Sunday, October 16, 2016

Nostalgia Theater: Gemini Man Disappears From the Airwaves

Last week I discussed NBC's short-lived The Invisible Man TV series starring David McCallum that aired for one season in 1975. What's interesting about that show's brief lifespan isn't so much that it went away, but that it was revived the following year by the same network.

However, when it came back, it had cheaper effects and a dumbed-down premise to win over the Joe Sixpack crowd. It didn't work. The show was Gemini Man, starring Ben Murphy of Alias Smith and Jones fame. Debuting as a TV movie in spring of '75, it went to series the following September, and looked like this:

The gist here is that Murphy is "cool" super spy Sam Casey, who gets hit with radiation while investigating a downed Russian satellite, which renders him permanently invisible. In devising a way to make him visible again, his spy agency INTERSECT (headed up by William Sylvester of 2001) comes up with the "DNA stabilizer" wristwatch. This is a switch from the McCallum Invisible Man, which required elaborate makeup effects, etc. Instead, he hits a button and disappears. The catch here is that Murphy can only be invisible for fifteen minutes a day, otherwise he'll die.

Gemini Man was developed by Steven E. DeSouza, who'd go on to write 48 Hours, Commando, and Die Hard in the '80s, but it was basically a warmed-over retread of the McCallum show, and coming so soon after that one left the air, I'm genuinely curious what the NBC honchoes thought they had that would make Gemini go down any easier than Invisible. Instead, it lasted for eleven episodes and disappeared just as quickly as its predecessor. That still wouldn't be the end of the Invisible Man concept on TV show, and maybe on of these days I'll get to talking about that.

One Year Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Mutant X -- Marvel's X-Men Minus Marvel's X-Men

Two Year Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Double Dragon -- Good Game, Terrible Cartoon, Worse Movie

Three Years Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Street Hawk -- A Man Named Mach and his Magic Motorbike

Four Years Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Misfits of Science -- TV's X-Men Before TV's X-Men

Five Years Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Captain America Edition

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