Vicki Briganti – CW50 Writer / Producer / Editor

Remember “West Side Story?” It was Jets vs. Sharks. Then in “Grease,” it was T-Birds vs. Scorpions. Now it’s 2013 and we have a new supernatural rivalry: The Tomorrow People vs. Ultra…except it’s not the same because neither group is singing or dancing. You won’t be seeing a Broadway version anytime soon.

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What the new CW series “The Tomorrow People” lacks by way of a cool, iconic soundtrack, it makes up for with intense stage combat scenes and special effects. The timeless themes of teenage angst, being different, and trying to fit in are the main course, served with a side of superpowers, hold the romance.

Stephen is an atypical high school student who takes meds for his perceived psychiatric problems, which include sleepwalking, voices in his head, and unusual visions. But the drugs aren’t working. His therapist isn’t helping. He feels like he’s going crazy and would benefit from a lobotomy. My advice? Don’t give him a gun.

When he meets Cara – she’s the voice in his head – he realizes maybe he isn’t crazy because she’s a real person…except she isn’t a “real” person, at least not a homo sapien. She’s a Tomorrow Person, otherwise known as homo superior. She warns him that he’s in danger. Why? Well, he doesn’t realize it yet, but he’s also a homo superior Tomorrow Person.

Yeah, I know. It gets confusing. Things were simpler when the stars of the show were humans without special powers, when Tony loved Maria and Danny raced Grease Lightning at Thunder Road. I guess it’s a sign of the times; life is more complicated for today’s teens. They don’t have time for drive-ins or dance-offs. They’re saddled with telepathy, telekinesis, and teleporting skills.



The Containment Program

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The Tomorrow People are at risk of being neutralized by a shadow war with paramilitary scientists called Ultra. Those agents are unable to kill, but when they abduct a Tomorrow Person, the captured can no longer be tracked or in communication. Unless, of course, it’s Stephen. He’s just learning to control his powers. He has “serious next-level skills,” including the ability to stop time. However, he doesn’t care about any of this drama. He just wants to find his dad and go back to school.

Alas, this is not to be. Stephen winds up in Dr. Jedikiah Price’s compound. Jedikiah is described as a sadistic, evolutionary biologist with ties to Stephen’s father. The doctor thinks the Tomorrow People are using their powers for evil. They’re infesting the world with unpredictable, uncontrollable crime and need to be eradicated. He wants Stephen to work for him, against his own species of Tomorrow People.

Such a teen conundrum. What should Stephen do? Stay with the rebel runaways he met two days ago? Or become an inside agent at Ultra (with the ability to spy and infiltrate their operations)? Like they say, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

I suspect we’ll be introduced to many more genetic mutations lying dormant in other adolescents, ready to break out and join the Tomorrow People in their abandoned subway station, living like rats one hundred feet below the streets of Manhattan. Dark, somber, and serious business, indeed.

We’ve come a long way from wearing our letter jackets while sipping malts with our pals at the local diner, eh?

“The Tomorrow People” airs Wednesdays at 9:00pm on CW50, with its series premiere on Wednesday, October 9th at 9:00pm.

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