Every pilot season, we read stacks of scripts for potential new shows. This year, none was quite so exciting as “The Tomorrow People,” which brings a sort of “X-Men” sensibility to The CW’s audience. The show revolves around a group of young people, believed to be more highly evolved than other humans, with emerging telepathic powers. Of course, their abilities threaten other, less evolved types, and put them at risk.
The series is led by Robbie Amell as Stephen, who has long believed that the voices in his head are the result of mental illness, as opposed to … you know … superpowers. “He used to be a normal kid, but the last couple years he’s started to go through a lot of stuff,” Robbie tells us. “He’s on a ton of medication to try and level himself out. It turns out, nothing’s wrong with him, he’s just got a bunch of superpowers that are starting to appear.”
Things get further complicated when Stephen learns that Dr. Jedikiah Price, who leads the movement to eradicate the Tomorrow People entirely, is his uncle. It’s a particularly painful revelation because Stephen has long been without a father figure, and he’s forced to choose sides. “By the end of the pilot I feel like I really grow into my own,” Robbie says, “and I’ve got a big decision to make.”
The pilot is full of action sequences and special effects — a dream come true for Robbie. “It was so fun! There’s one action sequence where I get to do a … Darth Vader choke and I called a couple friends after, I was like ‘This is the coolest thing I may ever film in my life. That might be it from here. Just downhill after this.'”
It’s those high-octane action sequences that make “The Tomorrow People” a perfect match for “Arrow” on Wednesday nights on The CW … well, that, and good old fashioned DNA. The star of “Arrow” is Robbie’s cousin, Stephen Amell — meaning that the family has officially taken over the Wednesday line-up.
When we asked Robbie whether he and his cousin would be competitive when it comes to ratings, he quickly ceded to Stephen. “Nope! Because he was here first. We have his lead-in, so even if our ratings are better, he’ll be like ‘Nope, you’re just building on our ratings.’ And he’ll be right.”
(When we asked Stephen about it, his answer was a little different. “Yes. It’s on, it’s totally on,” he joked.)