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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Children > TV > The Tomorrow People - Set One (A&E DVD Set)

The Tomorrow People – Set One


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Episodes: B-



Even in the early days of television, animation was expensive, and that did not change when TV went to color or when Saturday Morning TV became a powerhouse for the Big Three networks.  Though animation was still king, the networks had to find less expensive ways of filling the time and coming up with live action programming was the result.  Filmation came up with Ark II, Shazam!, Isis, Space Academy and Jason Of Star Command, Hanna-Barberra came up with The Banana Splits and that show’s various sub-segments, Sid & Marty Krofft had nothing but such shows and came up with non-comedies like Electra Woman & Dyna Girl and the original Land Of The Lost.  Even Disney had The Hardy Boys on the original Mickey Mouse Club.  The British answer to all this was The Tomorrow People in 1973.


The show stars Nicholas Young, Peter Vaughan-Clarke, Sammie Winmill, Steven Salmon and Elizabeth Adare in a story about a group of young children who have the ability to communicate telepathically.  Fortunately, some scientific interests are aware, and even have a supercomputer and teleportation powers to help them.  As the children try to find each other, themselves and a future, each multi-episode story has darker interests who want to use and exploit them for all the wrong reasons.  The stories featured here are:


1)     The Slaves Of Jedikiah

2)     The Medusa Strain

3)     The Vanishing Earth

4)     The Blue & The Green

5)     A Rift In Time

6)     The Doomsday Men




This set covers about two seasons on four DVDs and has some interesting moments, enough to get the show compared to Dr. Who often.  Most of the U.S. counterparts did not have multiple-episode stories.  The show is about as well acted and produced as such a show for its time could be, holding up in some strange way as both a period piece and reminder of the smarter types of series that used to be aimed at a children’s market.  The more realistic their empowerment, the more believable the storylines and the threat that darker forces would want to stop them.  In this respect, it sometimes felt like Sapphire & Steel.  For others, it will be interesting nostalgia.  Either way, The Tomorrow People was ambitious for its time and in that respect, remains competitive with most lumbering disasters children get today.


The full frame 1.33 X 1 image is an amusing mix of film, PAL videotape and very dated videotape visual effects.  This is about as good as this is ever going to look, give or take any upgrading that could be done on the film segments if that.  The old monophonic sound has been boosted to Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, which is pretty good for a limited-budget series from 1973.  The extras are few, but include a text section on the cast and where they are now, origins of the show and too-brief commentary by Young, Vaughan-Clarke & Winmill on part of The Slaves Of Jedikiah.  Fans will want more and there are more seasons to come, including any kind of promotional material that has been rarely seen.  Hope something like that shows up on some of the next sets.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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