All right, CW, I see your game. You’ve long since won over teens and adults who cherish the precious parts of their childhood that CW shows gloss every aspect of their characters’ lives with, especially when those characters are either socialites or vampires. And every once in a while, you manage to finagle enough of the alternative population with superheroes, quasi-horror, and Veronica Mars. Man, I miss that show. Anyway, the CW is adding yet another sci-fi show to its slate of upcoming pilots, and this one already has a fanbase coming with it. I think we can all agree on who CW is trying to win over now. Inner-city homeless people.
A few months back, we reported that the CW was working on an update of the cult British children’s series The Tomorrow People, and now the project has got the greenlight to film a pilot. The reboot will have Arrow‘s Greg Berlanti and The Vampire Diaries‘ Julie Plec as executive producers and co-creators. The duo, friends from their college days, tried for over a decade to acquire the Tomorrow People rights from the usually stingy FreeMantleMedia. The pilot is set to be written by Phil Klemmer, best known for episode work on Chuck and, yes, Veronica Mars.
The Tomorrow People are a group of children who form the next step in human evolution, coming into psychic and telekenetic powers in the late stages of adolescence. They run a secret lab as their headquarters, which also serves in finding others like them for recruitment. Their computer, TIM, who bears no malicious resemblance to HAL, is used for teleporting, or jaunting, which the characters do using a snazzy little belt. This was all in Roger Price’s original version, which ran for 68 episodes from 1973-79. The first reboot of the series ran for 25 episodes between 1992-95, and reinvented the wheel, with little resembling the first incarnation, replacing the Lab and TIM being by a psychic spaceship with zero personality.
The biggest concern here is from whence the source material will be drawn. (That was me trying to sound British, y’all.) The undercurrent of “different people afraid of looking different to everyone else” is a common trope in this genre, but it remains relevant in today’s society, so we’ll see how that goes. It is essentially a children’s show, after all, so it probably won’t go for the jugular like the BBC’s recent teens-with-powers drama Misfits, but with a strong enough central plot anchoring the concept, this series, The Hundred, and The Selection might get me watching CW in the fall. Let’s see if I’ll still be watching in the winter though.