If The Tomorrow People survive to see another day — and that’s a big “if” off- and on-screen, with the CW series still awaiting to hear about a renewal as the characters fight to stop the end of the world — their story will become a much more mature one.
Season 2 would find Stephen’s adolescent questions replaced by more adult issues and “unencumbered” homo superiors in a whole new setting, executive producer Phil Klemmer reveals.
But first, there’s an apocalypse to avert, a death (…or two, or more), a God-like Jedikiah and a “bittersweet“ scene between John and Astrid in Monday’s finale (The CW, 9/8c), which ends with an “Everest-sized cliffhanger.”
TVLINE | With the show’s fate up in the air, how did you approach crafting the finale? Is there a good amount of closure?
I don’t think I would have approached it any differently had our future been a little more certain. I’ve always defiantly gone into this with a pretty reckless energy because I just don’t think any show can really afford to play it safe or predictably. Preparing ourselves for Season 2, I’ve been pretty determined since the beginning to resolve the stories that we’ve set into motion, but at the same time blow them up in a way that we can’t return to the world of Season 1. When I consider doing another 22 episodes, I don’t want them to be the same 22, and the only way you can do that is to blow up things in a way that you have to reinvent the world.
TVLINE | You want viewers and the network to want more at the end of the season. So will there be a pretty sizable cliffhanger?
Yes, like an Everest-sized cliffhanger. Season 1 was very much a show about an adolescent hero dealing with adolescent issues, and Season 2 will be much more a show about adults. That means jumping into the future. Stephen’s quest has been to understand who is and what he is and to bring his family together. But as we’ve seen in Episode 21, he’s lost his family. Season 2, I want it to be not about the Tomorrow People hiding and being on the run. I want it to be what they would do if they were unencumbered. The way we’re leaving things at the end of [Episode] 21, it looks like humankind could very well be doomed, and that’s a distinct possibility.
TVLINE | Things looked very dire at the end of the last episode with Roger being strapped into The Machine. How are they handling this development?
Not particularly well. Things continue to go poorly. The end of [Episode] 21 was not a dramatic fake-out. It’s not something that will be swiftly resolved at the top of the finale. It’s a very real, impending doom that will tick down until the last frames of the season.
TVLINE | Last time we talked, you said there will be some death. Can we expect to lose more than one person?
You can certainly expect that. You can certainly expect to lose people and Tomorrow People. And in a way, you can expect to lose all the people.
TVLINE | Does that include any of the regular characters?
Alas, yes. That’s the wonderful thing about Warner Bros. and The CW. When we first pitched out Season 1, Mark Pedowitz, the head of The CW, was beating the drum that cable television has upended all of the conventions of network [TV]. He, basically, empowered us to follow this story wherever it took us. The reverberations of [Game of Thrones'] Red Wedding have been felt in network television, and I think that’s a great thing.
TVLINE | What’s Jedikiah going to do with his newfound powers?
It certainly looks like at the end of [Episode 21] that he’s going to enjoy using them. But nothing comes without a cost. Maybe playing God isn’t quite as simple as Jedikiah thought it would be. He’ll have an awful price to pay.
TVLINE | We’ve seen that a human can get powers. Does that mean someone like John can regain them?
It certainly could. But like I said, playing God is a complicated and dangerous game. It also comes with unforeseen consequences. John getting his powers back, who’s to say that he would be the same man? In a lot of ways, what John has lost can never be replaced. That’s what makes his fading love story with Cara so tragic. Both of them want to go back to who they were, but that’s something that nobody, not even paranormals, can do.
TVLINE | Cara definitely seemed to take notice of the development between John and Astrid. Will she have some feelings or opinions about it in the finale?
She will, absolutely, but the specter of what is about to happen is so huge that it dwarfs any one person’s personal feelings. When you’re looking at the end of the world or the end of your own life, there’s really no time to dwell on your own hurt. For me, that’s what’s really interesting about the finale — it plays out nearly in real time, and our characters are forced to make real-time decisions about how to survive. But then they’re also forced to make, essentially, death-bed confessionals. They’re forced to unburden themselves of all the things that are in their heart because there’s no way you can say them when you’re dead. I think people will be very interested to hear how our characters really feel for one another.
TVLINE | Amidst all this action, is there is time for more John and Astrid romance?
Oh, my God, there might be a little bit too much time for it. [Laughs] There is, absolutely. There’s a very, very bittersweet moment for the two of them – their version of Titanic, “clinging to each other as they freeze in the Arctic.”