|Written by||Steven E. de Souza
H.G. Wells (book)
|Directed by||Michael Caffey
Alan J. Levi
|Opening theme||Lee Holdridge|
|Composer(s)||Lee Holdridge (1.1, 1.2, 1.3)
Mark Snow (1.3)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||11 (plus two hour pilot)|
|Executive producer(s)||Harve Bennett|
Robert F. Shugrue
|Cinematography||Enzo A. Martinelli
Vincent A. Martinelli
|Running time||Approx. 50 minutes|
|Original run||September 23, 1976– October 28, 1976|
|Followed by||Riding with Death|
Gemini Man is an American action/adventure drama series that aired on NBC in 1976. This is the third of four weekly television series based on the H. G. Wells science fiction novel, The Invisible Man, created to replace the previous season's David McCallum series of that name utilizing simpler and less expensive special effects.
The series starred Ben Murphy as laid-back denim-clad, motorcycle-riding secret agent Sam Casey who, while diving to retrieve a fallen Soviet spy satellite, was exposed to radiation in an underwater explosion which rendered him invisible. The agency he worked for, a high tech government think tank called INTERSECT ("International Security Techniques"), found a way to return him to visibility and control his new power by the use of a special wristwatch referred to as a "DNA stabilizer" which was invented by scientist Abby Lawrence (Katherine Crawford). Pressing a button on the digital watch would make him vanish clothes and all which was a helpful tool in his line of work, but he could only do this for 15 minutes per day or else he would become permanently invisible.
A pilot of the series aired on May 10, 1976, and the series began airing on September 23 of that year. Although 11 episodes were produced, only five were aired in the United States before the cancellation of the show, although the entire series was seen in Britain to a somewhat greater success that led to a record album and hardcover annual based on the show. Richard Dysart played Casey's boss Leonard Driscoll in the pilot and William Sylvester played Driscoll during the series.
Television movie adaptation: Riding with Death
Two episodes, "Smithereens" and the unaired "Buffalo Bill Rides Again", were re-edited into one ninety-minute television movie titled Riding With Death, which was released in 1981.
Riding with Death used scenes from Colossus: The Forbin Project as establishing shots for sweeping computer room scenes. The "Guardian" logo ("Guardian" was the Russian version of "Colossus") appears in at least one segment. Though not immediately verifiable, at least one segment uses the "Colossus" speaker/microphone.
The film dealt clumsily with the dropping of Katherine Crawford from the cast by the latter episode, the length of time between filming (William Sylvester had grown a thick bushy mustache in the interim), and the appearance of an arch-villain in the second "half" who did not exist in the opening of the series (save for a clumsy overdub referring to the villain's elusiveness in the final minutes of the first segment). Both parts feature singer Jim Stafford as a trucker named "Buffalo Bill" who befriends and helps Sam.
Mystery Science Theater 3000
In 1997, Riding With Death was featured in an episode of movie-mocking television show Mystery Science Theater 3000. Mike Nelson and his robot friends highlighted the rather thin connection between the two halves of the "movie," and the general incoherence of the plot.
The two hour pilot episode of the series, The Gemini Man (aka Code Name: Minus One), originally aired on May 10, 1976.
- Smithereens (September 23, 1976)
- Minotaur (September 30, 1976)
- Sam Casey, Sam Casey (October 7, 1976)
- Night Train to Dallas (October 14, 1976)
- Run Sam, Run (October 28, 1976)
- Escape Hatch (Unaired)
- 8, 9, 10... You're Dead (Unaired)
- Targets (Unaired)
- Suspect Your Local Police (Unaired)
- Buffalo Bill Rides Again (Unaired, but used as part of Riding With Death)
- Return of the Lion (Unaired)