The Tomorrow People (ITV)

The Tomorrow People (original ITV version) now available on Britbox

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The Tomorrow People, the much-loved ’70s classic ITV show has arrived on Britbox (as of the 12th November).

Originally broadcast from 1973 until 1979, it was revisited in the 1990s then remade for US TV for a single season broadcast 2013-14. Britbox is showing the first four seasons, which show creator Roger Price was in involved in (he grew tired of the show and left after four seasons). The Tomorrow People follows a group of teenagers who have evolved from Homo Sapiens(Homo Superior, and Roger Price is said to be the source for David Bowie’s use of the term in Oh You Pretty Things!) and possess various powers, including telepathy, telekineses and teleportation. To control teleportation, the tomorrow people wore special ‘jaunting’ belts allowing them to control where they travelled. The original series started with new tomorrow person Stephen (Peter Vaughan Clarke) ‘breaking out’ — the tomorrow people tended to gain their powers sometime in puberty. He was found by Jon (Nicholas Young) the leader of the group, and Carol (Sammie Winmill). They took him to their secret base in a disused underground station, and there he encountered TIM, a computer/ AI made from alien technology (the existence of Homo Superior meant participation in the Galactic Federation).

Budgets meant extensive use of basic effects, and the show is as remembered for outrageous costumes and set design (eg Peter Davison’s first TV appearance as the often shirtless space-cowboy Elmer in A Man For Emily)

When the show was remade for US television, many of the same ideas survived, and Nicholas Young even had a part, though not as John.

The Tomorrow People is a great piece of nostalgia, and behind the props and special effects there are some strong science fiction ideas at work (in places). If you’ll excuse us, we’re just off to dig out our flared jeans!