Book:Only You Can Save Mankind

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Only You Can Save Mankind
Cover by David Scutt
Publisher Doubleday
Publication date September 1992
ISBN 0385403089
Main characters Johnny Maxwell, Wobbler, Yo-Less, Kirsty
Series Johnny Maxwell Series
Annotations View
All data relates to the first UK edition.


Twelve-year-old Johnny receives a pirate edition of the new video game Only You Can Save Mankind from his friend Wobbler. However, he hasn't been playing for long when the ScreeWee Empire surrenders to him. After accepting the surrender he finds himself inside the game in his dreams, where he must deal with the suspicious Gunnery Officer as well as the understanding Captain, and work out exactly what they're all supposed to do now.

This might all be the result of an over-active imagination except that the ScreeWee have disappeared altogether from everyone else's copy of the game. With the help of another player, Kirsty, who calls herself "Sigourney" (as in Weaver), Johnny must try to get the ScreeWee home.



In 1996, Only You Can Save Mankind was adapted into a three-part radio drama on BBC Radio 4. Adapted by Bob Hescott, directed by Brian Lighthill.


  • Tim Smith: Johnny Maxwell
  • Janet Dale: Scree-Wee Captain
  • Michael Angelis: Gunnery Officer
  • Akhbar Karim: Wobbler
  • Marian Kemmer: Johnny's Mother
  • Laurence Rew: Johnny’s Father
  • Tessa Harrison: Scree-Wee Crew-member
  • Terry Pearson: Newscaster
  • Peter Dalton: Yo-Less
  • Michael Perestrello: Bigmac
  • Natalie Moore: Kirsty
  • Renu Setna: Mr Patel, Newscaster
  • Tina Grey: Kirsty’s Mother


In 2004, a musical adaptation for the stage was premiered at the Edinburgh Festival, with music by Leighton James House and lyrics by Shaun McKenna. The album was released online November 23, 2009. A national CD release came out in April 2010.


First Edition Cover by David Scutt
Book Proof
Cover by Josh Kirby (German)
Audio Cassette
Audio CD
Cover by Dan Panosian
Cover by Dan Panosian-Library Binding
Musical Edition Cover
CD of songs from musical
Cover by Bill Mayer
Cover by Henry Steadman
Cover by Paul Kidby
Cover by Mark Beech

External Links

Only You Can Save Mankind CD Former version of website, archived link

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