'Tomorrow People' EP Previews Major Power Shift and John 'Under Pressure' (Q&A)
Phil Klemmer talks to THR about the winter finale's brief John/Astrid tease, Jedikiah's continued manipulation and Stephen's loyalties tested.
Stephen is determined to find his father in the winter return of The Tomorrow People.
After returning to reality after being stuck in limbo, where he believes he has the golden key to finding out what happened to his father, the Tomorrow People's true savior, things get complicated fast when Stephen's discovery forces John's hand. Things unravel from there, prompting a big change within the ranks of the Tomorrow People. Will Stephen successfully accomplish his goal of getting one step closer to finding out the truth about his father?
Executive producer Phil Klemmer talks to The Hollywood Reporter about the second half of The CW drama's freshman season.
What was your take on how the first half went? What did you want to accomplish in this second half?
When the season begins you never quite know what you're model episode is going to look like and there's always a debate of whether it's going to be serialized or episodic: Is it going to be about breakouts of the week or is it going to be about mythology and character arcs? In the beginning, we had our breakout of the week model we leaned on a little heavier; in the back half we realized the dynamic between our primary cast is so interesting that we wanted to give more story to that. I was really happy to see we were able to deepen our characters' stories as opposed to giving stories to guest stars of the week.
You mentioned the deepening of the characters. A great example of that is John. How much more will we discover about the Tomorrow People?
In the pilot you know so very little about the Tomorrow People, it's much more Stephen's story and we had these rather elaborate backstories for everyone and gave everybody their first flashback episodes with Cara's breakout, John being recruited by Jedikiah as a child and Russell in episode six. We used those to establish those characters and never went back to them, but what we found is those flashback stories speak to those real-time stories of those characters and either inform or in some ways contradict. There's all sorts of ways in and the way the two time periods speak to each other just gives it a real depth. It makes people seem like real people and it makes you feel like you are getting to know them in the way that you get to know real people, which is bit by bit.
John is losing control over the Tomorrow People with the potential threat of a shift in power. How does Cara, Russell and the other Tomorrow People come into play with that?
It's interesting because John and Cara is kind of like a love during war times story and I think a lot of fans want dearly for them to be together and for their relationship to be simple. Certainly Stephen's introduction to their world destabilizes their relationship in a really interesting way -- by Stephen and Cara having their fling. Cara comes clean, her and John have their giant blow-up over her infidelity, but John's lied to her. They're both guilty of betraying the other -- not that they cancel each other out but there is a world in which they would be able to skip off into the sunset.
John and Astrid shared a moment in the winter finale and it seems they may become a new pairing. How did you come to bring them together?
It was certainly something that we considered but we never really know until you give them screen time. You never really know until you see it how you feel about it. Episode 12, I'm not going to pass judgment on my own work but I'm very curious to hear what the fans have to say because putting her in the vicinity of John and putting them under pressure brings out really interesting dynamics. It's cool to see Astrid brought into the world of danger and intrigue and life and death, and just as cool as John brought into her world. To see them meeting in the middle ... there will be fans.
What more can you say about episode 12?
I will say this. There is singing in the episode and if it doesn't bring tears to your eyes, you don't have a heart.
How much stock should viewers be putting behind Jedikiah's declarations?
Jedikiah is certainly a guy who operates on a need-to-know basis and manipulation is his primary mode of getting what he wants. He does have feelings for Stephen and has grown to care for him as much as a guy like Jedikiah could care for a person but he's still driven ideology and he's still doing everything in his power to protect humankind and Stephen's not a part of that. Stephen from the beginning has been a pawn and it will be a question for the second half of the season is the Founder come to the forefront as Jedikiah's rival. Just as Stephen is given the impossible choice of being human or being a [member of the] Tomorrow People in the pilot, he has an impossible choice at the back half of the series -- of which one of these guys to trust because certainly neither is trustworthy.
Watch a scene from the winter premiere.
The Tomorrow People returns Wednesday at 9 p.m. on The CW.
Sundance: On the Scene