->''My name is Thomas Veil, or at least it was. I'm a photographer, I had it all: a wife, Alyson... friends, a career. In one moment it was all taken away, all because of a single photograph. I have it, they want it, and they will do anything to get the negative. I'm keeping this diary as proof that these events are real... I know they are... they have to be..."

The noirish action of ''Nowhere Man'' may or may not be taking place entirely in the mind of its hero, Thomas Veil (Creator/BruceGreenwood), a photojournalist specializing in stark, brutal war shots. In the first episode, Veil attends a showing of his work, which includes "Hidden Agenda," a disturbing photo of American military personnel apparently presiding over an execution in an unnamed Third World country. Almost immediately upon its display, Veil's life is ... destroyed. Erased. Zeroed. [[UnPerson Un-Personed]]. He becomes a fugitive non-person, on the run from the mysterious forces that want the "Hidden Agenda" photo destroyed and forgotten.

The series has Veil {{walking the earth}}, dealing with often disturbing happenings throughout middle America which were probably caused by the same organization that is targeting him, although hard truths are difficult to come by on this show, and the viewer is often left with a sense of uncertainty which mirrors Veil's own.

A classic example of a show that was TooGoodToLast, the series may have aired too near in time to ''Series/TheXFiles'', which had absorbed a great deal of the audience's thirst for this kind of story.

Not to be confused with the song by Music/TheBeatles.

Note: in some cases below even the trope names can be spoilers.

!!This show provides examples of:

* AdventureTowns: Owing much to the influence of Series/TheFugitive, Thomas would often go to one of these.
* AssimilationAcademy: The private academy in "The Alpha Spike".
* CyberPunk: A more cerebral kind which fit with TheConspiracy and TheNineties zeigeist.
* ChristmasEpisode: It's nearly Christmas when Tom sees a newspaper reporting that the FBI are looking for him to testify. His family welcomes him back for the holiday and everything seems to have been a mistake. [[spoiler: [[YankTheDogsChain Then he finds the house has been turned over by his wife, looking for the negatives. He also finds a video tape showing the "newscasts" of the conspiracy taken down were just a bunch of actors filming what they thought was a movie. He takes the negatives from the hiding place]] [[StatusQuoIsGod and goes back on the run.]]]]
* {{Defictionalization}}: At one point, Thomas gets a handheld computer which would be ridiculously high tech in the Nineties but is the kind we have now.
* DramaticHourLong: In the style of the X-Files.
* TheEndingChangesEverything: [[spoiler: The knowledge Thomas Veil doesn't exist ala Quaid in Film/TotalRecall and it was all a set up is certainly a game changer.]]
* EvilPlan: Everything in the series Thomas Veil goes through is part of the Conspiracy's scheme to [[spoiler: test their FakeMemories treatment.]]
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: The conspiracy is all but omnipotent. Thomas also can't trust his own sense of reality.
* FakeMemories: The Conspiracy often plays with the sense of reality of people via {{Gaslighting}}. [[spoiler: Thomas Veil never existed, for example.]]
* GovernmentConspiracy: Thomas Veil is the victim of one that "erases" his life in an attempt to cover up an incriminating photo.
** Later, it's implied the organization is a corporate/media/industrial firm that works more or less like TheIlluminati.
* {{Homage}}: The town full of erased people is a pretty obvious one to ''Series/ThePrisoner''.
* TheIlluminati: The Conspiracy is ''everywhere.'' They also have access to sci-fi technology that is beyond what regular society has.
* IronicEcho: [[spoiler: "My name is Thomas Veil" since Thomas Veil never existed]].
* LossOfIdentity: The premise of the show is Thomas Veil becoming an {{Unperson}}. This messes with his sense of self.
* MeaningfulName: Thomas ''Veil''. Also, "Thomas" is the doubting apostle and the hero begins to doubt everything as the series progresses. "Thomas" also means "twin" which takes on extra meaning twice, in the episode "Doppelganger" [[spoiler: where the hero is being impersonated by a lookalike]] and in the finale "Gemini Man" (Gemini is the zodiac sign of the twins).
* MysteriousInformant: Partway through the series one of the members of the conspiracy starts giving Tom info on the Organization who "erased him" in hopes Tom will take them down from without so he can more easily take them down from within. [[spoiler: He's eventually killed and Thomas' computer hacked.]]
* MundaneDogmatic: It's apparently the 90s of the United States but TheConspiracy has near absolute control over society from multiple levels.
* OntologicalMystery: Of a sort. The audience is often left questioning how much is real and how much is fake information.
* PostModernism / {{Recursive Canon}}: One of the Conspiracy's plots involves broadcasting a television show that depicts scenes from Veil's life after his erasure with almost shot-for-shot recreations of the actual show, but with [[StylisticSuck bad acting and camera work]]. It got to the point of a {{Mind Screw}} where he had to do things out of character in order to defeat their plans.
* SternChase: The Conspiracy is chasing Thomas Veil, though not very hard, and it's implied letting him go a few times. It's only when he screws with their operations that they lay the hammer down.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: Photo negatives (and film photography in general) are nowhere near as common today as they were when this show was made.
* UnPerson: Veil's entire former life is erased by the group that wants the picture.
** Veil soon discovers he's not the only one this has happened to. Indeed, he finds an entire town full of people who have suffered this fate.
* WasItAllALie: Tom asks this question of [[spoiler: his wife who was seemingly in on the conspiracy from day one.]]
* YankTheDogsChain: Thomas sometimes ruins a Conspiracy operation or scores some temporary victories but, just as often, they completely destroy his sense of self.
* WalkingTheEarth: Thomas can never stay too long in any one place or the Conspiracy finds him.