Nicholas Young played the role of John in the original Tomorrow People series and now he’s opening up to JJJ about guest-starring in the hit new CW one.
The veteran actor plays Aldus Crick, a scientist who used to study the Tomorrow People, particularly Stephen’s (Robbie Amell) father.
And because Stephen’s trying to track him down, he turns to Aldus for some answers that may lead him in the right direction.
We caught up with Nicholas to talk about how his role on the show came about, what he thinks of Luke Mitchell playing the reincarnated version of John, and what advice he has for our favorite Tomorrow People leader.
The Tomorrow People airs TONIGHT @ 9PM on The CW!
Click inside to read our interview with Nicholas Young…
JustJaredJr.com Interview – Nicholas Young
JustJaredJr: So what can you tell us about your character?
Nicholas Young: Stephen obviously thinks he can use my skills and knowledge to help find his father. In the next episode, TIM, the computer, manages to find some recordings made of the original experiments that I did with Stephen’s father. It’s a flashback about 20 years back at Princeton, and you see us working very hard on what we called “The Thanatos Project,” which is an attempt to find some safe place in limbo where the emerging Tomorrow People can hide in safety from ULTRA or anyone else who might wish them evil. So that’s the plot. We do the flashback and we come back to the present day, and I’m not going to tell you too much about what happens in the present day because that will spoil the story.
JJJ: He’s living in this cottage. Is he in hiding?
NY: That’s a good question, actually. I don’t know whether he’s in hiding. He obviously left Princeton under a cloud of some sort and has gone to live in this log cabin half-way up a mountain somewhere. And The Tomorrow People manage to track him down. When I meet them, I seem to be very pleased to meet them because I think I’ve spent the last 20 years or so, pretty much in solitary confinement. The prospect of meeting them all, I think I find that very exciting. The other thing of course is, I recognize Stephen straight away because in many respects, he’s remarkably similar to his father.
JJJ: Is he willing to give them information?
NY: Clearly there’s a bond between Roger Price and Aldus Crick. When Roger Price disappears, the character of Stephen is very young. I think he’s about 7 or 8. So I imagine when Aldus sees Roger Prices’s son, there’s an immediate affiliation, and feeling of fondness and wanting to help him, while full understanding how he must feel about his father disappearing. So I think it’s a willingness to help Stephen more than it is The Tomorrow People and such.
JJJ: What’s the biggest difference from the series today and the original?
NY: The John that I played was a much more serious, scientific character. He was older than all the others and therefore played a sort of father figure – absolute and condesceding. There was no romance, unfortunately. We did have a leading female, but there was no romance between John that I played. It was aimed at a slightly different audience, although we were trying to attract young girls. In fact, the guy that played Stephen, and I, had quite a fan following from girls whose interest was more in us than it was in the science fiction angle. We did go for more science fiction perhaps, and indeed we ended up in outer space in quite a few of the stories. There was no 3D and we didn’t have CGI, unfortunately (laughs).
JJJ: Was it planned from the beginning that you would guest star?
NY: No, not at all. Not as far as I know. But I did suggest there might be telepathy at play here. Because when I heard that Greg [Berlanti] was going to do [the series], I just dropped him a line to wish him well and say I thought it would be fun if they got the original John just to do a “Hitchcockian” role, in other words, you’d see this guy walking in the background. And the keen eye amongst the audience might say, “Hey, it’s that the guy from the original series?” That would be just a bit of fun.
He then had me tested for the role of TIM, which went to Dan Stevens in the end. And I said to Greg, “Did you not like the way I played it?” He said, “No, it wasn’t that. I just thought it was a bit of a waste to have just the voice. We’d rather see you walking and talking.” Then it came back to completely out of the blue in September, and they said they had this part. I’m not sure they wrote it specially for me or not, but asked whether I would like to do it, and I thought it was a great character and great fun to do it.
JJJ: Was it weird stepping back into that world?
NY: It’s very interesting you picked the word “weird” because that’s the very word I’ve used with everybody else. Yes, it is weird (laughs). I keep thinking I’m going to wake up any minute and it’s just been a dream. To pick up on a role you played 40 years ago is really very bizarre, isn’t it?
JJJ: Definitely! What do you think about Luke as the new John?
NY: I think he’s great. He’s powerful, tall, good-looking. He carries it beautifully and the camera loves him. Robbie as well, of course. I think the cast is wonderful because they’ve all got their qualities. They’re all very photogenic and I think they play their roles excellently. Their performances are subtle and naturalistic. By comparison, in the original series, we had some excellent actors and we also had some ropy actors, if you know what I mean.
JJJ: If the original John could give the John of today some advice, what would it be?
NY: Keep a very close eye on Stephen.