The Tomorrow People 2013 Pilot: an assessment by: GF Willmetts (TV review).

January 9, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

Watching this second remake of ‘The Tomorrow People’, the last being in 1992, this version owes more to the films ‘Jumper’ (2008), ‘Scanners’ (1981), ‘Push’ (2009) and ‘X-Men’ than its source material which really only gets lip service. If anything, I thought the original 1970s series was better and when you consider how kitchen sink cheap and limited special effects budget it was, that is saying something. This pilot is far too generic. It could be any old story with people with psionic abilities and it wouldn’t make any difference.

TomorrowPeople2013

Obviously, it has moved away from being a children’s show and targeted a more adult audience and pushed it into the USA, so upped the age and violence.

Granted that they can’t include all the details into the opening story, so you’re not going to learn why they are called ‘Tomorrow People’ or where TIM, their artificial intelligence computer comes from. Then again, despite all these additional abilities, mostly telepathy, telekinesis and teleportation (not calling it ‘jaunting), none of them appear to be smarter. I mean, if they don’t like the name ‘Tomorrow People’ and it wasn’t given to them, why not find a better name? It’s also somewhat contradictory that they can commit violence but stop short of killing anyone. Does that mean they’re immune from accidentally killing someone and don’t know the consequences of doing this or is that being reserved for a future story.

Just in case people wonder if I didn’t spot any of the acknowledgements to the original series, there are characters called John and Stephen, the bad guy is named after both original creator Roger Price and villain Jedikiah.

You’re not given enough time to care about the characters. I mean, short of looking up IMDb can you name the girl or oriental chap? You’re not given enough time to think or care. This is invariably a problem of modern TV shows but going like a runaway train is hardly going to endear people to any show.

Although the limits of their powers aren’t disclosed and I’m still puzzled how the villainous Ultra group can nullify most of them from using their powers. One thing is pretty obvious, though, is that their teleporting ignores the laws of momentum. If you’re going to use psionic abilities then you have to acknowledge they have to work in conjunction with known scientific laws. If you’re teleporting into or from a moving object, the loss or gain of momentum has to have an effect, if only for funny moments. For Stephen to know what to do without practice even more so.

As a reviewer, I feel I’m obliged to see where the series will go but I would be very surprised if it makes a second season unless there is a stronger handle on the characters and what they do in future episodes. Even the place where it was left at the end of the first episode is following a predictable path, hence all the reference films in my introductory paragraph. This version of ‘The Tomorrow People’ isn’t even daring to be original which is a shame for a third chance.

GF Willmetts 2013

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Category: Scifi, TV

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

Comments (1)

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  1. avatar Kelly Jensen says:

    I nearly wrote this series off, based on the pilot. My DVR was set to automatically record it, however, so I kept watching. Seemed easier than trying to figure out how to delete it from the list. It gets better. Three of the future episodes are devoted to ‘origin’ stories, including one for ‘the Asian guy’. The back story is also explored a little more thoroughly.

    The show has an overwhelmingly teenage/YA vibe to it, though. Everyone is attractive and witty, and despite the fact they’re endowed with super powers, they wrestle with the futility of trying to be normal. There are relationship issues and family issues and school issues, which make the show feel a bit like a high school drama in a slightly science fiction setting.

    Still, the men are pretty, so I’ll keep watching for a bit. 🙂

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