The Tomorrow People returns tonight (January 15) on The CW with a new episode titled “The Citadel.” In anticipation of the show’s first new installment in over a month, we spoke with the show’s Executive Producer, Phil Klemmer, about “The Citadel” and a few things that are coming up in the coming weeks.
As this was done as a one-on-one interview, we are presenting this interview in a Q&A style. Our questions to Mr. Klemmer are presented in bold; his answers are not.
KSITETV: Where do we find Stephen as the January 15 episode begins?
PHIL KLEMMER: [Following] the “limbo” episode, he’s come into contact with his father, and he’s realized that John is responsible, effectively, for killing his father, but he is determined to rescue his father from this sort of purgatorial limbo existence that only he can reach. So, when we get into this episode, Stephen is sort of hellbent to figure a way of bringing his father back, but unfortunately this coincidences with a bomb of sorts going off in the lair when John has to come clean with the Tomorrow People at large, explaining the truth, which is that he killed Stephen’s dad, and the fact that he’s been leading them on the search for a dead man for a number of years.
So, you have this crazy upheaval; this power shift that happens, and Cara – the fact that she’s sort of pushed John to come clean for the sake of their relationship – the unexpected consequence is that it destabilizes John’s position as leader, and this episode is about his ouster, and the mantle lands in Cara’s lap, and she is forced to basically take over. It’s something she never asked to do, but over the course of this episode and the ones that follow… we always imagine these with Cara as our sort of “warrior queen.” She will basically show her own sort of leadership style.
We’ve seen John, who has been cautious and defensive, and in this episode, we certainly see Cara sort of taking on the offensive to ULTRA. We know she kicks ass, but I think she takes it to a whole new level when she becomes leader. It’s certainly a complication for John and Stephen, who both love this woman, because for at least a short time to come, she doesn’t really have time for any man in her life, because she’s too busy kicking ass and taking names.
Right before they have a vote in “The Citadel,” we see a Tomorrow Person named “Mike.” Was that an intentional shout-out to the “Mike” character from the original series?
That one wasn’t. There are plenty of shout-outs, maybe that was a subliminal shout-out… but no, not that one.
On that note, are there are other concepts or actors from the original Tomorrow People series that we might be seeing soon?
Certainly, we had the original John [Nicholas Young] show up in the character of Aldus Crick. We will meet a female version of TIM who is, basically, ULTRA’s version of an artificial intelligence, voiced by the sultry strains of Elizabeth Hurley. So, we have a sexy computer at ULTRA, which… who doesn’t love a sexy computer?
As far as the original cast members, we don’t have anybody else on deck, but I’m certainly happy to bring Aldus Crick back as a robot or a zombie or something, because I think he nailed it in his cameo.
What can you tell us about Stephen’s mother’s new gentleman friend Peter?
There will be a very surprising turn. Stephen does come to suspect that he’s in their lives for nefarious purposes. Stephen and Peter are going to come to sort of mortal terms with one another, but I don’t think that it’s in a way that you would expect. It all sort of goes to hell when Peter takes Marla and her two boys on a very sinister-seeming camping trip out in the woods, that Stephen takes as sort of an axe-murderer scenario. Tensions are high, and I will say that mistakes are made, and lives are very nearly lost in the course of it. But I will say that Peter is not who we think he is.
Speaking of Stephen’s family, is it still possible that Luka might break out at some point?
It is absolutely possible! That’s how genetics works. It’s the roll of the dice. The big question is whether he will break out, or if he doesn’t break out, will that drive a wedge between the two brothers? Will it be effectively Jedikiah and Roger all over again? It’s an interesting question for Stephen, because certainly it’s complicated his life in a horrible way, and in a wonderful way. So, Stephen will eventually have to sit down and wonder what he’s hoping for, for Luka. A human life, which is much simpler, or a paranormal life, which at least means that the brothers can remain brothers?
What can you tell us about the character that Alexa Vega will be playing?
She is designed to be our Tracy Slick from Election or Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. We love the idea that Stephen would have a partner at ULTRA who is just total ball-buster, by the book. As sexy and feminine as Alexa Vega is, she also can play a real hard-ass. The fact that Stephen, who is sort of a made man at ULTRA because of who is uncle is, we liked the idea of somebody coming into the company who has just got his number, and is determined to take him down. They have a very fun energy, and the fact that they’re friends in real life, you would never guess it on screen; because there’s a lot of vitriol between them.
Is there any chance we’ll see Piper again?
There absolutely is a chance. That’s the great thing – once somebody is introduced into our world, it’s like the island on LOST, where you can always meet that person who was part of the plane wreck that you haven’t seen for three seasons. The only sad part is that we won’t see Darcy again – a great guest star, but, man. She went out in a blaze of glory.
How would you pitch the second half of the season to people who might not have checked out the series before?
For the people who haven’t seen it, I don’t think you have to watch much to understand it, because it is a sci-fi show, but I don’t think you necessarily have to be a sci-fi geek to appreciate it. I think the character stuff is totally relatable, and the action is totally visceral, and I think it’s quite an addictive thing. Once you meet these characters, you want to know them more. It’s not the sort of show where you’re supposed to watch it once a month; it really rewards the people who sit down and watch the ride from start to finish. The beauty of the Internet is that we can all do that now. It’s the age of binge viewing, and if I weren’t a part of this show, this would be the kind of show that, if I discovered it out of the blue, I would probably watch it in four days and get couch sores from not moving. That’s how I like to watch TV. So, I hope people will get couch sores for us.
A new Tomorrow People airs tonight at 9PM on The CW! If you haven’t seen them before, here are some preview images: