|Index||5 reviews in total|
I caught a marathon of this show on the Sci-Fi Channel in September 2000
I must say I was amazed. David McCallum shows his range by playing a
scientist who turns himself invisible and destroys his project so the
military will not get a hold of it, then spends the next thirteen episodes
trying to rediscover the process to lead a life of normalcy. Helped by
wife (the excellent Melinda Fee, who was last seen playing a Fembot in
Bionic Woman'), the couple pay for their lab time by being hired out as
investigators and/or spies.
There are a few problems with the series (wheither McCallum is wearing anything when invisible or not--I think that could be a major problem, since he was wearing something when he became invisible) but overall it is better written and acted than it's successor, the entertaining "Gemini Man" starring Ben Murphy.
The only real shame is that this series is not aired more on the Sci-Fi Channel. A real treat to any science-fiction fan.
A half-hearted attempt to update the classic H.G. Wells story, this series
featured Dr. Daniel Westin, a scientist at the shadowy KLAE Corporation,
stumbles across a means of making objects invisible. The series came out
shortly after Watergate. Consequently, so when Westin learned that Uncle
Sam planned to use his invention for military use, he turned himself
invisible, destroyed his equipment, and promptly escaped. However, his
method for becoming visible failed to work leaving him invisible
permanently. A scientist friend creates a realistic face mask with a built
in wig, and plastic hands to conceal his invisibility.
Daniel and his wife Kate returned to work for the KLAE Corporation, where he continued his experiments in order find his way back to visibility. In exchange, Westin ironically uses his new powers to work for the government. He spends the remainder of the series undertaking secret missions often aided by his wife. The special effects were quite good but all too often the plots were tired, juvenile, a full of clichés. As a result, the show disappeared without ever realizing it's potential.
The success of 'The Six Million Dollar Man' prompted this show, loosely based on the H.G. Wells novel. David McCallum played 'Dr.Daniel Westin', a scientist who turns permanently invisible when an experiment goes awry. He then becomes a secret agent known as 'The Klae Resource'. For McCallum, this was his first American series since 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'. As one would expect, he brought a lot of charm to the role. Craig Stevens played the 'Oscar Goldman' equivalent. What strained credibility ( more so than the premise itself ) was the notion that Westin could only be seen through the wearing of a mask, designed to resemble his real face. It must have been a pretty good mask because his teeth and eyes were visible also. The plots were mediocre ( apart from 'Power Play' which featured a stunning turn from Monte Markham as a psychotic villain ), and overall the show failed to register with the U.S. public. It was popular over here, though, and was still being rerun as late as 1990.
Dr Daniel Weston is a brilliant scientist working on a groundbreaking
new invention. When his bosses get fed up seeing their money being
eaten up with no results, Weston shows them his work by making a pen
vanish in front of them. The potential for this invisibility machine is
enormous and it is not long before Weston's bosses have brought in the
US military and their funding. Objecting to working on a powerful
weapon instead of helping mankind, Weston is removed from the project
and locked out of his own lab while his ex-employers start to handover
the whole project to military scientists without Weston's conscience or
morals to slow it all down.
Despite the fact that HG Wells gets a writers credit for this TVM, the actual plot has less to do with his classic story and more in common with TV series of the 70's and 80's where a character with a gimmick goes around helping people and righting wrongs. I watched this as a standalone film because it has not been followed by a rerun of the whole series and it is not how it was meant to be watched. As a result the film basically just sets up the future story and has an ending which would be OK if you were going to tune in every week but as a film it doesn't have anything interesting in an ending. For what it is, the story explains why Weston is invisible, sets him up with a mask, gets a "baddie" on his tail and sees him heading off to new adventures. Like I said, this is all well and good if you then follow it with the series but as a stand alone episode it doesn't do anything of value at all.
The special effects are good I suppose although they have dated badly and the film spends too much time just "marvelling" at Weston appearing or partially disappearing, things moving by themselves etc. These things take the place of plotting or character and the film manages to do very little it doesn't even set a formula for the rest of the series. Without character or feelings to work with, McCallum manages to have more impact on the film by not being on screen than being on it. He only has a vague moral outrage at the idea of his work being a weapon but never has any emotions of his own about his struggle, his mission or the situation he is in. Likewise O'Fee just seems to be waiting for the regular work to start up and never does much. If Cooper and Darrow were set to become the regular baddies of the series then things can't have been that great because neither make much of an impression here.
Overall it is a bit unfair to watch this as a standalone film but when it is presented as such then it isn't too much to hope that it can be enjoyed as such; it is hard to see how this film convinced anyone that regular trips back into this story would be a good idea. It does nothing but set up a very basic frame for further "adventures" and forgets to entertain, engage or stimulate the audience at the same time. Not bad just totally pointless.
Too bad I didn't comment before January 4th of 2004. I would have
written a more intelligent and sensitive review of this show, which
unfortunately did not make it past the pilot episodes. David McCallum
is one of the most learned actors of his times. It's Illya for pete's
sake!!! And this show is much better than watching Man from U.N.K.L.E.
several times over, as I have. Plus, it debuted in my birth-year, '75.
As for H.G. Wells, if you want the 'full' and unadulterated experience, read the novel and don't watch this show. Don't be a pretentious ninny and enjoy this show for what it was. Not perfect, but a better way to waste time than watching such vacuous titles as "The Surreal Life", or "Pimp My Ride", etc.
Thanks for appreciating that some shows are just fun to watch, and they don't have to be perfect. And what show doesn't rely, at some time, on a cliché or two.
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