1 9 6 9 – 1 9 7 0 (USA)
17 x 45 minute episodes
The New People was set on an unidentified Pacific island, where 40 American college students returning from a cultural exchange trip to Southeast Asia were marooned after their plane crash-landed during a fierce storm.
Stranded on the remote island, the group decided to build a new civilisation and not make any of the same mistakes the “establishment” made back home.
Fortuitously, the island was a former US atomic test site, so there were plenty of buildings, food, and other creature comforts to be found. Talk about a stroke of luck!
The programme was supposed to be an exploration of the utopian ideals and political and social thinking of the time.
Guest stars including Tyne Daly, Billy Dee Williams and Richard Dreyfuss showed up from time to time and left again (shades of Gilligans Island), and the storylines dealt with pregnancy, disease, gender roles, murder, law enforcement and . . . unsafe driving (seriously).
The show was cancelled after a short run – The New People screened from September 1969 to January 1970 on ABC in America.
It will come as no surprise to learn that Rod (Twilight Zone) Serling was the creator of this short-lived series – it was produced by Aaron Spelling.
Gene “Bones” Washington
Errol “Bull” Wilson
Lee Jay Lambert