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Amell Wednesdays: 6 Ways Stephen's 'Arrow' Differs From Cousin Robbie's 'Tomorrow People'

Fall TV
October 9, 2013

With this week's premiere of "The Tomorrow People," The CW is serving up a double dose of Amell on Wednesdays.

Stephen Amell's "Arrow" is the lead-in for his younger cousin Robbie's new superhero adaptation of a 1970s British series (and its 1990s revival). But while Stephen's Oliver Queen is a mere mortal — extraordinary abs and mad archery skills aside — Robbie's character (named Stephen!) has true superpowers, like telepathy, teleportation, and the ability to stop time.

How else do the Amells' super shows differ? Yahoo TV got the scoop from Robbie and his co-stars on a press junket to the new Vancouver set of "The Tomorrow People."

1. Fight scenes.

"We use teleporting in our fight sequences," explained Peyton List, who plays Robbie's love interest (complicated by a love triangle, natch). "It's a different type of fight — it is extremely technical. Especially when we are fighting other people who have our powers. That makes it really interesting."

[Video: Robbie Amell on Doing Stunts on 'Tomorrow People']

"I'm getting my ass kicked!" said Robbie, adding that "The Tomorrow People" shares its stunt team and choreographers with his cousin's show. In the seventh episode, he teases, "there's a scene where I'm getting totally beaten to hell. Plus I got some blood packs in my mouth — it's like every kid's dream. The episode almost killed me, but it was really fun."

While Stephen spends an ungodly amount of time on a pull-up bar to prepare for his action sequences, Robbie has a different approach, joking, "I wear a lot of padding!"

2. Tomorrow People don't kill people — people do.

Jedikiah (Mark Pellegrino, awesomely evil as usual) has a significant advantage over the Tomorrow People: They are unable to kill. "That is one of my favorite parts of the storyline," enthused Robbie. "It separates it from most other superhero stories" — especially "Arrow," in which killing is a central storyline in his cousin's character this season. "You find out some really interesting information about the gene within us — it's called the prime barrier — that stops us from killing."

3. Flash drive.

As in "Arrow," flashbacks drive much of the "Tomorrow People" storylines. (Without Oliver's awful wigs. Hopefully.)

"We're shooting in sequence, and we're also flashing back a lot," said Peyton List. "We don't just do the backstories once. We'll fill in the gaps more and more throughout the season."

[Video: Robbie Amell on Watching Football With Cousin Stephen]

4. Love triangle.

The love triangle in "Arrow" collapsed when one of the trio died last season, but the one in "Tomorrow" is just beginning — and it's complicated by telepathy. In fact, that's how Cara and Stephen first meet.

"There's that connection between Cara and I right off the bat in the first episode," Robbie explained. "She's the first person to be inside of my head talking to me. She's the one who brings me in. ... She's trying to sort out what those feelings are, and it's complicated because she's already in a relationship with someone else" (group leader John, played by Luke Mitchell). "But she definitely feels something that's not just friends. And that's confusion."

There's also a striking age difference between the two.

"She's robbing the cradle for sure — we joke around about that a lot," laughed Robbie. "It's never really addressed, but I figure Stephen is around 18, and Cara's about 22. Ish."

[Photos: Check Out More Pics From 'Tomorrow People']

Another complication presents itself at the end of the pilot, and it will have repercussions as the series progresses.

"John [reaches a point where he] doesn't want me around anymore — he thinks I'm too dangerous for the rest of them. But at the same time, he needs me because I'm the only link to the people with the information about my father" — from whom Stephen inherited his powers.

5. Sewer rats.

That link is Ultra, a secret organization whose sole objective is to eliminate the Tomorrow People. Its ruthless leader, Jedikiah, has personal ties to both Stephen and John.

Jedikiah believes that the Tomorrow People "have the capacity and perhaps the will to harm us, so in order to stave off any future conflict ... I eliminate the bad ones [and quash the powers of those] who aren't a threat to humanity."

[Related: 8 Things to Know About Season 2 of 'Arrow']

He doesn't seem like the ideal ally, but Robbie agrees to join Jedikiah and Ultra rather than live belowground with the Tomorrow People.

"Some of the Tomorrow People are pissed off that I get to live this double life because they aren't allowed to have any ties to their family anymore. When you go underground, that's it — you're there for the protection of the species. I'm the guy who gets to come back and forth as I please."

6. Secret identity.

Like Oliver Queen, Stephen is living a double life — but he's got a much better reputation.

"I like the origin story of this very normal kid," said Robbie. "It's a really fun character to start from scratch and then go on this incredible journey of finding out he has superpowers and living [in] this incredible world while still staying grounded and being a normal kid and finding my way through it."

Robbie on wanting the show to last for years:

"Arrow" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and "Tomorrow People" follows at 9 p.m. on The CW.