This article marks the beginning of a new feature for the Film & TV section and Quench as a whole; here is the first article in the “Episode Review” feature. In the coming weeks and months Quench will be brining you episode by episode reviews of many popular shows (from The Tomorrow People, to Arrow, to Boardwalk Empire) and hopefully there will be many more shows to come. We hope this will keep you more informed and up-to-date with everything TV because what matters is you, the reader. Sound off in the comments section below to let us know what you think of this new feature and let us know what shows you would like to see covered episodically.
The Tomorrow People is a remake of a British show from the 70’s about teenagers who develop super powers (specifically the three Ts; Teleportation, Telepathy and Telekinesis) fighting against a powerful organization that wants them contained. The pilot is an interesting, if derivative, hour that uses its nifty special effects judiciously and moves fast to get the story going.
Robbie Amell (cousin of Arrow star Stephen Amell) stars as Stephen Jameson, a Brooklyn teenager living with his mum and younger brother, who has hit some hard times. He’s disliked at school, he’s hearing a woman’s voice in his head and his sleepwalking has become enough of a problem that the neighbors are now threatening to call the cops. Stephen’s mum takes on extra shifts to pay the mounting bills for all his doctors who believe he is developing schizophrenia as his dad who abandoned them years ago, but he still has some fond flashbacks of Dad doing slight-of-hand magic tricks for him as a kid.
Stephen soon finds himself dropped into a world where there is a war going on that he never knew existed and he’s being heavily sought by both sides. The superpowered contingent is called “The Tomorrow People” and their enemy is a shady, powerful group called Ultra, run by Dr. Price, played by Mark Pellegrino (Lost, Supernatural, Dexter, most television series) who actually makes some valid points about why the Tomorrow People should be kept track of. The teleportation effects are really, really spectacular without being overused while the fight scenes are fast, energetic and cleverly staged. With a story reminiscent of The Matrix, the pilot charts the hero’s journey from troubled teen to reluctant Chosen One.
However, as the lead character, and our eyes into this world, Stephen spends most of this first hour being very wishy-washy – alternately arguing with the Tomorrow People and wanting no part of their fight and then bizarrely switching to defending them. By the end he seems to have come to a decision that points towards the direction the show will go in its first few episodes, but getting there feels much more like the demands of the story putting him where he is rather than the natural progression of a character.
Of course, this is just the pilot and there’s plenty of time for more character development (hopefully they will to better than Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) and there are a few encouraging signs in the final half of this first episode that hint at a potentially more complex show. As a pilot episode, it does its job well in setting up the world and the players quickly. As with any series it could go either way in the coming weeks, but there’s enough here to have me interested in watching more (especially the effects). Keep tuned to Quench for more episode reviews of The Tomorrow People.
What did you think to the pilot? What do you think to our new “Episode Review” feature? Let us know in the comments section below.