But I needed to watch through a few things before the The Best TV Shows That Never Were panel I'm on at C5, and being sick suddenly means I'm better able to make the time to do so. Just rewatched the pilot of the 2000 series The Invisible Man (also known as I-Man in some countries), and pretty much instantly remembered why I enjoyed the show.
It opens with Darien Fawkes getting into an apartment and preparing to blow open the safe. As the timer counts down, the elderly owner walks out, the door on the safe blows open, and the old guy has a heart attack and collapses. Darien jumps on the man and starts giving him heart massage, the man gasps back to life, Darien collapses on top him in relief, and that's when the security guards come in.
Next thing you get is a newspaper with Fawkes' picture under the headline - Burgling Molester of the Elderly. Fade to the courtroom, he's judged guilty, and is going to prison for a very long time.
Cut to the holding cell he's in. The lights go out, he sits up, pulls out a pen he's stolen, pulls it apart and gets ready to use it to pick the lock on the cell door. We hear his voiceover, "Soon they'd be comparing me to the greats...", then a spider drops down onto his hand. He screams, drops his makeshift tools, the guard enters, and the next shot he's in solitary. His brother comes in, offers him a chance at redemption, he eventually takes it, and that's the first eight minutes.
The opening of the pilot has obviously been inspired by Fight Club. The edits are quick, the soundtrack slick, and the tone irreverent. It's a show that is out to have fun. There are paranoid agents, Canadian terrorists, secret meet-up methods that are so commonly used they lead to moments of embarrassment. The government department behind the top secret invisible man project is the Department of Fish and Game.
Invisible Man ran two seasons and rarely disappointed. The cast was full of interesting and varied characters. The sense of fun and whimsy was always there, backed up with some cool ideas, and obviously written by someone with love of the genre.
And for the Doctor Who fans, there are little jokes hidden throughout. A magazine has Time and Relative Dimensions in Space and Winning the Game of Rassilon on its cover. Four of the doctors who work on the initial project are introduced as Baker, McGann, Hartnell and Troughton, and when a business card is used to identify another agent, the card reads I.M. Foreman - Scrap Metal & Salvage.