Monday 31 July 2017


From the VHS era: The home video version of the 1992 revival of THE TOMORROW PEOPLE.
I've just started to rewatch this five-parter on DVD so it seemed like a good time to post the sleave for the VHS release from way-back-when.  The video cut condenses the five part broadcast version into one TV movie.  It is a long time since I have seen this edit but the hefty amount of cutting required to hit the correct duration means a lot must be missing.  There is a fair amount of padding in the broadcast version so hopefully the editor was smart enough to strip away the right bits.

The production itself is pretty good, albeit a little daft in places.  It's a reworking rather than a continuation of the earlier series and - for the most part - it works.  The premise is updated and none of the original cast return (neither does the original theme or title sequence), replaced by a new generation with a more international feel (to help sales, of course). There's a little too much kid-pleasing silliness but I guess the producers were pitching to a broad audience.  The plot is flabby in places (lots of sub-GRANGE HILL hijinks witht he local bullies... who aren't really bullies anyway) which - I assume - this cut sorts out.  There's also some daft attempts at passing off London as the States, a requirement dictated by US investment which clearly didn't go as far as actually bankrolling US filming.  The writing doesn't service the cast terribly well but they all do a good job with the material.

This did well enough on both sides of the Atlantic to survive the end of the Thames ITV franchise and contine for four more stories (each spanning five episodes) across two seasons.

I was surprised to spot Canadian Christian Tessier (Megabyte) many years later in the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA revival.

The real shame is that neither the BBC nor ITV would pump this much time, resource and effort into a Childrrens drama today.  It really does feel like a lost genre.

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