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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

The Invisible Man (1975)
The Complete Series


Starring: David McCallum, Melinda O. Fee and Craig Stevens
Distributor: Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £59.99


Certificate: 12
Release Date: 27 March 2023

Fabulous Films/Fremantle Media release the 1975 TV series The Invisible Man as a 3-disc Blu-ray set containing all 13 episodes. The show starred the hugely popular David McCallum, best known for Colditz, The Great Escape, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (for which he received two Emmy Award nominations and more fan mail than Elvis!), Sapphire & Steel, and NCIS (in which he plays Dr Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard). The Invisible Man – inspired by the original classic HG Wells novel – was created by Harvey Bennett, and featured writers for The Incredible Hulk, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Hill Street Blues. It was a ratings hit in the UK and was dubbed into French, Persian, Italian and Finnish, but pulled due to poor ratings in the US – even though a sub-standard but cheaper version called Gemini Man was commissioned. All 13 episodes are presented here (including the Pilot).

Dr Daniel Westin is a leading scientist at a US think-tank called the Klae Corporation. He has perfected temporary invisibility with animals, but when funding to continue is threatened he is obliged to attempt the process on himself. It proves to be a success; however, the government wants the process for military application. To prevent this happening, Westin destroys the laboratory equipment, inadvertently becoming permanently invisible in the process. Managing to escape, he confides in a friend who creates him a realistic mask, eyes and hands. Ultimately, he agrees to apply his unique ability to helping a friend at the institute in circumstances of major fraud or espionage, and other major crime. He is aided in his endeavours by his wife, also a doctor.

Episode Listing: The Invisible Man (Pilot); The Klae Resource; The Fine Art of Diplomacy; Man of Influence; Eyes Only; Barnard Wants Out; Go Directly to Jail; Stop When Red Lights Flash; Pin Money; The Klae Dynasty; Sight Unseen; Power Play; An Attempt to Save Face.

Rather than simply being a gimmick, these episodes incorporate compelling stories; the early ones are particularly strong, even though they are a little more mainstream/family-friendly than the pilot. It’s a shame the series came to an end so early. The special effects were ground-breaking at the time and, accordingly, pushed-up the budget. There is something compelling about any acting performance by David McCallum; an indefinable quality which simply draws you in. The series is often overlooked as average, an undeserved dismissal of a quality show. Like many episodic serials, one view per week was the intention; contemporary binge watching takes something away from the format. This Blu-ray release is most welcome.


Ty Power

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