Mathieu Young/The CW
by Tierney Bricker | Wed., Oct. 9, 2013 1:00 PM
Mathieu Young/The CW
Prepare to meet The Tomorrow People today!
The CW's action-packed new drama, which comes from Arrow executive producer Greg Berlanti and Vampire Diaries boss Julie Plec, premieres tonight, and puts a modern twist on the '70s U.K. series of the same name. It also gives viewers the hottest block of programming, pairing star Robbie Amell with his cousin Stephen Amell, Arrow's leading man. And good news for the Amell family, both shows are awesome, so no one has to feel the need to lie at this year's Thanksgiving gathering.
Amell stars as Stephen, just your average teenager who learns that is part of a genetically advanced race with the abilities of telekinesis, teleportation and telepathic communication and soon finds himself among the Tomorrow People, John (Luke Mitchell), Cara (Peyton List) and Russell (Aaron Yoo). Of course, with great power comes great threat and The Tomorrow People have a huge one: Genre fan favorite Mark Pellegrino! We chatted with executive producer Phil Klemmer about what viewers can expect from the highly anticipated new series, debuting tonight at 9 p.m...
Misfits Assemble! Part of the fun of The Tomorrow People is seeing all of these young people with abilities come together, which Klemmer calls "a gang of misfits. It's like the Lost Boys, either the Peter Pan or the vampire Lost Boys, but there's something super appealing that there's this secret community just under the surface, like waiting to welcome you with open arms." And with potential romance!
Love in the Trenches: While John and Cara are revealed to be an item, Cara definitely shares some chemistry with Stephen. "If our Tomorrow People are being hunted and they're at war, It's not like you put your romantic or sexual feelings on hold," Klemmer explains of making time for romance on the series. "Those things happen in the in-between moments."
Don't Call Him a Villain: One of The Tomorrow People's biggest strengths? Having Mark Pellegrino, who has made memorable guest appearances on Supernatural, Lost and Being Human, in the role of morally ambiguous Ultra leader Jedikiah. "I could write a 50 page soliloquy for him and, like, be happy watching that episode," Klemmer gushes of Pellegrino, whose character he is quick to defend. "He's certainly villainous and he's certainly our antagonist, but you know, I just wanted to root everything that he ever said in just sort of ice cold, rational, scientific thought," he previews of Jedikiah. "I also love it that our bad guy is essentially fighting for the survival of mankind, and I don't know if that's ever been done before, to make the villain the one who's trying to save the planet."
An Unlikely Loser: Though the gorgeous Amell isn't exactly the first person who pops in your head when you think of your average high school loner, Klemmer says, "It's a coming of age story and even though he obviously looks like a man, you just got a sense that he wasn't all the way there. You were so rooting for him. He seems like a winner, but he was able to convey that very familiar adolescent kind of searching that I think everybody can relate to."
Klemmer reveals that Amell originally auditioned for the older Tomorrow People leader John "because he's much more heroic than the Stephen I had sort of lodged in my head, which was definitely an underdog and a kid who had been sort of dealing with mental illness. So this very good-looking, buff guy wasn't exactly what came to mind. But then there was just something that wasn't right for the role of John, the sort of heroic, manly leader. He came back in and it was a sort of different take on Stephen where he still had the vulnerability and there's still something boyish about him."
Teens Break Bad: Klemmer teases that any of the series' "heroes" could go dark side at any time. "By virtue of being adolescents, they're much more emotionally volatile. Like Stephen, these kids have thought that they were losing their minds, they've been sort of pariahs, they've been picked on, and all of a sudden you go from being the loser of your school to being somebody who wields this incredible power," he explains. "You can really break bad. I think that's the flipside of the adolescent fantasy—you fantasize about being the captain of the football team, but you also fantasize about being a dark marauder and bringing all the people who persecuted you to whatever vigilante justice."
Hmmm...another Amell vigilante on the CW?! We're in!
The Tomorrow People premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on the CW.