HEY YOU GUYS LET'S HAVE A LONG TALK ABOUT THE TOMORROW PEOPLE (2013 VERSION).

I am incapable of being impartial about this; one of the first non-Star Trek things I was fannish about, waaaaay back in 1992 (SHUT UP OKAY I'M OLD) was the BBC Tomorrow People reboot, which was sort of dumb but also amazing? (And then the guys who did the Big Finish 1970s audio dramas retconned '92 away and said *those* Tomorrow People were crazy people who were all killed in a terrorist plot or something, which is just weaksauce, guys, for real.)

(Also, you should totes find the '92 version on YouTube, because in some ways it is terrible - it's marketed for young kids, for a start, kind of like old-school Who, but it features baby Naomie Harris with some super-sweet braids and CHRISTOPHER FUCKING LEE as THE PHAROAH RAMESES. Like, that happened. He has eyeliner and everything. It is worth it JUST FOR THAT.)

But yeah, The Tomorrow People: it's pretty great.

Basically, every version of The Tomorrow People (TMP, from now on) is the same basic plot: young people, mostly teenagers or pre-teens, discover they're "breaking out" as Tomorrow People. All TMPs have the same basic abilities - telepathy, telekinesis, and teleportation - while in the 1992 version, they could also heal to a certain extent. The 1970s version had to do with aliens and galactic cops and dudes who were also robots, but here's the breakdown for 2013:

Stephen Jameson, 16-year-old high school student, is having a bad few weeks. He keeps waking up in weird places (like, say, his downstairs neighbor's apartment, sandwiched between said neighbor and his girlfriend) and hearing voices; he thinks he's going nuts. Except he's not - he's just breaking out. Also, he may or may not be the savior of the Tomorrow People, because his dad (dead for a number of years now) was one of the most powerful Tomorrow People. Also, his uncle Jedikiah works for Ultra, the super-secret (possibly government-related?) agency dedicated to destroying the Tomorrow People for...reasons, we're not really clear on why they want TMPs dead just yet.

Admittedly, the show is still finding its sea legs; we're thirteen weeks in, and it's just now starting to grow the beard. It tends to focus too much on Stephen (and oh, we'll get into THAT) and not enough on John or Cara or RUSSELL (Russell! Russell is fantastic!), and now we know more about Astrid, who is also great, and--I'm getting ahead of myself. Okay.

*

OUR HEROES:

STEPHEN JAMESON

Stephen

The 16-year-old son of Jack Jameson (nee Roger Price) and his wife Marla, Stephen broke out by hearing voices - really Cara's voice in his head telepathically - and waking up in his neighbor's apartment, unconsciously teleporting in his sleep. Stephen was found by Cara and John - and his uncle Jedikiah - in the same day, leading him to make a surprising choice: he'd secretly work with Cara and John while outwardly working as an Ultra agent. This is working out about as well as you'd think, so far, leading to Mark Pellegrino making a variety of "bitch, are you kidding me" faces, everyone being concerned about Stephen's weird new part-time job, and Astrid ALMOST BEING MURDERED AT LEAST TWICE NOW.

Stephen is treated by most Tomorrow People as the Chosen One, complete with powers other TMPs don't have, including the ability to stop time (which he's shown signs of, but not in such a way where he can control it or knows how he's exactly doing it). Problem is, he's a 16-year-old boy, which...again, works as well as you'd think.

His relationships with people are dodgy at best; his mother doesn't know what to think about Uncle Jedikiah suddenly being in his life again, and it's been commented on more than once that his "job" has long hours and that he's acting differently. He and Astrid were sketchy for a while - she said she loved him, he said he had feelings for someone else; she thought he was becoming a different person but nope, just superpowers - but they're doing a lot better now. He and Russell get along just fine.

He and John...do not. Part of that is because he recently learned John was responsible for the death of his father; that's understandable. Part of it is because Stephen slept with Cara, John's girlfriend, when John was out of town for Russell for Russell's dad's funeral. That's skeevy enough. Even creepier, when Cara tried to tell him that it was a mistake and that it wasn't going to happen again, Stephen blithely informed her that there's a "connection" between them and implied that they're soul mates. (Everyone who's ever watched TVD knows what that means.) (NOTHING GOOD.)


JOHN YOUNG (teleportation)

John

John - aka The Best Thing on This Entire Show - was raised until the age of 10 or 11 in a physically abusive foster home, where he frequently stole food to provide for his foster siblings. After he broke out, his foster dad basically sold him to Ultra, where he was trained as an agent. He was also, to a certain extent, treated as Jedikiah's "son"; it's very clear that Jedikiah has feelings for John, and has refrained from killing him on several occasions when it would be more expedient to do so. He remains the group's best source of knowledge about Ultra, excepting the occasions where Stephen can tell them about a change in protocol, and until recently was the group's leader.

That changed when Cara learned John's secret: that Ultra had, through a secret program initiated several years before, altered his biochemistry to erode the Prime Barrier, meaning he can commit murder. And has, on several occasions, including killing Stephen's father Roger on Jedikiah's orders. The direct result of this was the group voting to install Cara as leader and, when John flat-out refused to follow Cara's orders if he believed they were the wrong ones, his exile from the group.

John and Cara have been in a relationship for years, since he helped her escape from Ultra, but that was strained recently when, while John and Russell were in San Francisco for Russell's father's funeral, Cara slept with Stephen. This hasn't helped John's relationship with Stephen, which wasn't great to begin with; John is the most vocal proponent of Stephen's destiny as the Chosen One, but he seems frequently irritated that the Chosen One is, in fact, sixteen and about as emotionally mature as your average teenager. (To be fair, banging his girlfriend didn't help with that opinion all that much.)

In addition, John recently shadowed Stephen's friend Astrid and saved her from an Ultra kill team, taking a bullet for her in the process. He seems mostly worried that she might have developed a crush on him as a result, though by all indications Astrid was appreciative about, you know, the life-saving, and irritated she had to live in New York's greater gnome tunnels for a week or so. (Any and all romantic tension between Luke Mitchell and Madeline Mantock, as noticed by EVERY SINGLE CRITIC WHO WATCHED THE FREAKING EPISODE, was apparently just hallucinated. You know.)

(Cough.)

In addition, John was the one who stole T.I.M. from Ultra and appears the only one who performs maintenance and repair on him. Which, all things considered, is fairly fucking impressive.


CARA COBURN (telepathy)

Cara

In the ongoing contest for shitty childhoods, Cara takes the silver (I sort of doubt anyone's beating John for the gold): born deaf, she broke out when she used her teleportation to instinctively escape from an attempted rape by her prom date. When she finally returned home and told her father - and also, that she could hear now; thanks, telepathy - he threw her out and called her a freak. Did I mention she was 16 at the time? YEAH.

The first TMPs Cara encountered in New York were Julian and his girlfriend, who robbed and committed crimes for the thrill of it. (Being TMPs, they couldn't kill, but that doesn't actually stop you from beating the shit out of someone. Loopholes!) After being inadvertently responsible for the girlfriend's death, Cara ended up in Ultra's custody. She was scheduled for execution when John broke her out of their custody and brought her to the group living in New York's greater gnome tunnels. She served as John's second for a number of years, until a recent vote named her the group's new leader.

Cara and John have been in a relationship almost since they met, though recent events - namely, Cara sleeping with Stephen when John was out of town, in their favorite hotel suite no less - have strained it somewhat; currently, the two appear to be estranged. Cara insists sleeping with Stephen was a mistake; Stephen insists there's a "connection" between the two of them. It *is* true that when Stephen was drowning, he unconsciously reached out to Cara telepathically (which isn't supposed to be possible) and helped her save his life.


RUSSELL KWON (telekinesis)

Russell

Russell - born Ryung Kwon - was from a fairly well-to-do family in Portland, meaning in the TMP Shitty Childhood Olympics, he doesn't even medal. He might make Nationals, though: after showing proficiency for the piano at age 5, his father, Chan Woo, pushed him to do it professionally, straining their relationship.

Unfortunately, in addition to the piano, Russell was really fond of sketchy poker games. After winning thirty grand from a particularly shady group of dudes, said dudes broke into the Kwon house to recover the money; finding Russell's dad instead, they broke his hand, making Russell flee in shame, finally winding up in New York's greater gnome tunnels. Also unfortunately, the two didn't get a chance to reconnect before Chan Woo's death. John accompanied Russell to his dad's funeral, inadvertently giving Cara and Stephen the space to--we'll say "connect", that sounds more polite than "bang".

Sadly, Russell's had the least to do of the main four characters thus far, mostly being used for comic relief and the occasional exposition. He's mostly recovered from the fairly serious beating Julian and his mob dealt in 1x11, and tends not to take sides in the awkwardness currently surrounding literally all his friends.


ASTRID FINCH

Astrid

Stephen's best friend (and a SAP - what TMPs call humans, short for Homo Sapiens, though as a term it's equivalent to "Mudblood", aka really sketch), Astrid spent the first month or so thinking her best friend had suddenly become a dick who was dumping her for his new secret, creepy job. That probably would have been easier than finding out he had developed superpowers, or that him having superpowers would wind up with his uncle's shadowy organization trying to kill her. No, for real.

Astrid had a crush on Stephen for approximately five minutes, until Stephen gently (for him) told her he liked someone else (coughCARAcough) and she got on with things, because Astrid is GREAT. She also has pretty clearly defined goals for a teenager: she wants to sing at Carnegie Hall, she'd like to learn to surf, she wants to live in Japan for a year, and she'd eventually like three kids, two girls and a boy. She also cannot fire a submachine gun, but she *can* take a bullet out of someone's side with the help of an A.I. and Skype.

Just recently, Astrid had to save John's life after he got shot protecting her from Ultra's kill squad. The two of them are basically perfect together and I will be ficcing this I CANNOT EVEN FRONT, OKAY.

*

THE VILLAINS OF THE PIECE:

DR. JEDIKIAH PRICE

Jedikiah

Stephen's uncle, Roger's brother, and a SAP, Jedikiah is the closest thing we have to a villain of the week, though because it's Mark Pellegrino, things are rarely that simple. He serves as Stephen's direct supervisor at Ultra and one of its earliest agents, along with the Founder, Roger, and Aldus Crick.

Jedikiah's a conundrum: he seems committed to Ultra's goals - whatever they might be - but spent several years hiding Morgan, his girlfriend (and a TMP) from Ultra. When they found out about her, he faked her death rather than kill her or bring her in. He seems protective of Stephen up to a point, which gets really weird when you find out he's the one who ordered Roger's murder. (He's also able to shield his thoughts from Stephen, which - presumably - he learned from his brother.)

The closest thing Jedikiah has to an Achilles heel (with the exception of being the highest-up human in Ultra, which seems to grate on him) is his relationship with John. Jedikiah took special attention of John when he arrived at Ultra at 11 or 12; he recruited him into the Annex Project, which removes the Prime Barrier and allows a TMP to kill. He's said on more than one occasion he considers John to be his son; he's helped him escape from Ultra's custody at least once. He's also ordered John's death at least once. (It's complicated. And mildly hysterical, in light of John and Stephen kind of hating each other.)

THE FOUNDER

The Founder

The third founder of Ultra, alongside Roger and Jedikiah, and a total dick. He seems to have been responsible for Ultra becoming more of a paramilitary organization, since the one originally conceived off by Crick and the Prices was going to help ease mankind into the knowledge that there was a new species living among them. How - let alone *why* - he changed that to "wiping out Tomorrow People", we have no idea.

In addition to being a total dick, he has a daughter named Cassie he mindwipes and experiments on on the reg, and a telephone jack in the base of his skull that lets him plug into a machine designed to enhance his telepathy. So in case you were looking for the supervillain, look no further! Seriously, we needed someone to make us hate Jedikiah less, and they succeeded like gangbusters.

*

OTHER MEMBERS OF THE PRICE/JAMESON FAMILY:

ROGER PRICE / JACK JAMESON

Roger

Stephen and Luca's father, and Marla’s husband. Along with his brother Jedikiah and The Founder, Roger was one of the founders of Ultra. He fled a few years after Ultra's creation, changing his name from Roger Price to Jack Jameson and moving several times before settling in New York City. After *that*, "Jack" left his wife and children to try and let them live a normal life (though how he thought *that* was going to be possible since the odds were pretty good that at least one kid would break out, I have no idea).

Roger committed several acts of terrorism against Ultra, including destroying at least one lab with a bomb; in retaliation, Jedikiah assigned John to kill him. There have recently been signs that that murder might not have taken as well as everyone involved thought, John included. It's also not known whether or not he knew Marla was *also* a TMP.

MARLA JAMESON

Marla

Stephen and Luca's mom; Roger's wife. Marla is great: she takes the thankless "Mom on a CW show" role and turns her into a real person - she loves her kids, she misses her husband, but she realizes he pulled a dick move by leaving and isn't afraid to move on and start dating someone else. She's also not afraid to march into Ultra, yell at Jedikiah for being a dick to Astrid and Stephen - to be fair, she didn't know about the kill squads - and march right back out.

Also, she's apparently a Tomorrow Person. So that happened.


LUCA JAMESON

Luca

Stephen's younger brother. So far he's demonstrated no psychic abilities, but he's a dick to his brother nine times out of ten and that's enough for me.

*

OTHER TOMORROW PEOPLE:

IRENE QUINN

Irene

Literally the only other TMP we have a name for - seriously: there's a lot of people in New York's greater gnome tunnels, but they never get names - Irene graduated from Yale at 14 and almost got her Ph.D. from M.I.T. before she was expelled for using her powers on a teacher.


HILLARY COLE

Hillary

Another Ultra trainee, Hillary was the one who told Jedikiah that Stephen had told Astrid about being a Tomorrow Person. So it's really all Hillary's fault that John got shot and that Astrid's got kill squads after her. Thanks for that, Hillary. Thanks a lot.


MORGAN BURKE

Morgan

Seemingly the only real proof that Jedikiah has a heart, Morgan met him several years ago working as a "psychic" at Coney Island. The two have been involved ever since, with Jedikiah concealing her existence from Ultra. This worked great, until Stephen read Jedikiah's mind and found out about her. Since then, in a rare (but totally understandable) dick move, Cara and Russell kidnapped her to force Jedikiah to give back a kidnapped John; Jedikiah followed up by faking Morgan's death to protect himself (and her). Morgan currently lives in New York's greater gnome tunnels, and is about as pleased about it as you could expect.


CASSIE

Cassie is a super-powerful TMP. She's also a bank robber. And the Founder's daughter. She's got a lot going on. Did I mention the Founder's apparently done some god-awful experiments on her and wiped her memory of it on the reg? Or that she's literally the only TMP we've seen to this point who is super-excited by the idea that she could lose her powers? Or that John trades her back to the Founder to A) save Stephen's life and B) get the kill squad pulled off Astrid?

Not to mention that, you know, three minutes later we learn that B) hasn't exactly worked, because fuck that guy.


JULIAN

Julian

Julian's proof that just because you're the next stage of human evolution, that doesn't mean you can't be a dick. He and his girlfriend took in a still-teenage Cara and taught her how to enjoy her abilities. A failed home-invasion left the girlfriend dead and Julian furious at Cara. Over the years, he's gathered a group of TMPs who are just as interested in torture and humiliation as he is - because again, DICK - to the point where their main hobby is taking rich people hostage in their homes to mess with them. Julian's the one responsible for his group curb-stomping Russell into serious injury, and he was last seen gathering kids to raise as child soldiers, because - say it with me - DICK.

(Julian actually serves as a really good counterbalance to Ultra, along with the TMP cop who was a serial rapist: just because you have superpowers and can't commit murder doesn't mean you're a good person. You're just an asshole with superpowers who can't commit murder.)


KILLIAN McCRANE

Killian, a former Ultra agent, was part of the top-secret Annex Program, designed to let TMPs commit murder. It worked on him, but also drove him batshit crazy, and he escaped Ultra. He became something of a legend in Ultra, and recently resurfaced with a series of bombings in New York. When confronted by John, Killian believed he had the upper hand.

And that's when he learned he wasn't the only success story of the Annex Program.


OTHER NAMES YOU SHOULD KNOW:

T.I.M.

The Tomorrow People's JARVIS, for lack of a better comparison: he's a mildly snarky, sentient biocomputer John apparently stole from Ultra on his way out.


ALDUS CRICK

One of the founders of Ultra, along with the Price brothers and the Founder; he and Jedikiah were the only two humans in the group. He started as a behavioral scientist with a degree in physics, but after founding Ultra, his work got...squirrelly. Crick was the one who came up with the theory that if you could stop time while teleporting, you could wind up in an alternate dimension of sorts - a limbo, for lack of a better term.

Sadly, before we could find out more about him, the Founder had him assassinated.


PETER

Marla's first (as far as we know) serious boyfriend following Roger's disappearance. He took the family on a camping trip, whereupon Stephen, thinking he was a TMP, straight shoved him off a cliff and almost killed him. Understandably, he and Marla are now "taking some time".

***

The Tomorrow People currently airs Wednesdays at 9 PM on The CW - BUT! starting March 17, the show moves to 9 PM EST on MONDAYS. MONDAYS, not Wednesdays.
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