The Tomorrow People was originally a British children’s science fiction television series created by Roger Price in 1973 and which ran for an impressive eight seasons. I was exactly the right age for it for a time and remember being a regular viewer, sitting there wishing that I too would one day ‘break out’ and become a Tomorrow Person with newly evolved skills of telepathy, telekinesis and teleportation. It really was my generation’s wish-fulfilment equivalent to wanting to be a wizard and go to Hogwarts with Harry Potter.
There was a short-lived reboot of the show in the 1990s that never really took off, but the 20-year cycle has come around again and this time it is Warner Bros who have picked up the basic concept and adapted it into a new show aimed at teenagers for US network The CW and which has also been picked up in the UK by E4. The latest version retains a surprising amount of the original show’s core material, from the basic abilities and backstory of homo sapiens giving way to ‘homo superior’ even down to the central hero of the piece being named Steven Jameson (solidly if unspectacularly played by Robbie Amell, cousin of Arrow star Stephen Amell.) The heroes still have their base in a disused subway station; their useful supercomputer is still called TIM (and is voiced by an uncredited Dan Stephens, which makes up somewhat for the fact that TIM now looks like a very ordinary ceiling-mounted cinema projector); the leader of the group is still John (Luke Mitchell from Home and Away); and their first season adversary continues to go by the name of Jedikiah (the ubiquitous Mark Pellegrino) although he’s a very different character to his 1973 counterpart. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s taken over two years for the US version of Being Human to get picked up for an airing in the UK – perhaps there was a moratorium on the North American version being sold back to Britain while the original was still in production? With the UK series coming to an end after five seasons, however, it seems we’re finally okay to see what they did with the concept on the other side of the Atlantic.
I was initially dubious about watching this, given that I really loved the early seasons of Being Human with the original cast and wasn’t sure I could be objective about a show that is ‘the same but entirely different’ – it was hard enough to manage that between the original Danish Forbrydelsen and the subsequent US remake entitled The Killing. Everything that’s the same grates, because of course the original did it better; and everything that’s different leads to mounting irritation of the ‘why did they have to muck around with that?’ variety.
Both shows revolve around the concept of a ‘supernatural unholy trinity’ of a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost sharing the same ordinary suburban house, devised by Toby Whithouse. In the UK version the characters were Mitchell, George and Annie and they lived in Bristol; in the US version it’s Aidan, Josh and Sally and the location is Boston, although the show is actually shot in Montréal, Québec. Of course it would be grossly unfair to directly compare the shows character for character – so that’s precisely what I’ll do, because it’s pretty much unavoidable. Read the rest of this entry »