Inside Pulse DVD Review – Night Stalker – The Complete Series

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InsidePulse DVD Review – Night Stalker – The Complete Series

Frank Spotnitz

Stuart Townsend ………. Carl Kolchak
Gabrielle Union ………. Perri Reed
Eric Jungmann ………. Jain McManus
Cotter Smith ………. Tony Vincenzo

The Show:
In 1974, after two successful telemovies ABC debuted a series called ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker’ about a newspaper reporter who investigates crimes with mysterious and unlikely causes. This series is often referred to as a predecessor of ‘The X-Files’ due to the similar premises.

In 2005, ABC decided it was a good time to reintroduce Carl Kolchak to a new audience, debuting “Night Stalker” in the fall of 2005. It lasted 6 episodes; cancelled due to low ratings – unsurprising, seeing as it was up against a small little show called C.S.I. Now, the entire series (10 episodes) are available on DVD, with episodes scheduled to air on the Sci-Fi Network. So did this show deserve it’s fate? I’ll let you know what I think.

From what I understand, one of the major differences between the 1974 version and this new version is that where Kolchak was a down on his luck reporter looking for a big story, this Kolchak is on a hunt for his wife’s murderer. Or is he? That’s one of the central questions of the pilot. But honestly, I don’t find any real connection to Kolchak. Carl is simply a mysterious guy who you don’t really feel intrigued about.

And then there’s his relationship with Perri Reed. Obviously, it’s meant to resemble the Lois and Clark relationship of Superman: The Movie, but I really don’t see much chemistry between leads Stuart Townsend and Gabrielle Union.

Overall, what really drives this show are the mysterious crimes that Kolchak and Reed are assigned to investigate. They’re dealing with the supernatural, which was described as “scary” on the DVD, but I’d probably call it more “interesting” than “scary”. Still, if you liked the X-Files and don’t mind characters that aren’t nearly as memorable as Mulder and Scully, you might want to give ‘Night Stalker’ a try.


Disc One:
1-1, Pilot
1-2, The Five People You Meet in Hell
1-3, Three
1-4, Burning Man
1-5, Malum

Disc Two:
1-6, The Source

The rest of the episodes were never aired
1-7, The Sea
1-8, Into Night
1-9, Timeless
1-10, What’s the Frequency, Kolchak?

Bonus Features

Score: 5/10

The DVD:

(Presented in 1.78:1 Widescreen)
The show is digitally mastered, and the blacks look really good – which of course is a good thing for a show that has a lot of stuff take place at night.

(English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround)
Sounds pretty good. Most people aren’t gonna turn on their home theatre for a TV show, though.

Special Features:
Audio Commentary: Available on two episodes – Pilot and The Sea featuring Frank Spotnitz and others.

A Conversation With Frank Spotnitz – If you’ve seen an “interview with the creator(s)” feature, you won’t be surprised by this. Frank was really into the concept, the actors were perfect for their roles, etc.

Deleted Scenes

“Never Before Seen” Scripts (DVD-ROM only)

Score: 6/10

InsidePulse’s Ratings for Night Stalker: The Complete Series
(OUT OF 10)