The beloved, original version of THE NIGHT STALKER lasted for just one season. ABC’s "reimagined" version didn’t even last that long. Variety reports that the show has been cancelled… after only nine episodes were produced. The sad part about this isn’t that the show was cancelled, but the producers missed everything that made the original such a great show…most importantly, the character of Carl Kolchak. Instead, the new NIGHT STALKER was a bland X-FILES retread that captured none of the charm, humor and originality of the classic series that it took its name from. This was a missed opportunity.
10 thoughts on “Night Stalker Killed… Again”
It was a mercy killing.
Granted, the new STALKER aired in an unforgiving time slot opposite CSI. My main problem with the show was that the new Kolchak was handsome, haunted, and rich. Give me the seedy and irascible Darren McGavin any day of the week, in any time slot.
McGavin was the man.
Carl Kolchak made me want to be a writer (I was addicted to the show as a child). To see him reinvented as some somber Fox Mulder wannabe, that was just sad.
I did pick up the DVD set from Universal and watched it again, the magic was still there. Sharing the show my son (who is eleven and the same age I was when I rediscovered the show on CBS late night in 1979), was a joy. Every night it was, “Dad! Let’s watch Kolchak again.” Great stuff.
Ahhhh, The CBS Late Night “Movie”…a.k.a. CBS Rerun Theater. Thanks for bringing that up, Chadwick! That really brings back memories. I used to catch it when I was a kid and staying up to watch something after the late news seemed very adult and vaguely naughty. Though it was mostly just old TV leftovers presented with no rhyme or reason, CBS Late Night did give me two wonderful gifts, quirky shows I still think of warmly today: Kolchak and The Avengers. Is it really any surprise Hollywood couldn’t pull off a remake of either one?
Stuart Townsend was woefully miscast. For further insight, Frank Spotnitz blog is at: http://www.biglight.com/blog/
I was excited at the remake of one of my favorite shows. However, it was boring. During the 2nd episode, I went outside to have a smoke during a commercial, and forgot I was watching a show!
Well, I’m not usually one to swim upstream, but the new NightStalker was starting to grow on me. Yes, it was clearly a clone of X-Files without the added dimensions of humor or a mythology arc (although it seemed they were moving that direction with the mystery of Kolchak’s wife). I liked the pre-credit setups, the more complicated plots, and the high production values. It think most of the plotlines would have fit well in the X-Files universe.
Keep in mind I have never seen the original NightStalker and am watching the show as a standalone product. In my opinion, it was a show that needed more time to get its legs – much like X-Files did in the beginning. Let’s face it – the timeslot was hopeless and ABC had no patience. If this show were on Sci-Fi or another outlet without as much riding on it’s immediate performance, I think it would have evolved into something more memorable.
That said, based on previous posts, I am going to make it a point to watch the original NightStalker – it sounds like a gem.
It’s funny that everyone’s calling the new Nightstalker an X-files re-tread: Chris Carter has said that the original Night Stalker was his inspiration for the X-Files. Does that make the new NightStalker a re-re-tread?
Here’s a quote (not sure of it’s validity) from Carter I found on the web:
“I was inspired by the show Kolchak, The Night Stalker,” says Carter, his voice an aural blend of Rod Serling and Joe Frank. “It had really scared me as a kid and I wanted to do something as dark and mysterious as I remembered it to be. So, I was able to say to Fox when they hired me to an exclusive deal, “this is what I want to do.”
Well, the new Night Stalker was the work of Frank Spotnitz, not Chris Carter. Spotnitz worked on The X-Files for a time and, when reinventing Kolchak, all he did was really remake The X-Files. The new series had no resemblence to its supposed source material and too much to the series he used to work on. The original Kolchak was single, had no partner – in fact he went to great lengths to work alone – and had a smart mouth that got him into a lot of trouble with authority figures, then there were the shouting matches between him and Vincenzo. He was also moderately skeptical of the paranormal. The new Kolchak had a wife who was killed (not unlike how Fox Mulder’s sister was abducted), he gets a skeptical partner (like Fox got Dana Skully) and so on and so forth. Really insulting to the fans who know better.
It would be like Lee Goldberg getting the job of remaking Columbo…then casting David Hasselhoff in the roll. The new Columbo is as a former lifeguard turned P.I. with really hot girlfriend (NOT a wife) who he entertains with stories about is numerous cases. (Each episode would start with Columbo and his girlfriend in some intimate setting – at dinner, or in bed, a hot tub, cuddled on the couch – and their conversation would segue into Columbo’s narration of his most recent case. This would also allow the episode to end with a heartwarming intimate moment, allowing the audience to know that truth, justice, honor always triumph and some good hot sex awaits the Big C at the end of each case. Oh, and Columbo 2 would have a cool car.
I don’t think the fans of the Peter Falk Columbo would be too impressed.
Want to hear my idea of Murder, She Wrote remade with Paris Hilton starring as Jessica Fletcher?