I’m a creature of habit and it occurred to me recently that while I love the 1966 BATMAN TV series with Adam West, as well as other similar shows like THE GREEN HORNET, STAR TREK, GILLIGAN’S ISLAND, THE WILD WILD WEST— there is one show I’ve seen more than any other and one show I go back to over and over again like an old friend;
KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER
When my Dad passed away a few years ago, one of the final things we watched together in his hospital room was a Celtics game. I’m pretty sure I’ll be tuned into KOLCHAK as I await my papers to move into the great beyond.
To say I love the show is an understatement. Kolchak and the entire cast of oddballs are like old friends and even a bad episode of Kolchak is better than almost anything else ever put on television.
The series ran only for one year after two highly successful TV Movies. Part of the problem with the show was the “monster of the week” dilemma— in that it was impossible to have another strange creature and another instance of where evidence of the story was lost or destroyed ran thin. Many years later, Kolchak fan Chris Carter solved the problem when he varied the monsters with other unexplained events in his ten season series THE X-FILES (which even featured a cameo by Kolchak himself during the run of the show).
Kolchak lasted 20 episodes in 1974-1975 and although I was too chicken to watch it as a kid on its first run (plus it was up against Sanford and Son) I did catch it on immediate reruns in 1978 when it aired Fridays at 11pm on CBS after having been cancelled by ABC.
Kolchak starred Darren McGavin who also produced the series without credit, and featured an array of guest stars and writing talent which included David Chase (The Soprano’s).
I’m going to give the series and the two movies their due here on the blog over the next few months each and every Friday (appropriate since that was the night it ran).