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The Tomorrow People: Phil Klemmer & Danny Cannon Talk Original Series Connections

The CW premieres The Tomorrow People on October 9, reviving a franchise that began 40 years ago in the United Kingdom. The new version of the series comes from executive producers Greg Berlanti (Arrow), Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries), Phil Klemmer (Chuck), and Danny Cannon (Nikita), and at this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego, we spoke with Klemmer and Cannon about bringing back the popular institution.... starting with the notion of whether or not there is pressure to live up to meeting expectations from fans of the original series.

"There are no obligations," Klemmer, who wrote the pilot, admits. "It's really a question of inspiration. It's not like it's so well known here in America that we're doing something that's somehow so precious that we're going to be lambasted for changing a small thing. I think the sky is wide open. Our obligation is to honor the dreams of when people saw it, and what it meant to them, and for me, who saw it as an adult, it's a good balance, because it's fresh eyes, and figuring out how to update it, and hopefully create something that's designed for an older audience, but to touch people the way the original did," he says.

Klemmer may not have seen The Tomorrow People until his adult years, but Danny Cannon, who is directing the series' first two episodes, was most definitely a fan of the original show. "Watching as a kid, it felt like people down the block. It felt like people I knew. I related to the characters. They were everybody. There were no leotards. There was no special weaponry. It was literally feet on the ground, normal people who were alienated at first, and then found out that it was a special gift," Cannon said about what made the original series special.

Original series fans should be happy to know that nods to the classics are definitely being thought about. "Absolutely," Klemmer says when asked about original series nods. "It's awesome to imagine the 1% of the television audience [who will get it]. You always want to keep the 99% totally engaged, but that 1%, you're totally going to blow their minds. It's such a thrill. I've always loved doing that," he says. Among those nods? TIM, the bio-computer, who will appear in every episode of the show -- with Danny Cannon somehow ending up with the job of the computer's voice, which was originally done as temp dialogue.

"I was in the cutting room, and they needed an English voice, and now I'm TIM. I spoke the way my mother always wished I would speak, as TIM, instead of this 'North London rebel' [accent]," Cannon explains about his new additional gig.

The Tomorrow People will be part of The CW's new "Amell Wednesdays," premiering at 9PM on October 9.

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2 comments

  1. Sorry but his comments are such a crock. There SHOULD be obligations to the original show. If you're going to make a show that's so clearly bearing almost no similiarities to the original, why bother giving it the same name?

    As far as I'm concerned, this isn't The Tomorrow People. I can stretch his comments that the sky's the limit, but in this case, it's ludicrous to suggest this show, devoid of personality, has any links to the original.

    They could have done so much; taken it in so many directions, and instead we get a pseudo teen drama action adventure that might as well be Power Rangers - it's that far in theme and tone from the original show.

    So yes, Klemmer and Cannon, your comments are utter crap! Unless you bring back TIM, give us the Jaunting noise, actually CALL it Jaunting (you know, the few things that made this show unique), then really, this show has no right to call itself the Tomorrow People!

  2. That is understandable. I'm hoping to get a follow up with the producers sometime because I do feel the nature of the questions didn't completely come through, at no fault of their own.

    TIM *is* at least a part of the show and should be in every episode. Don't give up on the notion just yet - there could be a lot to love in this Tomorrow People!

About Craig Byrne, Editor-In-Chief

KSiteTV Editor-In-Chief Craig Byrne has been writing about TV on the internet since 1995. He is also the author of several published books, including Smallville: The Visual Guide and the show's Official Companions for Seasons 4-7.
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