The past met the present last week when, in The Tomorrow People Season 1 Episode 8, we witnessed the first appearance of Nicholas Young, who plays Dr. Aldus Crick.
In case you didn’t know, Young originated the role of John Young (now played by Luke Mitchell) in the original 1970s series.
On tonight's The Tomorrow People Season 1 Episode 9, Crick plays an important role in the latest mission of our team. I had the chance to chat with Young about revisiting the series and his thoughts on how the show is doing thus far.
TV Fanatic: What was your first impression when you heard they were remaking the show?
Nicholas Young: I was hoping that they were going to make it well because there was a second series made in the 1990s which I was a bit disappointed in. It didn’t have a huge amount to do with [that] series and I didn’t really feel it captured the magic of the original show. So I very much hoped that this was going to be a good effort and knowing the people that were behind it and the company that was behind it I was pretty confident that it was going to be made to a very high standard.
TVF: What do you think of the show especially John since you have a very close connection to him?
NY: When I first met Luke my first reaction was, ‘Oh, dear. He’s a lot better looking than I was.’ That was my first reaction but I’m not going to criticize anybody here but I was a bit surprised to see that he didn’t seem to do very much in the first two or three episodes but now that the story’s developed, I realize that each story tends to feature one of the leads and gives them a chance to develop their character. I hope that John has more to do in the new series than he appears to have done up to now.
TVF: The original series is always referred to as a children’s program or a kid’s show, is that how you see it?
NY: I think it definitely was…the whole idea of it was to sort of marry it up with the emotional and physical changers that teenagers were undergoing and I suppose the feeling was if you felt strange things were happening to you it could be because you are a Tomorrow Person. So in a lot of ways I found people were inspired by the program.
It gave them a lot of confidence and courage that they otherwise lacked after entering in a school environment. As they grew up, went through puberty, they found Tomorrow People were very helpful really. They gave them the feeling that they were more powerful than they thought they really were. Whereas this series, it seems to me things are much more angled at an older audience at about 18 to 35.
TVF: Tell me about the character you’re playing and the importance of him in the whole mythology of the show.
NY: Aldus Crick is an eccentric English professor and apparently was a tutor at Princeton University about 20 years ago and working in the same university was Jedikiah Price, who was studying molecular biology and we worked together or at least we worked in the same university, let’s put it that way and he introduces me to Roger Price and as you will see in the episode he’s going to introduce you to somebody that’s going to blow your mind and indeed he’s not lying because this guy’s got super powers that I would previously not have known anything about. Then, apparently, I get along pretty well with Roger Price at Princeton and we start to do experiments involving the ability perhaps to cheat death if you like. Hence the title, Thanatos, which is Greek for the personification of death.
The whole point about this story is that we are experimenting to actually see if we can find a place in the land where death can be cheated and it’s a safe haven and the idea is to find a safe haven for this new species, The Tomorrow People, and keep them safe until it’s time to safely reveal them in 15 to 20 years time.
TVF: Is it safe to say that this was not an element in the original series?
NY: Just about everything was an element in the original series. I mean, we did different stories out of the 68 episodes that we made. Stories tended to be three, four, or maybe six episodes all on one storyline and then they would move on, we’d solve that to get a problem. You know, we’d save the galaxy every week or we’d sort out whatever the difficulties were and then it would be a new adventure with a new set of problems and we’d set about sorting those out.
TVF: Dr. Crick probably also has a lot of information that maybe the current Tomorrow People don’t know yet, whether it’s about Stephen’s father or the…
NY: I mean, the experiments that I do with Roger Price, we knew advertently were kept a secret and from everybody else because we didn’t trust the authorities or the organization that had been set up to protect the Tomorrow People. Therefore, our research was kept very much under wraps and for some reason I think, as you will know from the story, during the middle of our experiment something goes terribly wrong and we don’t see Roger Price anymore in that episode.
I think Aldus Crick leaves the University under a dark cloud and goes off and becomes a hermit living on a mountain somewhere to get away from it all. I suddenly have all sorts of information that would be useful to the Tomorrow People but you’ve got to bear in mind that at the time I was at Princeton there was only one Tomorrow Person.
TVF: I was wondering if they’d have you in a turtleneck again because in the old series it seemed a lot of times you had those turtlenecks that were popular back then.
NY: No. We discussed the character at great length actually before I even got out to film it and I’m happy to say we had very similar ideas of how I would dress and, no, turtlenecks wasn’t one of them. We did discuss bow ties but I think in the end we discussed that we thought that might be a bit corny for a professor but, no, he tends to wear very, what I’d call them fall colors. You know duffle coats, boots, corduroy trousers, that sort of image. He’s not cool, slick, or modern in any way.
TVF: Is the door left open for you to keep returning?
NY: Well, the only thing I’ll say is that the whole point about Thanatos is we’re supposed to be finding a safe haven for people to hide away and I think whatever might happen in any of the episodes nothing is final when you’re talking about experimenting and that sort of thing.
TVF: What did you think of the cast just in general because I know you worked with a little bit of everybody?
NY: They were lovely people. They made me very, very welcome. It could have been quite awkward, quite difficult but I was made very welcome on the set the first day and people kept telling me what an honor and a privilege it was to have me on the show which made me feel quite embarrassed I have to say. They were such nice people and all good actors.
I do have to say that I read one or two of the reviews criticizing one or two performances and they were totally unjustified. I think everybody’s performance, as far as I was concerned, was very natural instinct and very real and, when required, quite chilling. Mark Pellegrino, of course, is particularly brilliant as Jedikiah but the regular leads, I thought they looked good and they sounded good and they preformed very well in my view.
The Tomorrow People airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.