The Lab (1972?-1977)

The pre-The Lost Gods Lab

Among Tomorrow People devotees, there is a tendency to talk about the Lab of the 1970's series in terms of 'the old Lab' (of Slaves of Jedikiah to The Heart of Sogguth) and 'the new Lab' (of The Lost Gods to The War of the Empires). This page concerns the old Lab - that occupied by the Tomorrow People from before the start of the series until the end of the fifth season.

 Unlike the post Lost Gods Lab, the original Tomorrow People's Lab changed and evolved over time. The Lab seen in The Heart of Sogguth contains small but significant differences from the Lab we see in The Slaves of Jedikiah although it is obviously still the same building. It is my opinion that there were three phases of the original Lab's development, and this page will attempt to examine them all.

 First of all, let us examine what we know of the Lab's history. We do not know the precise date that the Tomorrow People established the Lab, but personally I lean towards the year 1972 for a number of reasons.

  1. In The Slaves of Jedikiah, TIM suggests that the site of the Lab was discovered by Kenny, who lives just around the corner from it's location.
  2. According to the Tomorrow People novel, The Visitor Kenny broke out about one year before Stephen did and we know that Stephen broke out in 1973, placing Kenny's breakout in 1972.
  3. The Lab seems well established by the time of The Slaves of Jedikiah suggesting to me it has been around a reasonable length of time.
The precise location of the Lab is not known. We do know that it is located in a disused station of the London Underground, but it is difficult to be more precise than that. For an attempt to determine a possible location for the Lab, please go to my article on that subject but bear in mind it is only conjecture.
 

The Lab (1972?-1973)

 
The first scene showing the Lab in The Slaves of Jedikiah

We first see the Lab in The Slaves of Jedikiah and the map above indicates a plan of the Lab from that first viewing until The Vanishing Earth.
 

The centre of the Lab looking towards the left hand walls showing the sunken central area clearly.

The Lab is basically a square in shape centered around a sunken circular section. It is rather poorly lit, and very sombre in colour although in the first season, mostly greys, blacks and, at the start at least, a bit of red.
 

The Link Table

This sunken area contains two tables. One of these serves as the Link Table, around which the Tomorrow People can gather to join their hands on its surface given them physical contact with TIM and with each other, enhancing their telepathic abilities. The other table is more mundane and is used for such basic tasks as eating although TIM does have the ability to apparently create food and other objects on its surface as well as analysing the objects placed there.
 

The Jaunting Pad

At the main apex of the Lab is the Tomorrow People's doorway to the world - the jaunting pad. This is the most common entrance and exit to the Lab for Homo superior although a regular door does exist and is occasionally used by the Tomorrow People, and also by the few saps who know of the Lab's existence.
 

The Door to the Outside World As Seen in 1973

This door leads out onto the disused London Underground station in which the Lab was built.


The Stairs to the Outside World

Once outside the doors, it is a simple matter to travel to the streets above by means of the old stairway allowing passenger access to the London Underground.


The Street Entrance

Those stairs take us to the most mundane way of entering the Lab - a gate opening directly onto a London street.
 

The Stairs Up

There are sections of the Lab we never see. The most prominent of these is the upstairs section of the Lab accessed by the stairs to the right of the jaunting pad. This area seems to have storage facilities for the Tomorrow People's AE suits as well as changing rooms, and washing facilities (Stephen is seen coming from this area with a towel in The Vanishing Earth
 

The Dark Room

Further to the right of the stairs we have a photographic dark room. TIM has a presence in here, as well as in the Lab proper, and has the ability to control the opening and closing of the door to the dark room.
 

The Bed

In one corner of the Lab is a bed that can be made to slide out of the wall by pressing a button. This represents the sole sleeping environment of this original Lab suggesting that there was no intention at this time of anyone living in the Lab for any long periods of time.
 

TIM

The Lab is dominated by the biotronic computer TIM assembled by John and initiated by the Galactic Federation. TIM is a biological computer capable of original thought, and in this Lab is incapable of mobility. He? hangs from the centre of the roof of the Lab over the sunken central area, although he? has tubes full of biological fluids travelling around to other corners of the main room, and at least one smaller communications unit located in the dark room.
 

TIM's Switch

TIM cannot be turned off - he never stops thinking - but the power to his speech and communications circuitry can be. This is done by the use of a switch located in a metallic pillar near the entrance to the dark room.

 

The Sliding View Screen

A sliding screen onto which video images and maps can be projected is seen in The Slaves of Jedikiah. This exists in addition to the Video Screen located on the left hand side of the Lab.
 

The Lab (1974)

By the time of The Blue and the Green minor changes have been made to the Lab. First of all, the decor has changed - the colour red has been largely eliminated from the Lab leaving us with mostly greys and black.
 

The Video Screen

The Video Screen was first seen in 1973, and it survived virtually unchanged until the Lab was abandoned in 1977. It is located a little to the right of the jaunting pad and it serves as a way the Tomorrow People can review data, satellite pictures, and even film footage.
 

The Door to the Outside World as seen in 1974

Some remodelling has occurred in the area nearest the exit/entrance door to the Lab. The door is now located in an alcove increasing the amount of floor space in the Lab slightly, and the door itself is of a different design to the original door.
 

The Bed Room

The bed area has also been remodelled. The bed is now fixed in space and has its own small alcove devoted to it. Some decoration has also been done on this area making it a far more comfortable environment in which to sleep or even to stay for a slightly longer period.
 

The Lab (1975-1977)

The third change to the layout of the Lab appears to have taken place at the time of Secret Weapon. The changes at this time are less significant than those that occurred in 1974.
 

The Computer

Between the bed area and the video screen, we now have a computer, presumably one that is intended as an adjunct to TIM - perhaps to free him? from the trivial matters of minor arithmetical calculations and the like. While sophisticated in appearance, this looks to be fairly typical of a commercial computer of the era, and I would suggest that that is precisely what it is - probably extensively modified, but at it's heart, a fairly standard system.
 

The Mysterious Double Doors (to the right of Timus)

We also get a clear view of a set of double doors between the jaunting pad and the video screen - these doors appear to have existed in the Lab since it was first seen in The Slaves of Jedikiah but we never get to see what exists behind them making this the second section of the Lab we know to exist, but never see. What is behind those doors is open to conjecture but my personal guess is that it leads to the toilet facilities for the Tomorrow People - after all, they may be Homo superior but they are still human.
 

The Couch

This couch, consisting of two seats, is built into the Lab near the video screen and jaunting pad and was there right from the time we first saw the Lab. It often serves merely as a normal couch but does appear to have other uses. One of these is that is forms part of the re-education device used by the Tomorrow People in The Doomsday Men and a set of sophisticated controls are built into the centre section of the couch. But there also appears to be a storage unit (and perhaps a charging unit as well) for the Tomorrow People's stun guns either next to, or built into the right hand side of the couch near the jaunting pad.
 

TIM's Switch

By the time of The Revenge of Jedikiah the switch used to deny power to TIM's communication abilities has been moved from the metallic pillar it occupied to begin with to a location just near the entrance/exit door of the Lab.

 In essence, this page has described what I consider to be all the significant features of the Tomorrow People's original secret headquarters. I do not claim that these plans are totally accurate and some of it is based on supposition, but it does seem a reasonable depiction to me. If you have any comments or any corrections please e-mail me.

 The New Lab Page


 Back to The Lab