Tom Swift Is The Black, Gay Billionaire You’ve Been Waiting For – The CW’s Tom Swift Premiere Tonight!

By   |   May 31, 2022   |   Entertainment
Tom Swift in airplane

If you’re a fan of The CW’s Nancy Drew, then you already know about Tom Swift. This new spin-off series features Tian Richards in the titular role. He’s a gay billionaire inventor who’s searching for his missing father. Here are three interesting facts you’ll want to know about The CW’s Tom Swift premiere!

Tom Swift started as a 1910 comic book.

More than 100 volumes of stories were published about Tom Swift, a young inventor who uses science in technology, in the early twentieth century. The new Tom Swift is set in the present, according to series producer Noga Landau. “This show is about billionaires and people who build rocket ships and go to space.” Fellow producer Melinda Hsu Taylor is proud of the show’s new direction from the original. “The books from back in the day are from a different era. They don’t hold up, really. However, what we loved about the core concept of optimism and friendship and that kind of relentless positivity we’ve brought into the show. And then we populated with a black, gay billionaire and all his found family and friends.”

Series lead Richards is ecstatic to bring some recognition to real-life black inventors from decades past. “With my research, I got to go into the arsenal of black inventors and creators. We got to talk about Benjamin Banneker, George Washington Carver and Lonnie Johnson. There are so many people whose names haven’t been spoken in history, but now, through this current modern vessel, we can look into that.”

The clothes are fantastic.

Ayana Kimani James is the costume designer behind Tom Swift’s chic looks. “She did the first several seasons of Insecure. She works on [The CW] All-American spinoff as well as a bunch of other things,” shares Swift series creator Cameron Johnson. “Ayana sat down and she had a vision for what Tom was gonna look like. She had a vision for what Zenzi was gonna look like. She understood the luxury and she understood all of the random black fashion references like Charles Harbison or Pierre Moss.” The series also collaborated with legendary designer Cynthia Rowley for some really interesting logo-stamped showpieces, according to series star Ashleigh Murray.

Yes, there will be love triangles!

“We like to do love squares on Tom Swift,” Johnson clarifies. “There has, as far as I know, never been a network TV show where its lead — the titular character –is a black gay man. I’ve never seen a show where those sorts of stories are explored … without being just an additional character. I think it is historic. I think it is messy and I think it is really fun. And I think you’re gonna love it.”

We’re sure we will!

The CW Tom Swift premiere is Tuesday, May 31 at 9 p.m. ET.

photo credit: The CW

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