The Tomorrow People

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The Tomorrow People was a children's science fiction television series, devised by Roger Price and produced by Thames Television for Britain's ITV network between 1973 and 1979. It was also broadcast in the United States on Nickelodeon in the early 1980s.

A comic strip version was also produced, written by Angus P. Allan and printed in TV comic Look-In.

Roger Price produced a revival for Tetra Films (a Thames Television subsidiary) and Nickelodeon between 1992 and 1994. However, this was remarkably different from in predecessor and featured none of the original cast. Also missing were the computer TIM, the title sequences and music, the "Den", and their distinctive belt buckles used for teleportation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was not so well received as its forebearer.

In 2001 an audio series based on the original concept was launched by Big Finish Productions with "The New Gods" by Rebecca Levene and Gareth Roberts. Nicholas Young reprised his role as John and Philip Gilbert as TIM with Helen Goldwyn and Daniel Wilson appearing as the new Tomorrow People Elena and Paul. Some releases also feature other original cast members, such as Peter Vaughan-Clarke, Elizabeth Adare and Mike Holloway (notably "Trigonometry").

The new series is produced by Nigel Fairs.

When Philip Gilbert died, Trevor Littledale took over the role of TIM in the audio series, from "The Warlock's Dance" onwards.

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The premise of the show concerned the emergence of homo superior, the next stage of human evolution, in the form of teenagers capable of various psi powers, e.g. telepathy, teleportation (jaunting), psychokinesis, etc. They operate in secrecy for fear of "saps" (homo sapiens, normal people) victimising them and using their powers for military purposes (they are physically unable to injure people), although they do make their existence known to the British Prime Minister in Secret Weapon in order to rescue some of their members from the clutches of the military's Experimental Weapons Establishment.

In the 1970s series, from the third series some stories involve the "Galactic Federation" which oversees the development of telepathic species, and consequently some stories are set on extraterrestrial planets.

Special effects

The special effects of the show were often criticized and mocked as being sub-par, largely attributable to the small budget the show had access to. For instance, the extraterrestrial worlds often look like the countryside on the outskirts of London filmed through different coloured filters.

The visual effects improved considerably in the 1990s series, although the Tomorrow People initially tend to have some difficulty with their teleportations and seem to frequently teleport to just above a swimming pool, or just off the beach of their South Pacific island (actually a beach in Dorset, England), while the 1970s series often suffers from the somewhat primitive colour-separation overlay effects of the time (and a limited budget).

1970s series

NOTE: All 8 seasons of the original series are now being released on DVD through Revelation Filmsin the UK with all series now available. All discs are Region 0 and will be playable in most countries where PAL is the standard. In 2005, A&E TV released a boxset of the series 1 and 2 (comprising the first 26 episodes) for North America.

Series 1

Regular Cast
John - Nicholas Young
Stephen - Peter Vaughan-Clarke
Carol - Sammie Winmill
Kenny - Stephen Salmon
Voice of TIM - Philip Gilbert
Ginge - Michael Standing
  • Slaves of Jedikiah
Original UK tranmission 30 April - 4 June 1973
Authors: Roger Price, Brian Finch.
Director: Paul Bernard
Guest Cast:
Lefty - Derek Crewe
Jedikiah - Francis de Wolff
Cyclops - Patricia Denys
  • The Medusa Strain
Original UK transmission 11 June - 2 July 1973
Authors: Roger Price, Brian Finch.
Director: Roger Price.
Guest Cast:
Peter - Richard Speight
Jedikiah - Roger Bizley
Rabowski - Roger Booth
Coppin - Dave Prowse
Medusa - Norman McGlen
  • The Vanishing Earth
Original UK transmission 9 July - 30 July 1973
Authors: Roger Price, Brian Finch.
Director: Paul Bernard.
Guest Cast:
Lefty - Derek Crewe
Smithers - Kenneth Farrington
Steen - Kevin Stoney
Spidron - John Woodnutt

Series 2

Regular Cast
John - Nicholas Young
Stephen - Peter Vaughan-Clarke
Elizabeth - Elizabeth Adare
Chris - Christopher Chittell
Voice of TIM - Philip Gilbert
Professor Cawston - Brian Stanion
  • The Blue and The Green
Original UK transmission 4 February - 4 March 1974
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Roger Price.
Guest Cast:
Grandfather - Nigel Pegram
Robert - Jason Kemp
Police Inspector - Simon Merrick
Johnson - Ray Burdis
  • A Rift in Time
Original UK transmission 11 March - 1 April 1974
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Roger Price.
Guest Cast:
Peter - Richard Speight
Professor Sylvia Garner - Sylvia Coleridge
Gaius - Stanley Lebor
Lothar - Leonard Pieroni
  • The Doomsday Men
Original UK transmission 8 April - 6 May 1974
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Roger Price.
Guest Cast:
Douglas McLelland - William Relton
Lt General McLelland - Lindsay Campbell
Lee Wan - Eric Young
Doomsday Man - Bill Treacher

Series 3

Regular Cast
John - Nicholas Young
Stephen - Peter Vaughan-Clarke
Elizabeth - Elizabeth Adare
Tyso - Dean Lawrence
Chris - Christopher Chittell
Voice of TIM - Philip Gilbert
Professor Cawston - Brian Stanion
  • Secret Weapon
Original UK transmission 26 February - 19 March 1975
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Stan Woodward.
Guest Cast:
Patricia Conway - Anne Curthoys
Col. Masters - Trevor Bannister
Prime Minister - Hugh Morton
  • Worlds Away
Original UK transmission 26 March - 9 April 1975
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Vic Hughes.
Guest Cast:
Mrs Boswell - Joanna Tope
Evergreen Boswell - Denise Cook
Lenda - Lydia Lisle
Timus / Tikno - Philip Gilbert
Arkron - Keith Chegwin
  • A Man For Emily
Original UK transmission 16 April - 30 April 1975
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Stan Woodward.
Guest Cast:
Elmer - Peter Davison
Emily - Sandra Dickinson
The Momma - Margaret Burton
Publican - Robin Parkinson
Mr Greenhead - Bill Dean
See also: Tickling boots
  • Revenge of Jedikiah
Original UK transmission 7 May - 21 May 1975
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Vic Hughes.
Guest Cast:
Jedikiah - Francis de Wolff
Sergeant Evans - John Lyon
Evergreen Boswell - Denise Cook
Mustaf - Ali Bongo

Series 4

Regular Cast
John - Nicholas Young
Stephen - Peter Vaughan-Clarke
Elizabeth - Elizabeth Adare
Tyso - Dean Lawrence
Mike Bell - Mike Holloway
Voice of TIM - Philip Gilbert
  • One Law
Original UK transmission 21 October - 5 November 1975
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Leon Thau.
Guest Cast:
Inspector - Tim Barrett
Lord Dunning - Harold Kasket
Mr O'Reilly - Patrick McAlinney
Thwaites - Arnold Diamond
  • Into The Unknown
Original UK transmission 13 January - 28 January 1976
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Roger Price.
Guest Cast:
Tirayaan - Geoffrey Bayldon
Kwaan - Stephen Garlick
Vaktaan - Brian Coburn
Ralaa - Raymond Boyd

Series 5

Regular Cast
John - Nicholas Young
Elizabeth - Elizabeth Adare
Mike - Mike Holloway
Voice of TIM - Philip Gilbert
  • The Dirtiest Business
Original UK transmission 28 February - 7 March 1977
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Vic Hughes.
Guest Cast:
Pavla - Anulka Dubynska
KGB Man - Jan Murzynowski
Senior KGB Man - Gabor Vernon
Major Ann Turner - Vivien Heilbron
  • A Much Needed Holiday
Original UK transmission 14 March - 21 March 1977
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Richard Mervyn.
Guest Cast:
Gremlon - Anthony Garner
Trig - Guy Humphries
Trog - David Corti
  • The Heart of Sogguth
Original UK transmission 28 March - 4 April 1977
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Vic Hughes.
Guest Cast:
Jake - Roddy Maude-Roxby
Mike Harding - James Smilie
Derek - Derek Pascoe
Bill - Bill Rice
The Fresh Hearts - Flintlock (Jamie Stone, John Summerton)

Series 6

Regular Cast
John - Nicholas Young
Elizabeth - Elizabeth Adare
Mike - Mike Holloway
Hsui Tai - Misako Koba
Voice of TIM - Philip Gilbert
  • The Lost Gods
Original UK transmission 15 May - 22 May 1978
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Peter Webb.
Guest Cast:
Matsu Tan - Burt Kwouk
Sage - Robert Lee
  • Hitler's Last Secret
Original UK transmission 5 June - 12 June 1978
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Leon Thau.
Guest Cast:
Hitler - Michael Sheard
Professor Friedl - Richard Warner
Major Hughes - Leon Eagles
Karl Brandt - Nicholas Lyndhurst
Willi Frisch - Earl Rhodes
  • The Thargon Menace
Original UK transmission 19 June - 26 June 1978
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Peter Yolland.
Guest Cast:
General Papa Minn - Olu Jacobs
Flynn - Michael Audreson
Sula - Jackie Cowper
Major Marcos - Eric Roberts

Series 7

Regular Cast
John - Nicholas Young
Elizabeth - Elizabeth Adare
Mike - Mike Holloway
Hsui Tai - Misako Koba
Andrew Forbes - Nigel Rhodes
Voice of TIM - Philip Gilbert
  • Castle of Fear
Original UK transmission 9 October - 16 October 1978
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Vic Hughes.
Guest Cast:
Bruce Forbes - Dominic Allen
Angus McDuff - Bill Gavin
Professor Gail Mayer - Jennifer Watts
Professor Young - Brian Jackson
  • Achilles Heel
Original UK transmission 23 October - 30 October 1978
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Gabrielle Beaumont.
Guest Cast:
Bruce Forbes - Dominic Allen
Yagon - Hilary Minster
Cantor - Christian Rodska
Glip - Stanley Bates
Timus - Philip Gilbert
Accompanist - Ted Taylor
  • Living Skins
Original UK transmission 6 November - 11 November 1978
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Stan Woodward.
Guest Cast:
Wilton - Ralph Lawford
Girl - Judith Fielding
Guard - Dave Carter

Series 8

Regular Cast
John - Nicholas Young
Elizabeth - Elizabeth Adare
Mike - Mike Holloway
Hsui Tai - Misako Koba
Andrew Forbes - Nigel Rhodes
Voice of TIM - Philip Gilbert
  • War of the Empires
Original UK transmission 29 January - 19 February 1979
Author: Roger Price.
Director: Vic Hughes.
Guest Cast:
American President - John F. Parker
American General - Richard Bartlett
Morgan Evans - David Baxt
Thargon General - Oliver Maguire
Chaircreature - David Cann
Sorsen Captain - Terry Woodfield
Thargon Commander - Percy Herbert
Thargon Officer - Anthony Stafford

1990s series

Regular Tomorrow People:
Adam Newman - Kristian Schmid
Megabyte (Marmaduke Damon) - Christian Tessier
Kevin Wilson - Adam Pearce (only until The Culex Experiment)
Lisa Davies - Kristen Ariza (only in the Pilot/Origin/Beginning)
Ami Jackson - Naomie Harris (from The Culex Experiment)
Jade Weston - Alexandra Millman (The Living Stones with a brief appearance in The Culex Experiment)
  • The Tomorrow People - untitled story
First UK transmission: November - December 1992
Guest Cast:
Professor Galt - Hugh Quarshie
General Bill Damon - Jeff Harding
Lady Mulvaney - Gabrielle Hamilton
  • The Culex Experiment
First UK transmission: January - February 1994
Guest Cast:
Culex - Jean Marsh
Culex' twin henchpeople - Tessa Vale, Deborah Vale
  • Monsoon Man
First UK transmission: February 1994
Guest Cast:
Colonel Cobb - William Hootkins
  • The Rameses Connection
First UK transmission: January 1995
Guest Cast:
Rameses - Christopher Lee
  • The Living Stones
First UK transmission: February 1995
Guest Cast:
Byron Lucifer - Danny John-Jules

The audio series

  1. The New Gods by Rebecca Levene and Gareth Roberts
  2. The Deadliest Species by Gary Russell
  3. The Ghosts of Mendez by Austin Atkinson
  4. The Sign of Diolyx by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry
  5. A New Atlantis by Nigel Fairs
  6. The Power of Fear by Steve Lyons
  7. The Curse of Kaavan by Nigel Fairs
  8. Alone by Nigel Fairs
  9. The Slarvian Menace by Mark Wright
  10. The Warlock's Dance by Cavan Scott
  11. A Living Hell by Nigel Fairs
  12. Trigonometry by Gary Russell
  13. Saying Goodbye by Nigel Fairs
  14. The Lords of Forever by Craig Hinton

Controversies

In recent years, people have claimed that The Tomorrow People was thinly-veiled gay rights media; and have linked homosexual allusions to much of the programme's content (namely, that "homo superior" teenagers "break out" and "hide from the outside world"). Compare to: Captain Pugwash.

External links