Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Tomorrow People

The Tomorrow People, apparently the next stage of human evolution, seen here on the front of an early '70s novel, were great heroes of mine. And Carol, the blonde girl, made my little heart beat faster when I was about seven.

The Tomorrow People had special powers - they could communicate telepathically and get from place to place simply by thinking about it - "jaunting" they called it. Special belts were used to co-ordinate "jaunts" over long distances.

Here's another TP novel -the bulby '60s lava lamp effect thingy over the Tomorrow People's heads in their secret underground lab was TIM - a "biotronic" computer.

Roger Price was the man behind the Tomorrow People, which was a tremendously enjoyable piece of sci-fi for us '70s kiddies. I loved it dearly, but it did have its faults. There were faintly priggish echoes of the Famous Five at times, especially the way the Tomorrow People used to call ordinary mortals "Saps". It was short for homo-sapiens, and was, according to Mr Price, meant to have been an affectionate nickname, but it didn't exactly come across as one.

"I've just been dealing with a Sap," the extremely homo-superior Stephen or John would say, and I wanted to punch their lights out. Mind you, we Saps were supposed to be aggressive.

Stephen in his "AE suit" - ideal for quick jaunts around hyperspace...

I well remember my own time as a Tomorrow Person back in the '70s...

It all began when Desi, a rather... well, the '70s weren't exactly PC or sensitive times so I'll call him fik, mate of mine found a plastic attachment belonging to my mother's hair drier on the kitchen worktop. "Wot's dis?" he asked.

Instinctively, I milked the situation: "Oh my God! Put it down! You weren't meant to see that!"

Desi hastily discarded it, then asked nervously: "Wot is it?"

I took a deep breath: "Desi, you weren't supposed to know this, but that is a highly sensitive piece of biotronic equipment which could blow the world to smithereens in five micro seconds. Now that you do know, I'd better tell you the rest: I am a Tomorrow Person."

Desi backed away, wide eyed: "Are yoo?"

I nodded gravely. "Yes. It must remain a secret between us two forever. If not, you'll have to be sent to the Galactic Trig."

"I won't say nothin'!" said Desi.

"Good, " I said. "You'd better not, Desi, because the Galactic Trig is not a great place for Saps."

Over the coming days, I enlisted the help of my cousin Sue - who announced to Desi that she was also a Tomorrow Person.

"Can you jaunt?" asked Desi.

"Of course," I replied, trying to sound like John, the main priggish geezer in the TV show. "But our jaunts are always accompanied by a blinding flash. It would render a Sap sightless."

Desi really was a Sap, it seemed. He fell for it, hook-line-and-sinker and over the next week or two me and my cousin Sue had great fun: Jedekiah had manifested himself in the garden shed; the Krotons had just entered our solar system; Sue had got stuck in hyperspace...

Desi appeared to believe everything we said, and our fun went on and on until finally his mother said that Desi wasn't to play with us anymore: we were giving him nightmares and he'd started wetting the bed.

From Look-In, our weekly magazine treat, which featured a Tomorrow People picture strip.


Anonymous said...

You evil little git! (grin)

Sky Clearbrook said...

I was always shit scared of The Tommorow People. Then I saw an episode with Sandra Dickinson in it and I wasn't bothered by it after that.