Sunday, 20 October 2013

Transatlantic Tomorrows: reinventing The Tomorrow People

Having republished a review of the original 1970s series earlier this year, some thoughts on the new version of The Tomorrow People might be in order. The two episodes of the CW's commission which I've seen sadly lack a vital spark. More than that, they miss the hope, however naive, which sustained Thames Television's series even as the budget drained away and changing trends in youth and political culture began to challenge writer Roger Price's ideals. Instead unattractive characters find ways to hurt each other and express their anomie within the confines of a reworked The Slaves of Jedikiah, now hung over a framework of paranoia about government surveillance and genetic modification tied up with off-the-peg concepts of a messianic hero's search for his missing father. The recreators of the series, Greg Berlanti, Phil Klemmer and Julie Plec, need to find more imagination, extract more charisma from their leads, and give the new Tomorrow People more to live for than the freedom to be citizens of a world viewed through a dystopian lens.