Of the 40 obscure television shows I’ve written in-depth articles about here at Television Obscurities over the past ten years, my personal favorite is without a doubt The New People. It is in many ways responsible for the existence of this website. It was really my first introduction to the world of short-lived and forgotten television. But how did I stumble upon it in the first place? It’s not like it was being repeated on television when I was growing up.
I don’t remember exactly how I first came upon The New People. I know it is mentioned briefly in Marc Scott Zicree’s The Twilight Zone Companion, a book I read cover to cover several times. That may have been the first time I read about the show. This would have been sometime in the late 1990s. At about that time I had acquired had a copy of Alex McNeil’s Total Television from a family member and I am sure I read the entry on The New People a dozen times trying to glean as much from it as possible.
Luckily for me, my father had watched and enjoyed The New People when he was a kid and had a few vague recollections of some of the episodes. Coincidentally, he had started collecting TV Guide fall preview issues in 1968 so he had the 1969 fall preview issue with an entry on The New People. As if that wasn’t enough, he also had an old reel of 1/4″ audio tape with the theme song to The New People on it. What were the odds?
I was eventually able to get my hands on a VHS tape with the pilot episode to The New People. I sat down and watched it with my parents, excited to finally see what all the fuss was about. I loved it. I don’t think they did. I’ve only seen that first episode but would love to one day see all 17
I have since put together a substantial collection of memorabilia relating to The New People: the Tempo tie-in novel written by William Johnston using the pseudonym Alex Steele, both Dell comics and their Spanish reprints, several ABC press photographs and press releases, a script for the December 29th, 1969 episode (“The Prisoner of Bomano”), a pair of glass slides that would have been used in a film chain by a television station, and a number of audio tapes used in the production of the series.
So, yes, The New People is easily my very favorite obscurity..