The Tomorrow People Series Premiere Review: “Pilot” (Season 1, Episode 1)

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Predictably, when it comes to humans with special abilities, there is also a government agency bent on eliminating those people under the auspices of them being a threat to the rest of the population. In The Tomorrow People, that agency is called Ultra. The name sounds like a poor man’s attempt at something cool like S.H.I.E.L.D., but since the series is an update of the British show from the 70’s of the same name, I’ll reserve my judgement until I can prove that the name is unique to this remake.

At the head of Ultra is Dr. Jedikiah Price (Mark Pellegrino), a man who is clearly suffering from a custom form of Napoleon-syndrome. His brother was born with the gene that made him one of the Tomorrow people, and Jedikiah probably spent his formative years crying into his pillow because he didn’t have any superpowers of his own. He’s clearly willing to go to whatever lengths necessary to eliminate the entire race of people that his brother considered family instead of him.

The pilot felt like it moved pretty quickly, even with all the information being thrown at you. They were able to pack in most of the backstory and set the ground work for the series itself all within the confines of the first episode. We already met what looks like most of the major players (for now), and they have clearly established a baseline for future events. Even in the progression of an hour, you can see character development taking place in Stephen as he wavers back and forth between accepting his new-found strengths and loathing them.

My biggest concern with the series is the same one I tend to have across the board for new shows. I don’t think this first episode did a satisfactory job at showing viewers the natural chemistry among the cast when they interacted on screen. The relationships between characters just seem slightly forced. As the show settles over the season, that will hopefully subside, and it’s around that time when I think audiences will really start to feel invested in these characters.

There was one exception to this – Stephen and his best friend, Astrid (Madeleine Mantock). There was something very organic about the scenes between the two of them, and much more believable than the other interactions we saw tonight.

The show itself is a relative hodgepodge of pop culture references sans words. The Tomorrow people live in an abandoned subway station under the streets of Brooklyn like who? The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When the Tomorrow People teleport, what do they look like? Well, John (Luke Mitchell), the acting leader, strongly resembles Hayden Christensen in Jumper. A genetic mutation that only occurs in a minority percentage of the population? That storyline has X-Men written all over it.

Although The Tomorrow People may be a Frankenstein of sorts, it still has all the appeal of any one of its parts. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, it’s taken all the best parts of other projects and fused them together to create a compelling story with the potential to take The CW to the next level.

Will Stephen be able to take Ultra down from the inside? Can Jedikiah manipulate him to turn over the Tomorrow people? Let us know what you thought of the series premiere of The Tomorrow People in the comment section below!