Kolchak: The Night Stalker: Season 1, Episode 1

The Ripper (13 Sep. 1974)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Horror, Mystery
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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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Episode complete credited cast:
Beatrice Colen ...
Jane Plumm
Elderly Woman
Jack Grinnage ...
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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


About 19 minutes in, when Kolchak is arguing with his editor 'Tony Vincenzo (Character)', played by Simon Oakland, there is a picture of Maj. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington behind Simon Oakland's character. Simon went on to play Brig. Gen. Thomas Moore in the TV series _Black Sheep Squadron (TV Series 1976-1978)_ a few years later. See more »


During the battle between the Ripper and the Chicago Police Tactical Squad at the construction site, when the officers on the ground shoot at the Ripper up on the first level, the police officers on that level are clearly in the line of fire. See more »


Carl Kolchak: For once be a cop instead of an ostrich!
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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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