Stephen Jameson (Robbie Amell) wakes up one day and has no idea where he is, only to find out that he’s teleported. Soon, he discovers that he’s part of a small group of people called — yep, you guessed it — the Tomorrow People. They’re special because they’re the people of the future and have special powers like teleportation and telekinesis. But sometimes, being able to say, stop a bullet mid-air, doesn’t sit well with folks. Meaning that the Tomorrow People have to learn how to harness their powers, so they can stay alive and avoid the normals seeking to harm them.
BuzzFeed sat down with The Tomorrow People stars Robbie Amell and Peyton List, who plays fellow Tomorrow Person and Stephen’s mentor Cara Coburn, to chat about the new series, and how it will stand up in the CW lineup.
2. The show isn’t just about the next step in human evolution; it’s about the importance of standing out.
Peyton List: “Our concept is — yes, we are the next step in human evolution — but the bare bones of it is about being different, and feeling different, and being an outsider. That can be something special. It doesn’t have to be something negative. What’s interesting about our show is that being different is what brings us together, not what tears you apart.”
3. The Tomorrow People uses the same fight choreographer as Arrow.
RA: “We have amazing fight choreographers. We share them with Arrow, which is great because they have some of the best fight scenes on television. So since Day One, we’ve had fight training whenever we have spare time, and weapons training if we’re going to have weapons in an upcoming episode. They took me in for some sword training in the first week because I end up doing a little bit of fighting with a big old piece of rebar. It’s mostly me getting my ass kicked for the first little while, so the fight I put up isn’t that hard.”
PL: “We have done a lot of stunt training. They did basic training with us when we first got there, just to make it easier when we got into shooting. We’re doing massive fight sequences, at least once an episode, if not more, so it helps having that foundation laid down. It’s exciting and it’s not just one type of fighting; it’s staff fighting, stick fighting, hand to hand combat, MMA fighting, and jiu-jitsu stuff. We’re just spoiled, because when would you ever get to do that?”
4. Speaking of fight sequences, Robbie will get his ass kicked. Repeatedly.
RA: “I get beaten to crap up until Episode 9. I get my ass kicked over, and over, and over again, which is great, because my character is very bullheaded, and he’s got a quick trigger on him. So the second something goes off, he’s got good intentions, but he just kind of runs in head first. And he hasn’t had the time to hone his powers that so many of these [Tomorrow] people have. I’m very new to these powers, and you really get to see me fumble with them, and screw up, and pay for them.”
5. The show is more about the Tomorrow People than Stephen’s life as a high schooler.
RA: “The amount of high school in the show is very minimal. I think mainly because it’s been done before. Everyone’s seen the high school kid who gets powers, and how he interacts with school and balancing that life. But ours focuses mainly on balancing family, the Tomorrow People, and his life at Ultra.”
6. But The Tomorrow People will tackle what it’s like to have superpowers and also have to deal with human stuff.
PL: “The best thing about this show is, What if you really did have superpowers? Everything else stays the same; you still wake up, have your cup of coffee and you have these powers, but you’re going about your day. It’s interesting to see what challenges you’re presented with — not showing them, showing them, where to use them, where you don’t.”
7. Amell and his character are driven by something we can all understand: putting family first.
RA: I feel like Stephen is somebody that everyone can relate to, or at least, I could in the decisions that he makes. He puts family first, which is something I would do. I’m very close with my mom and dad, and I know that if I didn’t know my dad and then found out new information about him, that would be the one thing that I’m after. Everything else would be second …
My mom came to visit, and I took her on the really egotistical Robbie Amell tour, which was just to see all the Tomorrow People signs around. I feel like that’s the one time you’re allowed to be egotistical, is with your mom, because it brought a big smile to her face. We went over to Century City mall, and it’s just amazing: There are Tomorrow People signs everywhere, so she was in heaven, and it was an incredible experience. Then I started getting really uncomfortable, and I was just like, “OK, we have to go. I’ve seen enough of my face. We need to leave, and I’m sweating.”
8. If List looks familiar, you might recognize her as Jane Sterling on Mad Men.
PL: “It was an easier transition than you would assume. With Mad Men, all of the characters are so specific, so you know your character once you’ve done it for a couple of years. It’s fun to go to a polar opposite place, and I love both things. I love period stuff, and I also love sci-fi, because the possibilities are endless of what you can do with it. They’re really taking advantage of that on this show, and it’s cool.”
9. Amell and List have favorite superheroes, aside from themselves that is.
RA: “Ever since I was a little kid, I had a ton of Batman toys and comic books. I used to watch the series when I was really young with my mom and dad — the bam! Pow! Plat! — the Adam West one. I remember seeing Tim Burton’s Batman with Michael Keaton. I guess because I grew up when Batman was in his prime, with the movies and TV series, it’s just always been a big thing for me.”
PL: “I kind of always had a thing for Catwoman, but what girl didn’t? And I went through my Mortal Kombat phase, which I know isn’t really superhero, but I thought I was Kitana for a few years. I really truly believed it.”