Night Stalker: The Complete Series

Night Stalker
Cast: Stuart Townsend, Gabrielle Union, Eric Jungmann
Studio: BHVE
Rating: 5/10

CORPORATE LINE: Carl Kolchak returns in a new series of spine-tingling adventures. Produced by the X-FILES’ Frank Spotnitz and based on the original ’70s suspense drama, NIGHT STALKER updates the chilling classic in a startling new way. “There’s something stylishly scary at work here,” says The New York Times. Caught up in an obsessive hunt for his own wife’s murderer, Kolchak (Stuart Townsend) discovers that his imagination is no match for the evil that truly lurks in the dark. Paired with skeptic Perri Reed (Gabrielle Union), television’s favorite crime reporter will stop at nothing to uncover the supernatural side of the night. Featuring four episodes never seen on TV that complete the series and a host of exclusive bonus material, this 2-disc DVD set is so good it’s scary.

THE REVIEW: Creator Frank Spotnitz was a producer on the X-Files and tries to duplicate the formula on the Night Stalker. Not only does Night Stalker try to profit on spooky plotlines but also with the near duplication of a Mulder and Scully character. The difference is that Kolchak is a reporter working with a partner that is a female reporter, who is also a skeptic which mirrors Scully. The only difference is they have the equivalent of Superman’s Jimmy Olson as a sidekick. Another huge difference is that Stuart Townsend and Gabrielle Union aren’t in the league of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.

The show did go up against C.S.I. which was stiff competition. The show may have found an audience eventually—the question is whether or not Night Stalker would have lasted the entire season. I have to admit there are a lot of ridiculous plotlines and lame attempts at maintaining suspense. The X-Files had ridiculous plotlines as well but the stories were strong as was the dialogue. Night Stalker looks like it was made with half the budget and half the care of the X-Files. Everything with the Night Stalker is half as good as the X-Files.

The commentaries include show creators on “Pilot” and a show creator on “The Sea – Part 2 of 2” – The most interesting part of these commentaries was the discussion about what didn’t work. They still believed the show was good; however there was a realization that it wasn’t nearly great.

A conversation with Frank Spotnitz is an interview with the show creator and writer.

There are a few deleted scenes, four episodes that never made it to television, and a script printer (DVD ROM) with the final episodes never produced

FRANKLY: The reason Night Stalker was canceled wasn’t because of the schedule—it was because it wasn’t that good. The sad truth is that Night Stalker could have been so much better and might have still been around with a huge cult following.

+ Charlie Craine

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