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South Park
All you'll ever need to know!
All Our TomorrowsThe Premise: The Tomorrow People are the next stage in human evolution (homo superior). Upon ‘breaking out’, they develop mental abilities which include telepathy, teleportation (known as ‘jaunting’) and telekinesis. Working from the Lab, a high-tech base hidden in the London Underground, they protect Earth with the aid of biomorphic computer Tim.

Background: Thames Television commissioned Roger Price’s children’s Science Fiction series as a counter to Doctor Who, hiring veteran Who director Paul Bernard to direct the first series. The Tomorrow People was cheaper (that’s right), rougher – and almost as popular.

First Run: 30 April ’73 to 19 February ’79.

Number of Episodes: 68 episodes comprising 22 stories over eight series.

The Good Guys: Leader John (Nicholas Young) is initially supported by petite Carol (Sammie Winmill), monosyllabic Kenny (Stephen Salmon) and new recruit Stephen (Peter Vaughn Clarke). School teacher Elizabeth (Elizabeth Adare) conveniently breaks out soon after Carol and Kenny depart for the Galactic Federation, and is followed by gypsy boy Tyso (Dean Lawrence), tearaway Mike (Mike Holoway), the vaguely useless Hsui Tai (Misako Koba) and Scottish lad Andrew (Nigel Rhodes). Recurring galactic ambassadors Timus is played by Philip Gilbert, who voices Tim.

The Bad Guys: Ooh lots, starting with thrice-recurring Jedikiah, a shapeshifting robot out of its metal mind. Then there’s Colonel Masters (Trevor Bannister of Are You Being Served? fame) and Trisha Conway, who initially pursue the TPs for government research (Secret Weapon). Alien races the Kulthan, Sorsons and Thargons put in appearances, and the thawed Adolf Hitler is revealed to be Nebor from the planet Vashig.

And Isn’t That...
Brian Blessed double Francis de Woolf plays Jedikiah. And yes, that vision in spandex undies and Leo Sayer wig in A Man For Emily is Doctor Who Peter Davison.

Overdone Clichés: The Tomorrow People lose their powers, either via the natty headbands favoured by Jedikiah or proximity to creatures called Medusa. Gaudy hyperspace is a fashionable chromakey address in which to be left hanging, and Kenny is always left behind to look after the Lab.

Fashion Statements: The early flares and rollneck sweaters sported by John and Stephen gave way to the later flares and rollneck sweaters modelled by Tyso and Mike. And don’t forget the ‘bubbleskin jump suits’ (The Living Skins), apparently all the rage in 1978, and with a neat ability to hang themselves up..

Photos © Thames
People Power!
The Medusa Strain
The early stories are far and away the best. This one has scale, encompassing a spaceship in hyperspace, a raid on the Lab and the theft of the crown jewels.

The Blue and the Green
A serious Science Fiction story widely reckoned to be the series’ best. Also introduces the best TP, Elizabeth.

Secret Weapon
One by one the TPs fall victim to a new drug developed by a military research team.

The Dirtiest Business
Raw-edged little story with a shocking ending in which Mike falls for a Soviet TP on the run.

There's Always Tomorrow
A Man For Emily (ludicrous exercise in campery); The Heart of Sogguth (rock music is the devil’s work blah blah); War of the Empires (the most ridiculous alien assortment in televisual history).
Peter Griffiths

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