A couple of years ago I was approached by author/journalist Mark Phillips who, along with his writing partner Frank Garcia, was writing the second in a series of books on science fiction TV series. Their first book, Science Fiction Television Series, was published in 2006 and covered TV series from 1959 to 1989. Their second book was to cover series from 1990 to 2004. So guess which series that we all know and love fits into that date range? Yep, The Invisible Man.
When Mark approached me asking for help on an Invisible Man chapter that he was writing for the book, I was happy to help. Hey, I’m a fan. How could I resist? So I provided information about the show and helped edit the chapter, as well as arranged interviews with Vince and Paul.
Now, after all this time, the book has finally been published! Mark did a really nice job with the chapter. There are maybe one or two errors that crept into the chapter, but for the most part, it’s pretty accurate.
Mark starts out with a quote from writer Leslie Stevens who said, “Invisibility sucks.” Leslie wasn’t referring to the power of invisibility but, instead, was complaining about the difficulty in creating a successful series about invisibility. Is it any wonder? Virtually every invisible man series created before our invisible man series has performed poorly. But when you consider that film is a visual medium and invisibility is, well, invisible, you can begin to see the difficulties that filmmakers have making invisibility work.
This makes me appreciate the brilliance of Matt Greenberg even more. Not only did he not skimp on the invisibility aspects, but he created a way to do invisibility that we hadn’t seen before, what with the gland and Quicksilver. However, he wisely didn’t put the focus on the invisibility. Instead, he created fun, flawed, and fascinating characters that we could fall in love with and care about. In fact, it was the “show’s emphasis on characterization” that attracted Vince to the part of Darien.
Mark writes about several of the episodes such as the pilot (good choice), “Catevari,” and “Legends.” In hindsight, I probably should have suggested that he include something about a few of the stronger episodes. I would have liked to have seen something in the chapter about “Flowers for Hobbes,” “Brother’s Keeper,” or “The Other Invisible Man.”
Subjects Mark writes about in the chapter include the casting process, the chemistry between Vince and Paul, the visual effects, the addition of agent Alex Monroe, and the cancellation. There’s some interesting stuff there that you may or may not know about.
The book is definitely a must have for I-Man fans, as well as lovers of science fiction TV shows. You can purchase a copy for yourself by clicking on the link below. That will take you to a website filled with all kinds of information about both books as well as ordering info. (I bought my copy from Amazon.)
Note: I’m not making any money plugging this book. My only rewards have been being able to help with promoting I-Man to more people and getting a very nice acknowledgment in the Acknowledgments section of the book.
Science Fiction Television Series