The Tomorrow People in The Visitor

by Roger Price and Julian R Gregory

© 1973 Roger Price
"We want to take over the Earth, but at the right time and in the right way. We don't want to do it over the Saps' dead bodies."
-Stephen Jamison in The Visitor

The Visitor is one of five original series TP novelisations, and is not based directly on a story from the series. There is a TP episode called The Visitor (part of Into The Unknown or A Much Needed Holiday I think) but this story is unconnected. Chronologically it takes place in the first season of The Tomorrow People (1973) and, I would say between the events of The Slaves of Jedikiah and The Medusa Strain. My reasons for believing this are:

  1. Stephen has already broken out, which places it after The Slaves of Jedikiah.
  2. There is a reference in the novel to Ginge and Lefty having been taken prisoner by Jedikiah, but none to Carol having been a prisoner. This seems to place it before The Medusa Strain.
The only thing in the book that seems to contradict this timeline is a reference to Stephen having been a TP for over a year. If this was the case, however, I think Carol and Kenny would have gone, and Elizabeth would have arrived. For ease of reference, and to resolve the inconsistencies, I feel that the above dating is the best I can do. If you think I'm wrong let me know. It has been 4 years since I saw any Tomorrow People episodes and even longer since I saw most of them. For that matter, if you think I'm right, let me know.

Basic Plot (spoiler warning!)

Without giving too much away to anyone who might manage to find a copy and read it, the plot is loosely as follows. An alien spacecraft crashlands in Scotland. The four original TP (John, Carol, Kenny and Stephen) head north to investigate. By the time they find the craft, the Saps already have it - and its occupant, an alien child named Arlon.

The TP must rescue Arlon from the authorities, not only for his own safety but for that of the entire Earth. Arlons people, the Critons want him back and will if necessary kill all mankind to achieve this aim. They give the Tomorrow People 12 hours to rescue Arlon.

What Is The Book Like?

When you consider what it is, it's quite good. It's a kids SF story, nothing more or less. It is fairly true to the Tomorrow People in general (after all Roger Price co-wrote it), but seems just a bit too formulaic to be a great SF story in its own right. Any fan of the old TP should read it (if they can get hold of a copy) because it is, after all, a missing story, that was never on television.

Like all the original TP books, this one is virtually unobtainable. (I know I'm looking for all of them). In 1976 when my copy was published, it retailed for 40p in the UK and $1.25 in Australia. You'd expect to pay a lot more than that now, but you can be lucky. My copy cost me 60 cents last year at 'Mr Browsers Paperback Exchange'.

This review © 1996 Shaun Hately, but pleasse feel free to link to it, or copy it.
Thanks to Beth Epstein
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