The Invisible Man: Season One
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The sensational sci-fi series that has to be seen to be believed, The Invisible Man is now available on DVD for the first time ever! Join con man-turned-covert-op-specialist Darien Fawkes (Vincent Ventresca) in 23 gripping Season One episodes, including the two-hour TV-length pilot, as he undergoes a top-secret invisibility experiment by the "Agency." As he takes on spy networks, assassins and lethal weapons cases, Darien must come to terms with the "Quicksilver madness" and physical outbursts that are unexpected side effects of his special abilities. Co-starring Paul Ben-Victor (Entourage) and Shannon Kenny (7th Heaven), this suspenseful action series has intrigue, humor and futuristic weaponry that you'll want to "see" again and again!
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But onto the show itself. Darien Fawkes (the underappreciated Vincent Ventresca) is a thief who is finally caught and put in prison. He's looking at a life sentence, but his brother comes to his "rescue" of sorts when he offers him a deal: Testing an experimental gland implant in the brain that will release a chemical nicknamed "Quicksilver" that coats the skin for a brief period of time that bends light around the subject, allowing them to become invisible to the naked eye. Darien accepts the deal, but we know what road good intentions lead to. Fawkes' brother is double-crossed and killed by his assistant Arnaud DeFehrn (the wonderfully sleazy Joel Bissonette), and Fawkes is stuck with the experimental gland before it's perfected. The gland has a potentially fatal flaw which is that if used for too long of a period of time, the user (in this case, Fawkes) will experience what is called "Quicksilver Madness" which he experiences psychotic and sociopathic tendencies. Fawkes is recruited by "The Agency", a covert ops organization that answers only to The President, run by a perenially frustrated bean-counter usually referred to as "The Official" or "The Fat Man" (the hilarious Eddie Jones) and his yes-man Eberts (the also-hilarious Michael McCafferty). Fawkes' condition is watched over by the lovely Claire "The Keeper" Keeply (beautiful and dry-witted Shannon Kenny), who must regularly give him injections of a counter-agent that wards off the Quicksilver Madness, and is determined to find a way to remove the gland from Darien without the procedure killing him.
The show also gives us a brilliant buddy cop story with Fawkes partnered with Agent Bobby Hobbes (the wonderful and easily recognizable Paul Ben-Victor), a self-professed ladies man and martial arts master, who also may be suffering from schizophrenia that may be fueling these delusions of grandeur (or are they delusions?). The chemistry that is developed between Fawkes and Hobbes is just amazing, and it becomes one of the high points of the show.
One of the other high points is the amazing special effects. When Fawkes goes invisible (and vice versa), the transition is totally seamless. It was this level of achievement that unfortunately brought this show to an all-too premature end because it was just too expensive to keep up that level.
Overall, this is a really great and really fun show that just ended way too soon but it finally is back to watch on this DVD series!
This show demonstrates one of those rare confluences of talent: Great acting, chemistry and occasionally brilliant writing, all of which came together to produce something far greater than the sum of its parts. The Invisible Man was part of that once-epic friday night prime Sci-Fi Channel lineup that now resorts to rehashes (excuse me: 're-imaginings' if you go with Hammer-speak) of other networks' old shows.
Together with Farscape, another Sci-Fi Channel masterpiece, I-Man illustrated the truly original programming that now-blighted network once produced. I'm delighted that it will finally be appearing on DVD in its home country. We've waited an awfully long time for it, considering the drek Sci Fi HAS released (Black Scorpion, anyone?). But I-Man was always treated like the proverbial red-headed stepchild, ignored by its parent who showed every sign of being embarrassed by this quirky, funny, wonderful show.
Watching I-Man is a treat, and makes me long for a few good, old-fashioned scripted series. Ones with the same heart, brains, humor and talent behind them as The Invisible Man. I miss the adventures of Darien Fawkes and Bobby Hobbes. Give a me buddy show with characters like these any time! When Sci Fi killed both its original series in rapid succession, I left and have never gone back.
For reasons that escape me, Sci Fi Channel waited nearly seven years to release this in the U.S.. As with the other reviewers, I hope they'll be releasing season 2. But in the mean time, I'll bask in the glorious goofiness that was I-Man.