THE TOMORROW PEOPLE: Greg Berlanti and Phil Klemmer Interview re Season 1 (2013)

(Article by: Sarah Stephens)

Loving CW’s superhuman drama TOMORROW PEOPLE? Can’t get enough of the three T’s? (That would be teleportation, telekinesis and telepathy for us regular humans.) We’re in the same boat. So we went straight to the source to get the dish on this first season of TOMORROW PEOPLE from executive producers Greg Berlanti and Phil Klemmer. And while they kept the goods locked up tighter than Jedikiah’s biomedical Ultra compound, we were able to get a few juicy details. Like, when are we going to get more of those shirts off? Check it out.
But beware of SPOILERS…..

Which team are you: Cara/Stephen or Cara/John? Well, stay tuned because that slow-simmering love triangle is going to hit boil soon. Phil Klemmer put it in perspective. “John, he’s very closed off emotionally, tough, terse, almost a John Wayne figure. With Stephen [and Cara], they also have this psychic connection where they’re able to understand each other on a supernatural level, but he’s also just an open person. I think what she’s drawn to is that there are no secrets.” He continues, “John has really been put through the ringer. He didn’t get the human life that Stephen had. He doesn’t have the humanity. His love for Cara is really the one humanizing aspect to him. Other than that, there’s not much else he cares in the world other than the cause.” Greg Berlanti goes on to tease about the triangle. “It heats up pretty quick. It goes from slow burn to trouble pretty quick.”

Stephen has been thrust into this crazy world of Homo Superiors, the Tomorrow People, Ultra, his long-lost uncle Jedikiah, the hunt for his assumed-dead father, all the while balancing school and his normal, you know, TEEN life. We asked Greg and Phil if he’ll be able to keep that wide-eyed optimism about his situation. Phil laid it out. “He’s going to have some pretty spectacular blunders very soon. Despite all his vast powers, he’s still in essence a kid.” He continued, “He has to start doing what John has had to do all these years, where in order to achieve the greater good of survival, he’s had to do some morally questionable things along the way. For Stephen, learning about his father….he can’t necessarily be a perfect guy to get where he wants to go.”

Expect to see a lot more flashbacks and a lot more backstory, including Russell’s story in episode 6 and Jedikiah’s in episode 8. Phil mentioned “Probably two-thirds to three-quarters of the episodes have some version of a flashback and there’s some great ones.” He went on to talk about Jedikiah’s flashback, but they won’t go too much into his youth. “It’s been so delicious to see Pellegrino himself, it almost seems like a waste to cast some other younger version of him. You always want it to be him.” But John and Jedikiah’s story does get some attention, as is revealed in this week’s episode. “We’ll return to that era of John’s life, slightly advanced, to his early days under Jedikiah’s perverse surrogate fatherhood relationship.” Greg added “With John still at Ultra, it deals with the mythology of the year, with Roger.”

And not to miss out on Stephen’s family, we’ll see more of their layered story, but not until much later in the episodes. “This first 12,” Greg Berlanti explains, “is very much the hunt for Roger. Stephen believes that Jedikiah might be lying.” Phil goes on to talk about Stephen’s mother. “We’re in the thick of that right now in the [writer’s] room. That’s when we start pulling the layers back on Mom and revealing she’s gone to some heroic lengths to protect her two children and she does know more about what happened between Roger and Jedikiah.” At which point, Phil pointedly clasped his own hands over his mouth to keep from revealing more. Intriguing!

Besides the flashbacks, there’s plenty of present day newcomers to be excited about. Keep an eye out for one of the original series’ Tomorrow People, Nicholas Young, to show up as an old friend of Roger, Stephen’s dad, and Jedikiah’s. And perhaps he’s drawn to all the shirtless-ness that’s been going on, but none other than SPARTACUS alum Simon Merrells will be showing up later this season. Greg teases us, “He’s definitely affiliated with the organization [Ultra] from way back when. It’s really hard when you have to find someone who is more threatening than Mark Pellegrino. (laughs) Good luck!” Phil expanded. “We are referring to him loosely as ‘The Founder.’”

Let’s get back to that shirtless-ness for a moment, shall we? Between Stephen and John, it appears shirts are optional in the land of Homo Superiors. Greg jokes “There have been times when we don’t even write it in! The dailies come back and you’re like ‘That’s not supposed to be a shirtless scene!’ That doesn’t happen on ARROW.”

Hey, Greg. We’re not complaining.

Be sure to catch TOMORROW PEOPLE on the CW at 9/8pm.

Sarah Stephens’ first and longest running TV addiction is with Days of Our Lives, starting at the age of four. Now a grown-up entertainment and pop culture addict, Sarah lives in Los Angeles where she watches too much TV, chases after all things Disney and writes. Follow her on Twitter @SnowWhite22.

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