism and that drive to achieve things? From Lucifer [in Supernatural] to Jedikiah [in The Tomorrow People], they all have that in common. They are all men on missions.

…and his favourite comics:

 Right now, I’m reading The Walking Dead and Preacher. I love Y: The Last Man and The Stand, too. I also like The Sandman.

When I was growing up, I used to collect The Incredible Hulk comics. I still have a number six The Incredible Hulk in near-mint condition, which is probably worth a little something now. I have always really liked the Hulk. There is something about him that really attracts me to the character. When he gets mad, he becomes so powerful but so innocent. That ambiguity and the way he releases the other side to himself; that passion he releases without consequence. I guess all that stuff really appealed to me as a kid.

Actors Robbie Amell (Stephen) and Payton List (Cara) describe the upcoming season:

AMELL: I think this is a great origin story where Stephen finds out there isn’t anything wrong with him. He’s the next step in evolution. He’s got super powers that are starting to emerge – and maybe his dad isn’t the guy he thought he was. It’s always nice when you surprise an audience. You don’t want people to be able to tell where the story is going. I was blown away by a storyline bombshell that drops in the third episode, so I think these guys are killing it. They are doing an amazing job with the storylines and plots.

LIST: It’s a very fast-paced world, but we’re constantly exploring it, which is something that excites me. There is so much depth to this world and there are so many things happening, but we have to make sure that people can keep up with the pace because the audience has to be able to absorb everything. You’ll get to know more about the past of these characters and why they make the decisions they make – and where they are headed.

Producer Danny Cannon on the aspects of the original show that appealed to him:

The Tomorrow People was about kids from a normal neighbourhood that I recognised, and the kids had London accents that I recognised. They were alienated and made to feel invisible, but they were then told that they were special. Watching the show as a kid, it felt like I was watching people down the block from me. It felt like I was watching people I knew. I related to the characters. They were everybody. There were no leotards and there was no special weaponry. These people had their feet on the ground. They were normal people – but then they found out that they had a special gift.

Producer Phil Klemmer says what excites him the most about the show’s storyline:

When you think about the shows you love and the things that really affect you, those things are only possible after you’ve got to know the characters deeply. One of the things we’ve done in the upcoming episodes is include a lot of back stories for the other characters. If the pilot episode was all about Stephen breaking out, we also find out about Cara [played by Peyton List] and John [played by Luke Mitchell] in the upcoming episodes. We find out about who these people were when they were human beings and I find that fascinating. I think the fans are going to love it.

He also speaks of the pressure, especially from fans, of remaking a classic sci-fi show…:

There are no obligations. It’s really a question of inspiration. It’s not like it’s so well-known in America that we’re going to be lambasted for changing anything in the storylines or plots. I think the sky is wide open, but the original series definitely touched us. Our obligation is to honour the dreams of what it meant to the people who saw it when they were young. I saw it as an adult, so I’ve seen it through fresh eyes – but our show is a different show. I think we’ve created something that’s designed for an older audience, but we also want to touch people the way the original did.

…and whether the new show will refer to the original:

It’s awesome to imagine the 1 per cent of the television audience that will understand these references. You always want to keep the 99 per cent totally engaged, but you’re totally going to blow the minds of that 1 per cent. It’s such a thrill. I’ve always loved doing things like that.

Sources: E4, CBS, Warner Bros. Television

Reporter: Dan Tovey

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