- KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER
- US tv series (1974-5). Francy Productions for Universal TV/ABC. Created Jeff Rice. Executive prod Darren McGavin. Prod Paul Playton, Cy Chermak. Story consultant David Chase. 20 50min episodes. Colour.This fondly remembered series was a spin-off from a successful made-for-tv movie, The Night Stalker (1972), prod Dan Curtis and written Richard MATHESON, abouta vampire in contemporary Las Vegas. This led to a feature-length sequel, The Night Strangler (1973), also written by Matheson, about a youth serumproduced from murdered women. The tv series was partly sparked off by the enthusiasm of McGavin, star of the two movies, who became K:TNS's executive producer. He again played the reporter, Kolchak, who each week uncovered some fantastic threat. Unable to persuade anyone in authority of its existence, he was usually obliged to combat the menace alone. Most episodes featured supernatural creatures; sf-related episodes were "They Have Been, They Will Be, They Are" (ALIEN intervention), "The EnergyEater" (invisible creature feeds on radioactivity), "Mr. R.I.N.G." (government-created killer ROBOT), "The Primal Scream" (cells from the Arctic grow into a prehistoric ape-creature) and "The Sentry" (lizardlike monster). The series was entertaining and atmospheric, but too unvarying in its rigidly formulaic stories.JB
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.