Night Stalker (TV Series 2005– ) Poster

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ABC's bloodless "Night Stalker"
Thomas_Veil1 October 2005
When the show was first announced it sounded promising, mostly because producer Frank Spotnitz was a veteran of "The X Files"...and as we all know, several "X Files" veterans were big fans of the original "Night Stalker" movies and series.

Now, whenever a cultural icon is reinvented for a new era, one always expects a few changes. I don't think we were expecting this many.

Carl Kolchak, as you may recall, was a down-on-his-luck loner, a middle-aged, average-looking has-been reporter whose primary positive qualities were his investigative skills, his tenacity and his flair for mocking authority. He had a part buddy/ part adversarial (mostly the latter) relationship with his boss, Tony Vincenzo. The adversarial part of their relationship came to a head when Kolchak came upon the story that first piqued his interest in the supernatural: a killer who appeared to be an actual vampire. The police, not wanting to look stupid, were not about to admit that there really might be things that go bump in the night running around their city...and Vincenzo (being not exactly akin to Ben Bradlee) was only too happy to quash the story in order to keep the authorities happy. This, of course, rubbed Kolchak the wrong way. Kolchak was dedicated to getting the truth out, no matter what.

Well, that brings us to the new Kolchak.

In ABC's latest incarnation, Kolchak is changed almost beyond recognition. Now he is young, good-looking and morose. He no longer seems to have arguments with Vincenzo. Most surprisingly, perhaps...he was married. His wife was killed by one of these bumpy-night-things, and now he pursues stories about them. Instead of operating alone, he's joined by his partner Peri and staff photographer Jain.

This makes for an awfully weird feel. Watching a young, handsome Kolchak investigate a story with his capable partner Peri and wide-eyed photographer Jain, you get the feeling you're actually in Metropolis with Clark, Lois and Jimmy.

Those changes alone are enough to alienate a number of the "Night Stalker" faithful. But there's an underlying feeling, a style, that's also very different from the original books, movies and series.

Whereas the "old" Kolchak used to narrate events in a snappy, factual way, Spotnitz has fallen back into his "X Files" habit of just using opening and closing narration which, even then, is more on the philosophical than factual side. It's a change that removes a considerable amount of the pacing and realism from the show. And if you're looking for the old Kolchak who had a smart mouth and was ever quick with a quip...forget it. He's not here. This Kolchak is more moody than mouthy.

Even the music is languid. In the original movies, the score was jazzy yet kind of morbid, a style that fit the stories to a T. Here, you'll find music more like what you'd hear on...well, "The X Files".

Then there's the Vincenzo thing. "Old" Kolchak had to battle not only the authorities but his boss. This one is clearly Kolchak's pal, which removes half the conflict from the show. Believe it or not, there are none of those wonderful Kolchak-Vincenzo screaming matches here. Instead, we're offered an FBI agent who wants to pin the death of Kolchak's wife on Kolchak himself. Shades of The Fugitive. (Ironically, the agent's name is Fain. Bernie Fain was an FBI agent buddy of Kolchak's in the original novel.)

One truly bizarre feature of the show: this Kolchak drives a newish yellow Mustang and lives in a penthouse suite with a built-in swimming pool. Give me a break!

The true test of whether this is a worthy "Night Stalker" or not is...if you removed the title from the show, and changed the names of the characters to Smith and Jones...would anybody recognize it? Chances are, beyond the fact that the stories are supernatural and the hero works at a newspaper, no, you would not. Kolchak no longer resembles Kolchak, either figuratively or literally.

The one bright spot in the show was a digitally-inserted "in-joke" in which Darren McGavin, replete with seersucker suit and straw hat, was inserted into the foreground of a shot of the newsroom. Unfortunately, it served only to remind the viewer of the big difference between the original Kolchak and Spotnitz's Kolchak.

And finally -- without giving away spoilers -- there's the puzzling shot of Kolchak's hand at the end of the episode which ties in with the murder of his wife. That was just weird.

The fault does not all lie with Frank Spotnitz. In a TV Guide interview, he stated that the "mission" aspect of the show -- finding the killer of Kolchak's wife -- was inserted at the insistence of the suits at ABC, who felt Kolchak needed a stronger motivation for going after ghoulies and ghosties. Nevertheless, this "Night Stalker" does not have the jazzy music, the narration, the pacing or the comic patter -- in other words, the feel -- of the original. It looks more like "The X Files" than "The Night Stalker".

Oh well. It's not a bad show. It just should've been much, much better.
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3/10
Never have I so WANTED a series to do well
ZappaFan25 June 2006
.....and never have I been so disappointed. I am not sure why this series was even produced at all?! Did they hope to draw in the fans of the old show? If so, this was not the way to do it. None of the charisma of Darren McGavin is evident in the "acting" of the current "Carl Kolchak". I'm also not sure why he has a partner. Since they went to all the trouble of lifting the following from the original: Kolchak drives a Mustang (updated), works as a reporter, works for Tony Vincenzo, you'd think they would also try and establish some of the charm of the original show (no one believes Kolchak, his bumbling, wacky clothing, intrusive style of reporting, etc. In their defense, I suppose they DIDN'T want to remake the series over again, perhaps they wanted to completely re-do the series and attract the younger viewer - but why call it the "Night Stalker"? They would have done just as well (which was horribly) with "Night Reporter Who Bears Little to No Resemblance to Carl Kolchak"
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1/10
Nothing Resembling the Original
rattdpp23 November 2005
This was a good idea (bringing back Kolchack: The Night Stalker) unfortunately everyone who bought the rights to the name completely ignored what made the original a great show. No matter what glitz and glamor you crank out - there is nothing that compares to a great character driven drama. And trust me, this was nothing resembling a great character driven drama. The main characters are completely bland and forgettable just going through the motions. No matter what the powers that be think works as an update to the show - this show needed an old touch to it. Darren McGavin was a great character actor and that is the first thing this show needed - someone who has something interesting about them. But it would also take more than one character actor - the original had several stand out performers. People who were not bland, people who you remembered. Kolchak should be played by a middle aged man - not some young generic stud. Have him work with the generic people if you want, but the main character has to be one who acts interesting. This was indeed an X-Files Clone, and a pale one at that. So much for formulas on what to put in a show - put in something that stands out instead. Thoughly disgusted and disappointed with this tripe.
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NOT Night Stalker
bemanning-128 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
May Contain Spoilers**** Disappointing as named. Did they even bother to WATCH the original show? We already have X-Files, and it was far superior to this X-erox.(sic) Too bad. The actors are fine--for a different type of show--they're all very pretty. If the show wasn't parading itself under the banner "Night Stalker" it might even have potential, but it's hard to get past that.

The original show had character in itself and had CHARACTERS--great character actors playing interesting roles. It was fun, entertaining. The new version is dreary and depressing. The new show uses the old saw about the the murdered wife and her unsolved crime...Are you kidding me? The Fugitive, Monk, First Wave...Stealing from the stuff they already stole, huh?

And, since when does Kolchak have anyone around him who believes a word he's saying? Like two, sexy cohorts.

A huge disappointment, since expectations are not met. Maybe some day, some one will get it and remake the series properly.
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3/10
Down the drain.
argentobuff26 May 2006
When this was announced I knew there would be trouble.Kolchak is one of TV land's most beloved and remembered supernatural-themed shows.One of the reasons being the superb casting of the Late,greats Darren McGavin,and Simon Oakland.

As a big fan of the original I was looking forward to a faithful updating.The studio just used the name to launch a generic x-files wanna-be.

This time we get Sturt Townsand and Gabrielle Union.They are not bad.The stories that aired had a little promise.The whole thing played like a wake.None of the charm or wit of the original to be found,and ended up very disappointing.

Townsend is a bit underrated in my book.He could have grew into the role if given time and better writing.A bit too young for the character in my book.

With Time this might have developed into something good.The show needed to start with a BANG;Not on mute.They just went for a serious tone with nothing to balance it out.How could the network have the stomach to green-light this and send it out into the public.

It was clear from the start they had no idea of the following the original had.

I expected more.
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I Know the Night Stalker...and This Is No Night Stalker
BaronBl00d28 October 2005
My expectations confessedly did not run very high when word of this project came to me. I mean, let's be honest, the original Night Stalker was a one of a kind gem that only happens once in awhile. It was a show ahead of its time, and its legacy has grown tremendously over the years despite its one year run. Star Trek ran for only three years you might remember. I also understand that things must change for different audiences. But why would writers with some ability(from The X-Files - a great show I might add)change everything except the names The Night Stalker, Karl Kolchak, and Vincenzo. They are the only links this new show has with the old. The way the series is shot is markedly different, the tones of the stories markedly different, the actors(for lack of a better word) are markedly different and so on. I can guess what might have happened: genre writers who grew up on the old show pitched the idea of remaking the series to the networks wanting to pay homage and make a new, exciting series. I think they probably wanted to stay close to the heart of the old show. A great central character that was affable, unflappable, and played by a guy that could act would be needed. They probably knew that the show's success would hinge on this actor's representation of the role. Darren McGavin was a great actor, and yes, now he is way too old to assay this role. But why in the world did the producers get some guy like Stuart Townsend. He looks like he popped out of the pages of GQ magazine and has so little range. This is the guy that is going to convey humor in much of what he says and does amidst the surroundings of stark horror and investigative reporting? Is anyone out there buying him as a gritty reporter in Los Angeles or anywhere else? You know how little faith the producers had in him when they assigned him a beautiful helper. Gabrielle Union, a beautiful woman but an average at best actress, wanders through the inane dialog with little conviction. She is helping Kolchak? I was just flabbergasted with how bad this remaking of the series was from the perspective of looking at the show's foundation. Maybe if it wasn't called The Night Stalker then I could accept it for the mediocre sci-fi rehash that it is. But when you call it something that brings smiles to the faces of horror fans from the seventies you then have an obvious comparison to make. There is no comparison at all. Absolutely none. This is dreck when placed on those standards. The show is talky with little action or suspense. It fails miserably in evoking any kind of fond memories for anyone who is watching it because of its name. Just a pitiful shame and a pitiful show.
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1/10
Brain candy for the uninitiated....
millerman37816 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The Sci-fi channel is currently running an NS marathon. WHat exactly is the point? One only has to watch the opening five minute of the first installment to realize what an unmitigated FARCE the whole thing is. The original series earned it's richly deserved cult status by blending equal parts humor and horror, and the UPDATED series unfortunately tosses this concept onto the scrap heap. The other critical element that is missing is a little thing called CONFLICT. This new Kolchak has a support system resembling a CHEERING SECTION. His new-age editor is the genteel, paternal sort and any resemblance to the previous series incarnate is virtually impossible to detect. And the idea of partnering him with some attractive but bland eye-candy, as well as a sycophantic toady, is just too laughable for words. Frank Spoonitz deserves the lion's share of blame for this fiasco. He SO desperately wanted to put his own stamp on this series that he forgot to make suspenseful or funny or scary or provocative or just plain mildly interesting. Calling David Chase.
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3/10
Not Night Stalker at all
petra-5921 June 2007
Calling a program "Night Stalker" and the main character Carl Kolchak, does not mean that this program bears any resemblance at all to the earlier series. The brief appearance of Darren McGavin, star of the original series, in the first episode, seems to have been an unsuccessful attempt to give the new show some kind of official approval. But the light-hearted approach and genuine comedy of the original series is completely lacking. Kolchak is saddle with a side-kick and another hanger-on. Vincenzo does nothing and the actor seems to be completely lost. As I suspect is the older viewer who may have seen Kolchak – The Night Stalker and may remember it. The stories are no worse than on many other shows, but then again they are no different from other shows. The on-going problem of who killed Kolchak's wife just gets in the way. And the answer surely is simply that Kolchak had no wife. The result is simply yet another show designed for late-night viewing, which falls into the category of "If you miss it, you won't miss it." My rating of 6 is probably one more than it deserves, and is given in memory of the original and superior series.
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10/10
'Start with certainties and you will end up in doubts' (Cotter Smith to Stuart Townsend)
benign_man14 July 2006
After reading some of the negative comments of certain viewers here on this new series I was intrigued to watch it so I could get a personal opinion. To begin with, there's not even a single episode of the old Night Stalker of the seventies that I missed and that because I'm a huge fan.

This new series has very little in common with the original ,old series. That, however, doesn't make it bad. Perhaps giving the series the same title was a promotional mistake but the series is definitely not.

Stuart Townsend is a superb actor, carrying with him very convincingly the air of a very special, talented reporter whose life was messed up by an, unexplained tragedy ,something that makes his life even more lonely and tortured but at the same time fills him with the resolution to find out. This necessary feeling Stuart conveys to the audience in an exceptional way.

Gabrielle Union is a very clever young reporter who in this group of three, plays the role of the doubting Thomas in a unique way .The audience senses an attraction and a respect for Kolchac but at the same time some fear that the man might be unstable and therefore untrustworthy. She prefers to distrust any references to the occult or mystery but also has the honesty to acknowledge something extraordinary when it happens. She gives a very good account of that sort of person and is an excellent actress apart from being very sweet and extremely sexy.

Equally talented and a very interesting character is the actor Eric Jungmann who plays the role of their assistant. An eager young journalist trying with enthusiasm and diligence to get into the gist of reporting he is all the time swayed between the 2 protagonists with the equally strong character trying to built the right profile of the pro he wants to be at the same time maintaining a balance with where his own instinct leads him.

Finally a very solid and convincing performance from the actor Cotter Smith who plays the role of the experienced,sometimes tough editor who however has a genuine love and interest in his reporters whom he wishes to succeed in their missions every time.

All in all I find this series very thrilling and really hope it goes on forever.
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i think it will be a great show
yry_na212 September 2005
i watched the pilot too. and i really liked it i liked how Stuart Townsend portrayed Carl Kolchak, and the best part is that the character is different from the first series. this is a different Carl Kolchak from the one in the other series.he is younger and has more energy in seeking the truth. Gabrielle union is good but not at the same level as her's partner (Townsend). some things could have been different, for example it is a little bit to dark in some scenes and people can't see very well what is happening. the part with the mystery is very well created so people can't wait to see the next episode to find out more. i hope this show will be successful, because i think it deserves it.
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Good show
Amanda30 September 2005
All right, I will be the first to admit, this is nothing really like the original. However, as one person already commented, it would be an insult to the original story and actors if they remade it exactly the way it was. However, the original only made it ONE SEASON. ABC (and every other network) is trying to appeal to the younger demographic (not always an intelligent decision, but they do it anyway). However, they're changing the character of Kolchak himself: he's no longer the goofy, fraidy cat of the newspaper world, and he's about 20 years younger. For the character they've made, Stuart Townsend is a better choice than most. The new Kolchak is a somewhat darker, creepier version than the old, so you can't have someone like William H.Macy (another suggestion) with the lead. No one would believe he was a possible murdering psycho. Townsend, on the other hand, is a kinda creepy guy, who can act. Personally, I liked the pilot (except since I was only half paying attention, I got a little messed up with how the little girl fit in with the murdered pregnant woman). Anyway, if you don't want to watch it, you don't have to. I personally like it a lot better than CSI at the moment, so I'm going to keep watching it.

Also, what a lot of people don'r realize is that Darren SKIPPED OUT on the original show because he didn't like the humor in it. Obviously the audience did, but he hated it enough to cut and run on his contract.
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More creatively bankrupt than simply being a remake of "Kolchak: the Night Stalker" would suggest
liquidcelluloid-124 June 2007
Network: ABC; Genre: Remake, Horror; Content Rating: TV-14 (horror violence, blood and gore); Available: DVD; Perspective: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4);

Season Reviewed: Series (1 season)

I've got to admit right off the bat that I'm not familiar with the original Jeff Rice series "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" starring Darren McGavin. I can't compare the two. I don't know how derivative this remake is or how blasphemous it may be, but it isn't hard to imagine. For those not familiar with the story, it follow Carl Kolchak, a newspaper crime reporter who obsessively hunts down all things supernatural after the brutal murder of his wife by a beast that left a mysterious mark on her (and other victims) after she died.

"Night Stalker" is a disaster from head to toe. Starting withe casting of Kolchak. As a man who should be obsessed, in turmoil, maybe a little unhinged, Stewart Townsend plays Kolchak blank-faced, without any passion, emotion or depth. Instead of a hardboiled crime reporter he looks like a soft WB TV star sleepwalking through a slasher movie.

While I may not know "The Night Stalker", I do know "The X-Files" where "Stalker" developer Frank Spotnitz hails from. And while the original "Stalker" may have been an inspiration for Chris Carter's supernatural thriller, for Spotnitz to dig up the ghosts of the past reeks of a creatively bankrupt effort to recapture the magic of both shows. Kolchak is the open-minded one, quick to believe the average crime is motivated by a something otherworldly. The Fox Mulder. His crime-beat partner Harry (gorgeous Gabrielle Union) is the reluctant one who butts up against Kolchak with a belief in science and facts. The Dana Scully. They are helped in there endeavors by young intern photographer Jain (Eric Jungmann). The Jimmy Olsen. Guess what else? The two leads have a purely professional relationship with only the tiniest hint of sexual tension.

There is a slight hypnotic quality to "Stalker". The final (unaired) episode, "What's My Answer Mr. Kolchak" is the best of the series because it tapes into a surreal idea that the rest of this procedural show should have had. It keeps you guessing in a way the others don't. But for the most part "Stalker" is aggravatingly straight forward. Many of the stories feel lifted heavily from other Sci-Fi/Horror shows and the show really suffers from brutally stupid written dialog. The opening and closing narrations make pretty much no sense.

Is it scary? Even creepy? Well that standard is just another tool the show used to dig the show deeper. Spotnitz's lame attempt to build suspense cure-all is to show ominous walking feet into frame. Who is it? We don't know yet. He does this over and over. Feet. The violence and use of (quote/unquote) creature effects is chopped to hell in the editing - an obvious attempt to hide a low budget rather than to meet the network standards.

"Night Stalker" is one of several network potholes on the long, boring road between the time when the masterful "The X-Files" held nerds in suspense over alien conspiracies and now, when the unbridled funhouse ride "Supernatural" has brought the TV horror genre back from the dead. A perfect cure for insomnia.

* / 4
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It's good, but its not Nigh Stalker
digifan31620014 October 2005
If this were on its own and had a different name, I'd recommend this show and get right behind it right away. Don't get me wrong, the writing is good, and most of the cast, Townshand included, can act, but the problem lies within its name.

I have no idea what possessed these people to give it the Night Stalker license. Its intriguing, its entertaining, but it sure as hell isn't Night Stalker.

The first problem is that this isn't the Karl I know. McGavin did a great job with the character and his attitude and wit made the original show the hit it is today.

Townshand meanwhile doesn't just have that magic. I'm well aware that nobody, and I mean nobody, can be as good as the original, but if you're gonna use the license, use it right and give him at least some of what made Koltchak Koltchak.

The second problem is that this is set in LA. The original was set in Chicago and that's fine, but the new one just becomes "Yet another supernatural tale set in LA." If it were set in any other city, maybe it'd have more merit.

Also, this just doesn't feel like Night Stalker. It's supernatural and the first ep was thrilling, but this just doesn't feel like the original.

So while this show is good, its not Night Stalker and it would have been better if it were something else.
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1/10
I had totally forgotten this show...for good reason!
preppy-324 August 2010
I loved the original "Night Stalker" TV series. It played on TV when i was a kid and succeeded in scaring me silly a few times. The female vampire episode gave me nightmares! I was excited when I heard they were "updating" it and I like Stuart Townsend. However they went ahead and changed EVERYTHING that made the original so good.

First off--Townsend is a good actor but he's way too young for the role. Darren McGavin was older and much better. Also this crap about his wife being killed by monsters (or something) was pointless. The house he lived in was beautiful but WAY too expensive for a reporter and totally out of place in this context. His two "helpers" were just annoying. The original Kolchak worked alone. The original series also sometimes didn't give you a good clear look at the monsters. I realize this was probably for budget constraints but it worked in the series favor. The glimpses you got were far more scary then shoving it in your face. This redo ignores that and gives us too-perfect monsters and such which you see clearly.

This was a redo where everything was changed far too much. I stopped watching after episode 3. Not worth looking for (although I doubt that it's ever going to pop up on TV again). Stick with the original.
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9/10
Nothing like the original at all
Barry-7325 February 2010
Okay. To start with, I agree with all or most of the other reviewers about one fact, that this is nothing like the original except for some of the characters' names and other similar things. But even though this series strays far from the original I really like it. I'm a big fan of the original series and TV movies, but I really liked this "remake" as well! You don't have to be familiar with the original at all in order to like this. It's good as a stand-alone series. I thought the characters were quite good and were well-acted. The story lines were also good. Unfortunately it was canceled in the middle of a two-part episode! How low could the network go! Then later on I found out the the entire series, including un-aired episodes, was put on DVD. So the two-part episode was available to be seen in its entirety. Very good. If you can put aside the association with the original series and TV movies with the similar name, I recommend renting or buying the DVD set and watching this with an open mind. It really is very good, and I highly recommend it. I give it 9 stars out of 10. I'd give it more if it had not gotten canceled so early. There just aren't that many stories in the series.
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A Good Scare at a Great Price!
MsTree30 September 2005
I wasn't sure what to expect from this show. As I young teen I used to faithfully watch the original series, but just wasn't sure if Stuart Townsend could pull off the character or hold up as the focal point of TV series.

Compelling probably best describes his work on this show. I saw a deeper, and oddly darker side than he as shown before...and some of his work has been pretty dark. He also showed strength and character in his portrayal of Carl Kolchak. And with all due respect to Darren McGavin, Townsend is a whole lot easier on the eyes.

The show itself was pretty good. It was a little scary, a lot creepy and only moderately corny. If the cast can really gel in the next few episodes and they can keep a low profile on the "The Truth is out There" aspect, it might turn into something really great.

It definitely caught my attention and at the very least, I'll be watching next week.

Teresa
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Who could possibly enjoy something this mind-numbingly awful?
squeezebox5 December 2005
Let's forget for a moment that this pathetic excuse for a television show (which would fittingly describe 99% of what's on TV at this time - have you watched "The War at Home" lately?) is a remake of a cult classic of television, and judge it by itself.

It still sucks.

This show is the usual slickly shot, professionally made crap. It's a pile of rotting blubber wrapped in a fancy package. The writing sucks, the acting sucks. Gabrielle Union once again proves herself to be excellent at playing the cheerleader from BRING IT ON. Maybe add another character to your portfolio, Gabrielle? Every time the main character (was this guy just some underwear model before this show?) said his name was "Carl Kolchack," I shuddered. This show is an insult to the makers of the original (though I did see Dan Curtis listed as an Executive Producer; I hope he simply allowed them to use his name and didn't actually have any involvement in this atrocity).

I remember when movies and TV cast actors like Darren McGavin, Elliot Gould, George Segal, Shelly Winters, Richard Roundtree, Warren Oates, Jill Clayburgh... They were cast because they could ACT. Not because they were impossibly good-looking. They fit the character.

Now, the main criteria is that actors be as generically attractive as humanly possible, and their acting ability (or lack thereof) seems to be the last thing considered. I blame the audience as much as the filmmakers for this repugnant trend. Anyone who doesn't think that American audiences are becoming more and more superficial as each decade passes should take a look at the new NIGHT STALKER. There's your proof.
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I want to know!
loco_7329 December 2012
In the spirit of full disclosure, and just because I am simply lazy, this review also appears as a general posting on a message thread on the show's IMDb page...

I personally liked the show. I actually saw it on re-runs on Space (the Canadian counterpart to SyFy) and not during the original airing of the show. It struck me that this new incarnation of "Night Stalker" was a show very much in the vein of "Millenium", a wonderful, wonderful show created by Chris Carter and starring the talented Lance Henriksen. It had that same brooding, dark and suspenseful atmosphere, but more than that it also had almost the same substance and heart as that show. Style was never, at least in my mind, put over substance. Of course as others have pointed it also shared certain similarities with "X-Files".

It is true, that it was quite dark for a prime-time, network TV series, and liking it might have been an acquired taste...but the contention that this show was overly pessimistic, hopeless and depressing, is in my mind, unfair and unwarranted. The show only aired six episodes before it was cancelled and never got the chance to establish itself, evolve and show its true potential. We will never know what would and could have been. On the DVD set Frank Spotnitz does hint at and discusses what the future had in store for the characters and their respective story lines as well as the over all theme of the show, Good VS. Evil.

Stuart Townsend and Gabrielle Union were excellent together as was the rest of the cast. The stories in each episode were crafted as stand-alone narratives, but they also neatly fitted into the overall arch of the show and Kolchak's one-man crusade to find out the truth about what happened to his wife as well as expose all the strange cases he came across, trying to understand the nature of the dark, the evil, the things that go-bump in the night, which most of us ignore and pretend don't exist.

The more I think the more I see "Night Stalker" if not parallel, at least mirror other similar shows like HBO's "Carnivale" and CW's "Supernatural". But "Millennium" remains the show most comparable to "Night Stalker".

Lastly I have to add, that the narration which Stuart Townsend did at the beginning/intro and end/outro of each episode was quite wonderfully chilling and gave me goosebumps each and every time, and I mean this as the highest compliment. That world-weary voice Carl Kolchak brought every week, heavily burdened by the knowledge and awareness of the darkness and evil which lurk out there, made this show a must-see! Too bad it didn't get a fair shake...
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5/10
Pale Knockoff of the Original Classic
Bob-4529 July 2006
Shame on you Dan Curtis! Don't you realize what made the original "The Night Stalker" movies and series such a classic was the wonderful interplay between Kolchak (Darrin McGavin) and his boss (Simon Oakland)? Kolchak and Vicenzo were colorful, if not downright cliché newspaper people. Instead, you give us Stuart Townsend, who's about as colorful as beige. You turn the focus on the show into sexual tension between Townsend and Gabrielle Union. Union, who is one of the most beautiful, bright and charismatic Hollywood actresses, gets to play straight man to a "straight man". If you were going to go for the "Muldar/Scully angle, you could have at least given us an ironically funny male lead. Instead, this series is starting off as a rejected "X Files" episode.

"Night Stalker" needs, at least, a quirky Kolchak, say, Matthew Lillard or David Schwimmer. Look at the great success of "Doctor Who" and go back to the drawing board.

I give the "Night Stalker" pilot a "5".
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Get This Impostor Outta Here!!!
Lyle F. Padilla1 October 2005
Okay. I understand that Chris Carter and his *The X-Files* crew were inspired by the original *Kolchak: The Night Stalker* TV movies and series. I understand that Frank Spotnitz, the head writer for the 2005 *Night Stalker*, was a member of Carter's X-Files crew. I also understand that Darren McGavin is in his 80s and ailing, and even if he were in perfect health he'd be too old to reprise the role of Carl Kolchak.

I'm a pushing-50 baby boomer who watched the original Kolchak movies on ABC's Movie of the Week when I was in high school and watched the one season of *Kolchak: The Night Stalker* when I was in college. I'll even point out that I grew up watching reruns of George Reeves in *The Adventures of Superman*, and never had a problem accepting Jeff East, Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain and now Tom Welling taking over the role of Clark Kent/Superman in his various subsequent incarnations. I wish I could say the same for Stuart Townsend's incarnation of Carl Kolchak, but I can't.

Inspiration and imitation do NOT equal replication. Kolchak may have inspired *The X-Files*, even to the point that Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz may have created a guest character for Darren McGavin in that show in tribute, but Spotnitz missed the mark completely on what Carl Kolchak was about. Kolchak was an irreverent, sarcastic and wisecracking rogue who could get knocked down but never out, who always got back up laughing, still irreverent and sarcastic and ready to keep swinging. Humor and irreverence were the lifeblood of the original Carl Kolchak, and Spotnitz sucked it out of this incarnation of Kolchak as thoroughly as Janos Skorzeny, Dracula, Nosferatu, Lestat or any other vampire who appeared on the big or small screen.

Many are touting *Night Stalker* as "the new X-Files," and I can't disagree with that; Stuart Townsend's Kolchak doesn't resemble Darren McGavin's original Kolchak so much as he does Fox Mulder-- if Mulder were taken off Prozac. It's obvious that the Generation Xers (pun definitely intended) like their TV shows about the supernatural dark, depressed and humorless; this show may be the new X-Files, but don't try to pass it off as the new *Kolchak: The Night Stalker*!

Somebody stake this vampire before it hurts anyone!
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night stalker is excellent
gothmetaller14 October 2005
OK let me tell u the old night stalker was nothing special. i mean the idea was great but... the acting was mediocre @ best. it was nothing 2 cheer about. thats the reason I'm glad they redid it...good plot & great actors. I've been a Stuart Townsend fan since i 1st saw him in queen of the damned. he was perfect 2 play the role of Kolchak & the ideas that come 2 him seem something much more likely 2 come 2 a younger man than a man of his successors age. I'm rather glad they brought him down 2 a roughly 33-34 yr old age. a lot easier 2 believe. the episodes that i have seen (& I've watched the show faithfully since it 1st came out) were well-written and well-acted. any person who does not like this show should be institutionalized. even tho i really do think Townsend should have tried less 2 sound like an American & try more to sound like the Irishman he really is, this show is an excellent piece of cinematography. wicked beyond belief.
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The New Night Stalker may cause Brain Damage
Stalker7416 October 2005
This new Night Stalker totally sucks from every angle that you can possibly consider.

I don't like any of the actors. This Scooby Doo Gang has no chemistry, and having a bunch of people investigating and interviewing everyone kills any suspense or scares. None of them has any wit, they lack charm, and they are just lifeless pretty models. They look brain-dead.

Even in the X-Files, Scully and Muldur used to split up to do different parts of an investigation. In this new Night Stalker, the three clowns seem to be umbilically connected and can never do anything alone. They even interview people together. Having three people constantly chatting away destroys any possible suspense. There aren't any scary moments in this series.

This Night Stalker is so predictable that it makes "Murder She Wrote" and "Matlock" seem great by comparison. Even worse than being predictable is the fact that it is very boring. No spunk, no energy, no bright ideas, no wit. None of the actors is ever seen reacting to a situation.

The original series was full of (Darren McGavin) Kolchack reacting to the unexpected. Sometimes it was for comic-relief, and other times it was a real threat. But Kolchak was always improvising and getting out of trouble. This new Kolchak (Stuart Townsend) is dull and witless. You can imagine that he has a GPS in his car and one of those systems so he can call the GPS company and ask them how to get to Wal-Mart.

Townsend is a dreadfully dull actor. The only thing worse is the moronic grinning of Gabrielle Union, one of Townsend's sidekicks (he had three in the last episode I watched, #3). Another guy plays the role of Jimmy Olsen, doofus photographer (with a haircut from Special Ed class). Then there is the new guy, a college reporter (I guess they want to rip-off Smallville too?).

The stories are all clearly rip-offs of either the X-Files, Angel, Buffy, or any combination of those shows (maybe even Smallville?). It would not surprise me if the writers had dusted off some old scripts and just changed the names to fit this new series.

I have seen all three shows so far, and frankly it was hard to sit through them. They were the most boring tripe that I have seen on television in several years. Even the remake of Kojak was a lot better than this. The original Buck Rogers and the 25th Century was better than this. Even Mr. Ed, Lassie, Flipper, and Gentle Ben (the show with the bears) was better than this. The new Night Stalker is painful to watch. It probably causes brain damage.
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Night Stalker is beyond horrible!
Stampley7323 October 2005
Well, aye was able to see this bloody awful show, and I can honestly say it is the worst thing that I have ever seen. My mates had me over to view a few episodes they have down-loaded, and we all had to laugh at what right horrid tripe was presented! Having bought the original DVD set, I half-hoped that the name of such a good show would not be blighted by the likes of a crassly poor remake. What bullocks! The lead actor is not suited at all for the role, and his sidekicks look like refugees from the Benny Hill show. What's up with the photographer? Gawd, I can't believe that anyone would have green-lighted such drivel. Gabrielle Union hasn't a bleeding clue. What's she doing on that show? The whole cast seems to be working this as some kind of summer-stock. I gather none of them has made any long-term plans to stay on. Seems like they joined the cast so they could collect a few quid between gigs.
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Night Stalker 2005 An Excellent Re-Vamp
odinz913 January 2006
This is NIGHT STALKER done right. It is serious, not slapstick. Too much cheesy humor ruined the original, as Darren McGavin complained at the time. This new version gives the eerie subject matter the more serious treatment it deserves. Very much a worthy companion to X-FILES and even forgotten fare, such as Anthony Quayle's STRANGE REPORT, this new NIGHT STALKER will find an audience that appreciates thoughtful horror and interesting investigations. Kolchak is re-thought as a younger, more damaged man, seeking first and foremost an explanation of what really happened to his wife, while Perri provides an excellent foil for his excesses. Excellent, too, is the show's use of misdirection and subtle effects, rather than relying too much on flashy SFX that, in later years, made X-FILES absurd. While many strike poses of nostalgia for the old NIGHT STALKER, such poses seem false when one goes back and sees how fast that old production decayed into self-parody and needless comedy. It robbed the character of Karl Kolchak of dignity, something Stuart Townsend's portrayal brings back with aplomb. And Perri, as portrayed by Gabrielle Union, is a welcome addition, bringing brains, bravery, and beauty to the show. Altogether a fine effort that deserves to be a hit, but that will probably be a slow-growing cult favorite.
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Great new show
moviefan100-120 October 2005
I like this show.

I enjoy the story and think that Stuart Townsend is a great actor and enjoy the entire ensemble.

This show does not have the same "feel" to me as X-files had, which is good. This show will stand on it's own as long a people do not try and force it into the same boxes as other shows. I am looking forward to see how this show grows.

At this time the stories seem to have many loose threads, which I assume will come together later in the series.

Seems like most of the disappointment around this is with people comparing it to the original. Not seeing the original, I am judging this based on it's own merit.
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