A member of the Five, Nigel became an abnormal with the power of invisibility and was the basis for Wells' novel "The Invisible Man".
Unlike his fellow Five members, he is hinted at having been from a lower class background, and had a distaste for most of high society. He seemed to have been the only member of the Five who got on exceptionally well with Nikola Tesla, with the two constantly playfully trading barbs about their past. He was also the first person to notice the bizzare behavior of their fellow student Adam Worth. Having seen some of the man's experiments, he told Helen Magnus that rather than thinking of them as daring, he saw them as twisted.
Like most members of the Five, Griffin served as an agent for the Allies during World War II. He helped Magnus and Watson in preventing the Nazis from using a fire elemental against the Allied invasion fleet on D-Day.
Years later, Griffin died the early 1960s. This would cause a problem; as the only way to secure the sole vial containing pure vampire blood needed to cure the Cabal's Lazarus Virus would be for the entire Five group to pass a series of tests. Fortunately, Griffin had fathered a daughter, Anna Griffin, who herself had yet another daughter, Clara Griffin. Both inherited their father/grandfather's ability to cloak more or less at will.
Background, Notes, and Trivia
- Nigel Griffin was an unseen character for the first two and a half seasons, as he was both invisible and dead at the time of the series' main events.
- In the real world, Nigel is based on the titular 1897 science fiction novel protagonist Griffin a.k.a 'The Invisible Man' created by H. G. Wells. In the show however, this fact is flipped, having Nigel be the inspiration for Wells' book instead.
- In 2010, the creators of Sanctuary revealed that he would appear in the eighth episode of Season Three, which explores the past exploits of the Five.
- It is notable that Griffin seemed to not have aged between the end of the 19th Century and the year 1944, but presumably died of old age in the 60s. In Episode 1x12 - "Revelations, Part I", Dr. James Watson explains to Dr. Will Zimmerman that he depends on his innovative machine to continue to survive, to counter-act his aging. This establishes the fact that not every member of The Five had gained a form of longevity. Based on this, not long afterward in the episode when Dr. Helen Magnus and Watson mention that Nigel had died half a century ago in the early 1960s, viewers assumed that he had died of natural causes (old age) as he would have been roughly around 100+ years old by then. In Episode 3x17 - "Normandy" however, Nigel is seen to have not noticeably aged since the Source Blood experiment during a time that he should have physically been in his 80's. While Nigel initially was not stated by the creators/producers to have the ability of longevity, the addition of "Normandy" seems to retcon this stance; meaning that Nigel had actually died of either illness or injury rather than assumed old age.
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