TV Report Card | 'The Tomorrow People' Season 1A Review

Overview: The series introduced high school student Stephen (Robbie Amell) as he came to terms with his telekinetic abilities, the results of human evolution. As Stephen dealt with the common travails of teenage life, he developed a crush on his older mentor Cara (Peyton List) and befriended other members of the tomorrow people, an underground refuge for the gifted.

Storyline Direction Pros: When the show began it came on strong, displaying a range of possibilities. Quickly finding a groove, it evolved its finer points with impressive acumen. Developing the character of John (Luke Mitchell) as the leader of the tomorrow people and Stephen’s romantic rival for Cara, could have become run of the mill.

Instead it felt impressively nuanced and the backstory that was revealed to entangle, John with Stephen’s seemingly villainous Uncle Jedikiah, rivetingly unfolded.

The aspect that the season has succeeded in most, thus far, is managing to surprise. Characters that seemed ordained to go in one direction; ended up going another. The characters are richer and have been more deeply realized, balancing sci-fi elements with that of a character study.  

Storyline Direction Cons: The only major complaint is Stephen’s age being set so young. The CW has trended towards the high school-aged with success in other ventures. In the case of this particular series; it is an unnecessary setting, as it hinders certain story angles. The show, while centered on Stephen’s personal journey, also focuses on those of the other tomorrow people, all of whom are in their twenties. 

It is a stretch that the group would take Stephen as seriously as has been portrayed, given his youth. His emotional immaturity also counteracts his romance with Cara. Especially when contrasted with the much more mature John. Why would a grown, independent woman in her mid-twenties be attracted to a teenager?

Production Caliber: The effects have been respectable, displayed with pride without being overindulgent. There is still excitement whenever the characters jump or freeze time.

Performance Quality: Robbie Amell (Stephen) has done well as the angst ridden mutant, trying to maintain his way of life. He’s amiable and as the character has had some questionable moments as a moral center, he’s maintained his likability with an innate charm.

The breakout of the series has been Luke Mitchell as John, the emotionally tortured leader of the underground group of rebels. He’s shaded his characterization with compassion and undertones of danger. He comes across as a good guy without being a chump, a rare talent.

Because of this, he’s not your average CW protagonist, he’s better. Mark Pellegrino has been massively effective as the nefarious Jed, keeping viewers on their toes as to which side of the isle, he’s really on.

Aaron Yoo has brought his standout comedic abilities to his role as Russell and he’s had brilliant on-screen chemistry with all of his co-stars. He pushes his fellow castmates to the best of their abilities.

Peyton List has done a suitable job as Cara, the lovelorn, kick-ass trying to navigate the twisty seas of choosing between her adult companion and teen lover. The only struggle with List’s portrayal is that she plays Cara as a mature, headstrong woman, which clashes with her having a crush on a teenager.

Musical Score: An appropriate mix of indie pop rock. Special note should be paid to the tremendous sound mixing.

Overall Grade: A, the surprise hit of the CW line-up and the best new series the network has offered, this season. It knows what it’s doing well and it’s making it better. Things are only looking up for this freshman series.

[Image by The CW]