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[Warning: Some spoilers ahead.]
The Tomorrow People is ramping up as it heads toward the end of the season.
After Stephen’s discovery of his mother’s powers, The CW sci-fi drama followed it up with another significant reveal: Stephen’s father Roger is closer than Stephen thinks (or knows). Executive producer Phil Klemmer talks to The Hollywood Reporter about last week’s revelation, romantic entanglements and the odds of core characters surviving the season.
How did you land on last week’s reveal with Stephen’s father just steps away?
I always imagined that we would get to him much sooner than we did, but it became so much more delicious because as soon as dad returns in whatever sense, he can answer questions for Stephen and we had fun playing the mystery of who to trust to keep Stephen’s head spinning. We kept his father just out of reach. You have to watch the entire season to find out what went down between these three men: Jedikiah, The Founder and Stephen’s father.
It seems like there’s a grander plan that we don’t know all the pieces of quite yet between Roger and Jedikiah. What can you divulge?
We do know for a fact that Jedikiah killed his brother — at least had him killed by John. We’ll gradually figure out the reasoning behind that. It was a cold calculation but it was also a heartbreaking decision and it’s one that humanizes Jedikiah in a really tragic but beautiful way. We learn a lot about the relationship between these two brothers. As the season comes to a close, you’ll find the back story of what drove Stephen’s father into limbo. That becomes Stephen’s present-day struggle and it’s an eerie version of history repeating itself. If something was dire and dangerous enough for Roger to literally risk death to prevent it, Stephen has to inherit that burden himself.
Stephen is dealing with the discovery of his mother’s powers and his younger brother Luca is also showing signs. What is next for the Jamesons now that they’re becoming a “superhero” family?
Stephen’s father’s powers were responsible for destroying the family. [It’s] back to that idea of whether history will repeat itself. By the time we get to the finale, it’s not about living in both worlds, it’s about preserving both of those worlds and species. It’s interesting because having a hero who can be purely hero is one thing but having one who’s trying to keep his family together that to us humanizes Stephen and keeps him relatable and makes him an 18 year old as opposed to a superhero.
In the next episode, John continues to go against Cara. Will there come a time when that will have even more dire consequences?
The opposite is going to come and bite him in the butt. He’s going to be bitten really, really hard by the time we get to the end of the season. Before we get there, we are going to see is a lovely reconciliation, which I think people are looking forward to. There’s going to be some sweaty sexy friction between our favorite couple.
John and Cara?
Yes. You will get to see an interesting new dynamic. We get to see their version of House of Cards, trying to balance ambition and power with their frothy love life.
Does that mean that there’s no hope for John and Astrid?
I wouldn’t say that at all because by the time we get to the end of the season, John and Astrid are forced into very, very close proximity. We had an episode of John helping Astrid. We will get to see her return that favor. Those fans will also be very pleased. I know you can’t please everybody but we’re trying. (Laughs.) You might not like why characters do what they do but I think you’ll at least have to understand it. When people are facing imminent doom, you can’t really fault somebody for stealing a kiss from whoever they can get it from.
Should we expect more flashbacks?
We get to see the formation of Ultra in episode 17, we get to see a boyhood flashback with Jedikiah and Roger, we get to see Jedikiah’s breakout and in the next episode we get to see John and Cara’s first meeting and it’s not what you expect. We have a Russell flashback and meet the love of his life and taking a stab at being a superhero in episode 16.
What else can we expect for the remaining episodes of the season?
We’re looking to end the season in a way that doesn’t set up a season two that’s the same. I think we’re blowing up our show in a really delightful way. Narratively, you can’t go home again after what we’ve done.
Will all the major characters survive the season?
No, no. People are not safe. We’ve seen the Tomorrow People more or less a unified front but by the time we get to the end of the season, the new head of Ultra — The Founder — will have driven a wedge. It’s a civil war. It’s no longer skulking around the subway and stealing breakouts in the dead of night. It’s paranormal strife in the streets of Manhattan. It promises a season two of the show where paranormals don’t live underground. The lid has been blown off for a lot of people. If season one was about a boy becoming a man, season two is definitely about Stephen becoming a new kind of leader.
What is your take on moving to Monday nights?
I’m excited for the opportunity about making a foothold there and opening up a big night for the network that maybe hasn’t been that in the past. We’re doing a couple guerilla campaigns and promos that we shot in between takes. We’re hoping to get the word out and I feel like our fans are super loyal and I feel like they’re going to travel with us and hopefully their friends.
The Tomorrow People airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.
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The Fien Print
William Jackson Harper