Beatrice Colen and Darren McGavin at her second lunch.
IMDB SUMMARY: Carl may be up against the original Jack the Ripper, a black-caped, bullet-resistant, super-human killer of women.
Aired: Sept 13, 1974. Regular Cast: Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Jack Grinnage, Ruth McDevitt
Directed by Allen Baron Guest Cast: Beatrice Colen, Mickey Gilbert, Ken Lynch, Robert Collins Written by Rudolph Borcher
The first episode of the series establishes Kolchak having settled in as a reporter for the INS news service in Chicago— we assume he gets the job because his old editor Tony Vincenzo (Oakland) is the bureau chief. We also get to meet his rival, nemesis and fellow reporter Ron Updyke (Jack Grinnage) who is a kinder gentler and somehow even more annoying version of Kolchak himself.
Ruth McDevitt who will appear next episode as another co-worker at INS as Miss Emily appears here as an elderly woman who has witnessed something.
The series separates itself from the two movies by adding in a larger cast of oddball side characters. Our two main oddballs this time around are Beatrice Colen as a reporter friend from another paper Jane Plumm, who is called fat, and it’s called to attention a couple of times, but it shows us how weight was seen through the eyes of the 70s, flash forward to today and Jane Plumm is pretty slim. The other oddball is a Massage Girl who will become one of the Ripper’s victims and speaking of the Ripper, he’s got no lines, but he’s played with some menace by stunt man Mickey Gilbert.
HOW’S THE MONSTER: Jack the Ripper— we don’t see him clearly, nice work!
HOW’S THE SEASONED COP WHO HATES KOLCHAK: Ken Lynch is Captain Warren. Warren was also the name of the inspector on the original Ripper case.
WHO ARE THE ODDBALL GUEST STARS: Jan Plumm and the old lady are both interesting characters.
It’s a good solid episode with some genuine chills. 8.5
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