After 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.
Cast: 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)
Notes: 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