Way back in 1995, just after I graduated from college, the fledgling network UPN launched with two notable scifi shows: Star Trek: Voyager and Nowhere Man. Voyager went on to a seven-year run that took Trek technobabble to new heights, while its sibling Nowhere Man struggled to complete a single season and then disappeared into obscurity.
Starting Bruce Greenwood, the series told the tale of Thomas Veil, a photographer who has his identity stripped from him after one of his photographs is featured in an exhibit. Every aspect of his identity — from his wife to his friends to his credit cards — is taken from him, with anyone he confronts claiming not to know him. As the series unfolded, Veil struggled to reclaim his identity and to learn exactly what it was that he really took a picture of, all the while fending off a conspiracy that he can barely understand. Think of The Prisoner, but with the whole world as a prison (and without any bouncy white balls to keep him captive).
While certainly not as good as The Prisoner, the series kept me hooked week in and week out, and while I was saddened that the series was cancelled, I took solace in the fact that there would be a final episode that pulled everything together, and revealed the secret of Veil’s photograph.
And then the power went out.
I’d set my VCR to record the final episode, and it did exactly that … until the power went out during the last fifteen minutes. Yes, I did scream when I discovered this. I had hoped that UPN would re-air it, but they never did, and the series quickly faded away, not even being picked up by SCI-FI.
Like any good geek, I did seek out the answers for myself, and found them on a Nowhere Man fan site, but reading about the final episode is a far cry from actually seeing it. I’d given up any hope of actually viewing it … until now. The series has been released on DVD, and Netflix has it. Finally, after 11 years, I will be able to see the final episode of Nowhere Man, and hear with my own ears the explanation of what happened.
Will it be worth the wait? Can a mid-1990s TV series hold-up after a decade off the air? I don’t know … but really don’t care. I’m just happy I’ve got this chance to bring closure to a tiny sliver of my geeky past.