'Tomorrow People': Original Star Nicholas Young on Returning 40 Years Later

The British actor, who played the original John in the 1970s series, talks to THR about joining The CW update.
Cate Cameron/The CW
"The Tomorrow People"

Nicholas Young, who appeared as John in the original 1970s British series The Tomorrow People, is making his debut on The CW update.

In Wednesday's episode, "Thanatos," the veteran actor portrays Aldus Crick, a scientist who has studied the Tomorrow People at length -- including Stephen's father, believed to be the species' saving grace.

It's been decades since Young first starred on The Tomorrow People and even he admits it was an out-of-body experience stepping back on set. "I expect to wake up at any moment and think that this was an actual dream," Young tells The Hollywood Reporter, laughing. "It's bizarre. It's been 40 years since I started doing the series, so it's a long time. It was a very strange feeling coming back to it."

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In a chat, the British thespian discusses coming back to TV, playing opposite the "new" John and if he may return in the future.

What was it like when you first stepped back on the set with the younger cast?

The first AD [assistant director] was very clever. He got the crew around and he introduced me to them and said, "Let's make Nick feel very welcome," and they gave a round of applause. They probably were told to say this, but they came up and said what an honor and a privilege it was to work with me. (Laughs.) But obviously it makes you feel very much at home. I very much appreciated it because it could've been quite uncomfortable.

How different is Aldus Crick from the original John?

John was very much a scientist or rather keen in science. In that respect, I suppose Aldus is an extension of the original John. But that's about where the similarities stop. Aldus Crick is an eccentric English professor who was a tutor at Princeton University 20 years ago. It's at Princeton where he meets Jedikiah Price and Roger Price. In fact, Jedikiah introduces him to Roger. Realizing that they need to find a place to hide and protect the new species on Tomorrow People, they start experimenting on finding such a place. Jedikiah, because he doesn't have any superpowers, he's somewhat excluded from the experiments. We decide to keep the secret because they're worried about influences. That's one of the things that turns Jedikiah against the Tomorrow People, makes him change sides so to speak.

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What has the been the most enjoyable thing for you being back on The Tomorrow People?

Once an actor, always an actor. It's great to be back working on any show but to be working on The Tomorrow People, it was quite bizarre to start with. To pick up the script and see "John," the character, I'd twitch because I'd think, "Oh those are my lines!" Of course those aren't my lines at all. Whenever anyone on set said John, I'd twitch because, "Oh dear, I just missed my cue!" It's wonderful to work with the hugely professional team and I love modern technology, CGI and the quality of digital recording. The sets are beautifully lit in every respect. It was so well-made. I suppose one of the things I thought was, "What a shame we couldn't have done this 40 years ago."

Could you talk about your interactions with Luke Mitchell, who plays the "new" John?

It was great fun talking to him about it. As I said, the John as I played him was more serious and very wrapped up in science and somewhat the father figure of the Tomorrow People, which isn't how this new John is really. Plus the fact that Luke gets some beautiful girls, which my John never did -- much to my disappointment.

Is there a chance that you may return later in the season?

You'll have to talk to the producers and writers about that. It depends on the plots and the storylines and so forth. I would be happy to [return].

The Tomorrow People airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.

Email: Philiana.Ng@THR.com
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