The Encyclopedia of TV Science Fiction The Tomorrow People
This 1970s children's adventure series introduced a new breed of youngster - Homo Superior. Described by creator/writer/director Roger Price as the next stage in human evolution, The Tomorrow People were completely telepathic, possessed telekinetic powers and had the ability to teleport themselves instantaneously from place to place - a process catchily known as 'jaunting'.

Form their secret base - called The Lab - off a disused tunnel of the London Underground, The Tomorrow People looked out for one another's emergence and dedicated their amazing powers to saving mankind and the world from diverse alien threats. In this they were aided by TIM, their talking biotronic computer, and various friend, including Ginge and Lefty, a pair of leather-jacketed motorcyclists.

As the opening story revealed, The Tomorrow People weren't always Homo Superior. They all began as plain Homo Sapiens (affectionately referred to as 'Saps') and the evolution into a Tomorrow Person was called 'breaking out'. You, too, the theory went, could be a latent Homo Superior.

Over the series' first eight seasons, Tomorrow People came and went, with departing stars explained away as representing Earth on the Galactic Trig, a kind of huge space complex staffed by super-intelligent beings from all over the Universe.

The group's leader, John, was the only member to last the series distance, though Elizabeth (played by black actress Elizabeth Adare) joined in Season Two and stayed to the end. The other longest-serving recruits were Stephen (four seasons) and Mike (five seasons), the latter being played by actor/singer Mike Holoway of the Flintlock pop group.

Produced by Thames Television to fill the vacuum left by Ace of Wands, The Tomorrow People was touted in the popular press as ITV's answer to Doctor Who, and though the series spanned six years, its weekday teatime slot meant it never gained the adult following of the Time Lord. Moreover, what had begun as an intelligent, innovative 'thinking kid's' series declined into increasingly humorous action.

The Tomorrow People was revived for the Nineties in 1992, with former Neighbours star Kristian Schmid in the lead role of Adam.

Taken from: The Encyclopedia of TV Science Fiction, by Roger Fulton, published by Boxtree in 1995.

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