The Flash TV series debuted in September 1990.
In episode 10, which aired January 1991, The Flash would come up against a villain who had invented a personal cloaking device, essentially turning him into an invisible man. That episode was titled Sight Unseen.
It’s a pretty cool episode. The pre-credit opening shows us a burglary, but it’s being done by someone invisible. We see keyboard keys depress and doors opening without seeing anybody onscreen. Then, after the alarms go off, we see the door open on it’s own and then the thief appears as if out of thin air.
He looks very Shadow-like in the below shot as he dictates to what looks like a mini-recorder device about his plans. .
Not sure why he does this right outside the crime scene. Stay invisible, dude, get to your hideout THEN do your “notes to self”
We get the weekly appearance of officers Bellows and Murphy.
Bellows is the believer (right) and Murphy is the skeptic (left). However, while Murphy doesn’t believe The Flash exists, he spends most of his time trying to monetize the fact that other people do think he exists. Here he tries to convince Bellows to sell $6 shirts to people for $20 a pop.
This show is clearly set-designed by the same team that did Burton’s Batman in 1989. Check out Central City Police Headquarters.
In the stairwell that leads up to the crime lab where Barry Allen works, there’s a weird “science-y” mural painted on the wall.
In this episode we get the debut of federal agent Quinn. And he’s clearly an a-hole. He’s very driven and is obsessed with capturing the cloaking device used by the invisible man. He reminds me a lot of agent Milton Dammers in The Frighteners (right) as played by Jeffrey Combs about five years later.
Several times in the episode we get to see invisible-to-visible reveals of the villain. Here’s a cool one where The Flash confronts the guy’s lair.
And here’s one where the villain is thrown on the hood of a car and it turns the cloaking device off.
Finally Barry figures out that he can see the invisible man with specially developed contact lenses with thermal vision.
Honestly, I thought any invisible man’s downfall would be thermal vision. You may be invisible to light, but you’ll always give off a heat signature.
It’s a pretty good episode. No overt Wells-ian easter eggs. The scientist who develops the cloaking device is called Gideon. Which sounds kind of like Griffen, the protagonist from Wells’ novel. Also like Griffen, he’s British. He’s played by Christopher Neame who has been in a ton of stuff from this to Ghostbusters II, License to Kill and The Prestige. Coincidentally enough, he also would appear in one episode of Sci-Fi Channel’s 2000 TV series, The Invisible Man.
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