Pilot Review: The Tomorrow People (★★½)

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The-Tomorrow-People-Season-1-Poster-2Being a sci-fi enthusiast, I was very excited to check this show out. ‘The Tomorrow People‘ is a science fiction urban fantasy about Stephen Jameson coming to terms with being a part of the next step in human evolution. Created by Phil Klemmer (‘Political Animals‘, ‘Golden Boy‘), this series is featured on the CW. Like so many of the shows in America today, this show is a remake a British show that aired from 1973-1979, featuring Nicholas Young, Philip Gilbert, and Elizabeth Adare. The American version is set in Brooklyn.

The pilot is simple and quite an easy watch. With exciting music, sound effects, and great visual effects, it should be interesting to see how the show develops and grows with each episode. Despite some stiff acting and cheesy lines, the life of Stephen is clearly established and his situation is laid out for all to see. Though weak and too overdone so as to pull the audience out of the moment, all the elements of a pilot were, for the most part, there. In short, the pilot was not impressive and the pace of the story, also, nothing special. This show, however, can potentially be the best of its genre for its target audience group.

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As if it weren’t obvious enough, the CW likes stacking shows with pretty people, knowing not everyone is looking for good acting. The prime example is the lead of this show, Robbie Amell, who plays Stephen Jameson, the chosen one who has to learn to control his abilities and accept himself for who he is. This character is a parallel of Wesley (James McAvoy) in ‘Wanted‘ (2008), David Rice (Hayden Christensen) in ‘Jumper‘ (2008) and Neo (Keanu Reeves) in ‘The Matrix‘ (1999) series. Not as comfortable in his role, Amell is too rigid and stale for what Stephen ought to be like in that confusion, but he looks good. Astrid, played by Madeleine Mantock, has a desire to be closer to Stephen and yet cannot break through the friendship barrier into the romantic relationship. A bit out of place feeling but also comforting, Mantock is easy with her lines and body language, which helps with the establishment of the relationship she has with Stephen. Cara, who is played by Peyton List, can be paralleled with Trinity (Lana Wachowski) in ‘The Matrix‘ series. Strong and intimidating, List falls just short of where her character ought to be and seems to be more of a brat than necessary. And finally, John Young, played by Luke Mitchell, is the leader of The Tomorrow People who is the physical force behind keeping his team alive and safe against Ultra, the organization created to bring them down, led by Dr. Jedikiah Price (Mark Pellegrino). Both Mitchell and Pellegrino feel comfortable in the acting and physical demands of their roles. Both feel naturally at ease in the game of cat and mouse; i.e; Morpheus vs. Agent Smith.

‘The Tomorrow People’ is an interesting show that stands in the shadows of many movies. It will be hard for this show to pull any surprises that would hook an older audience, but the visual effects are done well and the next episode might just be enough to hook viewers to the story of the show and not just the pretty people. I suppose only time will tell.