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The Invisible Man

From Academic Kids

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InvisibleMan.jpg
1940's paperback edition

The Invisible Man is a famous 1897 science fiction novel by H.G. Wells. It is also commonly mistaken as the title to Ralph Ellison's novel, Invisible Man (1952).

Wells' novel was originally serialised in Pearson's Magazine in 1897 and published as a novel the same year. The Invisible Man of the title is "Griffin", a student who discovers the secret of invisibility but whose mental state becomes unstable as a result. The various movie versions of the story have strayed somewhat from the novel.

Contents

The Movie

Main article: The Invisible Man (movie)

The Invisible Man is also a movie produced by Universal Pictures in 1933, directed by James Whale. The movie is considered one of the great Universal horror films of the 1930s, and it spawned a number of sequels, plus many spinoffs using the idea of an "invisible man" that were largely unrelated to Wells' original story.

Another related movie is the film, Hollow Man, which chronicles Sebastian Caine becoming invisible, and his subsequent madness as well as the ensuing chaos.

The TV Series

At least three television series have been produced for American television, and all three cast the "invisible man" character in the role of secret agent. The first series, The Invisible Man (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073178/), debuted in 1975 and starred David McCallum as a scientist turned secret agent who invents a machine that turns him invisible, but is unable to change back. It lasted one season. The next year the same concept was tried again in a series called Gemini Man though this time the agent in question uses a device which turns him invisible for short periods. This series lasted only 12 episodes, only half of which were actually broadcast.

A somewhat more successful The Invisible Man (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0221289/) series debuted in 2000 and starred Vincent Ventresca, Paul Ben-Victor, Eddie Jones, Shannon Kenny and Mike McCafferty. Ventresca played Darien Fawkes, an ex-con recruited by a low-rent spy organization and given the power of invisibility via the implantation of a special "quicksilver gland" in his head. The gland lets Fawkes secrete a light-bending substance called "Quicksilver" from his pores and follicles. The substance quickly coats his skin, hair, nails and clothes and renders him invisible. (He can still see because the quicksilver covering his eyes shifts other wavelengths of light into the visible spectrum.) He can consciously release the quicksilver, which then flakes off and disintegrates. The catch is that the quicksilver accumulates in his bloodstream and causes intense pain, followed by psychosis and antisocial behaviour, once it reaches a certain level. He requires regular doses of "counteragent" to keep him sane and healthy, which is controlled by said government agency. This series lasted for two seasons, before being cancelled due to cost issues and internal bickering between the Sci-fi Channel and her then parent company, USA Networks.

Several other attempts at "invisible" TV series, including an Invisible Woman, have not gotten past the pilot TV-movie stage.

In 1984, the BBC produced a faithful adaptation of the novel in six episodes. It was produced by Barry Letts and starred Pip Donaghy as Griffin. It was considered ground-breaking at the time but in retrospect stuck too closely to the novel, rendering it somewhat slow as a television serial. A DVD is available.

Other References

The Invisible Man is also the name of a song by the popular rock band Queen. In addition, the British satirical show Spitting Image featured a song called The Invisible Man, sung by the puppet of then employment secretary Tom King.

The character of the Invisible Man, given a full name of Hawley Griffin appears in the graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore. In the spin-off movie adaptation he is played by Tony Curran, though the character is renamed Rodney Skinner.

In the 1987 compilation comedy Amazon Women on the Moon, a "son" of the original Invisible Man played by Ed Begley, Jr. appears in a short spoof of the 1933 Claude Rains film, entitled Son of the Invisible Man. He was named simply Griffin.

External links

Template:Wikisource

he:האיש הבלתי נראה it:L'uomo invisibile zh:隐身人

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