Night Stalker (TV series)
Night Stalker DVD cover
|Created by||Frank Spotnitz
Jeffrey Grant Rice
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||10 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||42 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Big Light Productions
|Original run||September 29, 2005– February 7, 2006|
Night Stalker is a television series that ran for six weeks in fall 2005 on ABC in America. The series starred Stuart Townsend as Carl Kolchak, an investigative reporter whose wife was murdered. Kolchak spends his time investigating other strange murders, believing they are linked in some way to his wife's murder. He is helped along the way by a fellow crime reporter Perri Reed (Gabrielle Union), photographer Jain McManus (Eric Jungmann) and editor Anthony Vincenzo (Cotter Smith).
Night Stalker was a remake of the 1974 series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. ABC owned the rights to the original television movies, but not the Universal television series, and was limited to using only characters that had appeared in those movies.
Its first episode was broadcast on Thursday, September 29, at 9 p.m. against CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on CBS, The Apprentice on NBC and the 2005 MLB playoffs on Fox. Night Stalker was canceled after six episodes due to low ratings. However, the Sci-Fi Channel (now known as Syfy), which frequently shows canceled network genre shows, showed all ten filmed episodes during summer 2006. The ratings were poor on SciFi Channel as well. In 2007, the show continued in rotation on the network's weekday series marathons.
The last episode to be broadcast was the first of a multi-part episode, so viewers never saw the end of the sixth story. However, some time after the cancellation, the seventh episode appeared on Apple's iTunes Music Store for download. On February 7, 2006, the final three episodes were released on iTunes.
Night Stalker has been re-run on "Chiller" (channel 257 – DirecTV) and, in the UK in December 2007/January 2008, on Bravo (channel 121 on Sky Digital).
- Carl Kolchak (Stuart Townsend): The "believer". Reporter for the L.A. Beacon newspaper; continuously searches for his wife's murderer and supernatural happenings in Los Angeles.
- Perri Reed (Gabrielle Union): The "skeptic". Head crime reporter for the L.A. Beacon, but she trails after Kolchak like a rookie. She "helps" Kolchak in his cases of the paranormal, although she looks at the cases "normally".
- Jain McManus (Eric Jungmann): Kolchak's "open-minded" friend. He is a photographer for the L.A. Beacon.
- Anthony Vincenzo (Cotter Smith): Editor of the L.A. Beacon. A friend of Kolchak's who hired him as a favor after they worked together in Las Vegas.
- Agent Bernie Fain (John Pyper-Ferguson): Kolchak's former friend in Las Vegas but now a nemesis, an FBI agent who believed Kolchak murdered his wife and made up a bizarre story to cover up his involvement. The character is loosely reworked from Agent Bernie Jenks, Kolchak's Vegas contact in the original Night Stalker TV movie.
- "Edhead" (Loreni Delgado): Technology specialist for the L.A. Beacon. Friend of Jain's.
- Alex Nyby (Eugene Byrd): Coroner's assistant at the Los Angeles Morgue. A contact of Kolchak's who drools over Perri.
Night Stalker: The Complete Series was released on May 30, 2006. The set includes all ten episodes; commentary on the episodes "Pilot" and "The Source, Part Two"; deleted scenes; a featurette entitled "A Conversation with Frank Spotnitz"; and unproduced scripts for the DVD-ROM.
Other airings and cancellation
On November 13, 2005, Frank Spotnitz announced on his blog that Night Stalker was canceled. ABC announced the official cancellation of the series that following Monday. On July 28, 2006, the series began on the Sci Fi Channel.
Episodes were broadcast on Saturday nights on Chiller, beginning on November 3, 2007.
What would have happened
When Night Stalker went off the air, many plot lines were left unfinished. The DVD of the series includes four unbroadcast episodes. The first of these, The Sea, has an audio commentary track in which the executive producer Frank Spotnitz reveals some details of where he intended to take the storyline, had the series not been canceled. Below is a brief summary.
- The bikers who were chasing Victor Caleca are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the pale rider being the biker with the long blond hair.
- The mark on Kolchak's wrist is the mark of evil. If the series had continued, there would have been more living people with the mark on their wrists. Kolchak would have been told the opposite (that the mark is a sign of goodness) by a mysterious man later in the season, but the truth would be told to him by the end of the season.
- The victims on whose wrists the mark appears only after their deaths are in fact marked as good.
- Linda Caleca and Julie Medlock would have reappeared at some time in the future.
- During the episode "The Source", Kolchak passes a sign with a pyramid on it. On the commentary, Spotnitz noted that the pyramid is the symbol of a group, and that all members have the symbol on their wrist. The pyramid means the opposition of Good and Evil.
- The anonymous source Carl spoke to on his cell phone in the last broadcast episode, The Source, was in fact Carl himself.
- Night Stalker (2006). [DVD set]. Buena Vista Home Entertainment.
- Night Stalker at the Internet Movie Database
- Night Stalker at TV.com
- Interview with Frank Spotnitz - Now Playing magazine