Created by Roger Price and Phil Klemmer, The Tomorrow People centers around Stephen Jameson (the adorable Robbie Amell), a high school student who’s been having some unusual problems. He wakes up in strangers’ beds. He hears voices in his head. His medications aren’t helping, and his worn out single mom Marla (Sarah Clarke) looks like she’s about to crack at any second. Stephen is bullied at school and has lost most of his friends, except for girlfriend Astrid (Madeleine Mantock), who’s starting to have doubts about him as well.
The female voice in Stephen’s head belongs to Cara Coburn (the gorgeous Peyton List), who belongs to a group of “homo-superiors” who dub themselves the Tomorrow People. Before I watched the show, I thought they would be time travelers, a subject I’ve seen explored in Syfy’s Continuum, but this race of people have genes that give them the powers of telepathy, teleporting, and telekinesis. The government knows they exist, and each one that gets captured becomes an Ultra agent, forced to hunt down and neutralize their own kind. I say “neutralize” because Tomorrow People are physically incapable of killing anyone else.
Stephen is of particular interest because his father, who left when Stephen was a young child, was the leader of the Tomorrow People until he disappeared. Stephen’s budding talents are even stronger than expected; he can slow down time and is able to escape from Ultra headquarters with his new friends, even though the building is designed to block their powers. He is frustrated, however, by all the new information being thrown at him, and by the fact that Astrid doesn’t believe him when he confides in her. In one scene, he tries to levitate a basketball as proof of his abilities…which made me giggle because all I could think was, “Uuuuuuse the fooooorrrrce, Luke. Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” And still he couldn’t lift the damn basketball.
As if all this weren’t enough, Stephen gets a video message left for him by his dad, Jack (Jeffrey Pierce), and the head of Ultra, geneticist Jedikiah Price (the creepy Mark Pellegrino) turns out to be Stephen’s uncle. Not sure where he should go from here, Stephen goes to Jedikiah and joins him…but I have a feeling he’s doing it just to get on the inside and help out his new batch of friends.
Final review: This is clearly not a show that expects to be taken seriously. Is it a science fiction drama? Yes, but right now, it’s more like an action movie than a deep, dark exploration of the ethics of genocide. As Jedikiah (ugh…I hate that name…someone seriously named their kid Jedikiah?) points out, some of the Tomorrow People are using their powers for evil purposes, and he feels the need to stop them with Stephen’s help, but the special effects (which are hardly impressive) seem to be the star here. One funny scene has Stephen replacing his usual pills with laxatives, which are then stolen by the school bully. “Good luck with the diarrhea,” Stephen mutters. There’s enough to keep watching, at least for a second episode, but the idea of Tomorrow People is far-fetched. This is more escapist entertainment than anything else.
Den of Geek Rating: 2 Out of 5 Stars