Bottom line: The Invisible Man is one re-release that won’t force you to take off the nostalgia goggles. As entertaining as it is refreshing.
Run time: 635 minutes.
Number of discs: 4.
Language: English, no subtitles.
Release date: 27th March.
Starring: David McCallum, Melinda O. Fee, and Craig Stevens.
The wide-eyed kids we once were never saw wobbly sets or dodgy costumes. TV was just all sorts of fun. But, because those shows that we loved way back when are tied into our memories and emotions, it can be a big shock to revisit them as adults.
Not so for the The Invisible Man—the 1975 vehicle for Man From UNCLE star David McCallum.
The series was a fairly lightweight affair, with a husband and wife duo–played by McCallum and Melinda O. Fee–as ‘agents’ for the Klee Corporation, who use McCallum’s invisibility to solve cases no one else can.
The series’ playful tone, and the lead’s flirtatious shenanigans is especially refreshing when contrasted to the more traditional couples portrayed in shows like McMillan & Wife.
But where The Invisible Man really wins is in its storytelling.
McCallum and Fee are always equals—both are Doctors and scientists, and the show doesn’t hesitate to show Fee navigating (and often exploiting) the sexism of the time to achieve the Corporation’s aims.
Created by Harvey Bennett (Star Trek), the series features early work from writers such as Stephen Bochco (Hill Street Blues), Alan J. Levi (Lois and Clark, NCIS) and James D. Parriott (The Six Million Dollar Man, The Incredible Hulk). The result are episodes that touch on corruption, drugs, and racism, without ever seeming to bang a drum.
There’s sadly just one season to explore but, in twelve episodes, there are some real gems. Look out for Go Directly To Jail in which the superb James McEachin deftly demonstrates his versatility as an actor while overturning every black TV stereotype of the period.
The pilot is included in the fully-restored Fabulous Films box set and makes an interesting watch, with a much darker tone and characters.
The Invisible Man is one re-release that won’t force you to take off the nostalgia goggles. As entertaining as it is refreshing.