War of the Empires
Tp org empire1
Andrew is held prisoner by the American authorities
Episode Information
Series Original Series
Season # 8
Episode # 1
Number of Parts 4
Original Airdate(s) 29 Jan. 1979 - 19 Feb. 1979
Writer(s) Roger Price
Director Leon Thau
Previous "Living Skins"

"War of the Empires" is the first and only story of Season 8 of The Tomorrow People Original Series.

A war is escalating despite the efforts of Elizabeth and Timus to stop it. The two warring empires are gearing up for a major battle -- with Earth right in the front line. The Tomorrow People must stop the war from destroying the Earth before it is too late.[1]

Plot Summary Edit

Episode One: Close EncounterEdit

Outside Bruce Forbes' hotel, a flying saucer appears and hovers for several seconds as tourists photograph it: A hallucination being generated by Andrew. An American lady calls it a close encounter of the third kind but Andrew points out that would require the ship to land and the aliens to speak to them. The lady says it's the second kind since she took a photograph but Andrew says it won't come out. Even though his words come true, the lady is undaunted, seeming it as a sign that humans will soon live together in peace.

Later, at the lab, John chides Andrew for his new line in UFOs, since people are too ready to believe in them, while Mike calls it a con trick. John wonders if humans ever think about what would happen if they really did meet aliens, pointing out how less advanced races have been enslaved or wiped out by contact with more advanced cultures. Hsui Tai says the Galactic Federation would never allow it, since Earth is a closed world; John suggests that it's more accurate to say they wouldn't like it. He also notes that saps aren't the worst, pointing to the war between the Sorsons and the Thargons. Hsui Tai wonders how Liz is getting on negotiating peace. TIM says not very well, since both sides still expect to win the war.

Onboard his command ship, Sorson General Vishishnou and his men are celebrating a recent victory. Elizabeth protests that the war is merely senseless slaughter and tries to convince him to end the war. Timus supports her view and Elizabeth says the Federation would supervise a peace agreement. Vishishnou is unimpressed, adding that the recent battle was fought in the system of a closed world and the Federation could do nothing to enforce their rules.

In the lab, the Tomorrow People monitor the approach of two ships. Tim says they are new Sorson Empire ships on reconnaissance. Andrew suggests they see them off but John is pessimistic. At Galactic Trig, Elizabeth is forced to admit that Vishishnou was right about the Federation. Timus reveals that the battle was fought near Earth but no-one there would have been able to see it. Elizabeth goes to contact the lab. John tells her about the Sorson ships in lunar orbit. Elizabeth admits the matter is tied up in Federation bureaucracy. She adds that their powers don't impress the Sorsons and Thargons. Mike and Andrew want to do something themselves to get rid of the Sorsons. Hsui Tai suggest they wait to see if they go away but TIM says they have started building a base on the moon.

At the White House, the American President examines photos of the moon and a General confirms there are constructions on the moon. The President suspects the Russians but the General says they are too advanced and suspects aliens. The President asks about sending a rocket up to check it out, saying it's time for mankind to meet the neighbours.

The Tomorrow People monitor the launch of the American rocket, piloted by Morgan Evans and Dave Ricardo. The President makes a television broadcast about the mission, which he dubs "Howdy Neighbour". John contacts Elizabeth to update her but there is still no response from the Federation. TIM reports the arrival of a group of Thargon ships. Elizabeth says they need to keep them away from each other.

Morgan and Dave pick up the Thargon ships. The Thargon Commander asks one of his officers, Jarrel, about the rocket. The Commander intends to wipe out the Sorsons before the humans can make contact with them. The Sorsons also launch ships and exchange fire with the Thargons, as John and Mike don AE suits. The NASA shuttle is caught in the crossfire so John decides to prioritise the astronauts. He and Mike jaunt onto the shuttle and give Morgan and Dave matter transporters, taking them back to the lab just before a stray Thargon ripper ray destroys their shuttle. John and Mike jaunt out again and Hsui Tai and Andrew introduces themselves to the pair and have TIM provide them with drinks.

Mike jaunts onto the Thargon ship where the Commander recognises him as a Federation representative. Mike says they're violating a closed world but the Commander says they are merely chasing off the Sorsons. John is having a similar conversation with the Sorson Captain about their own ship. The Captain says he is under orders to occupy the area of space and intends to destroy the Thargon ship. John contacts Mike telepathically and tells him to get out of the ship. Mike tells the Commander to get out, since he's outnumbered three to one and has no shields left, but the Thargons' engines are also damaged. The Commander seals Mike inside a force field, saying the Sorsons won't attack while there's a Federation representative onboard. Mike relays the information to John telepathically and he fills in the Sorson Captain. However, the Captain simply sees this as another reason to wipe out the Thargons. Despite John's protests, he gives the order to fire.

Episode Two: Contact!Edit

The Sorson blast strikes the Thargon ship and Jarrel reports that the reactor's about to go. Recognising that they're finished, the Commander frees Mike so he can save himself. John also jaunts in and he and Mike jaunt back to the lab just before the ship explodes. Mike is upset about leaving the Thargons to die but John reminds him that Thargons can't be matter transported, adding that they brought it on themselves. Andrew reports that they matter transported the two astronauts back home and John notes that they'll probably have to tell their story to the President himself.

John is quite correct: The General is showing Morgan into the Oval Office. The Presidents assumes the aliens rescued and returned him but Morgan tells him about the Tomorrow People. The President recalls his predecessor met the Tomorrow People and the General confirms they represent their world to the Galactic Federation. Morgan tells him about the Sorsons and Thargons, and the President recalls Papa Minn using a Thargon ship. The President finds the idea of getting his hands on alien ship appealing. The General and Morgan say the Tomorrow People won't help because of their opposition to war. The President is unimpressed.

Tim reports that the Sorsons are carrying out reconnaissance. Elizabeth appears on the screen and says the Federation Council are only mouthing platitudes. She decides to come home since she's no use up there. When she arrives, John tells her a massive Sorson spaceship is on the way. Elizabeth says it's the command ship where she met Vishishnou. She doesn't have much optimism that Vishishnou will listen to reason but she and John head up to the ship to try. John has heard Vishishnou intends to land on Earth to fortify it for attack. Vishishnou confirms it and waves away their protests, instantly ending the meeting.

Sorson ships fly low over several Earth cities and are seen by Earth pilots. Eventually, a ship lands outside the White House. Vishishnou is given a dignitary's welcome and tells them to take him to their leader. At the lab, Andrew wonders why no-one has ever picked up Sorson transmissions but John explains more advanced races don't use radio waves. Elizabeth suggests the Sorsons will now give the saps neutrino transmission sets.

Vishishnou meets with the President and the General and claims to have defended them from the Thargons, saying he will now teach them to defend themselves and provide them with technology. The President tells him about the Tomorrow People and the Federation. Vishishnou tells him they would try to stop him giving them advanced technology and gives the President a barlumin ray gun to deal with them. Meanwhile, the Sorson Captain gives Morgan a tour of one of their ships, explaining it is so far advanced that it is easy to operate.

Tim tells the Tomorrow People that the Federation are aghast at having their rules so openly disregarded. Elizabeth is scornful of their lack of power but John says they still have the power if they will only use it. Elizabeth agrees to go back to the Trig with him to try and stir things up but warns him not to be too outspoken. They jaunt into a council meeting, earning the wrath of the Chaircreature. Timus explains they are the delegates from Earth. The Chaircreature considers the matter regrettable. John, Elizabeth and Timus predict that the humans will either be destroyed in the war or go out into space with more technology. The Chaircreature says he'll set up a committee to investigate, then tries to move the discussion on. John is furious, telling them they are unable to make any decision. The Chaircreature is incensed, telling him he will be held pending contempt of committee charges and strips him of his powers.

Back at the lab, Mike suggests they pay a visit to the United States President. Andrew is to stay behind in case of danger. Meanwhile, Timus tells Elizabeth John has been taken to the Proctor Detention Facility. An apology and token sentence will probably suffice but the Federation will still do nothing about Earth. Mike and Hsui Tai jaunt into the Oval Office and stun a marine who tries to pull a gun on them. The President greets them jovially and they confirm they're from Earth. The President suggests they show allegiance to a foreign power. Mike says they represent Earth to the Federation but falls silent when the President asks if they were elected. The President accuses them of denying them advanced technology to protect them from the Thargons. Mike tries to convince him the Sorsons and Thargons are as bad as each other and want to use Earth as a military base. The President boasts of meeting the Thargons on equal terms with Sorson technology. Mike is disgusted at him turning his people into mercenaries for the Sorsons. Hsui Tai reminds him that they rescued their astronauts but the President refuses to listen and shoots Mike with the barlumin gun.

Episode Three: Standing AloneEdit

The President shoots Hsui Tai as well and orders his guards to keep the pair secure until the Sorsons tell them what to do with them. Tim tells Andrew he has lost contact with the pair; Andrew tries and fails to contact them telepathically. Tim recalls the effect of barlumin. Elizabeth calls the lab and she and Andrew trade bad news. She's going to stay to help John while Andrew tries to get matter transporters to Mike and Hsui Tai. Andrew notes his best way to find them is to follow them.

Mike and Hsui Tai recover consciousness in cells, stripped of their powers. Vishishnou consults with the President on his astronauts' progress learning how to use their ships. Andrew dresses as an American teenager, adopting an appropriate accent. He jaunts to the Oval Office and stuns Vishishnou. He tries to convince the President not to trust the Sorsons but the President wants to have a say in what's going on. He fires the barlumin ray at Andrew; Andrew dodges and feigns unconsciousness. The General comes in and the President requests a permanent guard. He tells him to lock Andrew up with the others. Once he's in the cell area, Andrew hands matter transporters to Mike and Hsui Tai through the bars and they disappear before the guard's eyes.

Andrew and Tim explain the situation on the Trig to Mike and Hsui Tai. Andrew doesn't think the Federation would give them more trouble than the Sorsons and US marines. Tim reluctantly agrees to help. Hsui Tai suggests calling Elizabeth but Mike doesn't think she'd agree. Andrew suggests using matter transporters again but Tim says that only worked because the Americans aren't familiar with them. Andrew says the Federation are less familiar with ships; they could threaten the Trig with a Sorson battle ship and take them by surprise. Mike agrees, despite Tim's weary objections.

Mike, Hsui Tai and Andrew matter transport to a Sorson ship but aren't sure about flying it. They are interrupted by Morgan, who confirms he's the only Earthman qualified to fly it. They tell him John is in trouble and Morgan agrees to help. At the Trig, Elizabeth and Timus visit John. John is pessimistic about his chance of release. Timus says they'll have him out in a few days but John says they don't have that long.

The Sorsons pursue the ship containing Morgan and the Tomorrow People. Morgan fires on them with nuclear warheads installed by the Americans, destroying the Sorson ships who weren't expecting such a primitive method. He sets course for the Trig. A Tim computer sends them a warning message. Mike responds, demanding John's release. The Tomorrow People are prepared to wait but Morgan wants to shake them up and threatens the computer, who passes the message to the Chaircreature. The Chaircreature dismisses the threat so Morgan opens fire. Learning they have no defence, the Chaircreature jaunts to the cell area, restoring John's powers and telling him and Elizabeth to go and never return.

John and Elizabeth return to the lab. In defiance of Federation orders, Tim tells them what the others have been up to and that the Tomorrow People's Federation membership has been suspended. The pair jaunt to the captured Sorson ship in time to stop Morgan firing again. Morgan reverses course. Their fire hit an automated waste disposal reactor, so there were no casualties. However, now the Federation will do nothing to help them against the Thargons and Sorsons.

Vishishnou goes to confront the American President, telling him of Morgan's theft of one of their ships and destruction of two others. The President offers to court martial and shoot him but Vishishnou states the Sorsons are going to leave the planet to the Thargons. Tim reports to John that a Thargon battle fleet is headed for Earth. The American General confirms the departure of the Sorsons. The President isn't entirely unhappy, knowing the Sorsons were really in charge. There is no sign of the Thargons on radar, but the General says by the time they show up they won't have very long.

Episode Four: All in the MindEdit

Tim reports the departure of the Sorsons to the Tomorrow People. John hopes this will mean the Thargons will pass Earth by but Elizabeth thinks they need to talk to the Thargons. John has Tim jaunt the two of them to the Thargon flag ship, where they convince Thargon Fleet General Bilip that they are Federation representatives. Bilip knows Earth is a closed world but also knows that the Sorsons were there. The Tomorrow People tell him the Sorsons have gone but Bilip plans to make the system of no use to them. John and Liz protest and Bilip bemoans the lack of honour in the war. He refuses to trust the Federation, stating that they must make sure the humans show them no hostility.

The American General tells the President of the Thargons' approach. He believes they have no defence but thinks they should die as free men and comes up with a plan to use intercontinental missiles and armed NASA ships in space. The President says he will speak to the other world leaders. John and Liz jaunt in and try to convince him not to fight the Thargons, saying they will go away if no-one opposes them but if they do attack the Thargons will wipe them out. The President refuses to believe them, thinking they're working for the Thargons, and tells them to leave.

John and Liz return to the lab and find Timus there; Tim refused to tell him where they were. Timus wants them to come back to the Trig, saying he has arranged an appeal for them. However, John and Elizabeth can't abandon Earth. Timus tries to convince them to live on the Trig instead and thinks there is nothing they can do on their own but accepts their resolve and wishes them luck.

The General reports the approach of a Thargon ship. The President seems somewhat overwhelmed but eventually gives the order to launch missiles, destroying the Thargon ship. Bilip is incensed. Onboard the captured Sorson ship, Morgan tells the Tomorrow People to get off while he defends Earth from the Thargons. The Tomorrow People try to talk him out of making a suicide attack. Andrew suggests he can use his powers of illusion to create a fleet of Sorson ships, and the rest could help now the effects of the barlumin have worn off. The others agree, testing it by projecting an illusion for Morgan. John asks for the co-ordinates of the Thargon fleet from Tim and Morgan sets in a course.

Wanting to get the Thargons away from Earth, John has Morgan fly the Sorson ship in front of them so they give chase. The Thargons fire, badly damaging them and leaving them adrift. The Tomorrow People generate the hallucinatory Sorson fleet and the Thargons begin firing on them. Bilip is bewildered that the ripper ray is having no effect. Mike worries the Thargons will notice their ships aren't being destroyed so Andrew makes it so all of the Thargons see another ship being destroyed.

The Tomorrow People are having trouble keeping up the illusion. John has Tim send them some stun guns. John and Mike jaunt aboard the Thargon flag ship. Bilip thinks the Federation have armed the Sorsons and refuses to back down. At that moment, the illusionary Sorson ships appear. John and Mike stun Bilip and his bridge crew. John asks Tim for the co-ordinates of the Alpha Centauri and Tau Ceti regions and feeds them into the Thargon control system, sending the fleet in two different directions. When he's finished, Mike destroys the control panel.

The Tomorrow People watch the Thargons depart. Morgan says the Sorson ship won't get them home but Hsui Tai says they can matter transport him back. The group celebrate: The Thargons or Sorsons will be back eventually but hopefully by then the Federation can do something about them. The Tomorrow People return to the Trig to be greeted by Timus and the Chaircreature: The committee decided that the Federation is bureaucratic and out of touch and that they must enforce laws and protect closed planets. The Chaircreature apologises and Timus notes the Tomorrow People are reinstated as members of a new Federation which will look to them for guidance.

Guest Cast Edit

  • American President - John F. Parker
  • American General - Hal Galili
  • Morgan Evans - David Baxt
  • Dave Ricardo - Weston Gavin
  • Sorson General - Richard Bartlett
  • Sorson Captain - Terence Woodfield
  • Thargon Commander - Percy Herbert
  • Thargon Officer - Anthony Stafford
  • American Lady - Mary Law
  • Chaircreature - David Cann
  • Thargon General - Oliver Maguire
  • Timus Irnok Mosta - Philip Gilbert

References Edit

  1. Tomorrow People Lab: Original Episode Guide by Shaun Hately