Touted as one of the best and most detective like story in the whole series, The Calculus Affair features Tintin and Captain Haddock rescuing Professor Calculus, who has been held by the Bordurian Secret Service, due to his invention which can destroy objects using sound waves.
Set in the period of the Cold War, The Calculus Affair offers intrigue and adventure in Geneva where Professor Calculus is being held by the Bordurian Secret Service. After discovering some strange happenings at Captain Haddock’s house, Tintin accurately deduces that Professor Calculus is upto something while discovering a potential threat to the professor’s life. In a bid to protect him, Tintin and Captain Haddock travel to Geneva where the Professor is attending a conference. They arrive a bit too late as the Professor has already been taken captive by the Bordurian Government, who are interested in the professor’s invention. Adventure soon follows as Tintin, Captain Haddock and their group of friends explore Borduria to unravel the mystery and to rescue the Professor.
The Cold War setting of the story provides the perfect platform to examine the extent to which governments would go to acquire nuclear weapons. The selection of Geneva as the initial setting for the story is also deliberate as it is the location of CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. The Calculus Affair introduces several new characters namely Jolyon Wagg and Colonel Sponsz, who make appearances in subsequent stories. Another notable feature is the spectacularly accurate illustrations of Geneva and other important places in the story like Hotel Cornavin, the railway station and the Geneva Cointrin International Airport.
The Calculus Affair is one of the most popular stories of The Adventures of Tintin series. The Calculus Case by Belvision company was a film adaptation of The Calculus Affair (L'affaire Tournesol), which was originally produced as a TV series.