The Tomorrow People review: We'll give it a chance
The Tomorrow People premiere had us initially skeptical at the run-of-the-mill premise. Until the end took us in a totally different direction. The show managed to get our attention, but can it hold it?
Tonight's premiere of The Tomorrow People made us feel the uncertainty of the future, especially when it comes to the show. The end was a nice twist, which could prove for an interesting storyline. Possibly. We aren't ready to give up on the show just yet, but the next couple of episodes really need to hook us to get us through the rest of the season.
The basic sci-fi storyline
- Stephen discovers he's not insane, but a genetically advanced human being.
- The Tomorrow People, led by Cara and John, introduce Stephen to the potential of his abilities.
- Stephen is kidnapped by Ultra, a government agency that wants The Tomorrow People exterminated.
- Ultra is led by Stephen's uncle, Jedikiah.
- Stephen decides to join Ultra and discovers the truth about who he is and what happened to his father.
Stephen is an awkward misfit (who's also the most attractive person at the school plus a total sweetheart, which only his BFF Astrid seems to recognize). OK, so he's more than just awkward — he's been diagnosed as insane.
We quickly discover, lo and behold, he's not insane. He's genetically advanced. A group called The Tomorrow People finds him and clues him in to his superhuman abilities, or the 3 Ts: teleportation, telepathy and telekinesis.
At this point, we're all thinking back to X-Men, of course. Been there, done that.
The Tomorrow People tell Stephen they need his help. They're hoping Stephen will be as great as his father, who led The Tomorrow People until he mysteriously vanished. Stephen previously thought his father was a deadbeat who abandoned his family.
Then Stephen is taken by the government agency called Ultra that is working to exterminate The Tomorrow People. Surprisingly, they also want Stephen to join them, calling The Tomorrow People terrorists.
The unexpected finale
Turns out, Jedikiah, the leader of Ultra, is Stephen's uncle, and Stephen agrees to work for him. Not necessarily because he thinks Jedikiah is the good guy but because he wants the truth.
Here's where things get interesting. It's a little bit like Nikita, a lot less like The Vampire Diaries. It seems we won't discover the real good guy or bad guy. Of course, Stephen will probably eventually align himself with The Tomorrow People over Ultra. It's going to take him a while to accept his place as a non-human. But it's unique that the battle between good and evil isn't so black and white.
Here are the high points:
- In the end, Stephen makes an unexpected decision, which could lead to a unique sci-fi perspective.
- Teleportation fights are pretty awesome. (The show didn't slack in the special effects department.)
- Robbie Amell, who plays Stephen, manages to pull off that awkward but attractive quality better than we expected.
- You gotta love Jacob from Lost (aka actor Mark Pellegrino, who plays Jedikiah).
And the lows:
- The dialogue is a bit old-fashioned and campy, especially from the AI program named TIM.
- The "nerd-turned hot by unnatural abilities" thing is already overdone.
- We need more of an explanation of The Tomorrow People's inability to kill because right now it just doesn't make sense. What if they accidentally kill someone when they're fighting? Or will the buzzer sound in their heads if they get too close? Where's the line in acceptably hurting someone?
In the sneak peek for next week's episode, it looks like Season 1 will take us on Ultra's hunt for The Tomorrow People, while Stephen hunts for the truth about his father. Each week, there will be a person with abilities Ultra will track as Stephen discovers his place in all of it.
So it was a little campy, but some light sci-fi never did anyone any harm. We'll give the show a chance and tune in next week. Will you be watching too?