New People, The

Tagged: TV

US tv series (1969-1970) Thomas/Spelling Productions for Paramount Television ABC TV network. Created by Larry Gordon. Produced by Harold Gast. Directors include Charles S Dubin, Harry Harvey Jr and William Wiard. Scriptwriters include Edwin Blum, Paul Dubov, Gast and Stephen Kandel. Rod Serling was reportedly involved in developing the series concept, and may have written some episodes under unidentified pseudonyms. Cast: Tiffany Bolling, Zooey Hall, David Moses. 17 45-minute episodes.

The New People, a borderline sf effort now largely forgotten, seems to have been meant to draw the Young Adult audience of the counter-culture movement of the day. A group of young Americans, both older teenagers and young adults, on a cultural tour of southeast Asia crashes on a Pacific Island on the way home. They survive, but the adults aboard are all killed in the accident. The island turns out to have been prepared for a nuclear test site, but never used, thus having an intact town, supplies etc to hand. They decide to form their own society on Utopian lines and become the "new people" of the series title, although problems soon arise. The program was cancelled before the concept could be explored in any great depth.

The storyline bears some similarities to William Golding's The Lord of the Flies (1954) in its general plot-line, though his grim conclusion was never likely to have been replicated in this television context. Some elements inherent but not fully developed in The New People may have remotely influenced the creation of Lost (2004-2010). One episode was novelized by Alex Steele as The New People: They Came from the Sea (1969). [GFi]

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