Kolchak: The Night Stalker: Season 1, Episode 1

The Ripper (13 Sep. 1974)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Horror, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 220 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 5 critic

When a rash of serial murders suddenly begins in the Chicago area, Kolchak establishes a similarity between the new killings and the murders committed by Jack The Ripper. The killer soon ... See full summary »



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Title: The Ripper (13 Sep 1974)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Beatrice Colen ...
Jane Plumm
Elderly Woman
Capt. Warren
Masseuse (as Marya Small)
Don Mantooth ...
Policeman (as Donald Mantooth)
Rob Berger ...
Mail Boy (as Robert Bryan Berger)
Roberta Collins ...
Det. Cortazzo
Clint Young ...
Mickey Gilbert ...


When a rash of serial murders suddenly begins in the Chicago area, Kolchak establishes a similarity between the new killings and the murders committed by Jack The Ripper. The killer soon reveals himself to possess superhuman characteristics, and Kolchak suspects that they may be dealing with the original Ripper after all. Written by acidxian

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

13 September 1974 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Kolchak escapes the Ripper's home, there is a brief glimpse of the killer's face: brown hair with a drooping mustache and a beardless face. This corresponds exactly to the known descriptions of Jack the Ripper, according to witness statements from 1888. See more »


Kolchak, while being a reporter, even though employed by a 3rd rate news service, constantly uses a small format 110 camera to capture out of focus images of vampires, werewolves and the like. You'd think his boss could spring for a 35mm or at the very least a Polaroid. See more »


Carl Kolchak: [reading a letter to Miss Emily] Dear Miss Emily, the three dumbest things in the world are you, your column, and your paper. I am overwhelmed by the accumulated dumbness. PS Do you know of a cure for acne? A friend of mine has it.
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User Reviews

Kolchak knows Jack.
3 March 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

'The Ripper' is a fine pilot episode for a loyally supported, well loved cult TV series in which Darren McGavin made the most out of a fun role, intrepid investigative reporter Carl Kolchak who would often make a nuisance of himself as he stubbornly insisted on following the strange stories. Kolchak had already been introduced in a pair of TV movies, 'The Night Stalker' and 'The Night Strangler', and while the series wouldn't last very long, fans still find his adventures quite endearing. This episode shows how well the cast, writers, and directors could successfully put both true spookiness and suspense as well as genuinely funny comedy into the same stories without the balance ever tipping too far to either side. The story here has a series of brutal murders plaguing Chicago, done Ripper style. Kolchak knows of similar Ripper style murders that have occurred throughout the decades, and comes to believe that the perpetrator may very well be THE Jack the Ripper. Directed with efficiency by Allen Baron ("Blast of Silence"), 'The Ripper' features some solid action sequences and stunts (The Ripper is played for maximum menacing presence by stuntman Mickey Gilbert) and some undeniable tension as Kolchak checks out the house where The Ripper has been spotted. The hilarious bits often come from the confrontations between Kolchak and his long suffering editor Tony Vincenzo, wonderfully played by Simon Oakland, as well as between Kolchak and stuffy colleague Uptight - I mean Updyke (Jack Grinnage) - and weary police captain Warren (Ken Lynch). One can see how Kolchak would rub people the wrong guy, but that's why we as fans love him. It's also hysterical seeing an agitated Kolchak trying to do what he would rather do when faced with the task of filling in for advice columnist Miss Emily. Popping up in supporting parts are Beatrice Colen ('Wonder Woman', 'Happy Days') as upbeat reporter Jane Plumm, Ruth McDevitt, who would go on to play Miss Emily in subsequent episodes, as the elderly woman, Mews Small as a masseuse, and Roberta Collins as an undercover cop. Good fun all around, and well establishes the formula for the series. Eight out of 10.

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