The Tomorrow People in Four Into Three

by Roger Price

© 1975 Roger Price
Four into Three contains three original Tomorrow People stories, which involve four Tomorrow People (John, Liz, Stephen and Tyso). The stories presumedly take place during season three prior to the events of The Revenge of Jedikiah.

I will handle each story individually and will keep spoilers to a minimum.

The Invasion of Earth

"It has nothing to do with cowardice, Raa. It is the way we are. It is an instinct with us. I would sooner die than take another creature's life."
-John

The Tomorrow People must find a way to stop the reptillian Kraatan from invading and conquering the Earth. They must find a way that does not involve the killing of the Kraatan, and does not reveal their own inability to kill. Even if it costs them their lives.

Time Waits . . .

"There are two kids stuck in space because of what you've done! And we've no way of getting them back. They're going to die because of you!"
-Elizabeth

When a boy claiming to be an alien prince arrives on Earth saying he is fleeing from a revolution on his own planet, the Tomorrow People want to help him. But what do you do when the supposed leaders of the revolution claim the boy is nothing but a common criminal?

A Much Needed Holiday

"Oh yes, nobody was denying that. But you know what civil servants are, whether in Whitehall or the Galactic Trig. They want everything to be done by the book and through the proper channels. Timus, apparently is a bit of a Freebooter, and not very popular with the committee men because of it. If he sees something he thinks needs doing he tends to act first and hold meetings about it afterwards."
-Stephen

This story is very similar (almost identical in fact) to the serial that later aired under the same title. The primary difference is that it involves John, Liz, Tyso, and Stephen as opposed to John, Liz, and Mike. In my opinion, the differences in it improve on the story as we get more insight into what the Tomorrow People are thinking. But it does pose serious problems in terms of continuity, and should therefore be consigned to an alternative universe.

Is The Book Worthwhile?

Definitely. These stories are uniformly good quality, and also contain a lot of little touches that are very welcome. Humour is one such touch - Time Waits . . . especially is very good in that sense. And like all of Roger Price's Tomorrow People novels, in general we get more insight into the Tomorrow People from the books than is easily possible in a TV series.

Like all the original TP books, this one is virtually unobtainable - I got a copy through the generosity of a member of TPDIS. At the time of publication, it retailed for 40p in the UK and $1.15 in Australia, but obviously you'd expect to pay more today.

This review © 1998 Shaun Hately, but please feel free to link to it, or copy it.
Thanks to Warren Hillsdon
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