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Fall TV: The Tomorrow People

Emily and Mandy C. continue their Fall TV series with a look at the pilot episode of The Tomorrow People. SPOILER ALERT: The CW's mutants are very pretty.

Fall TV: The Tomorrow People

Welcome back to our series on fall’s best new shows. We’re here to discuss what’s worthy of your coveted DVR space, what’s OK to watch later On Demand, or what’s not even worth the first viewing. We hope you’ll join us!

(Warning! Possible spoilers ahead.)

The Tomorrow People

Premiered: Oct. 9 on The CW (Watch it online.)

Elevator Pitch

January 2013. Phone rings.

Julie Plec: Hello?

Greg Berlanti: Hi, Jules, it's Greg.

Julie: Greg? I don't know if I know a Greg.

Greg: Greg Berlanti. Remember me? I was your boss on Dawson's Creek. Silence. The show about the four kids who lived on a creek. More silence. One was named Dawson. The other was Katie Holmes.

Julie: Oh, that Greg. Yes, now I remember you. What have you been up to lately. It seems like I never see your name on TV. Except for that super hero show. The one with the guy that shoots arrows.

Greg: Yes. We just call it Arrow.

Julie: How original. What can I do for your Greg? I'm a little busy running a show that's about to be picked up for a fifth season and creating a spin-off for it.

Greg: Yes, that's what I was calling about. I know you worked with Kevin on creating The Vampire Diaries, and now you've got The Originals, but I honestly think you're going to have too much time on your hands next year. I have a script by a guy you've never heard of, but I think if we attach our names to it then we can get it on air and just reap in the benefits.

Julie: Well, how do you know it'll be successful? Is it vampires because they're still totally hot.

Greg: No, Jules, they're not. You just have a very dedicated (and a little obsessive) fan base.

Julie: Well, is it a female president? Because we all know how well that went over.

Greg: Political Animals is still being nominated for Emmys more than a year after cancellation. What has Ian Somerhalder ever won?

Julie: Ian is the sexiest man alive, Greg. He doesn't need Emmys. And I've already got him, so whatever this script is, it'll never work.

Greg: This one will star Stephen Amell ...

Julie: Isn't he already on your show?

Greg: … 's cousin! It's brilliant.

Julie: What does Stephen Amell's cousin do in this show?

Greg: The three Ts: teleportation, telekinesis, and telepathy.

Julie: Honestly, Greg. I just don't know if it's enough. Those are things my human characters can do in my shows.

Greg (thinking quickly): Well, he doesn't know he can do these things, so they happen to him when he's not prepared putting him in bad situations. And there's a group of government people out to get him and his other ragtag friends because some other of these superhuman kids use their powers for bad.

Julie: Still not sure.

Greg: And the leader of the government agency is his uncle.

Julie: An evil uncle. Now that's a new twist.

Greg: And he can stop—or at least slow down—time.

Julie (starting to get interested): Like Zack Morris?

Greg: Exactly! Pause. And there's a love triangle.

Julie: Well, why didn't you start with that? I'm in.

Familiar Faces

Robbie Amell as Stephen Jameson

Sarah Clarke as Marla Jameson

Jeffrey Pierce as Jack Jameson

Aaron Yoo as Russell Kwon

Mark Pellegrino as Dr. Jedikiah Price

Faces That Will Become Familiar (If You Keep Watching)

Luke Mitchell as John Young

Peyton List as Cara Coburn

Madeleine Mantock as Astrid

Redeeming Qualities

Emily: It's a teen superhero show with an attractive cast and produced by people who have mastered the art of teen angst and superheroes (a vampire is a superhero now, right?). What's not to like? I enjoyed the leads enough to care that they all made it to the end of the pilot unscathed, and I appreciate the twist that the uncle is the bad guy (though I was pretty sure for a little bit the father might also be bad). I'm also all for an ensemble show that isn't just about the love triangle or one person bearing all the tragedy. Yes, Stephen is the "chosen one" of the group, but I get the feeling they're all in this together which I think makes for a stronger show.

Mandy: I’m a huge fan of the Marvel ‘verse, particularly the X-Men, so mutants/genetically advanced humans are right up my alley. And being the CW, these particular mutants are all very attractive and young, which doesn’t hurt things at all. (It took less than five minutes to get Robbie’s shirt off … I wonder if that’s a new record.) The plot is a little loose so far, but has promise. The thing that stood out to me most, however, was how happy I am to see Mark Pellegrino back in a villain-y role. He’s so good at being bad.

It's Not Me, It's You

Emily: As predicted, there's nothing that different about this show. It's a little X-Men-ish, though the fact that all of the superhumans have the same superpower could be interesting (or could be dull). The effects are … OK, but I think the teleporting looks very similar to the superhuman speed of a certain group of vampires.

Mandy: Some of the terminology the Tomorrow People use to describe things—homo superior, “saps,” etc.—and the fact that the Tomorrow People physically can’t kill came off a little cheesy, but then I discovered that this is a remake of a 1970s UK childrens show of the same name, so those issues now make more sense. I have hope that the first season isn’t entirely about Stephen finding his father, because that could get a little old. Also, Ultra doesn’t feel like the Big Bad they’re supposed to … yet.

Let's Do This Again

Emily: I'm going to have to see what happens week-to-week on this show to decide if I'm in or not. Arrow lost me mid-season last year, and I almost walked away from TVD (though so far this season has been awesome). But for the most part anything that Greg and Julie touch somehow forms magic, so I'm going to believe it can happen here, too. Bottom line is, even though there's nothing that stands out as "special," I still found myself enjoying my viewing experience. And, bonus, Mark Pellegrino is a fantastic villain.

Mandy: I’ll freely admit that the fact that The CW is sure to infuse a nice amount of typical CW drama into the science fiction plot of the The Tomorrow People makes me want to keep watching the show. I wasn’t blown away by the pilot, but I’m going to keep recording it in the hopes that it’ll only get better with each episode.

What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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