The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man (1958 TV series)
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The Invisible Man (later known as H.G. Wells’ Invisible Man) is a British black-and-white science fiction/superhero/adventure/espionage television series that aired on ITV from September 1958 to July 1959. It was aired on CBS in the United States, running two seasons and totalling 26 half-hour episodes. The series was nominally based on the 1897 novel by H. G. Wells, one of four such television series. In this version, the deviation from the novel went as far as changing the main character’s name from Dr. Griffin to Dr. Peter Brady who remained a sane man, not a power-hungry lunatic as in the book or the 1933 film adaptation. None of the other characters from the novel appeared in the series.


The series follows the adventures of Dr. Peter Brady, a scientist who is attempting to achieve invisibility with light refraction. However, the experiment goes wrong and turns him permanently invisible. He is initially declared a state secret and locked up, but eventually convinces the UK government, represented by Sir Charles Anderson, to allow him to return to his laboratory and search for an antidote (“Secret Experiment”). Almost immediately, British Intelligence recruits him for an assignment (“Crisis in the Desert”), but soon security is breached (“Behind the Mask”) and he becomes a celebrity (“Picnic with Death”), consequently also using his invisibility to help people in trouble, as well as solve crimes and defeat spies for his country.


  • The Invisible Man — Himself* (series voice: Tim Turner, uncredited; unaired pilot episode voice: Robert Beatty, uncredited)
  • Lisa Daniely as Jane Brady Wilson (unaired pilot episode) / Diane Brady Wilson (series) (Brady’s widowed sister)**
  • Deborah Watling as Sally Wilson (Diane’s daughter)
  • Ernest Clark as Sir Charles Anderson (series 1 only) / Colonel Ward (series 2 only)


In the unaired pilot, which bears the on-screen episode title “The Invisible Man” (but is often wrongly referred to as “Secret Experiment”), Canadian actor Robert Beatty provided the voice of Peter Brady. After Ralph Smart, the creator, saw the pilot, he realised that he could not use it. The bandaged hero could be seen bumping into doors and scenery, the strings which animated moving objects could be seen in a number of scenes. Although this Invisible Man was never transmitted, plot elements and footage from it were reused in the episodes “Secret Experiment”, “Picnic with Death” and “Bank Raid”. The Invisible Man pilot is included in its entirety on the Network DVD release of the series. Note: Series originally started filming in 1957.

A second pilot episode titled “Secret Experiment” was made, and was used as the opening instalment of the series. This featured Dr. Peter Brady (who is only ever seen obliquely), who is unwittingly subjected to radiation and turns invisible. While Brady searches for a cure to restore himself to normal, he also acts as an agent for the British Intelligence services. The original ITC press book states that “Secret Experiment”, the second episode “The Locked Room”, the fourth episode “Crisis in the Desert” and the fifth episode “Picnic with Death” should be shown first by any TV company; however, this directive was ignored by UK and US broadcasters leading to episodes in which Brady’s invisibility is known about by the public, such as “Behind the Mask”, being screened before its reveal in the episode “Picnic with Death”. In these earlier episodes, the public does not know that Brady is invisible, and he wears bandages and sunglasses (as well as gloves) when he appears in public, but the episode “Behind the Mask” has a foreign industrialist with influence who tricks Brady into making him invisible too in an attempt to assassinate his country’s new ruler. Subsequently, in “Picnic with Death”, a motoring accident fully exposes Brady’s invisibility, to the point that he is besieged by the Press. The same bandages Brady uses when out in public help fugitive convict Joe Green (played by Dermot Walsh) in the episode “Jailbreak” to escape the police when they thought he was Brady.

The first series was script edited by Victor Wolfson, for the second series Ian Stuart Black took over, having written scripts for the first series. The music for the pilot was composed by Sydney John Kay, and he is credited as the musical director for series one. Assistant directors on series one were Jack Drury (2 episodes), Peter Crowhurst (2 episodes) and David Tomblin, who also worked on all series two episodes and the pilot. Casting director Harry Fine and sound supervisor Fred Turtle also worked on both series

Guest stars included Peter SallisLeslie PhillipsIrene HandlHonor BlackmanPatrick TroughtonDennis PriceDermot WalshWilloughby Goddard and Ian Hendry.

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