As a rule, I don’t generally pay much attention to the programming on The CW network. However, I like to keep abreast of new shows, especially sci-fi or genre shows, and I’m willing to give anything at least one shot with an open mind. Last week, the network debuted its new super-powered suspense drama ‘The Tomorrow People’. Sadly, I forgot to record the original broadcast and was forced to watch it On Demand, which was incredibly frustrating since (at least on Comcast) the premiere episode is only available in standard definition that way. (I assume it aired in high definition, didn’t it? I can’t imagine a new series being only broadcast in SD in this day and age.) ‘Tomorrow People’, where is your past? ‘Tomorrow People’, how long will you last?
Sadly, the show is not based on the Ziggy Marley song. It’s actually based on a 1970s British children’s series which was already revived once before in the 1990s. This latest version comes from producer Greg Berlanti, whose ‘Arrow’ was a surprise hit on The CW last year. I wasn’t much impressed with what little I saw of ‘Arrow’, but I’m told it got better. I can’t say that I’m much impressed with ‘The Tomorrow People’ either, and the ‘Pilot’ episode doesn’t inspire me to want to watch more.
The show follows basically the same formula as everything that airs on The CW these days. To wit, a bunch of incredibly attractive twenty-somethings (who are of course supposed to be in high school) feel angsty about not fitting in with society, despite looking like gorgeous underwear models who happen to have amazing super powers or supernatural abilities.
Robbie Amell from ‘Revenge’ stars as Stephen, a 25-year-old high schooler (he must have been left back a whole lot of times) who believes that he suffers from a sleep disorder and possible schizophrenia. Every night, he straps himself into his bed, yet tends to wake up in strange places, such as sandwiched between his two sleeping neighbors, with no memory of how he got there. He also hears a woman’s sultry voice in his head, calling to him. As he soon discovers, Stephen is actually one of the so-called “Tomorrow People,” an evolutionary advancement on the human race designated as Homo Superior, triggered by a genetic mutation passed down hereditarily. Although they look just like regular people (well, fashion models anyway), these Tomorrow People are gifted with super powers they refer to as the “Three Ts”: teleportation, telepathy and telekinesis.
Of course, the government wants to keep the existence of a new race of super beings under wraps, and has created a top secret task force called Ultra, led by the sneeringly evil Dr. Jedikiah Price (Mark Pellegrino from ‘Lost’), who employs a small band of these mutants to track down their own kind. Although Price insists that he’s actually a good guy just trying to protect the world, he couldn’t possibly act more evil even if he had a mustache to twirl. I swear, he actually cackles at one point.
Stephen learns of his special abilities and heritage from the studly John (Luke Mitchell) and the stunning Cara (Peyton List from ‘Mad Men’), who lead a ragtag band of mutant runaways from their massive and fabulously-appointed underground lair, which even features a J.A.R.V.I.S.-style artificial intelligence computer called T.I.M. that speaks with a British accent and must have cost $250 trillion to design and build.
Over the course of the pilot episode, Stephen is delivered the shocking revelation that his long-lost daddy was not just a Tomorrow Person, but the most super-powerful of all the Tomorrow People. Stephen appears to have inherited his extra-super-special super powers, including the ability to use all of the Three Ts while inside Ultra headquarters, which is equipped with special walls that somehow block that genetic mutation in their DNA from working. (No, none of this makes any sense at all.) He can also freeze time, a new power that blows everyone else’s minds.
Oh, and Jedikiah Price is also his uncle.
By episode’s end, Jedikiah makes a play to recruit Stephen to his side. Stephen decides to play along and join Ultra, in order to destroy the organization from the inside and find out what really happened to his missing daddy.
The show doesn’t do much for me so far. It’s not necessarily awful, but it’s very generic and formulaic and frankly boring. My interest drifted long before the first episode drew to a close. I don’t plan to watch again. Being that it hits every single mark in the CW playbook, it will probably be a big hit for the network and run for years.