Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Meet The New People--Same As The Old People?!?

From the days before Lost was a dirty word:

Wait...what the...?

Oh, yes, The New People.

How to explain The New People to you youngsters?

Let's let this promo get us started:

Now, just so we're clear, this is no April Fools joke--this was an actual TV show, which aired on ABC in 1969 and early 1970. For 17 episodes, we followed the adventures of a group of college students marooned on an abandoned island, left to create a new life, their own culture.

If you want the elevator pitch, it's Lord Of The Flies meets the 1960s counterculture, it's Lost meets student rush, it's Gilligan's Island meets The Way To Eden.

If you want a good idea of just how 1960s this show was, check out the closing credits, complete with theme song:

Before we completely dismiss The New People as a fascinating but irrelevant cultural artifact, we should note that the pilot was written by Rod Serling, which is more than many shows had going for it. Now, Rod didn't always go for subtle in his metaphors, and a show based on seeing how young adults would actually build their own society is a fairly transparent response to "don't trust anyone over 30." Not the worst premise in the universe, I suppose.

You can check out the full pilot here...as near as I can tell, it is the episode out there, and the only one Serling had anything to do with.

But the show went on for 17 episodes. Here's a list of brief plot synopses, including

Wash takes issue with a self-proclaimed mystic who proposes to show the way to bliss through meditation and marijuana
The groups begin to realize they need to set some boundaries because living without laws and rules is not working for anyone
Or the riveting suspense of
 The group debates the pros and cons of building a new water system

Still, maybe there's something there worth revisiting. Someone should snatch up the comic book rights, or one of those trendy cable outfits could do a limited series. It's 45 years later--what would the society on that island look like now, when they're all in their 60s? How would they (and their inevitable children) react to the 21st century, when, say, the search for a missing Malaysian jetliner turns them up instead?

It wouldn't be the worst comic/show on the market...is Grant Morrison still pretending to work on stuff for DC?

1 comment:

Martin Gray said...

Sounds zowie! Looking at the few pics of the cast in later years in imdb, I can make the show in my head!