Well here we are, then. Story one from series three. My favourite TP audio.
Coinciding with the very sad passing of TIM actor Philip Gilbert, this story6 - either deliberately or accidently - has a genuinely melancholy feel about it. Apart from John's continuing problems to function properly as a human being, we meet young Robert, who is similarly isolated. His case is at least under investigation by Therese (played by Doctor Who veteran India Fisher - she even has a Doctor Who-related line).
This all culminates in a spectacular scene where Roberts only friends leave him, and the other TPs reflect on his situation in a truly poignant way. Excellent.
Here's a first - a Tomorrow People story featuring neither the lab, TIM or John! Nigel Fairs pushes the envelope of what the audios can actually do, and offers starring roles to the two newest homo-superiors, Elena and Paul.
Elena comes across as sensitive and caring, and Paul as an immature joker, although not without appeal. His is 'the junior TP', it seems, following on from Kenny, Tyso and Andrew. Inkeeping with the tone of the audios, he is, however, a few years older than other 'juniors', and is thankfully not always left behind whilst everyone else has adventures!
The storyline is interesting and presents a nice line in alien life-forms, and the cast is top-rate also. A nicely mature piece of writing that moves the audios into new territory and yet still maintians the essence of the original concept.
After such a strong opening to series 2, this is a let down - especially from such a usually reliable writer. It is perhaps the audio equivalent of television's A Man For Emily. It is derivative of the limitations of not only the Tomorrow People television show, but also UK sci-fi television from the 70s/80s. Rather than a loving or even respectful (or even amusing) pastiche, it comes across is rather pointless and flimsy.
I have made it sound rather worse than it is - it is a lighthearted piece of fluff that works well enough, but nowhere near the standard of other stories.
Sad to note it is Philip Gilbert's final contribution to the series.