THE TOMORROW PEOPLE: Original Series Star Nicholas Young on His Guest Spot on The CW Reboot - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE TOMORROW PEOPLE: Original Series Star Nicholas Young on His Guest Spot on The CW Reboot

December 4, 2013 by  

THE TOMORROW PEOPLE has recruited a very special guest star for tonight’s episode: Nicholas Young, who played Luke Mitchell’s character, John, on the original version of the series. (He’ll play Dr. Aldus Crick on The CW version.)

I spoke with Young about him pitching himself for a different role on the series, being impressed with the reboot, and more..

At what point were you approached about possibly coming on to the show?
Nicholas Young: Actually, it was the other way around! When I heard they were doing a new series, I dropped [executive producer] Greg [Berlanti] a line just to say, “Glad to hear you’re making it, I’m sure it’s going to do wonderful. And what do you think of this as an idea: it might be fun for me to do a Hitchcockian cameo, or possibly the voice of the computer [TIM], which I could do from London. If you think that’s a fun idea, do get in touch.” And the next I heard, they wanted me to test for the voice of the computer, TIM, so I did a test for that, and heard no more, and I assumed my acting was so bad they wouldn’t have me any way. Then I discovered they offered it to Dan Stevens, and I put it out of my mind, really.

And then out of the blue, I got a call in September for this role that they had apparently written for me. And when I met Greg, I said, “I take it you didn’t like what I did for TIM?” And he went, “It’s not that, we just thought it would be a waste to just have your voice — we wanted to see you walking out and talking.” So that’s how it came about.

You do have scenes with a good number of the new show’s cast. What was their reaction to having you on set?
NY: I found [the attention] embarrassing, quite honestly! They thought it was an honor and a privilege to work with someone who was in the original series. But actually, the honor and privilege was for me being in a show that was so well made and well acted and such a wonderful cast. I felt quite humbled to work for them, I have to say.

That’s very sweet. What can you say about the character you are playing in the show?
NY: Nothing at all! As you may know, in the original series I played John, who is now played by Luke Mitchell. And so I’m not playing that part. Aldus Crick, the role I’m playing, is an eccentric English professor who taught at Princeton about 20 years ago and gets involved with the whole setup when Jedikiah introduces him to Roger Price.

As of now you’re set to appear in two episodes, but have the producers spoken to you about the potential to return for more? Or is that up in the air?
NY: I think it’s still up in the air. I’d be very happy to come back for more, but that’s obviously up to the writers and whether it fits in with the storyline and so forth.

If you do get to come back, is there anything you hope to do on the show? Or someone you’d like to work with?
NY: I mean, maybe a scene with Aaron [Yoo (Russell)], who I thought was a very interesting character. I don’t think I met him in either of the episodes I got to do, so that would have been quite fun. Obviously, Madeline [Mantock (Astrid)], as well, because the scenes I did were with Luke and Robbie [Amell (Stephen)]. Of course, Mark Pellegrino was a lovely Jedikiah, and it was lovely to meet him and get to work with him.

When you shot your guest spot, had you actually seen any of the new series? Or did you walk on to the set relatively blind to how the show would be?
NY: I saw a 30-second teaser, I don’t know if it was on YouTube or on The CW’s own website. What struck me was, “This was how this show should have been made back in the 1970s.” With beautiful photography, excellent special effects, and plenty of money spent on it. All of those things were lacking [in the original]. I fear, in the 1970s. I could see this was going to be beautifully made, and I could tell if I was going to be involved with it, I was going to be very comfortable with it and very proud of it.

Since you were impressed by the technology, do you get to do any cool tricks? Or is he more of a grounded character?
NY: No, I don’t think there’s any CGI as far as I’m concerned in this episode. That’s all done by the leading guys. I have seen the CGI they use and it’s quite brilliant. You have to remember, when we did the series [originally], it was all done on videotape on a four-camera set-up. So you rehearsed the whole program for a week and then recorded it all on one day. So it was quite different from how they do it now. It’s a two-camera set-up, and you’ve got the freedom to record a hell of a lot more, because there’s no film being wasted as you do it. So in that respect, it’s quite good. It’s a quite different technique, and I had to get used to it quite quickly.

Did you like the change? Or was it a little jarring?
NY: For the first five minutes, it was like switching bicycles, but equally like riding a bicycle, you don’t, hopefully, forget how to act. I’m quite reasonably technology-minded, and I’m quite keen on photography anyway, so I was a fan of the techniques involved. They didn’t mention it to me, and why should they? It’s a world of change, even in the last five years, where film is pretty much a dead medium and it’s now digital, and it is a different technique. But I got used to it quite quickly.

Do you have people coming up to you wanting to talk about the original series now that this CW version has brought the show back into the pop culture conversation?
NY: I think in England it’s less known! It’s not out in England, as you may be aware — I think it comes out in January. I think a few people are aware, and certainly the original THE TOMORROW PEOPLE fan base, they are aware and excited of it. But they have no idea of what role I play or how it’s going to pan out.

Have you ventured online to see what the reaction has been to your joining THE TOMORROW PEOPLE for a guest arc?
NY: Yes…I’m not on Facebook or Twitter. [Laughs] But I’ve seen the public websites everybody can see, and the reaction seems to be pretty favorable as far as I can see.

Oh, yes, I’ve only seen excitement.
NY: [Laughs] Good! That’s nice to know.

I’ll tell you one thing I wasn’t aware of: when I met with Greg, knowing he was a handsome young man, I figured he was far too young to see the original series. And I made that point when I wrote to him. But of course what I forgot was it actually went out in America probably ten years after it did in England. So in other words, there’s a slightly different fan base in America versus England. They’re younger than the British fan base.

He and [fellow executive producer] Julie Plec have talked about loving this show, and wanting to do their own spin on it for a while.
NY: They seem to be great fans, but I didn’t realize he was a great fan when I dropped him a line, because I thought he would be too young to see the original series.

Did you actually get the chance to meet face-to-face?
NY: Yes, Greg flew up from Hollywood for a special dinner [he] had organized for the cast and crew of ARROW and THE TOMORROW PEOPLE. So we all had a big dinner together, which was a very enjoyable occasion, because I got to meet everybody socially.

Did he geek out on you when you met? Or did he play it cool?
NY: Oh, I think he played it pretty cool. I don’t think he wanted to give anything away. I did say to him,  “Why didn’t you write to me back in the 1980s? I would have sent you an autographed photograph.” And he just smiled. [Laughs]

Maybe he did write and he didn’t want to let you know he had actually done that!
NY: That’s a possibility!

THE TOMORROW PEOPLE airs Wednesdays at 9 PM on The CW.

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