THE TOMORROW PEOPLE-The Blue and The Green
THE BLUE AND THE GREEN
1-An Apple For Your Teacher
We see students playing at PE outside on a nice wide open field on grass at a school (nice outdoor location shots and one of the first if not the first location work done for a British children’s show). In art class, Stephen and other students are called by the student teacher in training, Elizabeth M’ Bondo (the spelling of this seems to come from the novels but fans have spelled it other ways over the years). She asks them to look at another student’s painting. This student Robert, a blond boy, has painted “The Change of Weather on Rexell Four.” Earlier, Liz told Stephen he was using too much water. The bells ring and class is dismissed, some students leaving via filmed inserts and some leaving via video. Stephen asked Robert how he knew about the name of the planet. Robert tells him that he just made it up. Robert asks if Stephen is coming home ..possibly on a bus? Stephen tells him, “No, I go home a different way.” Stephen re-enters the school and wonders how Robert knew something. He then lifts his shirt! And under his shirt is his jaunting belt. He pressed it and jaunts.
Cue new credits which do not have Carol (YEAH!!!) and Kenny but do show Liz’s face, which gives away the fact that she will be one of the TP.
John is shirtless and arrives back to the Lab from a jaunt to the Caribbean, Galleon Island (s?). Stephen says, “Some do have jam on it,” talking about John’s ability to do what he likes when he likes. He was swimming there. Stephen tells John about Robert, the painting, and Liz. He seems to have heard some of Liz’s unspoken thoughts and they both wonder if she is one of them and also about Robert. Stephen has been to Rexell 4 and knows Robert got it just right. Stephen wonders if Liz has heard his thoughts or communications with TIM and John. Stephen calls Liz a smasher meaning good looking. TIM warns Stephen not to push Liz too far, it could be damaging. Stephen balks about going to school, thinks it is a complete waste of time. John tells him now that Carol and Kenny are no longer living on Earth (no explanation given here but in the novels there are full explanations and in later TV stories, there are some), a school is a good place to look out for new TP. TIM tells Stephen he has to go to school or the authorities will be after him. TIM submolecularizes coke drinks for them. John has found a way to jaunt without all those funny lights (the first season jaunting had funny lights around them). John calls it the hyper spatial zonal shift but Stephen says, “Yeah, well whatever it was called.”
In the school, the painting seems to change color and when it looks dark and purple and stormy, everyone acts mean and fools around. Liz sends one of them, Ray Burdis (apparently a big actor on TV at the time and later maybe a producer) to the Head Master, despite his balking at this and that it’s always him she sends. Liz quiets them down but only until the painting changes with a yell from Robert to help Liz out, do they stop acting like savages and throwing things. Liz is apparently taking over for a Mr. Tripnal or as the kids call him Ole Tripe (this is also in a novel of the Tomorrow People) and Robert appreciates that. If she didn’t, they might be outside picking up trash on the playground. Liz asks if they respect the Head Master and one kid says they respect his cane, not him. She thinks that they should respect each other mutually. In the hallway, Stephen asks Robert, looking away, if he really did know about a planet called Rexell 4. Robert denies this and when Stephen asks if Robert hears voice, Robert tells him he’s not crazy.
Class dismisses and Liz returns to the art classroom and catches Stephen “half way through a jaunt” as he puts it. On the commentary, Nick Young jokes that Stephen had his hands down his pants (it looks like that when he puts his hands to lift his shirt to reveal the jaunting belt and then down to press the button on it!)! TIM thinks her reaction will be interesting. He tries to tell her that he and she are the same. She tries to tell him that he does a good ventriloquist act, doing voices of two people he calls TIM and John. She tells him she’s sure the other students would laugh at him and is surprised they haven’t made fun of him already. The reason, Stephen tells her, is that they can’t hear him, only she can. He tells her John is like they are but TIM is a computer. Liz doesn’t believe Stephen’s explanations and gets angry. She tells him not to include her in his fantasy life.
Stephen and John arrive back at the Lab. Stephen is in Speedo and wet suit, which John helps him take off (the wet suit, NOT the Speedo, damn it!). They talk again about Liz. Stephen thinks tomorrow he will take an apple to his teacher.
The next day as Stephen (with an apple from Australia since they are out of growing season in England at this time of year) tries again to convince Liz—she tells him that perhaps this school should get a psychologist and she’d haul Stephen off in front of him. The painting changes color again and in the classroom older boys start beating on a smaller black boy. Robert is helpless against a wall, upset. Liz comes in and the boys turn on her, ready to beat her up. Stephen was going to use his special powers twice, once to help the black boy and the second time to help Liz but John tells him not to. The painting changes again and the boys stop. Stephen tries to talk to Liz again but she tells him to stop involving her and to not call her Liz, she is Miss M’Bondo to him.
Later, Stephen tells John what Liz needs is someone that she doesn’t see as a student/pupil, someone she sees as more than half human, someone closer to her own age: John. John shows Stephen a painting by another sci fi fan Gavin Watkins that also seems to change and that is of a planet called QX5—the Galactic Federation Code name for the planet and the picture is an exact representation of it. It was for a Children’s Art Competition and it was in the Observer! And in that school of the boy, there have been reports of violence. In another place, a priest exorcized a painting at Kingsbenty. John and Stephen go to the school after school hours and look at the painting. John realizes how overt the influence of the painting really is, cannot detect anything unusual about it, and he starts to try to remove it from the hallway wall to bring it to the Lab. Stephen thinks that could be dangerous. Liz shows up before John can take it down. Their meeting goes well for a few minutes but Liz then realizes John is the voice Stephen spoke about so John tries to tell her the truth. He is a special powered being. Liz tells him that she looked up Stephen’s records and there is nothing there that shows him being a special being. She believes Stephen is in need of serious help and that John is corrupting Jamieson. Liz storms off to tell the Head Master. John jaunts in front of her to stop her. She screams and starts to cry and have a break down…rather a break out. As John and Stephen flank her on both sides and help her to a chair in a room, she starts to break out and hears voices all calling her (what this means in TP history is curious…no one could call out to John when he broke out because there were no others; yet here, Stephen and John aren’t calling out to her…at least not consciously…is she hearing the thoughts of EVERYONE ELSE? Do TP before they break out here the voices of all? Sometimes it is suggested that they do and sometimes it is suggested that they only hear other TP; the novels and comics are no help either, they are inconsistent with the show as with each other and internally among their own novels and comics stories). Liz wants to get away from them but can’t. They put her in a chair.
Stephen tells Liz she is becoming one of them. Liz gets more and more upset and runs out. Stephen jaunts in front of her to stop her and she jaunts, screaming. Stephen feels at least this proves she is one of them. John says, “Ahh, perhaps was one of us. She’s jaunted indiscriminately and out of control. She could be anywhere.”
Stephen says, “We’ve got to find her.”
John says, “Where do we start looking? On Earth or in space? We don’t even know if she’s alive or dead.”
REVIEW: well now. That’s more like it. More location shooting, in fact a gamble for a kid’s show. And it pays off. Even though the film inserts are a bit off setting to the video shots and the Lab shots, it all pays off and looks rather grand and expensive in a way. Now that the awful Carol and the poorly conceived and acted Kenny are gone (thank goodness) we can get on with the characters we like and let the premise relax a little and spread its wings all at the same time. The whole “who is a TP” premise is a great one and here it is expressed for all its worth. Is Robert one? Is Liz one? Unfortunately the opening credits give us both answers and perhaps for this one they should have just had John and Stephen’s faces in the credits. It’s nice and not odd that the TP just relax and soak up the sun and swim and scuba dive. There’s some gay references and interest here but why bother with all that? The story of the paintings is a good one and mysterious, something I’m not sure of how it would turn out. Even though Liz Adare wears a wig and not her traditional African hair style (back then…they wouldn’t allow it), she’s reams farther along in acting ability than Kenny or Carol’s portrayers. TIM continues to be charming and a leader in a way; John continues to be smug and a leader in a way. Wow in trying to find out the planet’s name of QR7, it might be QXR7, I found many TP fan sites have vanished. There used to be one that had pics of all the TP, all the gear, all the aliens, all the planets, every character. How do sites just vanish? It’s sad really. Anyway a fine ep, this is. Liz is a welcome actor and character; Stephen just excels, Robert proves interesting already. There’s no sidekick like Ginge or Lefty! Yeah!!!! But that might soon change. Boo! Although Chris was so much better than Ginge or Lefty. Mike Standing might have broke his leg or ankle when a motorbike fell on it during filming something that might have been called APPLE. In any case, this story starts off well! And it’s so much better than THE VANISHING EARTH. And the funny lights for jaunting are gone. The show just got loads better.