The Tomorrow People — Will The CW Series “Break Out?”

It is a running joke on the Geekerati Radio show that the CW network stands for “Christian’s Watching” or that CW producer Greg Berlanti must be listening to 0ur show on a regular basis. This is largely due to the fact that the network often features shows that seem almost tailor made for the viewing preferences of Geekerati co-host Christian Lindke. Never has this been more true than with the upcoming CW television series THE TOMORROW PEOPLE.  The new dramatic series is a re-envisioning of a television show created by Roger Price that ran on ITV in the early 1970s. The show came to American shores when it ran on the Nickelodeon channel.

The Tomorrow People

THE TOMORROW PEOPLE centers around the adventures of a band of teenaged “homo superior” who struggle to help humanity against a variety of foes, but more importantly keep an eye out for new homo superior who might be “breaking out.” THE TOMORROW PEOPLE keep an eye out for these new break outs in order to help them adjust to their new found abilities.  These abilities include telepathy, telekinesis, and with the aid of a sentient computer teleportation. But these abilities don’t come without a cost. In a move that may well have been inspired by A.E. Van Vogt’s SLAN series of novels, The Tomorrow People have a psychological make-up that prevents them from intentionally killing other people. It all sounds very X-menesque, and it is, but there is a difference. Where X-men is a metaphor for civil rights, racism, and intolerance, THE TOMORROW PEOPLE is a metaphor for the struggles that teenagers face in an emerging world in which teenagers are more empowered than ever before. Since the 1960s politics and society have centered on how young people can change and improve the world in ways that hadn’t existed before. Picture Kennedy’s Peace Corp program, the youth involvement in Vietnam protests, the shift in marketing to focus on younger consumers. These focus on youth had been gradually increasing for some time, but by the early 70s it was a firmly established concept. It was also a concept that threatened – and continues to threaten – the “establishment.” This is the nerve that THE TOMORROW PEOPLE touches. Let’s hope that The CW show captures that underlying conflict. If Executive Producer Danny Cannon’s comments at Comic-Con are any indication, they have:

I was amazed when I went back and watched it, because in my head it was much more accomplished. But when you’re a kid, it’s not the production value. When you’re a kid, I think you look at how you relate to it. It was about kids from a normal neighborhood that I recognized and accents that I recognized, and how they were feeling alienated and really different, a little bit invisible and left in the shadows, and how they are told that they are actually special. And that David Bowie song, “Oh! You Pretty Things” — the original writer [of The Tomorrow People], Roger Price, saw a shift in the mid-’70s of people changing after the ’60s, that the youth were feeling empowered. And how not cutting your hair and going into the army and doing what Mom and Dad says, that nuclear family thing is gone. How everybody was experimenting and moving forward and there was a freedom. And I guess I relate to that.

We here at Geekerati are looking forward to the new series, but we’d like to give you a glimpse of the world that was as well as the world that is coming.


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