So while I'm enjoying #TheTomorrowPeople
on the CW more than I expected, there's on particular area of the series that still falls flat for me: The violence.
It seems striking (no pun intended) that an American show, produced for an American audience, just doesn't know how to do or handle conflict without things getting all ... fighty. One of the things I loved about the (yes, incredibly hokey) original British series was "the Prime Barrier" — the Tomorrow People, homo superior
, could not kill.
To their credit, the creators of the new series have retained this element...sort of. But where as in the original series "cannot kill" tended to translate into "are near complete pacifists who can't use anything more violent than a stunner that harmlessly puts you to sleep" the CW series seems to translate it as "cannot commit cold-blooded murder." Virtually everything else, from bone crushing martial arts to pushing people off rooftops or cliffs, or even into the water to drown, seems to "pass". It's rules lawyering of the sort I'd expect from the most jaded RPG'er. You can almost hear the series writers shrugging and saying "Well, it's not killing
Unfortunately, it comes off cheap and lazy. Rather than trying to write about how a new species with both superior mental powers and an innate pacifism would find ways to survive in the face of the threat like Ultra, we get a lot of "fight fire with slightly less hot fire".
Don't get me wrong, I think some of the subplots around the Prime Barrier—like revelations about John's past with Ultra, or the idea that some Tomorrow People can get a sick "rush" from "riding" the edge of that forbidden act—have been clever. I just think that the Tomorrow People are about more than their cool powers: the most important way in which they are "evolved" is in moving past the need, or even the ability, to use violence to solve their problems.
[Oh, and as an aside: Don't you think that in a series about an outcast, oppressed, and hunted minority that discovers they are "different" as teens and are forced to live secret lives you could have one
openly GLBT character? C'mon CW, it's 2014...]