The Invisible Man was a TV show on Sci-Fi beginning in 2000. Since it was on the Sci-Fi channel, you can already guess that the show involved a secret government agency, secret technology, gun fights and genetically mutated cows. I mean, who hasn't wanted a herd of invisible cows? Sadly, this show met an untimely death after only two seasons, supposedly due to bickering between Sci-Fi and USA, who owned the show.
"Your mission, should you choose to accept it..."
Invisible men don't grow on trees so the government had to make one. Kevin Fawkes is the scientist who developed a gland that, when implanted in a person, will render them invisible at will. There are a few drawbacks if things get out of hand, but Kevin's brother Darien, played by Vincent Ventresca, opted for the surgery in lieu of a prison sentence. Some terrorists killed Kevin leaving Darien alone with a gland that drive him berserk if he goes too long with the counteragent. In stepped the mysterious "Agency" which offers to take care of Darien if he joins up to fight crime, save the world, etc.
The Agency is your run of the mill black-ops
, government funded anti-terrorism unit. Oh, and it's supposedly a division of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Administration
. That also happens to have an invisible man in the arsenal. There is an older chief, aptly called "The Official," who is played by Eddie Jones. He called the shots and decreed which evil organization will be foiled in a particular week
. The doctor assigned to monitor and maintain Darien is simply "The Keeper," played by Shannon Kenny
. She was totally hot and had a British accent which made her extremely hot. Oh, the things we would have done in the name of medicine. . .
Darien's partner was Agent Bobby Hobbes, played by Paul Ben-Victor. Together, Agent Hobbes and Darien engage in various acts of crime fighting, espionage and counterterrorism. Hobbes was a competent character who supported Darien's paranormal abilities and busted some heads when needed. However, Darien was far and away the chief operative of the Agency. He could turn invisible, why wouldn't they use him all the time?
The key to making this invisibility trick work is the gland implanted in Darien's cerebral cortex. It secreted a light bending substance, dubbed Quicksilver, that allows Darien to turn invisible. One possible reason for name was the visual effect when Darien turned invisible; patches of his body appeared to convert to a silver liquid that very rapidly engulfed his entire person and he became completely invisible. Unfortunately, the Quicksilver gland interfered with the epinephrine and norepinephrine in Darien's system and diminished his inhibitions. Left unchecked, Darien became crazed and completely uncontrollable. So the entire control mechanism for giving an ex-con (a thief no less) the power to turn invisible was exclusive Agency administration of the necessary counteragent.
Thankfully, when Darien got the implant, he also got a tattoo on his left wrist. It was a snake circled around to bite its own tail, with a number of marked, uniform sections from head to tail. This acted as Darien's counteragent gauge--when he had a high level of counteragent, all the sections were green. As the counteragent concentration dropped, the sections began to turn red. The Keeper would administer shots of the counteragent to keep things under control. If the tattoo became completely red and Darien wasn't treated right away, bad things began to happen. There was an escalating descent into madness which culminated in "Quicksilver Level 5 Madness" wherein Darien's eyes turned blood red and, lacking any inhibition, he would turn on the Agency or sometimes The Keeper. Hobbes or The Keeper normally showed up in short order and fought against Darien's berserker strength to inject some rationale into his veins.
I have never followed a lot of TV, but I genuinely enjoyed this show. I considered it very well thought out, right on down to the advertising campaign. The commercials would talk about Darien Fawkes, the invisible man and hype up the character, then invite you to come see him, "disappearing Friday nights at 10" or whatnot. It was a cute play on words. Vincent Vantresca carried a great attitude for the role. He was happy to be out of prison, but entertainingly sarcastic and cynical about being at the goverment's beckon call. Thankfully, the show was written such that the fact that a man could turn invisible was a new and exciting proposition, not just an everyday norm. With that in mind, the show never took itself too seriously and sometimes had a tongue in cheek outlook on the whole invisibility issue. Oh, and did I mention The Keeper was incredibly hot?
Kevin: "We have to think about premature visibility."
Darien: "Premature visibility?"
Kevin: "It can happen if you get distracted."
Darien: "Well, then we need to get some uglier nurses."
- Crossover: In the pilot episode, among Fawkes' doctors are Drs. "Baker, McGann, Hartnell, and Troughton." These are the names of various actors who have played the Doctor on the British TV series Doctor Who (1963). A later in-joke along similar lines has Fawkes using a business card with the name "I.M. Forman" on it; this was the name of the owner of the junkyard that appears in the pilot episode of Doctor Who.
- About those cows: I wasn't crazy. At some point, there was a society that was trying to develop a method for living forever at a golden age of 25 or so. I think they also found out about the Quicksilver thing. In order to mass produce the substance, they genetically altered a herd of cows to becoming invisible, roving Fountain of Youth factories. At one point, Darien is doing his thing and infiltrating their compound and stumbles upon a herd of invisible cows. The mooing gave them away.
- Wanna see a neat trick?: Darien can turn parts of his body or objects invisible. While Darien is investigating those cows, at one point he is caught walking around the compound in visible mode. The guard tells him to turn around and he does so empty handed. After some verbal exchange, Darien fires the invisible submachine gun he had been holding the whole time and the guard surrenders. Later on in the episode, everyone knows he's in the compound, so more guards are sent out. The first guy Darien held up was in the group that stumbled on to him the second time. Darien immediately took a stance like he was going to fire from the hip and everyone in the group started laughing. Except for the original guard who yelled for everyone to put down their weapons, because "he has a gun." When all the guns were on the ground, Darien picked up a gun since he had thrown the original one away.
- For my last trick, I made her disappear: Darien apparently has the ability to secrete Quicksilver through his skin. During the last few episodes, a woman shows up offering to help Darien with the Quicksilver complications if he does something for her. She wears a backpack that, when filled with Quicksilver, allows her to become invisible without needing a gland implant. Darien sits on the edge of a bed and pours Quicksilver from his extended index finger into the tank.