(Just a side note: I have had this post in the queue, and for some unknown reason blogger has refused to add any of the pictures that I want to put with it... in the interest of getting it out there, and off my mind, here 'tis! Hopefully edited later to add a neat photo...)
I have a love/hate relationship with the "SciFi" Channel. It may be surprising, since most people know that I love, love, LOVE all things science fiction (and by association fantasy, even some horror, etc.). (The discussion about just what constitutes science fiction is fodder for another entry...).
In any case, the SciFi Channel, along with airing "genre" programming is quite capable of creating wonderful shows. Tops on my list of must-see TV is their re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica, easily one of the best shows on television. And they have done wonderful miniseries of Dune, Children of Dune and even presented Sam Neil as the magician himself in Merlin. That said, SciFi is also capable of programming some of the worst dreck around... one need look no further than the title of Mansquito... Don’t get me wrong... I am a great fan of "B" movies... Perhaps just what constitutes a good "B" movie is also a topic for another entry...
From 2000 to 2002, they ran one of my favorite genre shows... their take on The Invisible Man. Darien Fawkes (Vincent Ventresca), is a small-time thief about to go down for the count on California’s "Third Strike" rule. He agrees to experimental surgery to have a gland implanted in his head that secretes a substance termed "quicksilver" which has the ability to bend light. Mastery of this allows him to render himself "invisible". Much action ensues, the scientists are killed and Darien is stuck with the gland in his head. Also with the unfortunate side-effect that the quicksilver building up in his system has the ability to drive him insane, requiring timely shots of a "counter-agent" to shake off the effects. His dependence on the counter-agent ties him to the "agency", helping them solve cases while they look for a cure.
This show had it all! Stellar cast, humor, danger, action, a touch of romance, cool special effects, snappy writing (Darien is paired with another agent for a partner - Bobby Hobbes - who has been bounced from other agencies for his paranoia problems. Imagine pairing someone who is paranoid with someone who can turn invisible at will...!). The show was unceremoniously canceled. And SciFi, who will produce and / or repeat just about anything (Sasquatch Mountain? Buck Rogers in the 25th Century?) steadfastly refuses to re-air or release the show on DVD. So, while I can’t recommend the show enough... I guess we will all be twiddling our thumbs until SciFi gets its’ act together.