Who are the Tomorrow People?  Well according to the 70’s ITV children’s programme of the same name they are the next stage of human evolution, they are 'normal' people who at some stage, usually puberty, 'break out' and develop an array of metapsychic abilities. All TPs are capable of communicating telepathically, manipulating things via telekinesis, psychic healing and teleportation (jaunting). They were not all powerful though as with these powers came an over-riding pacifistic nature and a total inability to kill or cause harm to other life forms.


They are based in a complex known as 'The Lab', located in an abandoned London Underground station. The Lab is also home to TIM, a highly advanced biotronic computer who is able to communicate telepathically too. Both The Lab and TIM were built by John, the first and oldest TP, with the help of Thymus of the Galactic Trig (sort of a UN in space). The Lab was wonderfully realised with TIM being composed of a set of four hemispheres on the ceiling and trailing looping conduits that pulsed with life and swirling colours (courtesy of, one assumes, one of those projectors that shine light through a rotating disc of swirling coloured oils). There were funky round tables which had illuminated white top surfaces, and an iconic image of the series is one of the TP’s sitting with their palms down on the table top, as though in a séance, with the only illumination coming from the table top itself. Later on as the series entered the 80s the Lab was redesigned and was now a much brighter environment, with TIM re-housed in a mobile table complete with lava lamps to simulate the swirling fluids of old. At the same time the iconic amplifier belts were replaced with fragile wrist bands. Rather than boost expectations it signalled the eventual downward spiral in quality.


The original series ran from the 70’s through to the 80’s and during that time many different TPs came and went. Sadly as the series entered the 80’s the quality of the stories went downhill. Whereas the original stories had been several weeks long and allowed a great deal of development (as well as running around a lot) the latter stories were reduced to 2 part tales with in some cases glove puppet aliens and jungles composed of superimposed maidenhair ferns.


It was almost a blessing when the series failed to be re-commissioned and quietly vanished from tea-time television screens.  However despite its latter weaknesses the show remained in the minds of a generation and it was a welcome surprise when it was announced during the 90’s that the series was being revived.


The new version of the show was glossy and boasted an all star cast. Rather than follow on from the previous continuity it acted as a brand new show. There was no John, instead the ‘senior’ TP was Adam, an Australian (poached from the cast of popular Ozzie soap ‘Neighbours’) surfer type, who demonstrated the inability of TPs to harm other life forms by showing a nasty scar he picked up when he teleported to the island and ended up in the mouth of a passing shark.


With a new base, new effects and a new cast the new series could have been a big success, but after only a couple of series, during which continuity seemed only a casual acquaintance, the show once more vanished from our screens.


With no return to TV the closest we had was a single series of ‘Powers’ on BBC1 in early 2004, which at least captured some of the wonder of the original, even if it did have nothing to do with the Tomorrow People. However salvation was just around the corner. Not only were the original series being released on DVD but a new series of audio plays was announced by Big Finish Productions.


Big Finish Productions first made a name for themselves by producing full cast audio plays based on the character of Professor Bernice Summerfield (see her pages on this site for more details), introduced into the Virgin Publishing series of original Doctor Who novels. BFP then moved on to produce licensed Doctor Who plays and then, to the joy of all TP fans, added the Tomorrow People to their range.


These new audio plays could easily be titled "The 'New' Original Tomorrow People" and are set in the present and where possible use original actors from the TV series. They are a return to the roots of the concept as John, the original TP as it were, has returned to Earth after spending time off world. He has reopened the Lab, dusted down TIM and recruited two new TPs, Elena and Paul. In the first story (The New Gods), TIM mentions that he had monitored some new TPs while John was away, but he was unable to make contact with them - he tried but they couldn't hear him. This is obviously meant as a reference to the 90's re-launch (perhaps the ship retuned their telepathy to another frequency - or maybe its 'TIM' was shielding them so that it would not lose them?) but could also be seen to refer to the Powers Project. In the audio plays, the Lab apparently looks much like it did originally (this is also mentioned by TIM) and the amplifier units are once more located on belts. Teleportation is once more referred to as jaunting, and is accompanied by the old TV sound effect, which in stereo comes across extremely well.

The excellent production qualities and stories from BFP are once more showing the Tomorrow People as a serious and exciting adventure series, and firmly lays the 90’s re-launch debacle to rest.



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TIM -  biotronlc computer that acts as mentor to the Tomorrow People of Earth. TIM contains both electronic and organic circuitry - hence 'biotronic' - and is a fixed part of The Lab's structure.  TIM is self aware and self programming, 'he' is able to communicate telepathically and is both able to boost a TP's abilities and direct their 'jaunts' via the amplifier belts they wear. TIM shares the voice of Thymus and his clones, sadly Philip Gilbert who played these roles originally has since passed on; his replacement in the BFP productions is Trevor Littledale.



Jaunting - the act of teleportation, literally disappearing from one place and reappearing somewhere else. All TPs can jaunt but as the process involves passing through hyperspace it can be dangerous without training or an amplifier belt. In the first season jaunting was accompanied by a distinctive sound effect and an aura of visible energy. From the second season on only the sound effect was used, a comment being made that they had learnt how to suppress the visual part. In the '90s re-launch, jaunting was only referred to as teleporting and was accompanied by a lightning like electrical arcing. With Big Finish the original sound was reinstated with great effect when heard in stereo.



Amplifier belt - All TPs wear a belt which is linked to TIM and allows 'him' to boost the power available to the TP and also allow them to jaunt much further and with greater accuracy. In later series the belt was replaced by an amplifier band worn on the wrist  (perhaps inspired by the teleport bracelets on Blake's 7 which was now being broadcast on BBC1) though BFP have reinstated the iconic belts-not that you can see them in an audio drama! The '90s TPs did without such devices.



The '90s re-launch - In the 90’s the concept of the Tomorrow People was re-launched by Tetra Films, but with major differences. Firstly there was no attempt to retain continuity with the original series and there was no TIM. Now the TPs were based in an abandoned space craft which had crashed on some tropical beach (although apparently shot in the UK during the winter so ‘wet’ scenes were probably not much fun). This was realised by a set that included something that was possibly meant to be a ‘TIM’ but communicated in 'groans' and 'murmurs' rather than actual speech.


The ship was supposedly mostly underground and under water, an illusion maintained by the floors being on a slope and view ports looking into tanks of water. The teleport effect was accompanied with much crackling and a discharge of electrical energy. In the first story a young pre-pubescent boy, Kevin, is being bullied and finds himself teleporting in times of stress. It seems that the ship acts as a beacon so that each time a person teleports they are drawn to the ship (unfortunately they tend to materialise above it and then drop into deep water), as they gain experience they are able to override this homing instinct and teleport where they want. These new TPs did not require the use of an amplifier unit, but otherwise duplicated most of the attributes of the original series. While the re-launch was a brave attempt to revive the series and written by the series creator (Roger Damon Price), it was perhaps too different to the original and also dogged by some fairly infantile (yes I know it was a children’s programme, but there are limits) moments of light relief which then jarred with the more surreal images and tended to confuse the progression of the story. A much better successor would have been ‘Powers.’



Powers - Not really a development on ‘The Tomorrow People’, but with enough similarities to suggest that the writer was a fan. Shown on BBC1 and CBBC in early 2004 the programme concerned the Powers Project headed by professor Powers, who along with his assistant Mary were investigating psychic abilities in teens. Mary had once possessed these abilities but it seems that as you get older the powers would fade. The initial subject of the project was football mad Mark, who possessed both telepathy and telekinesis. Mark was in the care of the project while his parents 'travelled'. In the first story, the project was called in to investigate the haunting of a hotel, where they met Song Li, a girl who, like Mark, possessed telepathy, telekinesis and psychometric talents. Song Li's telekinetic faculty was less developed than Mark's and her telepathy was more in tune with emotional responses than thoughts, so complimented Mark's talents quite well, on those occasions when Mark’s jealousy didn’t get in the way. Although each episode was its own story, and these ranged from time travel, aliens, alternate worlds, rogue androids and twisted futures, the principle was similar to the Tomorrow People of old and would make a satisfactory standard bearer - if not for BFP. There seem to be few sites that mention “Powers” however there is an episode guide available at Action-TV. IMHO it is a pity that no second series has been made.