Invisible Man, The. 1975-1976 Universal / NBC

Very short lived American TV series inspired by the H.G. Wells novel, starring David McCallum, one of the stars from sixties hit series the Man from U.N.C.L.E.. The series lasted only 12 episodes along with the TV movie pilot episode. A fairly common practice in the early seventies was to make these effectively back door pilots for TV series , which basically meant making a feature length TV movie, which if it proved successful enough would pave the way for a full series.

This pilot movie had McCullum starring as Dr Daniel Westin , who while working for the Klae Corporation, in the field of molecular disintegration for medical purposes, discovers a side effect of the process is that things can be turned invisible only to reappear a few hours later. Westin obsessed with his work turns himself invisible, in part to prove that a human can survive the process, and also to test a serum he has developed to reverse the invisibility.
Upon showing his discoveries to Walter Carlson, he discovers that funding has come from military sources. To prevent military usage of his invention, Westin then attempts to destroy his research and all the equipment, but not before becoming invisible in order for him to make his escape. Westin briefly becomes visible after his escape only to find that the process is unstable, when he turn invisible and is unable use the serum to reverse this. A friend is able to help him by creating a face mask and gloves from a special material called Dermaplex, that has the same properties as human skin. By the conclusion of the pilot, the process’ lack of stability renders it effectively useless for commercial or military applications, and the Klae Corporation is persuaded to re-employ him in his research capacity despite his condition. The following series then saw Daniel seeking to perfect his work and at the same time find a cure for his invisibility.