says Dean, The Tomorrow
It isn’t much fun being a has-been at 18. That’s what has happened to Peter Vaughan-Clarke, who plays Stephen in the new series of The Tomorrow People, which starts next week.
“I feel more like a yesterday person actually,” said Peter. In the previous series he played the “baby” in the band of Tomorrow People - a kind of space age Just William. But he is now too old and his position as the little nuisance has been usurped by a new recruit - Tyso, played by 13 year old Dean Lawrence. Meanwhile, the script says that Stephen must become altogether more mature and better behaved. But he’s still one of the Tomorrow People, so his ability to travel through time and space (“jaunting” they call it) and his extra-sensory perception (E.S.P.) are still in perfect working order. His battle against inter-galactic evil continues.
what about the new fly in the ointment? Does he measure up in nuisance
value to the worthy, but ageing Peter Vaughan-Clarke?
“I want to be a real nuisance in The tomorrow people.” Said Dean.
It was the same energetic personality and his rebellious look - along with the west country twang in his voice - which made producer Ruth Boswell choose him for the part as Gypsy boy tyso.
He is flung into the thick of adventure in the first episode, having just “Broken Out” - which Tomorrow People do when they discover their telepathic powers. All four will be using them at full blast over the next 13 weeks and jaunting their way through four separate adventures.
In the first, the small band of peace loving Tomorrow People battle to keep their secret from the Western military powers. Next they jaunt off to a dangerous planet at the other end of the universe, meeting up with a group of galactic gypsies for the third more light hearted story. the gypsies leader is the lovely Sandra Dickinson, who was recently chosen to star in a play about Marilyn Monroe.
So Tyso - and Dean - have a busy time ahead. But then, for a “professional” of only two years standing, Dean has been pretty active already. He has been in two shows in London’s West End - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Carry on London - made several commercials, and he plays Robin Hood’s brother in the forthcoming film series Robin Hood Junior.
Hardly given time to breathe, Dean was about to go on holiday after completing the filming when he was told he had been chosen as Tyso, and had to start right away.
“Well I asked for it,” said Dean “my mum says I nagged her silly to let me go on stage, ever since I was three. She said I was always mimicking people and acting my way out of tight corners.”
Mrs. Lawrence had insisted that Dean have a purely academic education until he was 11, then if he did well she would allow him to go to stage school. Dean did well I all his exams, so she enrolled him in the Barbara Speak Stage School, from where he is making his rapid march to success.
Strictly speaking, Tyso isn’t the only new face in the series. For in three weeks Philip Gilbert, the voice behind Tim the computer, will emerge. In the second adventure, Philip takes on another two roles, striding out firstly as the be-muddled and be-plumed Ambassador of the Galactic Federation and then reappearing as his brother Tikno. Philip, as Tim, the Ambassador Timus and as Tikno, is there to help the tomorrow people thwart their enemies.
“I don’t only do the thwarting,” said Philip, “I also provide a dignified calming influence on the others.”
Nicholas Young, who plays John, will be back to lead the Tomorrow people in their jaunts. Between the two series he has become very involved in music, co-writing a musical play and appearing as a guitar strumming popstar in the comedy Canterbury. While there, he was spotted by a film producer who promptly signed him up - along with big names like Adrienne Posta, Graham Bonney and George Baker - for Three For All, a pop film due for release next month.
But all of this has not kept car-fanatic Nicholas away from his beloved TR6 or his immaculate old MGTF Midget, which will be staring in one of the series chase sequences.
Nicholas himself was involved in a chase in his MG a few weeks ago - he was going along at 45m.p.h. when he suddenly noticed that he was being overtaken by is rear wheel. “I thought I was done for,” he said. “Fortunately I managed to wrench the car onto a grass verge and damaged only the paintwork. I was wearing my seat belt so all I got was a fright.”
Talking belts, Elizabeth Adare, who plays the beautiful Elizabeth, has invented one to keep her fans at bay. “Kids are always coming up to me in the street and asking how I ‘jaunt’,” said Elizabeth. “Naturally, we don’t want to destroy the fantasy of flying through space, so I tell them we do it with out ‘jaunting belts’. You can see that they’re usually only half convinced, but they really do want to believe that it’s all magic.”
During the break in the Tomorrow People Elizabeth has been pretty busy too. As well as taking part in 11 episodes of Crossroads, she has been a presenter in some programmes made for overseas, particularly Africa, and in an educational series for the Inner London Educational Authority. Elizabeth has also become involved with charity work for children. she has a sister who is autistic, so she’s keen to go on a training course to help her and similarly handicapped children.
Peter Vaughan-Clarke, naturally has been up to his ears in all sorts of things during his spare time between series.
“I worked in a garage for a while until I filled someone’s petrol tank with diesel. and had to leave in a bit of a hurry,” he recalled. “ Then I got a job in a motor cycle shop, sold a machine, but forgot to put any oil in it, and before the new owner had got half-way up the road the engine seized up. Having exhausted the vacancies in my area I decided to go into business for myself. So a friend and I started a painting and decorating firm. But on one of my first jobs I fell off the ladder - not having much of a head for heights - and splashed five cars with white paint - including a Rolls-Royce.”
It looks like young Dean Lawrence will have to work very hard to make Tyso outdo Peter as a “natural disaster” - whatever it says in the script.