An unofficial guide to The Tomorrow People
JAUNT! - by Andy Davidson
Shape-changing robots, military masterminds, ITV technicians. It's a deadly universe out there, but the Tomorrow People are here to help.
The Tomorrow People are man’s next step up the evolutionary ladder…Homo Superior. From their secret base deep below the streets of London, they offer hope for a better future for the human race as members of the all-powerful Galactic Federation.
The Tomorrow People is the bête noire of cult television. Regarded unfairly by many as a rival to the BBC’s Doctor Who, it inevitably comes off worse in comparison to its bigger budget, mainstream opponent. The Tomorrow People was made by the children’s department of Thames Television, a company which really didn’t have all that much experience of making sci fi drama.
The Tomorrow People is a staggeringly ambitious children’s adventure with a deeply philosophical foundation. But it was produced by a team beset by inexperience, roller-coaster budgets and a decade of industrial tension which culminated in the total shut-down of ITV. The result was a programme that was as good as it was almost in spite of itself.
For every bold political statement, there’s an alien commander who looks like a Tiki glass. For every beautifully realised space battle there’s a plastic cup sprayed silver and glued onto a mop handle. The Tomorrow People giveth with Geoffrey Bayldon, Michael Sheard, Trevor Bannister and it taketh away with Ali Bongo, an alien boy channelling Douglas Bader and Ray Burdis, twice.
Jaunt follows the adventures of the Tomorrow People from their origins in a forgotten era of children’s programming to a publishing phenomenon, where the show and its stars were front page news. It rejoins the Tomorrow People in the 1990s for some light-hearted Avengers action and returns once more a decade later as a series of bold, challenging audio plays. Homo Superior has been with us for forty years and Jaunt chronicles the phenomenon that is again preparing to return to our screens in a big-budget US adaptation.
Jaunt features exclusive interviews with series creator Roger Price, producer Ruth Boswell and the Tomorrow People themselves; Nicholas Young, Peter Vaughan Clarke, Elizabeth Adare, Mike Holoway and Misako Koba.
With an introduction from Roger Price Jaunt also features the complete script of the lost series nine adventures Mystery Moon and tells the previously untold story of the plans to continue the Big Finish Tomorrow People audio adventures.