'The Tomorrow People': The original John, Nicholas Young, on returning to the show

the-tomorrow-people-nicholas-young-interview-thanatos-cw.jpg
In the original British series of "The Tomorrow People," Nicholas Young played the character of John, the de facto leader of the genetically advanced young people. He returns to the series after almost 40 years in the upcoming episode, "Thanatos," playing Dr. Aldus Crick.

Check out this interview for more on the character and actor.

What can you say about your character in the new version of "The Tomorrow People"?

Nicholas Young: Aldus Crick is an English, eccentric professor who, about 20 years ago, was a lecturer at Princeton University, where one of his colleagues -- Dr. Jedikiah Price -- was also a lecturer. And he introduces me to Roger Price who has these extraordinary abilities. He swears me to secrecy and from that time on, Roger Price and my character, Aldus Crick, try to develop a safe haven for Tomorrow People to hide away and choose the appropriate way to launch themselves on humanity as a whole. In the meantime, they need a safe haven so that people don't try to destroy them before they've even got going.

How did you hear about the new series, and how did you get a part in it?

Nicholas Young: I think it was back in February I heard about it. The guy who told me about it, I think, was the producer of the audio disks. We did a few CDs, a few audio CDs back in 2000 and 2007. And we had to stop making them because he told me that a couple people were sniffing around to buy the rights for a TV series. Originally, it was going to be a German company that was going to buy it. And when I heard it was the Warners, I was very pleased because I knew they'd do it properly. And then Greg Berlanti's name appeared -- his name is very well respected. So I was very confident it was going to be a good job. And indeed, that's exactly what it turned out to be.

I thought I'd just drop Greg a line to wish him well and say I was sure it was going to be a good show. I just said to him, 'It might be quite fun just to do a nod to the original series and have me do a little Hitchcockian appearance.' Just passing by a window or walking up the steps or whatever. And some really sharp eyes might say, 'Hey, isn't that the guy from the original?' So that was my thought.

From that, I got a call to test originally for TIM, the voice of the computer, but heard nothing so I really just put it to bed and thought that's the end of that. Then I got called out of the blue in September, saying they'd written this character -- I'm not sure that they'd written it for me specifically or not -- but they said would I like to play it? I looked at the scenes and they looked kind of fun -- quite different from anything I'd ever done before. So I was very happy to be offered it and I'm very keen to do it!

What is it like being back on the show after almost four decades?

Nicholas Young: I think weird is the proper word to describe it. It's like an actor's nightmare when you're suddenly told you've got to go on tonight and do a play you haven't done in 40 years

You share scenes with this incarnation of John, played by Luke Mitchell. What was that like?

Nicholas Young: My first reaction was he is a good deal better-looking than I ever was! I like the way plays the character -- which is much different from the way I played my character. The John that I played was very studious and fairly poker-faced and serious. And a bit condescending probably. And his is a very warm character, and he plays it very naturally and very believably, and I've got great admiration and respect for all the leads. I think they play their parts very well.

What are some of the biggest differences you've seen between the original "Tomorrow People" and this new version?

Nicholas Young: One of the things where the shows differ is many of the things that we did happened in space, very much working on wires, kind of like they do in 'Gravity.' We spent a lot of our time hanging about on wires, pretending we were floating in space ... And I believe that's totally absent from this series.

We didn't have the budget. Sometimes you'd see the special-effects guy in the cafeteria looking a paper cup, and you could just see him thinking to himself, 'Hmm ... A bit of silver paint on that, it could be a spacecraft quite easily!'

Do you think that any others from the original cast might want to do cameos on the new "Tomorrow People"?

Nicholas Young: I had lunch with the guy who played Stephen in the original show. He's now a lighting engineer. He does lighting for West End theaters in London. He's currently working for the longest-running show of all time, "The Mousetrap." But I'm sure he'd be available if the show offered him a role!


The "Thanatos" episode of "The Tomorrow People" airs Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 9 p.m. on The CW.

Photo/Video credit: The CW
SHARE IT ON: