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A British Sci-Fi children's Classic! Tomorrow people is the PRIME example of the "Golden Age" of British Children's television of the 70's. In 1973 Doctor Who was king and Thames Television decided to give the BBC a run for their money. The result was The Tomorrow People! Since this was produced in the 70's, the show is certainly dated along with campy special effects and wobbly sets (imagine Doctor Who on even a tighter budget!)but there is quite a charm to this series, and certainly will bring back alot of memories (especially those of us in the States who were early Nickelodeon viewers in the early 80's) Fortunately these episodes are being released on Region 0 DVD's in the U.K.! Not only is it great to have these episodes in good quality, but the fine folks at Big Finish Productions (who are also producing new Tomorrow People audio adventures with the original cast) have added recorded commentary from cast members including Nicholas Young (John), Peter Vaughan-Clarke (Steven), Philip Gilbert (Tim), Elizabeth Adare (Elizabeth) and conducted by Nicholas Briggs. The Commentary tracks are actually worth the price of the DVD alone! These give a FANTASTIC insight into the making of and behind the scenes stories. Many times they'll contribute their own comments about the scenes (ala MST3K) or even stray from the subject completely and will have you literally rolling on the floor with laughter! Highly amusing and recommended!
My memory of the show was completely buried from when I had seen it on Nickelodeon when I was a kid. Then I saw mention of it somewhere not long ago, and it all came rushing back to me, memories of what had been my favorite TV show at the time. That prompted some searching, and as a result, I am the proud owner of the first two seasons of The Tommorow People on DVD, which I ordered from Blackstar in the U.K. Watching it was quite an experience, being torn between thinking "this is so cheesy" and "this is absolutely brilliant". As I found watching the commentary, I wasn't the only one. Featuring Nicholas Young (John), Peter Vaughn-Clarke (Stephen), and Philip Gilbert (the voice of Tim), they made what I thought was going to be a technical commentary into a hilarious inside look at the making of the show, which they obviously thought was as cheesy and brilliant as I did. Everyone thinking of getting the DVD's should watch it. This is especially easy as the DVD's you order from the U.K. are Region 0, which means they can be watched all over the world (don't be fooled by blackstar.co.uk or amazon.co.uk when they mark them as Region 2 on the websites, they are all Region 0). Well worth the money for anyone who remembers the show and wants to take a stroll down memory lane.
A really excellent series,it started off a bit shaky with the awful
Kenny and the overacting Carol while Jon and Stephen were great from
the start. Elisabeth brought some real acting to the show and the
series really had some good stories especially "The Blue And The
Green". I thought the introduction of Mike Hollaway as Mike Bell was
good,he was a rebel and argued with Jon,which the others didn't do. The
series got better with each season and it was always one of those shows
that when it finished you thought Why? I highly recommend the DVD
releases. "Castle of Fear" was a gem later on,loved the fact a Tomorrow
person could create ghosts and even the Loch Ness Monster! I also
really liked Hsui Tai,OK her English wasn't too strong but she was very
sweet. I didn't enjoy the 90s remake,they should have watched the
original,to see how to do a really good Sci-Fi show!
The late Philip Gilbert was great as the all knowing Bio computer Tim.
The Tomorrow People debuted in March 1973 and was mean't to be an answer to the BBC's Doctor Who but curiously was shown on a Monday instead of Doctor Who's Saturday. It followed the adventures of several teenagers who were the first to gain telepathic powers in the next stages of human evolution. Nicholas Young was cast as John and remained with the series until it ended in 1979. Peter Vaughan Clarke was also one of the first to join the series as well as their computer Tim, voiced by the late Philip Gilbert. Elizabeth Adare joined in Season 2 and she was certainly one of the finest characters in the series alongside John. The show became very popular and ran for 6 years with eight series being produced and shown on ITV. The series certainly has it's classics and the writing by Roger Price (also the series creator) was alway's very good. Strong episodes include 'The Blue and the Green' and 'Vanishing Earth' but to me the ultimate classic is the 1978 two parter 'The Living Skins' (also Nicholas Young's favourite) featuring the Bulboids. To me this story had everything. Good humour, excellent (if funny) aliens, but more importantly despite this it was still very menacing something which I felt earlier stories never maintained. Later 'Tomorrow People' include, Andrew Forbes, Mike (played by Flintlock Drummer Mike Holoway) and Hsui Tai (she tried bless her!) and the series went out on a high in 1979 with 'War of the Empires'. The Tomorrow People remains a science fiction classic which came number 8 of the top ten sci-fi programme on Channel4 in 2001. The series really disappeared apart from some video releases in 1991 until 2001 when DVD releases of the series began to be produced by Revelation films. The commentaries are truly excellent with the wonderfully cynical Nicholas Young providing a lot of laughs. Big Finish productions are now also making new 'Tomorrow People' audio dramas. In conclusion, although 'The Tomorrow People' was sometimes quite shallow and certainly not a patch on Doctor Who it did provide science fiction thirsty children with some excellent stories and perhaps more importantly a good laugh! The show was packed full of humour throughout it's six year run. Certainly a good series, and one among the science fiction greats.
If like me, you were in your early teens when this first aired, you
were probably a fan too of this low-tech but engaging children's sci-fi
series. Replacing another favourite in the ITV schedules of the time,
"Ace Of Wands", "The Tomorrow People" aimed even more at its target
school-age audience by employing child actors in the lead roles of
teenage "homo- superiors" with the ability to telepath and "jaunt"
through time and space.
Unfortunately this was its biggest weakness, as the young actors in the starring parts are almost universally wooden, every take looking like they're repeating a line learned a minute before. The sets and special effects are similarly dodgy, all cardboard and flashing lights, yet watching the episodes today some forty years on, with its excellent theme tune and arresting title sequence, it still takes me back to my childhood, when I would settle in after school and watch it faithfully.
That nostalgic glow makes it easy to forgive its rather obvious shortcomings and to be fair the stories I've re-watched are okay too, sort of junior Dr Who. The good news is that all the original episodes are currently available to watch somewhere in hyper-space, unlike the late lamented "Ace Of Wands" so enjoy them while you can.
I was introduced to the Tomorrow People as a young teen and was hooked forever on Sci-fi. These were teenagers with psychic powers. However they do not kill or harm others, their goal is to protect the Earth from "us" homosepians. As a kid I learned all about Telekenesis, Telepethy, Teleportation and the like, but I also learned that special powers could be used for bank robbery and teleporting vans into outer space! It should be noted that the cast (over the course of the show) was international Just like the American show Star Trek. This show originally was broadcast from a British network, while we Americans had Star Trek, they had The Tomorrow People. It would of been interesting if the two met.
I would like by saying that if you are American (as per the only other
review), you may indeed find this series hard going. Not because of the
story lines, generally, but because of the woeful effects. By US
standard, even at the time, TV and film was way ahead of the game and
an effects budget of just £12,000 a series was never going to cut any
mustard. However, look through this and let yourself get involved with
the plots and story lines and you will find yourself being almost
hypnotically drawn into it. For a kids show at this time, it was way
ahead of the game and many of us older viewers who remember it did
indeed rush home from school to see it. Perhaps because it made a
distinction between Saps (Homo Sapiens) and The Tomorrow People (Homo
Superior), thus any kid left out of the cruel grim schoolyard politics
of the depressive early 70's felt that they were catered for by Tim,
Stephen et al. Granted it is exceptionally British middle class, and
the characters good and bad are perhaps a little unidentifiable to
anyone from, say Pismo Beach CA, but its worth the journey and heres
why. The ingredients are all here, dark, strong and at times brooding
stories; good well rounded 'good guys', fantastically over the top 'bad
guys', bad and laughable effects but again all part of the fun; editing
and lighting errors and gaffs (that are still in by the way), a
haunting, industrial theme tune and great credits. The Tomorrow People
episodes have influenced many contemporary scifi TV pro grammes and the
series has been resurrected twice (latest this year).
So I urge you to try the original UK series. Laugh if you must, and you probably will, but I would wager the experience will stay with you for quite a while after. You may even love it as I do, even though you might not know exactly why. The Tomorrow People then. A classic BECAUSE of the flaws.
The Tomorrow People is an unusual series about the next evolution of
humanity. Children are being born with the abilities of telekinesis,
teleportation, and telepathy, and call themselves Tomorrow People. They
cannot kill anyone, and hide their abilities from the saps (homo
sapiens, the normals) while getting drawn into adventures by aliens and
time travelers determined to exploit their abilities.
It's a startling and refreshing take on kids shows at the time. The Tomorrow People are fully aware of what they are when they "break out" and gain control of their powers, and are aided by Tim, their biological computer. It's very much like a kid's version of Doctor Who but with less horror and nihilism. Good performances from the cast of children actors help as well.
There are problems though. The budget and production values are bad even for seventies television, most noticeable in any monster or spaceship shots. There's a weird homoeroticism to it as well, most noticeable in the story arc "The Medusa Strain" with a bit part from Star Wars actor David Prowse as a loincloth wearing android. Many of the early arcs are split among four or more episodes which lead to a lot of padding and wasted time.
The stories are still oriented towards a kids audience, so adults may find themselves wishing for more depth. While the plots are still fresh the show is dated fairly heavily now, and a lot of the impact is lost since many kids shows cover SF themes. Still, for those of us that watched it as kids on Nickelodeon in the late seventies/eighties, it was a mind-expanding experience, right down to the psychedelic opening sequence. Worth a rental if you like British SF or want to remember it if you watched again, but there are too many flaws to make it a classic.
i loved this show ,wishing i could do what they could. Like some of
them could move things around and being able to connect with each other
by just thinking about it. if i remember right there were some people
who were always after the tomorrow people and a lot of the story lines
centered around someone getting caught by the bad guys and the others
rescuing them because they could give the
others info on where they were being held. i wish they could put the series onto DVD or video like they are doing with so many other shows and also "here come the doubledeckers". the tomorrow people was a great series and the remake in the 90's just wasn't the same as the original, i rate it 4 out of 5
There were many reasons why British children ran home from school every
Monday afternoon to watch The Tomorrow People. For some, it was a
fantastic source of escapism from the everyday stresses of life. For
some, the special effects were so cheesy it made then show a must-watch
for a laugh. And there were those who ran home to see their
Heathcliffs. The latter category is, unusually, the category that I, an
innocent 21st century teenage girl, fall into.
Well, it's not as though these ladies-and gay men-could help it, couldn't they? There was John, a strong father figure, with chiselled good looks and luscious dark hair. There was Kenny, feisty but still a Catie pie. There was Stephen (one of my personal favourites), a nice young lad with a nice body and face. There was Tyso (another personal favourite), an adorable gypsy who went from cute to sexy in just a few stories. There was Mike, great to look at and a mean drummer, not too bright but still great to look at. And finally there was Andrew, an absolute sweetheart with a mischievous streak.
So those are the reasons why I watch the Tomorrow People. Oh, the stories were great too. But I mainly watch it for the hunky men. 8 out of 10 for that alone.
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