Nowhere Man is an American television series that aired from 1995 to 1996 starring Bruce Greenwood. Created by Lawrence Hertzog, the series aired Monday nights on UPN. Despite critical acclaim, including TV Guide‘s label of “The season’s coolest hit,” the show was cancelled after only one season.
Nowhere Man is the tale of a photojournalist named Thomas Veil. After leaving to use the restroom while out to dinner with his wife at their favorite restaurant where he knows the owner personally, Tom returns to find that his life has been “erased.” He gets rudely ejected from the restaurant, his friends don’t know him anymore. His wife does not recognize him (or at least acts like she doesn’t) and is living with another man. His ATM cards no longer work. His best friend turns up dead. His mother was previously recovering from a stroke, so she is incapable of confirming his existence. In the course of a single evening, every trace of Tom’s identity has been erased.
Tom comes to believe his erasure is related to a photograph he took a year earlier called “Hidden Agenda”. The photo depicts four men being hanged in South America by what appear to be US soldiers. The only shreds of evidence Tom has of his past are the negatives to that photograph. A mysterious “Organization” (as it is referred to throughout the series, since its name is unknown) covertly pursues Tom in search of the negatives. The series revolves around Veil’s attempts to get his life back by trying to find out more about the Organization, while also trying to keep the negative safe.
Eventually it is revealed that Tom had been captured by the Organization prior to the events of the series’ first episode, and that all his memories of his life, including his marriage and even his name, had been implanted as part of a brainwashing experiment known as Project Marathon. He learns that he is actually a covert government operative codenamed “Gemini”, and is part of a secret task force called “Heritage House” which was formed to investigate the Organization and Project Marathon. He also learns that his copy of the “Hidden Agenda” photograph, as well as his memories of having taken it, have been altered, and that the original negative shows that the four men being lynched are actually U.S. senators being murdered by the Organization.
In the final episode, Tom questions the “number two man at the FBI” at gunpoint, who ends up taking his own life with a cyanide capsule rather than risk being tortured further or revealing more information. The finale ends with Tom watching a videotape that had been in the FBI man’s possession, a film that finally explains everything.
Learn more about the concepts, principles and symbolism behind the subliminals found in this television series: