1 9 7 3 – 1 9 7 9 (UK)
68 x 25 minute episodes
Although a new version of The Tomorrow People was made in the 1990s with a similar storyline and American finance, the original 1970s action-packed science fiction series still rules supreme.
Launched on Monday 30 April 1973 by Thames Television, The Tomorrow People revolved around a precocious group of 1970s children who had reached the next stage of evolution, Homo Superior, and enjoyed special powers including telekinesis and telepathy.
The Tomorrow People used to teleport through time and space, which was called “Jaunting” (slang for teleporting).
Intended as ITV’s answer to Doctor Who, the series began with the original group of Stephen, Carol, John, Kenny, Lefty and Ginge establishing their HQ (which they called The Lab) in a disused London Underground tunnel.
24-year-old John (Nicholas Young) was a slightly solemn young man and the closest thing the Tomorrow People had to a leader. His father was a sergeant in the London police force.
Carol (Sammie Winmill) was the 16-year-old daughter of trendy Hampstead parents (a TV producer and a journalist respectively) and felt deeply for the misfortunes of all humanity. She worked hard to preserve harmony within the group.
14-year-old Stephen (Peter Vaughan Clarke) had not yet ‘broken out’ (become a Tomorrow Person) and the whole thing was an exciting new adventure for him.
Kenny (Stephen Salmon) was a young boy who had broken out at a very young age and was developing a most powerful mind.
Lefty (Derek Crewe) and Ginge (Michael Standing) were leather-jacketed motorcycle-riding young lads who began on the side of the villains. They had no special powers, although Ginge was forever trying to prove that he had.
Over six series until 1979, they protected the Earth and its inhabitants with the help of their speaking biotronic supercomputer Tim (voiced by Philip Gilbert).
For a kids show, The Tomorrow People was quite complex. The following is a brief glossary of essential TP jargon:
Breaking Out: Developing your telepathic skills and becoming a Tomorrow Person. Very painful (sometimes fatal)
Jaunting: Teleporting. Tomorrow People can jaunt but the plain old Saps must use a matter transfer machine.
Saps: Slang term for the inferior Homo Sapiens
TIM: The advanced “biotronic” super-computer who controls the TP’s jaunting belts and bands (amongst other things)
Galactic Federation: An alliance of all telepathic races in the Galaxy.
Galactic Trig: The Space Station where the Galactic Federation meet.
Time Lanes: Routes to and from different time periods. A Time Key is required to use a Time Lane (naturally)
Peter Vaughan Clarke
Voice of TIM
Francis De Wolff