review by William E. Anchors, Jr.
Special #5, December 1992

Production credits:

Executive Producer     Harve Bennett
Created by     Leslie Stevens, Harve Bennett, Steven Bochco
Based on a novel by     H.G. Wells
Music (pilot)     Billy Goldenberg
Music (series)     Lee Holdridge

Regular cast:

Sam Casey      Ben Murphy
Dr. Abby Lawrence      Katherine Crawford
Dr. Leonard Driscoll (pilot)      Richard Dysart
Dr. Leonard Driscoll (series)      William Sylvester

Number of episodes:     1 ninety minute pilot, 11 sixty minute segments

Premise:  A semi-remake of The Invisible Man, this time with the invisible victim being Sam Casey, who can control his invisibility but can only use it fifteen minutes a day or he will permanently disappear.

Editor's comments:  Unlike David McCallum's Invisible Man character of Daniel Westin, Sam Casey is a more interesting man-of-action, but while the show was fairly entertaining, only half of the twelve episodes produced were aired before bad ratings resulted in Sam disappearing from the airwaves.

The Gemini Man (airdate: May 10, 1976, 90 minute pilot, syndicated as: Code Name, Minus One). The U.S. government has monitored a capsule falling out of orbit, and sends a civilian salvage vessel - the only such ship in the area - to try to retrieve it. In the meantime, the foreign power owning the capsule has sent a nuclear sub heading towards the splash-down site with orders to prevent the capsule from falling into U.S. hands - no matter what it takes. Aboard the salvage ship, deep-sea diver Sam Casey is being briefed on the operation, and is told that the capsule may be an advanced weapon - probably an atomic - powered laser. While a team of divers head towards the weapon Sam backs them up with communications gear, and is the last to go down. Unfortunately, a saboteur is among the divers, who plans to set off an explosive device about the time Sam will arrive. An explosion does occur just as Sam is standing above the capsule, and the combination of the detonation and intense radiation from the atomic motor nearly kills him. Dr. Abby Lawrence has Sam pulled aboard via his life line, only to find that he is still alive - but has become invisible! Sam awakens after being flown to a hospital, and is astonished to find himself invisible. He is told that his molecular structure has been jarred, causing the invisible condition - possibly for life. Meanwhile, at Royce Industries, the saboteur and his boss, Dr. Harold Schyler, are concerned that Sam may have seen the explosives they planted on the capsule, and now must figure a way to prevent his informing the authorities of their treasonous behavior. Back at the hospital, Sam nearly dies, but is saved by Abby and Dr. Leonard Driscoll, who also create a miniaturized DNA stabilizer that, when activated, renders him visible. Sam is on his way to being normal when the saboteurs from Royce Industries arrive, who accuse Sam of being the one who caused the explosion. Sam hears their accusations while invisible, and is furious. Once they are gone, he and Abby and Leonard leave for Royce Industries to learn the truth. Guest cast: Quinn Redeker as Vince Rogers, Dana Elcar [MacGyver] as Dr. Harold Schyler, H.M. Wynant as Captain Ballard, Paul Shenar as Charles Edward Royce, Len Wayland as Capt. Whelan, Cheryl Miller as Gloria the receptionist, Michael Lane as the guard, Jim Raymond, Austin Stoker as the dive officer, Gregory Walcott, Richard Kennedy, Robert Forward, Dave Shelley as the mechanic, RobertForward as the chief controller, Jim Raymond as Dietz. Writer: Leslie Stevens. Director: Alan J. Levi.

Smitheriens (airdate: Sept. 23, 1976). Arriving at Intersect headquarters, Sam sees an older man being attacked by two thugs, so he becomes invisible to save him and the vital briefcase he is carrying. The man explains that he is Dr. Arthur Hale, head of Intersect's technological division, who is there to see Dr. Driscoll, and is already late for his appointment. Inside headquarters, Sam attends a briefing on Dr. Hale's new fuel additive, which can triple the gas mileage of cars. Unfortunately, the new fuel additive has made petroleum companies unhappy, leading to someone trying to steal Hale's papers. The next day, an Army convoy will be arriving to deliver the special fuel to the Department of Energy for testing. But they won't really have the fuel; instead a quantity of the additive and Dr. Hale will be secretly transported there inside a sealed vault contained in a semi-truck, and the nominated driver is Sam. Unknown to Sam, he has been given a route that has been hit several times lately by truck hijackers. But Abby has even worse news: she has just found out that the new fuel additive is unstable, and after a period of time turns into a super-explosive that can detonate with the slightest jar. Guest cast: Alan Oppenheimer as Arthur Hale, Jim Stafford as Buffalo Bill, Andrew Prine [V] as Stark, Gil Serna as Hank, Lawrence Bame as the worker, Jeannie Wilson as the girl guard. Writer: Frank Telford. Director: Alan J. Levi.

Minotaur (airdate: Sept. 30, 1976). While Casey is out on a hot date at a blonde bombshell's apartment, he receives a call from Carl Victor, who threatens to kill Dr. Leonard Driscoll if Sam doesn't follow his instructions. Casey has to go to a deserted building in Industrial Row, and once there is met by a computerized mobile robot - that proceeds to use a powerful ray weapon to destroy the empty building. When Sam goes to set off a fire alarm, the robot disappears. The next day, Sam learns that Carl Victor had once been employed by Intersect, and the robot Sam saw was a defensive surveillance probe known as Minotaur which Intersect was sponsoring. Leonard had feared that the weapon could be turned into a "Doomsday Machine", and after Victor was fired the Minotaur disappeared as well. As Leonard, Abby, and Sam are trying to decide what to do, a videotape from Victor arrives, and he tells Leonard to call off the Intersect agents looking for him, and to inform the Secretary of Defense - who is to arrive at Intersect later that day - that he wants half a billion dollars to continue his experiments with Minotaur. If the money is not delivered within twelve hours, a skyscraper will be leveled at the busiest time of the day. Leonard is determined to stop the madman, so while the company security men continue looking for Victor, Sam follows their only other lead: the possibility of finding the scientist through his daughter, whose location is also unknown. Guest cast: Ross Martin [The Wild Wild West] as Carl Victor, Deborah Winters as Nancy Victor, Loren Jones as Minotaur, Michael Jay London as the guard, Cheryl Miller as the hot date, William Boyett as the first officer, Michael J. London as the guard, Robert Hackman as the clerk, Dale Johnson as the secretary. Writers: Robert Bloch, Frank Telford, Robert F. O'Neill. Director: Alan J. Levi.

Sam Casey, Sam Casey (airdate: Oct. 7, 1976). At the Fountain of Life Health Spa, plans are being made for death: plastic surgery has been used to create a twin of Sam, with the new face belonging to a highly-skilled assassin being paid to kill Dr. Leonard Driscoll. Meanwhile, outside Sam's apartment, someone is using a surveillance device to listen in on a conversation. Sam is leaving to take a vacation, not realizing he is going to be replaced by a killer named Rick, who is listening to the conversation between Sam and Abby to practice Sam's voice style. Later, while Sam is enjoying some time away from work, he is rendered unconscious and is taken away to be killed. Moments later, "Sam Casey" arrives at Intersect headquarters to complete his assignment. Guest cast: Nancy Malone as Armistead, Tony Young as Tanner, Leonard Stone as Robbins, Pamela Shoop as Barby, Mickey Morton as Alf, Jo Ann Pflug as Susi, Joan Crosby as Dora, Leslie Moonves as the guard. Writer: James D. Parriott. Director: Michael Caffey.

Night Train to Dallas (airdate: Oct. 14, 1976). At a hospital in Los Angeles, patient Dr. Friedman arrives DOA: dead on arrival. Elsewhere, a man is breaking into a safe belonging to the dead scientist, but doesn't find the papers he is looking for. Back at Intersect headquarters, Leonard is showing Sam a film of Amy Nichols, a beautiful young female swimmer, and former employee of the dead scientist - and Intersect's only hope of completing Dr. Friedman's experiments. She is attending Santa-Laura State College and is on the swimming team there, and Leonard believes the girl's photographic memory may hold enough information to complete the experiment, so Sam is sent to convince the girl to help Intersect, as the information she holds can change the balance of power in the world. Unfortunately, when he does meet the girl she is less than receptive to being interrogated by Intersect. Her only interest is the upcoming Pan-American swimming meets in Dallas, despite Sam's warnings that foreign agents could be looking for her right now, and they will be less willing to listen to her objections. When the swimming team leaves that evening on a night train to Dallas, Sam hides aboard the sold-out passenger car. But Sam isn't alone: the foreign agents who were earlier breaking into Friedman's safe are now on board the train to grab Amy, and upon seeing Sam they decide to get rid of the Intersect agent - permanently. Guest cast: Lane Bradbury as Amy Nichols, Ryan MacDonald as the first agent, Carl Reindel as the second agent, Ann Shoemaker as Mrs. Price, Dawn Jeffory as Leslie, Kim Basinger [Batman] as Sheila, Michael Fox as the conductor, Bob Delegall as the steward, Michael L. McManus as Moose. Writer: Steven DeSouza. Director: Alan J. Levi.

Run, Sam, Run (airdate: Oct. 28, 1976). Sam awakens in a downtown hotel, not knowing where he is - or who he is. Removing his watch to take a shower he is astonished when he disappears, not remembering that the contact of his body to the watch is what keeps him visible. The startling effects of the invisibility jars his memory and he calls Leonard, who tells him to report to Intersect headquarters immediately. He does so, but is jumped by security guards when he arrives, and has to evade them with invisibility. Walking into Leonard's office, the scientist pulls a gun on Sam and tells the agent that if he tries to turn invisible or run he will be shot immediately. Sam wants to know what is going on, and Leonard informs him that he is guilty of murdering a former Intersect employee. Dr. Driscoll won't listen to any explanations, so Sam escapes, only to be pursued by Intersect security men and the police - who have been warned Sam is armed and dangerous. Meanwhile, Sam has no memory of what has really happened, and he must find out before the police or Intersect can capture him. Guest cast: Terry Kister as Ted Benton, Warren Berlinger as Harris, Laurette Spang [Battlestar Galactica] as Maggie, Michael Richardson as Bruce, Ron Pinkard as Willie, Ted Hartly as Frank DeBlazio. Writer: Frank Telford. Director: Charles Rondeau.

Targets (airdate: unaired). Somewhere in Estonia, an English girl named Valerie Dawson, who defected to the East twelve years earlier to protest Western developments of nerve gas, now wants to return home since finding out that the Eastern-Bloc countries are just as militaristic. She has contacted the West to try to return, although Leonard is dubious of her intentions. But the U.S. has agreed to bring her back along with the antidote to the nerve gas which she plans to steal. To do this she is demanding a price: they must help her sixteen-year-old daughter to escape as well. Sam is flown in and parachutes from a low flying aircraft to meet Dawson, and is supposed to rendezvous with Leonard the next day when the doctor arrives in a helicopter. Once landed, Sam meets the venomous Dawson, who hates anyone or anything she feels is against world peace, including all military organizations, secret police forces, and Sam Casey, who is judged guilty before he can offer any explanations. Despite this, he uses his forged papers to hitch a ride to meet Valerie and her daughter at a pre-arranged location. But Sam's papers are not correct and the guards begin to look for him at the lab Valerie works in. Meanwhile, the daughter, Leana, is practicing archery with an older man, one of obvious power and wealth. She finally arrives at the lab, but along with the already obvious problem of trying to figure out how he can get the three of them past the tightened security at the installation surrounding the lab, Sam finds out that Nina doesn't know about the upcoming defection - and is dating the local director of the secret police. Guest cast: Cesare Danova as Victor, Kate Woodvihle as Valerie Dawson, Paul Mantee, Cynthia Eilbacher as Nina Dodson, George Ball as the fourth guard, Paul Lukather as the third guard, David Mauro as the driver, Cort Brackett as Carlyle, W.T. Zacha as the second guard. Writers: James Carlson and Terrence McDonnell. Director: Michael Caffey.

Buffalo Bill Rides Again (airdate: unaired). Sam is at a stock car track keeping an eye on Robert Denby, not realizing that Leonard has already followed the man, had his phone tapped, and illegally searched his home, finally resulting in a restraining order against Leonard and all Intersect employees. But Leonard won't give up trying to prove that the man has constantly sabotaged top-secret government projects. While at the track, Sam runs into race car driver Buffalo Bill, whose life he had saved while Bill was driving a big rig for a living [see Smitheriens above], and who now works for Bob Denby. Bill obtains Sam a job working on Denby's racing team crew, not knowing that Sam is there to spy on his boss. Meanwhile, Leonard informs an Intersect physicist that he believes Denby is the party who stole twenty-four kilos of deutrian, a fantastically-rare metal that could possibly be turned into a super-atomic bomb, from a NATO facility in Brussels. Later, as a jet fighter is making some test runs, the plane is destroyed by unknown means, which Leonard asserts was done by Denby. Although no one believes Leonard, he is correct about Denby, who is making even bigger plans for the deutrian: it has been placed in the frame of his race car, which will be destroyed the next day - with Buffalo Bill at the wheel. Guest cast: Jim Stafford as Buffalo Bill, John Milford, Smith Evans as Tina, Don Galloway as John Hillier, Ed Nelson as Bob Denby, Mickey Gilbert as Elmo, Ben Bates as Mort, Alan Oliney as the first hood, Fred Waugh as the second hood. Writer: Frank Telford. Director: Don McDougall.

Escape Hatch (airdate: unaired). As the Caribbean Empress cruise ship passes outside the U.S. territorial waters, the captain and his first mate take into custody the wealthy Miss Carlisle, and try to force her to sell part of her Blue Star shipping fleet to a foreign country hostile to the U.S. She refuses, but is informed that they will be rendezvousing with a warship the next day, and, one way or another, she will sign the papers. Back at Intersect headquarters, Abby tells Sam and Leonard that the U.S. is about to lose a large portion of its merchant fleet. Abby plays a tape that shows Miss Carlisle stating for the record that she is selling her fleet to another country the next day. Leonard knows the woman, and realizes that Carlisle has to be under duress to ever consent to sell her fleet. Leonard sends Sam and Abby to meet Miss Carlisle aboard the cruise ship to find out what is going on. To get on the ship, Sam goes invisible and Abby waves for help from a broken-down boat, and she is rescued along with the invisible Sam. Meanwhile, a maid who is taking care of Miss Carlisle reveals that she wants to help the businesswoman out of her predicament. Guest cast: Jane Wyatt [Star Trek] as Miss Carlisle, Pamela Franklin [The Legend of Hell House] as Daphne, Bert Kramer as Captain Brenner, Morgan Jones as Chief Stanton, Florence Halop as Miss Evans, Larry Delaney as Lt. Stoller, Walter Brooke as Commander Hammond, Lane Allan as the admiral, Polly Middleton as Pat Sloan, Barry Van Dyke [Airwolf, Galactica: 1980] as the steward. Writer: Leslie Stevens. Director: Paul Stanley.

8,9,10 - You're Dead (airdate: unaired). A major prize fight is being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, where a retired fighter, Arch Kingston, is fighting again to benefit a charity. As the retired champion prizefighter is being slaughtered in the ring by his younger opponent, watching in the audience are Leonard and Abby, and Leonard is telling her that the fight is all his fault. It seems that a few days earlier Leonard had explained to Sam that Arch Kingston was being exploited by the man putting on the fight, and the fighter needed their help. The case would be unofficial and off the record, and if Sam would help, Leonard would consider it a personal favor. Sam agrees and starts "training" at Kingston's gym, where Mr. Trent is giving Arch some bad news: it seems that Trent, the promoter of the fighter, owns the opposing fighter and has wagered heavily against Arch, but Trent is willing to cut Arch in on a piece of the action. Now Arch is stuck: if he reports to the gaming commission what is going on the foundation he is working for will lose a fortune, but if he throws the fight he will let down the thousands of kids who look up to him. The only other alternative is to win the fight - but that is made impossible when Trent kidnaps Arch's elderly father. Guest cast: Henry Darrow [The Invisible Man] as Mr. Trent, Herbert Jefferson, Jr. [Battlestar: Galactica] as Arch Kingston, Charles Lampkin as Pop Kingston, Skip Ward as Delbert Reese, James York as Caster, Tony Burton as Biggie Moore, Thomas J. Kelly as the sportscaster, Derek Welles as the boy, Gene LeBell as the referee. Writers: Frank Telford and Richard Fielder. Directors: Andy Sidaris and Alan Crosland.

Return of the Lion (airdate: unaired). Sam is less than excited after being told his latest job will involve delivering an anti-American dictator to a civil-war torn African nation so he can reassume power there. But, he is told, it is the best chance to stop the war in Kampali, and may eventually lead to friendly relations between the U.S. and the African nation. Sam must secretly fly him back into Kampali by helicopter, but not before a hostile argument erupts between Driscoll, who is trying to represent U.S. interests, and Jamada, who is against any outside influence or advice. No sooner has the helicopter left than an informer radios a group of mercenaries working for the opposition, and warns them of Jamada's return. As Sam pilots the helicopter towards Jamada's destination, he is unaware that his helicopter is being targeted by mercenary anti-aircraft missiles. Guest cast: Raymond St. Jacques as Jamada, Quinn Redeker, Mills Watson, Joel Fluellen as Headman, Adrian Ricard as the wife, Merriana Henrio as the daughter, Don Maxwell as the soldier, George Ranito Jordan as the radio operator, Writer: Steven E. DeSouza. Director: Alan J. Levi.

Suspect Your Local Police (airdate: unaired). A cop named Nik Radinski, whose parents were born in Lithuania, has been on the force for fifteen years and is a winner of the medal of valor - and now is suspected by Leonard of being involved in a plot to assassinate a fellow Lithuanian, who escaped the communist country and now speaks out for freedom for his native land. Sam goes undercover as a newly-graduated cop, but catches Nik in a lie when he claims to have never been to Lithuania, when Leonard has already shown Sam photos taken of the cop in the foreign country. Before the day is over, Sam realizes Nik is an honest cop when they run into some thugs running a protection racket against local merchants, who are afraid to stand up to the hoods. Nik runs them off, but after several days with the cop, Sam learns that a group of Lithuanians are holding Nik's girlfriend prisoner to force him into helping them assassinate the visiting dignitary. What Sam doesn't know is that one of the hit squad has recognized him as an Intersect agent, and has made arrangements to kill him while he is out on patrol with Nik. Guest cast: Richard Jaeckel [Salvage One] as Nik Radinski, Ben Hammer, Joby Baker, Naomi Stevens as Mrs. Stapoli, Scott Arthur Allen as Oscar, Bill Zuckett as the captain, Barbara George as Lisa, Peggy Walton as Kristina. Writers: Steven E. deSouza and Rick Mittleman. Director: Paul Krasny.

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