Tomorrow People, The

Tagged: TV

UK tv series (1973-1979). A Thames TV Production. Series conceived by Roger Price. Produced by Ruth Boswell and Price (1973), Boswell alone (1974-1975), Price alone (1976), Vic Hughes (1977-1979). Technical adviser Dr Christopher Evans. Cast includes Elizabeth Adare, Mike Holoway, Stephen Salmon, Peter Vaughan-Clarke, Sammie Winmill and Nicholas Young. Written mostly Price. Directors included Brian Finch, Price, Hughes. Eight seasons (two in 1978); 68 25-minute episodes. Colour.

The Tomorrow People, incorporating many childhood wish-fulfilment fantasies, concerns a group of Mutant children – Homo superior – with Psi Powers. They band together for self-protection, occasionally conscripting other child mutants. They can teleport themselves, the term they use (taken unacknowledged from Alfred Bester) being "jaunting" (see Teleportation). They are free of parental control and live in a secret, Underground base protected by a smooth-voiced super-Computer. Most of the stories, each lasting on average four episodes, involve either Time Travel or encounters with evil Aliens from outer space. As with most UK television series made for children, the budget was limited, but within that constraint the sets and special effects were adequate. Probably intended as commercial television's answer to the BBC's Doctor Who, The Tomorrow People was not in that league. Novelizations, all by Roger Price, are The Visitor (1973) with Julian R Gregory, Three in Three (1974), Four into Three (1975), One Law (1976) and The Lost Gods, with Hitler's Last Secret and The Thargon Menace (coll 1979).

Beginning in November 1992 a television miniseries of five 23-minute episodes entitled The New Tomorrow People was broadcast in the UK (ITV), starring Kristian Schmid and Christian Tessier. This was entirely written by Roger Price, who had written and conceived the first series twenty years earlier. More of a remake of the first series than a continuation, it made no reference to the first series' chronology. This time the kids are not exclusively British: one was from England, one was from Australia and two were from America. [JB/PN/GF]

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