The Invisible Man

The Invisible ManAfter eight months of working on a teleportation system for the mysterious Klae Corporation, scientist Dr. Daniel Westin has been concealing a second research project, investigating an unexpected side effect of his research: invisibility. Westin and his wife, Dr. Kate Westin, have succeeded in rendering inanimate objects and small animals invisible. When this fact is revealed to Carlson, the director of Klae Corporation, Carlson immediately suggests military uses for the Westins’ breakthrough. Daniel refuses to cooperate further, and the Westins are fired from the Klae Corporation; their home is surrounded by armed agents. Daniel decides to risk sneaking back into his Klae lab to destroy the machinery that makes invisibility possible, but makes himself invisible first so he can escape, fully believing that he will became visible again after a short while.

But the effect turns out to be permanent. Daniel goes into hiding and enlists the help of an old friend, a plastic surgeon, to create a lifelike mask and gloves to simulate Daniel’s real face and hands. Daniel is left with no choice but to return to Klae to offer apologies and to try to piece together his destroyed research so he can someday become visible again. He demands that Carlson call off the armed agents surrouding the Westin home…and then discovers that they have nothing to do with Klae Corporation at all, and that someone else is willing to go to any length, including threatening Kate’s life, to gain the secret of invisibility for themselves.

teleplay by Steven Bochco
television story by Harve Bennett & Steven Bochco
directed by Robert Michael Lewis
music by Richard Clements

The Invisible ManCast: David McCallum (Dr. Daniel Westin), Melinda Fee (Dr. Kate Westin), Jackie Cooper (Walter Carlson), Henry Darrow (Dr. Nick Maggio), Alex Henteloff (Rick Steiner), Arch Johnson (General Turner), John McLiam (Blind Man), Ted Gehring (Gate Guard), Paul Kent (Security Chief), Milt Kogan (Doctor), Jon Cedar (Lobby Guard), Tamar Cooper (Receptionist), Lew Palter (Motel Clerk), Richard Forbes (Motel Guest)

The Invisible ManNotes: A 90-minute pilot movie that led to a series in NBC’s fall 1975 TV season, The Invisible Man is only loosely based upon H.G. Wells’ novel. The special effects used in each episode to depict Daniel’s invisibility are done on video, much like a live TV weathercast. Film-based opticals couldn’t be done on a TV timetable, so The Invisible Man shot those scenes on videotape, and then transferred that video to film by syncing a high-resollution monitor to the scan rate of the film camera. Much like contemporary BBC productions that showed little concern about switching from studio video to location film, the change is noticeable, and the process was still costly.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Klae Resource

The Invisible ManSome time after the incident that caused him to be rendered permanently invisible, Dr. Daniel Westin and his wife, Dr. Kate Westin, are in the employ of the Klae Corporation, and are hired out as a team of “specialists” to take on particularly difficult tasks. One such task will require both invisibility and cunning: an inventor named Parks has gone missing, and the government is concerned that he might sell his latest energy breakthrough to the highest bidder in the Middle East. His last known location is a Vegas casino hotel, but no one has actually seen him recently…and solving the mystery of his whereabouts will require the skills of someone else who no one can actually see.

written by Steven Bochco
directed by Robert Michael Lewis
music by Henry Mancini

The Invisible ManCast: David McCallum (Dr. Daniel Westin), Melinda Fee (Dr. Kate Westin), Craig Stevens (Walter Carlson), Robert Alda (Fielder), Conrad Janis (Homer), Barry Sullivan (Lionel Parks), Scott Walker (1st Guard), Paul Kent (Kelly), Dick Balduzzi (Agent Stern), James Karen (Hotel Manager), Joseph George (2nd Guard), Jackie Russell (Female Operator), David Knapp (Casino Drunk), Dennis Robertson (Technical Expert), Jack Frey (Bellman), Gary Pagett (Croupier), Chuck Courtney (Limo Driver), Richard Geary (Boone)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Fine Art Of Diplomacy

The Invisible ManWhen priceless pieces of art go missing, replaced by forgeries, the Klae Resource is called into action. Daniel is happy to help try to solve the mystery, but he’s less thrilled with the plan that calls for his wife to distract the suspected art thief, a foreign ambassador, by any means necessary. Unfortunately for both of them, the ambassador has quite lethal ideas on protecting his stash of priceless paintings, and evil Daniel’s invisibility may not see things through.

written by James D. Parriott
directed by Sigmund Neufeld Jr.
music by Henry Mancini

The Invisible ManCast: David McCallum (Dr. Daniel Westin), Melinda Fee (Dr. Kate Westin), Craig Stevens (Walter Carlson), Ross Martin (Ambassador Diego Devega), Michael Pataki (Tandi), Paul Stewart (Mr. Wood), Vincent Beck (Gregario), Pepe Callahan (Manuel), Gwil Richards (Capitol Guard), Nicholas Lewis (1st Embassy Guard), Raymond O’Keefe (2nd Embassy Guard)

Invisible ManNotes: This is one of the earliest professional writing credits for James D. Parriott, who returned to pen several more Invisible Man scripts. He also wrote episodes of The Bionic Woman, The Incredible Hulk, and The Six Million Dollar Man before embarking on a stellar career of creating and running his own shows, from Voyagers! to Misfits Of Science to Forever Knight to Defying Gravity.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Man Of Influence

The Invisible ManThe Klae Corporation is asked to investigate reports that a shady “medium” is holding seances to allow a senator to speak to his dead wife, but is using that illusion to influence the senator’s votes. The Westins go to visit the medium, but when it appears their cover might be blown, Daniel announces that Kate is a powerful psychic with telekinetic powers. He then ducks out of sight and uses his invisibility to lend that claim some credence, winning Kate an invitation to the senator’s next seance…but until then, someone is trying to kill the Westins before they can make another appearance. It’ll be no small matter for Daniel and Kate to expose the fraudulent medium at large.

teleplay by Seeleg Lester and Rick Blaine
story by Rick Blaine
directed by Alan J. Levi
music by Pete Rugolo

The Invisible ManCast: David McCallum (Dr. Daniel Westin), Melinda Fee (Dr. Kate Westin), Craig Stevens (Walter Carlson), John Vernon (Mr. Sheed), Gene Raymond (Senator Hanover), Jack Colvin (Mr. Williams), Shirley O’Hara (Margaret Hanover), Loni Anderson (Andrea Hanover), Dorothy Love (Woman), Donald Gentry (Policeman), James Standifer (Policeman), Alan Mandell (Senator Baldwin), Robert Douglas (Dr. Theophilus)

Notes: This is one of the earliest professional acting credits for Loni Anderson, just a few years before she won a starring role in WKRP In Cincinnati.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Eyes Only

The Invisible ManA woman with access to some of the most sensitive information in Washington is believed to be selling those secrets somehow, and bodies are piling up in her wake. The Klae Resource is called into action, with Kate posing as a would-be employee interviewing for a job, while quietly allowing the invisible Daniel to investigate the leak of vital secrets. He discovers that the “spy” is herself a victim of circumstances being exploited by someone with a much darker agenda…but Carlson insists that, rather than whisking her away to safety, she has to remain visible, and vulnerable, as a decoy to draw the real villains out.

written by Leslie Stevens
directed by Alan J. Levi
music by Henry Mancini

The Invisible ManCast: David McCallum (Dr. Daniel Westin), Melinda Fee (Dr. Kate Westin), Craig Stevens (Walter Carlson), Barbara Anderson (Paula Simon), William Prince (Dr. Kenneth Maynard), Bobby Van (Tony Bernard), John Kerr (Kirk), Thayer David (Jack Pierson), Frank Christi (Nick Palanzi), Vince Martorano (Joe Palanzi), Tony Swartz (Guard with dog), William Bronder (Marty), Gregory Bach (Dino), Bob Hackman (Project Worker), Vern Rowe (Cab Driver)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Barnard Wants Out

The Invisible ManDaniel and Kate are assigned to visit a scientific conference in Geneva, where Daniel’s old mentor, Dr. Barnard, is expected to announce his latest breakthrough. Barnard defected to a Communist country several years ago, but the CIA has asked the Klae Resource to contact him to see if he wants to return to the western world. Going invisible and contacting Barnard is easy for Daniel, but getting himself, Kate, Barnard and his daughter back to America alive is the hard part…especially when it seems that Anna Barnard’s loyalties lie with the country in which she has grown up.

written by James D. Parriott
directed by Alan J. Levi
music by Pete Rugolo

The Invisible ManCast: David McCallum (Dr. Daniel Westin), Melinda Fee (Dr. Kate Westin), Craig Stevens (Walter Carlson), Nehemiah Persoff (Dr. Leon Barnard), Jane Actman (Anna), Paul Shenar (Alexi Zartov), Cliff Osmond (Elevator Guard), George Fisher (Yuri), Joe Rainer (Guard), Peter Colt (Petra), Ralph Anderson (Bell Boy), Charles Stewart (Man), Inga Neilsen (Swedish Bombshell), Macon McCalman (Consul)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Sight Unseen

The Invisible ManA wealthy man’s blind daughter is kidnapped and held for ransom, all because he was on the verge of divulging all of his ties to organized crime. Believing this assignment to be particularly dangerous, Dan and Kate are instructed to simply find out where the girl is being held, but are ordered not to rescue her themselves. When the girl’s kidnappers grow suspicious, however, Dan and Kate are left with no choice but to get directly involved, and for once, Dan finds himself helping someone to whom his invisibility doesn’t matter.

teleplay by Brian Rehak
story by Brian & Kandy Rehak
directed by Sigmund Neufeld, Jr.
music by Pete Rugolo

The Invisible ManCast: David McCallum (Dr. Daniel Westin), Melinda Fee (Dr. Kate Westin), Craig Stevens (Walter Carlson), Jamie Smith Jackson (Laurie Capas), David Opatoshu (Mr. Capas), Richard X. Slattery (Griggs), Harry Davis (Jimmy James), Rod Colbin (Agent Wells), Al Ruscio (Mannie Hallman), Brett Hadley (1st Agent), Jack Garner (Pedestrian), Ken Del Conte (Gate Guard), Tom Geas (3rd Guard), Richard Reed (1st Guard)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Go Directly To Jail

The Invisible ManThe Klae Corporation’s cleaning lady begs the Westins for help: her son has been arrested in Texas on drug charges, despite never having had any prior offenses. Against Walter’s wishes, the Westins set out to see what they can find out, discovering that she’s telling the truth…as far as she knows it. Her son is a federal agent working undercover to bring down a heroin smuggling operation run from the prison warden’s office…and by going undercover (and invisible) to investigate, Daniel may blow the agent’s cover.

written by Steven Bochco
directed by Sigmund Neufeld, Jr.
music by Pete Rugolo

The Invisible ManCast: David McCallum (Dr. Daniel Westin), Melinda Fee (Dr. Kate Westin), Craig Stevens (Walter Carlson), James McEachin (Leland McCallister), Pat Harrington (Warden), John Crawford (Coner), Gregory Walcott (Police Officer), Pauline Myers (Mrs. McCallister), Eric Mason (Senor Robles), Ed Call (1st Prisoner), Gus Peters (2nd Prisoner), Tony B. Burton (3rd Prisoner), George “Buck” Flower (Bunker Guard), Nicholas Worth (Guard with shoes), Jason Johnson (Farmer)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Stop When Red Lights Flash

The Invisible ManPassing through the small town of Docker Junction en route to an assignment, the Westins pull up behind a parked and apparently abandoned school bus whose red lights are nonetheless flashing. After confirming that no one is in or near the bus, Daniel drives around it, only to be given a ticket for doing so. Appearing in court that afternoon, Daniel balks at the exorbitant fine announced by the city judge, and grows suspicious when he discovers that the fine can be paid in cash only – no checks. Daniel doesn’t have that kind of cash on him, and he and Kate are promptly thrown in jail; he uses his one phone call to summon help from Walter Carlson at the Klae Institute. Worse yet, the police check the Westins’ vehicle for any signs of “contraband” that could result in an even higher fine, and they discover Daniel’s supply of faces and hands. Is the invisible man’s cover about to be blown by a small-town rigged court scam?

written by Seeleg Lester
directed by Gene Nelson
music by Pete Rugolo

The Invisible ManCast: David McCallum (Dr. Daniel Westin), Melinda Fee (Dr. Kate Westin), Craig Stevens (Walter Carlson), Roger C. Carmel (Judge Jones), Scott Brady (Sheriff Bentley), Frank Aletter (Charles Hooten), Eddie Firestone (Town Lush), Ted Hartley (Craig), Dean Santoro (Benoit), Kasey Rogers (Gert), Pearl Shear (Ethel), Harold Ayer (Jeb), John Furlong (Riley), Donald Elson (Compositor), Kristin Larkin (The Girl)

Notes: Roger C. Carmel is a face well known to Star Trek fans for repeatedly playing interplanetary con man Harry Mudd, a character who had the rare distinction of appearing in both the live action and animated versions of Star Trek.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Pin Money

The Invisible ManWalter’s aunt comes to the Klae Corporation headquarters for a rather disjointed visit, just as Walter is headed to Washington for an important meeting. The Westins offer to let her stay with them, only to discover that Aunt Margaret has an affinity to late night poker games…where she loses heavily. To cover her losses, she’s been “borrowing” money from the bank where she works, and this has been discovered by a man who works there and demands a cut of whatever money she takes illegally. Daniel is determined to help Aunt Margaret not only return the money, but clean up at the poker table to clear her name…and he just has to stage a bank robbery to do it. What could possibly go wrong?

written by James D. Parriott
directed by Alan J. Levi
music by Pete Rugolo

The Invisible ManCast: David McCallum (Dr. Daniel Westin), Melinda Fee (Dr. Kate Westin), Craig Stevens (Walter Carlson), Helen Kleeb (Aunt Margaret), John Zee (Arnold), James Blendick (Sanders), Wayne Grace (Baldy), Wayne Taylor (Big Nose), Thom Carney (Mersky), Larry French (Tex), Jim Mills (Lawyer), Ray Ballard (Poker Player), G.J. Mitchell (Carter), Arline Anderson (Teller), Karl Lukas (1st Truck Driver), Mickey Gatlin (2nd Truck Driver), Gene Borkan (Cabbie), James Whitworth (Bruiser)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Klae Dynasty

The Invisible ManNormal day-to-day operations at the Klae Corporation are turned upside-down when the three Klae siblings, the corporation’s founders and benefactors, want to host a summit meeting of great minds at the institute. At the top of their agenda is security, and they immediately want the “Klae resource” deployed without knowing what it is, only knowing that the Westins are somehow in charge of it. There is good reason to worry about security, too: as preparations are being made, Caroline Klae is kidnapped. In the chaos, Dan slips away to go invisible, trying to follow the kidnappers, only to discover that their getaway doesn’t add up: it’s a staged decoy, and Caroline must still be somewhere on the Klae Corporation grounds. In the meantime, a power play ensues between her two very different brothers regarding what becomes of her share of the family fortune.

written by Philip DeGuere, Jr.
directed by Alan J. Levi
music by Pete Rugolo

The Invisible ManCast: David McCallum (Dr. Daniel Westin), Melinda Fee (Dr. Kate Westin), Craig Stevens (Walter Carlson), Nancy Kovack Mehta (Caroline Klae), Farley Granger (Julian Klae), George Murdock (Captain Scopes), Peter Donat (Morgan Klae), Joe Maross (Ryan), Rayford Barnes (Pierce)

The Invisible ManNotes: George Murdock would go on to play the recurring role of the doctor aboard the 1970s incarnation of Battlestar Galactica, and would gain further sci-fi infamy as the face of “God” in 1989’s Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, redeeming himself among Trek fans a year later as Admiral Hansen in the fan-favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation two-parter The Best Of Both Worlds. Peter Donat would resurface as the villain in another cult sci-fi classic, as recurring enemy Dr. Mordecai Sahmbi in the 1990s syndicated series Time Trax.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Power Play

The Invisible ManA gunman dressed as a Klae Corporation security guard enters Walter’s office and pulls a gun on him, demanding to know the secret of the Klae Resource. The man, who identifies himself as Pike, is unusually well-informed, claiming to have gotten his information from Morgan Klae himself, but intends to control the world by using the Klae Resource for his own gain. Walter stalls for time, but Pike eventually forces his way into the Westins’ lab and holds them hostage until he learns the truth: one of the two men he’s holding at gunpoint is invisible. But which one? And how can Dan salvage the situation when he’s being watched by a nervous gunman?

written by Leslie Stevens
directed by Alan J. Levi
music by Pete Rugolo

Cast: David McCallum (Dr. Daniel Westin), Melinda Fee (Dr. Kate Westin), Craig Stevens (Walter Carlson), Monte Markham (Pike)

The Invisible ManNote: Airing over a month after the previous episode, Power Play features an unusual amount of continuity for an episode of a 1970s series: Pike learned of the Klae Resource from Morgan Klae, who was committed after his part in the attempted kidnapping depicted in The Klae Dynasty. (Considering that this is the second episode in a row in which Klae Corporation’s on-site security force has been compromised, one wonders if the Corporation does any kind of background checks.) With only one guest actor, and using only two standing sets, Power Play was an attempt to bring an episode of The Invisible Man in at a very low cost. Though this episode is not a clip show, brief excerpts from the pilot movie, Barnard Wants Out, and Stop When Red Lights Flash are seen on the “computer screens”.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

An Attempt To Save Face

The Invisible ManDan Westin’s old friend, Dr. Nick Maggio, was the man who gave him a new face after Dan became invisible…and now he is summoning Dan and Kate to a hospital in Chicago under mysterious circumstances. When the Westins arrive, Maggio explains that he has been brought in to perform a secret facelift on the chairman of an Eastern Bloc country, but that members of the chairman’s entourage have now sequestered Maggio’s would-be patient away…and are keeping Maggio under round-the-clock guard. Dan goes on an invisible intelligence-gathering mission, learning that there are two rival factions among the chairman’s entourage: one faction wants him returned home without the facelift, and the other wants to assassinate him and blame his death on American doctors. Short on time, a plan is devised to put Dan’s face mask on the chairman to get him out of harm’s way…but the longer it takes to put the plan into action, the more goes wrong with it.

teleplay by James D. Parriott and Leslie Stevens
story by Leslie Stevens
directed by Don Henderson
music by Pete Rugolo

The Invisible ManCast: David McCallum (Dr. Daniel Westin), Melinda Fee (Dr. Kate Westin), Craig Stevens (Walter Carlson), Charles Aidman (Dr. Nick Maggio), Terry Kiser (Petra Kolchak), Oscar Homolka (Chairman), Ina Balin (Katrina Storoff), Gene Dynarski (Vasil), Julie Rogers (Wendy), Sid McCoy (Anestheseologist), W.T. Zacha (Sergei), Karen Cobb (Nurse)

Note: Though there are broad (and somewhat stereotypical) hints that the chairman is the leader of the Soviet Union, the script remains vague, not narrowing things down any more than “the Eastern Bloc”. This was the final episode of The Invisible Man to be produced or aired, but was far from the final outing for the concept of an invisible spy. The following year, NBC premiered Gemini Man, a virtually identical series The Invisible Manstarring Ben Murphy, though the method of invisibility was retooled to utilized cheaper special effects. Craig Stevens (1918-2000) continued on to a steady string of guest starring roles through the late 1980s, though he remained best known for having been Peter Gunn. Melinda O. Fee remained active through the early 1990s, and David McCallum is, at the time of this writing, still Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on NCIS, a role he has played since 2003; he has also appeared in Babylon 5, VR.5, and Jeremiah, and starred in the short-lived cult classic genre series Sapphire & Steel in the late 1970s. Far from being invisible, McCallum has been a fixture of the small screen on both sides of the Atlantic for more than 40 years.

LogBook entry by Earl Green