The Tomorrow People debuts on The CW on October 9. The reboot of a beloved British show, it already has a couple things going for it, such as its gorgeous cast, including Robbie Amell (cousin of Arrow’s Stephen Amell), Mark Pellegrino, and Peyton List.
Wetpaint Entertainment spoke with creator Phil Klemmer at the Tomorrow People PaleyFest preview on September 7 and asked him how the CW’s version will stack up against the ‘70s original.
Check out our chat below, then hit the comments to let us know if you’re intrigued and want to check out this new show!
Wetpaint Entertainment: How closely will your version of The Tomorrow People follow its British counterpart?
Phil Klemmer: I mean the original was in ’72, it was primarily for kids. It was British; it was such a different age. I mean for us, it’s less about reproducing the original as trying to reproduce the experience for people watching it today, to just touch their imaginations and obviously we’re trying to appeal to a whole other audience. But I feel like the themes from the original are still completely valid and the need for connection and the telepathy, to me that’s … it’s about adolescence where you’re overwhelmed with powers but you don’t know how to use them and you f**k up and they come out all sideways. For me, it’s a coming of age story that just happens to be about a kid with super powers.
Is there an episode that you’ve shot so far that you’re especially excited about, and if so, why?
Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah! Episode 103, so the third in the series — not that I hate the pilot, not that I hate the second one. Maybe it’s just the one that I’ve seen most recently, but it’s just it’s great to see a show come into its own so soon because normally the first few episodes after the pilot are just trying to, you’ve come to a standstill and you’re trying to build up all that momentum again. It just never lost the momentum, which is incredible — it’s just rolled straight on through.
Talk a little bit about the villain in Mark Pellegrino’s character, Jedikiah.
Ugh, he’s not a villain! He’s my favorite character!
Oh come on! He’s villain-ish!
Yeah, he’s misguided; he’s a zealot. The thing I love about him is that he makes sense, he’s awful and brutal and cruel, but he’s very intelligent and everything that he does, he’s got the impeccable logic to back it up. So that makes him really scary to me because people who are unpredictable are psychopaths, but people who have rational are like despites and, you know, demigods, and people who start wars and that’s what I like about him. He’s so elegant and so cold-blooded, he’s just a joy to write. And every scene I watch of his, you’re just like, “Oh my god. I could watch like 40 minutes of you just being evil.”
What are some of the obstacles Stephen is going to have to overcome this first season?
Well, I mean, he’s kind of a kid who has gone from having nothing in his life to being on the verge of mental collapse; [gone from] not having a friend in his life to having two species tugging at him, telling him that he’s the chosen one, that they need his powers, that his father might still be alive, that he might be this heir, that he might take them to some sort of promised land. He needs to save The Tomorrow People, he needs to hunt The Tomorrow People, he needs to help his family. It’s just like he’s gone from his life being a desert to his life being a thousand balls that he’s trying to juggle at once. It’s like growing up: At the end of childhood, you have to choose your road in life, and that’s heavy.
What about a possible love interest for him?
Yes. There are possible love interests and there are actual love interests.
Do you dive into that rather quickly, or is it a slow build?
We do — you won’t have to wait more than a handful of episodes to see him come out of his shell. He’s sort of been in social hibernation due to his mental problems and you know he’s a good-looking, strapping young man and he’s got the ability to tell what a woman’s thinking. He can take her to the top of the Empire State Building if he wants, so he’s got a pretty good arsenal of romantic tools in his toolbox, which we will see him use and fail at because he is an adolescent.