First Watch: The Tomorrow People – “Pilot” (Season 1, Episode 1)

I’ve just come up with a great idea for a television series.

Let’s have a coming-of-age story (a bildungsroman, if you will) about a bunch of kids who have to deal with the fact that they are changing, but not in the usual sense! No, they have powers. But, that can’t be enough. Since these teenagers have “mutant” powers, it wouldn’t make much sense for the world to just ignore them — they’ll be hunted by other mutants (but let’s make them look more menacing, so you don’t mistakenly root for the wrong side in a pinch). Obviously, the kids will have to respond by forming a sort of hidden commune where they can live outside of society and the reach of the bad guys and work on protecting the world.

Sounds good, right? You’re in luck! It already exists. It’s called X-Men: the Animated Series. Unfortunately, I’m not here to talk about the X-Men cartoon.

So, let’s talk about the all-white (and one asian), young-adult version of the X-Men, The Tomorrow People.

The pilot starts with a voice-over from our soon-to-be hero, Stephen Jameson (Robbie Amell). He’s been going through a lot of tough changes in his young life, but the worst of them seems to be that he sleepwalks. His sleepwalking is so bad that he straps himself into his bed at night and still manages to make his way through the straps and dead-bolted doors to wake up in bed with his neighbors.

That’s some bad sleepwalking.

Meanwhile, a young woman named Cara (Peyton List) is helping a young man named John (Luke Mitchell) navigate his way through a hospital to steal someone’s medical records. But, what’s this? John can teleport. And he’s being chased by some full-grown men! John makes his way down to a subway car and then has a teleport battle with his the men who have been hunting him until he teleports his way back to Cara successfully.

Then, we find out that the file was for our very own Stephen Jameson. What a surprise! He’s not sleepwalking, he’s sleep teleporting.

It turns out that all of the things that Stephen (and his doctors) thought were some form of psychosis were actually his developing superpowers. The voice he has been hearing in his head for some time now? That’s just Cara. So, Cara guides Stephen down into the subway station and into the subway car where John snatches him up and teleports him to their underground commune.

John and Cara (who turn out to be the leaders of this group of young mutants) explain to Stephen what has been going on with him lately. These kids aren’t actually “human” — they are the next stage in human evolution known as “homo superior”. All of these “Tomorrow People” have the same powers (including teleportation, telekinesis and telepathy), but (like human beings) they all differ in their natural ability to use their gifts.

Oh, and those bad guys that were hunting John earlier on? They are called Ultra. They use “Tomorrow People” of their own to hunt down the kids and … kill them? I’m not really sure. But, we learn through a scene with the “evil” Dr. Jedikiah Price (Mark Pellegrino) that the “Tomorrow People” are incapable of killing. That’s the only reason I suspect the government doesn’t want to turn them into soldiers. They could be pretty good spies, though.

As you can probably gather from the tone I wrote this review in, I was not too impressed with The Tomorrow People. While I understand that this is a remake of a children’s series from the 70’s, I didn’t feel like The Tomorrow People brought anything unique to the table. It might just be the abundance of superhero material in television and movies today, but I just don’t feel anything for this series. My biggest complaint with the series is probably that the kids all have the same powers (with the exception of our “chosen one”, Stephen). That isn’t a problem for everyone, though, so I wouldn’t recommend skipping the series — give it a shot and see if it is for you. As per the Tonight’s Watch rules, I’ll give this show another few episodes and see if it hooks me in. If it succeeds, you can expect a Turning Point post in the upcoming weeks.

  • Rating: “Not too impressed.”
  • Comment:  The Tomorrow People is an entertaining hour of television, but I don’t think it is for me.
  • You might like The Tomorrow People if you like: science fiction-based superhero stories, the X-Men (but weren’t ready for all those minorities), the CW’s usual young adult dramas, not changing the channel after the latest episode of Arrow

The Tomorrow People airs Wednesday nights at 9 PM PST on the CW.

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About Daniel

I'm a guy who spends way too much time playing board games and watching television with his friends. View all posts by Daniel

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