Thursday, October 27, 2005

KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER - THE COMPLETE SERIES

As a kid, this supernatural mystery series – the acknowledged inspiration for Chris Carter's X-FILES and the source material for a new, updated series on ABC – scared the hell out of me.

Now, as an adult, I can see the flaws in the monster suits, am aware of every plot hole and recognize the blatant formula writing… but I still love the show. Darren McGavin's portrayal of hard-nosed newspaper reporter Carl Kolchak is one of the great TV characterizations of all time, and the new series will never be as memorable as the original, simply because McGavin was so unique. Wry, sly, part con man and part private eye, Kolchak always got his story – even if they never saw print.

Universal has released all 20 episodes of the original 1974-75 television series in a three-disc, bare bones set, completely devoid of any extras whatsoever. The full frame transfers are overly dark and grainy and, clearly, no effort was made to clean them up. Nonetheless, it's great to finally have these shows on DVD – good episodes and bad.

For nostalgic fans of the show, or those curious about the series that kicked off the new show, it's worth checking out, I just wish Universal had put a little more effort into it.

BUY: Kolchak - The Night Stalker