1 9 7 5 – 1 9 7 6 (USA)
14 x 60 minute episodes
Dr Daniel Westin (David McCallum) is a scientist working with a US government think-tank known as the KLAE Corporation.
While researching molecular reduction and transformation, Westin accidentally discovers that objects can be made invisible through molecular restitution and begins more complex experimentation. Finally, he tries it on himself and is rendered invisible.
Before returning to normal, Westin discovers from his superior, Walter Carlson (Craig Stevens), that the government plans to use his discovery for military purposes, so he destroys the formula and his laboratory.
Unfortunately, he has no way to become visible again. Now he is not only invisible, but a fugitive terrified that he will suddenly come into clear view, be captured and forced to continue his experiments so warring nations might benefit.
Daniel seeks help from his friend, Nick Maggio (Henry Darrow), a brilliant plastic surgeon who has been experimenting with a plastic lifelike substance that can reconstruct a patient’s face.
To help Daniel, Nick modifies the process to what he calls Derma Plex, a rubbery liquid plastic that he uses to reconstruct Daniel’s face and hands (for his eyes, Nick develops a special set of contact lenses; caps are used for his teeth; a wig becomes his hair – hence Daniel appears as he did before).
Daniel, however, must take his new face (the mask) off every six to eight hours to allow his invisible skin to breathe. When Daniel realizes that KLAE Corporation’s research centre is his only way of finding the means to become visible, he becomes their chief investigator, using his invisibility to tackle very dangerous national and international assignments while simultaneously working in the laboratory with his wife Kate (Melinda O Fee) to rediscover his formula.
He does all kinds of clever things when he’s invisible – doors open by themselves, keys fly across rooms – as do a variety of other objects, a sneaky foreign agent in a room alone sees a chair rise from the floor and then feels it crash down hard, apparently of its own accord, on his evil head.
Hopes were high for a long-running sci-fi show (NBC’s first since Star Trek), but ratings were low and not helped by being scheduled against CBS’s blockbuster Monday night sitcoms, Rhoda and Phyllis. The BBC bought the show and aired it a few weeks after its US broadcast, but McCallum couldn’t repeat the success of Colditz for the British channel.
David McCallum died on 25 September 2023, shortly after his 90th birthday.
Dr Daniel Westin
Dr Kate Westin
Melinda O Fee