Genetically enhanced humans vs. the government. It's one of the oldest sci-fi clichés in the book. But The CW's Tomorrow People, a reboot of the '70s cult classic, never feels dated. There are definite retro nods — such as their A.I. computer sidekick, TiM — but it has enough twists (and sexy, implausibly high school characters) to fit in perfectly alongside other CW teen fare.
The actual Tomorrow People are a group of very attractive, lippy young adults who are blessed -- or cursed, depending on whose side you're on — with superpowers. Without anyone to tell him differently, Stephen (Robbie Amell) understandably begins to think he's gone crazy when he hears a voice in his head and begins waking up in his neighbor's bed.
But as it turns out, the voice in his head is not only real, but smokin' hot. Stephen takes a leap of faith and follows the voice, which he learns belongs to fellow Tomorrow Person Cara (Peyton List), to the group's lair. There, Stephen is told that unless he joins up with their klepto, homo-superior squad of super-humans, he's in grave danger. A secret government agency, Ultra, has made it their mission to hunt down the Tomorrow People and neutralize them. That is, unless they decide to make you their agent and force you to turn on your own kind — something of which Cara's boyfriend John (Luke Mitchell) understands the dangers all too well.
But while the Tomorrow People paint Ultra as the ultimate big bad, its leader Jedikiah (Mark Pellegrino) tells a different story. The evolutionary biologist truly believes he's doing what's best for humanity, even if that means a few casualties along the way. "When one has to fight for the entire human race, one has to do dirty things and you can't be squeamish ... but we'll start peeling back the layers and see the personal motivations behind the fanaticism about taking care of this other species of folk," Pellegrino told TVGuide.com.
While Stephen initially buys into the Tomorrow People's anti-Ultra doctrine, his trust in the group grows complicated when he learns the truth about his heritage. Abandoned by his father at a young age, Stephen is shocked to learn his "deadbeat dad" had actually been the Tomorrow People's leader and imagined savior. Add to that the discovery that Jedikiah is his uncle, and poor Stephen is more confused about what is right than about becoming a real-life X-Men.
"You see me stumble through using my powers ... but I'm also struggling through not knowing who's right, who's wrong, who I can trust, because Jedikiah's character makes such strong points," Amell explained. "And on the Tomorrow People side of things, people are convincing me that all he wants to do is kill us. Some things come to light where that's true and other times I see where they can be completely wrong."
Finally among people that understand him but with the truth about his family at his fingertips, Stephen will be torn between the two worlds. This moral gray zone is The Tomorrow People's greatest strength, giving the series that added mystery it needs to keep up with CW's other genre shows, Arrow and Supernatural. So while The Tomorrow People isn't groundbreaking sci-fi, it's a fun romp with quality CGI that won't make you groan each time someone uses one of the three Ts (teleportation, telekinesis, telepathy).
The Tomorrow People premieres Wednesday at 9/8c on The CW.
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