Kolchak: The Night Stalker Logo

‘Kolchak: the Night Stalker’ follows the investigations of hard-nosed reporter Carl Kolchak, as he encounters nightmarish monsters in the shape of vampires, werewolves, aliens and demons, all of which are real and alive - or undead - and causing mayhem and murder in 1970s America. Kolchak’s single-minded determination to uncover the truth of a story often brings him into conflict with his long-suffering and irascible editor, Tony Vincenzo, and he also has to cope with neurotic fellow reporter Ron Updyke. Kolchak’s investigations usually get him into trouble with both the police, but his open-minded approach to the supernatural invariably allows him to deal with the demons and save the day, even if his unbelievable stories never do make it into print.

Originally made as a television movie in 1972, ‘Kolchak: the Night Stalker’ proved so popular with viewers, achieving the highest rating for a TV movie ever up until then, that a second movie was shown the following year. ‘The Night Strangler’ also scored a hit with its audience, and so a television series went into production.

Beginning transmission in September of 1974, the series was produced by Paul Playdon and Cy Chermak, with Darren McGavin himself as the executive producer. The stories are brilliantly written, mixing great characterisation with entertaining plots, and presenting the viewer with some particularly original ideas, as well innovative twists on established legends and myths. One of the show’s biggest strengths is that nothing graphic or gruesome is ever seen on screen, instead the viewer is given enough information so that they picture things in their mind’s eye.

Unfortunately, the show ran for just twenty episodes, although according to producer Cy Cermek, a further two stories were planned but left unfilmed; these were most likely ‘The Get of Belial’ and ‘Eve of Terror’. One other script known to exist is ‘The Executioners’ by Max Hodge, although it is not known if this was ever considered for production.

Chris Carter has acknowledged that ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker’ heavily influenced his creation of ‘The X-Files’; he went on to pay homage to the show by casting Darren McGavin in a guest role as retired F.B.I. Special Agent Arthur Dales, who was the first agent assigned to what eventually became the Bureau's X-Files department.

Not long after ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker’ made a comeback in comic book form, published by Moonstone, a new series, 'The Night Stalker', premiered on ABC in the Autumn of 2005; starring Stuart Townsend as crime reporter Carl Kolchak, the original premise was reinvented by former 'X-Files' writer-producer Frank Spotnitz for Touchstone TV. Unfortunately, after just six episodes were transmitted the show was cancelled due to low ratings, which is a shame, as it showed much promise; four more episodes - including the original pilot - were made but never shown, until the DVD release in mid-2006. But as long as the Moonstone comics and specials continue to be published, Carl Kolchak can still be found investigating dark deeds, and uncovering even more terrifying stories of spine-chilling horror…

Kolchak: The Night Stalker - Television Movies
Kolchak: The Night Stalker - Season 1
Kolchak: The Night Stalker - Comics
Kolchak: The Night Stalker - Novels

The Night Stalker - Season 1

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Legal Bit: 'Kolchak' and 'The Night Stalker' are registered trademarks of American Broadcasting Companies Inc. The 'Kolchak' and 'The Night Stalker' logos and all images from the television series are copyright American Broadcasting Companies Inc. unless otherwise stated; music is copyright the original composers and producers; no copyright infringement is intended. All specially created images and text are copyright © Clive Banks; please do not use these without my permission. All rights reserved. No profit is made from this website, and any revenue made from using the banner-links featured goes straight back into the costs of maintaining it, which comes out of my own pocket in the first place. No profit advertising is accepted. This website was created purely to entertain and amuse, and any references to persons living, dead, comatose, in suspended animation, not born yet, an alien duplicate, or a figment of someone's imagination is purely coincidental. All opinions expressed are my own, so there...

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