Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Tomorrow People - Series 1 (1973)

The Tomorrow People was produced by Thames Television for the ITV network.  This children’s sci-fi show was broadcast in its original form from 1973 to 1979.  Its basic premise concerns the “break out” of the next stage of human evolution; Homo Superior, AKA, the titular; Tomorrow People.
Being a children’s series, the main cast of the show were themselves children or young adults.  This served the story logic well as it is revealed in the very first episode that it’s during adolescence that the Tomorrow People’s psionic powers come to fruition.
Telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation and a nifty underground base are just a few of the perks of joining humanity’s elite but far more important than that is, of course, access to some shiny silver space suits!
Well now that I’ve named them such I should probably point out that in the show’s vernacular they’re better known as AE Suits which basically means that they are inclusively rather than exclusively spacesuits.  You see; AE stands for Adaptable for any Environment but in reality this translates as; this show has almost zero budget and these things are going to have to serve all elements of the plot from Arctic to volcanic wear.
The ones pictured here are only seen in the first series and were perhaps a little too tight-fitting to be practical or just too hot to wear beneath the studio lights but by series two they had been replaced by an updated design and a far more forgiving fabric.
And yes, those are modified motor bike helmets there but If I really wanted illustrate how cheap this show was, I would be posting pictures of the monsters and explaining how thinly the plot could be spread over multiple episodes.
And not that it has any real relevance to this blog but I feel compelled to add that, despite its many failings, the central premise of the Tomorrow People is a solid gold idea and that its theme tune and opening credits must rank as one of the all time classics of British children’s television.  Go You Tube it.  In actualization, it remains the best bit of the whole show.


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