The Culex Experiment

by Nigel Robinson

published by Boxtree Limited, London

©1995 Boxtree Limited
The Culex Experiment is actually a novelisation of the first two serials of the 1990s series of The Tomorrow People, namely the Origin Story (entitled A New Beginning in the novel), and The Culex Experiment. For this reason I shall review both stories.

A New Beginning

"Every kid in the world could be a Tomorrow Person. Maybe it's the kids who feel different, feel like they don't fit in. There's nothing wrong with them though - they're just like us."
- Adam Newman in A New Beginning

A New Beginning is based on the Origin Story of the 1990s series of the Tomorrow People. As such, it is very expository, and introduces four Tomorrow People - Adam Newman, Kevin Wilson, Lisa Davis, and Marmaduke 'Megabyte' Damon. The story is a reworking of a standard Tomorrow People plot (the 'kidnapped by evil government scientists' one), but that is to be expected under the circumstances, as it is an excellent one for introducing the TP and their powers. And, of course, many of the people seeing the TV episode or reading the book will have no knowledge of the 1970s series, and so will not notice the rehash.

Consequently the story is rather obvious at times, and filled with cliches. That's not something to be blamed on the author who is merely writing to the script. Indeed Nigel Robinson's novelisation, while hardly great literature, is well above the standards of normal children's/young adults science fiction.

I haven't yet seen the 1990s TV series, but I suspect that the book, like most novels, gives more details of the characters inner thinking, than any TV series can do easily. For that reason alone, it is probably worth reading. The criticisms of the obvious plot are minor, and there are enough new details that it is still interesting in its own right.

The Culex Experiment

"I know who we are. We're the future, we're tomorrow, the next stage in human evolution. We bring peace to the world at last."
- Ami Jackson in The Culex Experiment

Based on the Tomorrow People serial of the same name, this story introduces Ami Jackson (and also coincidentally marks the first appearance of Jade). Adam, Megabyte, and Kevin also appear in the novel, although Kevin is unconscious for most of it.

The statements about Nigel Robinson's writing given above still hold true, and in this case the story is much more original, and therefore interesting. There are a few major plot holes (this is the Tomorrow People, after all), but nothing that is too blatant and, again, this can't be blamed on Robinson.

Again the mad evil scientist makes an appearance, however this one is different from most due to her unusual motives, and her methodology.

Should I Read The Book?

It is well worth reading, if you can find it. Like all Tomorrow People novelisations it is difficult to find, despite it's recent publication (1995). At the time of publication, it retailed for £3.99 in the UK and for $11.95 in Australia (when it could be found).

This review © 1997 Shaun Hately, but please feel free to link to it, or copy it.
Comments on this review. e-mail me.

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