AWESOME-tober-fest 2015: The Invisible Man TV series (2000)
There have been a surprising number of invisible man series here and over in Britain. Instead of covering all of them, I decided to look at one that I was the most familiar with.
In the summer of 2000 a TV show premiered featuring a sci-fi based modern interpretation of an invisible man. It was called, oddly enough, The Invisible Man.
The show would last for two seasons on the fledgling Sci-Fi channel.
I vaguely remember this show airing. If only for the “quicksilver” effect of the guy turning invisible. It’s a more science-y update of the invisible man story.
Darien Fawkes (as in Dumbledore’s pet phoenix) is a thief. And not a particularly good one. He is caught and sent to prison for his third strike. His scientist brother bails him out and promises him freedom if he’ll participate in an experiment for a few weeks.
That experiment involves an artificial gland that is surgically inserted into Darien’s head that excretes a special substance called Quicksilver that coats Darien’s body and turns him invisible. At first he can’t control it, it can only be triggered by adrenaline. Darien, at first eager to remove the gland, is just beginning to learn to control the Quicksilver through Tai-Chi when one of the lead scientists on the team double crosses everyone, kills them and attempts to trap Darien. In the process, he kills Darien’s brother.
Darien barely escapes but is forced to go on the run from the rogue scientist. He is approached by The Agency, the covert government division that funded his brother’s experiments. It seems the rogue scientist also tampered with the Quicksilver gland so it’ll cause Darien to slowly go mad with rage the more he uses his invisibility and the longer he goes without a special serum. The Agency offers their help and access to the serum if Darien works for them.
And that’s mostly the setup of the show. There are some interesting ideas. The effects aren’t that bad. My main problem is with the actor who plays Darien, Vincent Ventresca. He’s kind of a douche bag. He’s supposed to be, but he does it too well. I can’t root for the guy because he’s a dick. And they try to make him rogue-ish and likeable, but that actually works against him. He’s a two-bit crook who robs from elderly old men (as you see in the beginning and it’s actually what he’s put in jail for) yet he quotes Mark f**king Twain to one of the scientists. Annoying.
The concept is interesting enough, that I did wind up watching a few episodes of the show hoping Darien’s edge would be dulled a bit as the show progressed. I watched the 2 hour pilot and a few of the “gimmick” shows like the one with the “evil invisible man” and the possible return of the dead brother. There’s also one with an invisible woman, but I didn’t make it quite that far. But I did read far enough ahead on Wikipedia to discover where the government got the Quicksilver…but that’s a tale for another day.
The show isn’t bad, even if the lead is a bit unlikable.
This is funny. At one point Darien goes to an out of the way taco place to meet a government agent. As he walks in, hanging just over the cook’s left shoulder, oh so subtle-like, is the poster for the original Universal The Invisible Man. Well played, Sci-Fi.
Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.