James Donnelly | Arizona | 01/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After seeing so many poor or banal sci-fi series released on DVD, I was upset that the Sci-Fi Channel's THE INVISIBLE MAN series was not amongst them (at least not in the US anyway... it's been available for years on Region 2 DVD's), but now, at long last, it's coming! This is by far the best show that the Sci-Fi Channel has ever created (aside from the great BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) and it has been deserving of reruns at the VERY least, but other less interesting and less entertaining shows have been clogging up Sci-Fi's airwaves (STARGATE series, I'm looking at you!).
But onto the show itself. Darien Fawkes (the underappreciated Vincent Ventresca) is a thief who is finally caught and put in prison. He's looking at a life sentence, but his brother comes to his "rescue" of sorts when he offers him a deal: Testing an experimental gland implant in the brain that will release a chemical nicknamed "Quicksilver" that coats the skin for a brief period of time that bends light around the subject, allowing them to become invisible to the naked eye. Darien accepts the deal, but we know what road good intentions lead to. Fawkes' brother is double-crossed and killed by his assistant Arnaud DeFehrn (the wonderfully sleazy Joel Bissonette), and Fawkes is stuck with the experimental gland before it's perfected. The gland has a potentially fatal flaw which is that if used for too long of a period of time, the user (in this case, Fawkes) will experience what is called "Quicksilver Madness" which he experiences psychotic and sociopathic tendencies. Fawkes is recruited by "The Agency", a covert ops organization that answers only to The President, run by a perenially frustrated bean-counter usually referred to as "The Official" or "The Fat Man" (the hilarious Eddie Jones) and his yes-man Eberts (the also-hilarious Michael McCafferty). Fawkes' condition is watched over by the lovely Claire "The Keeper" Keeply (beautiful and dry-witted Shannon Kenny), who must regularly give him injections of a counter-agent that wards off the Quicksilver Madness, and is determined to find a way to remove the gland from Darien without the procedure killing him.
The show also gives us a brilliant buddy cop story with Fawkes partnered with Agent Bobby Hobbes (the wonderful and easily recognizable Paul Ben-Victor), a self-professed ladies man and martial arts master, who also may be suffering from schizophrenia that may be fueling these delusions of grandeur (or are they delusions?). The chemistry that is developed between Fawkes and Hobbes is just amazing, and it becomes one of the high points of the show.
One of the other high points is the amazing special effects. When Fawkes goes invisible (and vice versa), the transition is totally seamless. It was this level of achievement that unfortunately brought this show to an all-too premature end because it was just too expensive to keep up that level.
Overall, this is a really great and really fun show that just ended way too soon but it finally is back to watch on this DVD series!"
Finally on DVD
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 02/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Sci-Fi Channel's The Invisible Man finally gets a long overdue release on DVD, and be glad that it has. Arguably the best, original show to ever grace the network, The Invisible Man stars Vincent Ventresca as Darien Fawkes, a con-man and thief that undergoes an experiment upon getting captured and put in jail. The experiment involves a gland imprint in his brain that allows Fawkes to turn himself invisible, and after his agent brother is murdered and betrayed, Fawkes sets out to avenge his death, and battles assassins and other enemies in the process. He gets teamed with Agent Hobbes (Paul Ben-Victor), which provides some of the best moments of the series, which is frequently entertaining and even surprisingly innovative for its time. For a Sci-Fi Channel series, The Invisible Man also features some nifty effects work, and the underrated and underutilized Ventresca is wonderful and magnetic as Fawkes. Its so great to finally have The Invisible Man on DVD, and if you watched and enjoyed the show when it aired (it was one of the highest rated original programs to ever air on Sci-Fi), this first season set is an absolute must own."
Outstanding, hilarious science fiction
Holy Smoke | Los Angeles | 02/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The brilliance of this show is in its cast and its unique, irreverent perspective on a very traditional set-up. The superhuman secret agent has been done a thousand times... but what if this time, instead of a giant, high tech organization, it's a tiny, perpetually broke black ops agency that gets their hands on him? What if he has to keep use of his powers to a minimum because the serum that keeps him sane is too expensive? What if instead of saving the world every week, they get whatever random, bizarre mission their bosses can turn up? (A break in at a sperm bank for geniuses, anyone?)
Halfway through the first season, the show goes from good to fantastic when Vincent Ventresca and Paul Ben-Victor (as the paranoid but more experienced operative) started improvising and embellishing their scenes together. Their buddy-buddy chemistry gives the show a grounded, lived-in feel that you rarely see on a special effects laden television series. It was shocking when the show was canceled due to budget issues because you didn't even see the special effects, you saw the characters."
R. Wolfe | Philadelphia, PA | 01/02/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great guilty pleasure! Not an epic sci-fi show like B5 or even Farscape or anything like that, "just" a really fun, fast-paced, witty, sci-fi laden secret agent-type show with well-delivered humor, action and special effects to boot. I watched this show every week when it was part of Sci Fi Prime on the Sci Fi Channel. This was one of those rare periods when they were producing and airing a decent line-up. The lead actor was great fun and quite endearing, and the supporting cast was just right for the action/humor combo nature of the show. Not that this was a comedic series or anything. The lead was wise cracking and he and his buddy-agent had their differences, and it worked. This show even had a fair amount of heart. Take the worst of what Sci Fi Channel has thrown at us on the cheap every Friday and Saturday night during their worst cycles, and this is the antithesis of that. This is the type of show Sci Fi should still be producing instead of that really lame Flash Gordon rip or 99%-100% of their Saturday night movies. Since they will continue to toss the cheapest crap they can come up with at us Friday and Saturday nights, maybe watching reruns of this in your DVD player will hold you over until they stumble on the next Battlestar Galactica by the same sheer, blind luck that ever brought us Farscape or SG1. Or The Invisible Man, for that matter!"