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. "... more »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.« less
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 03/05/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Grissom from "CSI" needs to be called in on this unusual homicide. It seems that a network ABC mysteriously killed a show that they wanted. It appears that they just pushed it in front of the runaway hit "CSI" but there could be much more to the murder than meets the eye. Remaking a classic whether it be good or bad is always tricky business because you risk alienating the original fans and can be unable to pull in a new audience. "Battlestar: Galatica" is a rare success in the area "reimagining" the concept for a more sophisticated audience. That show has polarized fans of the original they either love it or hate it but producer/writer Ron D. Moore shaped a new series from older material that captured a solid audience because of its intelligent scripts and well written drama. Frank Spotnitz a producer/writer on "The X-Files" and "Millennium" takes the inspiration for those shows "The Night Stalker" and "The Night Strangler" TV movies as well as the humor laced camp classic TV show that followed and unsuccessfully updated it for today's audience by imitating the shows they inspired. While the show failed to live up to its potential it improved by leaps and bounds over time and showed potential after emerging from the shadow of its inspiration. It's possible the show may never of had much of an audience as Spotnitz alienated core fans of the original cheesy but fun TV series (these same people probably never realized that "The Night Stalker" began life as a serious modern day horror movie with humor vs. a humorous show with horror). For what it's worth "The X-Files" took much of the first year to find its groove and I believe that "Night Stalker" would have improved. After the promising pilot episode the show took a downward turn but began to improve again just as ABC pulled the plug. While actor Stuart Townsend can't hold a candle to Darren McGavin's charismatic performance in the original TV movies and the TV series (one of its saving graces) he does a credible job as does most of the cast.
As befits a new TV series "Night Stalker" looks quite good in this transfer. The gritty, detailed images from the TV show have never looked so good. The 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround audio sounds nice with the dialogue and music coming through with crystal clarity. My only reservation is that the entire series run of ten episodes plus the extras and commentary tracks have been packed on two single sided dual layered discs. The Show looks extremely good even with 5 episodes packed onto each of the two discs and with commentary tracks, deleted scenes and a featurette "A Conversation with Frank Spotnitz" included on the set.
"Night Stalker" only lasted 6 episodes. The extras here are pretty good considering the short run of the show. We do get an intelligent commentary track from writer/producer Frank Spotnitz, Daniel Sackheim and Michelle Maxwell MacLaren on the pilot discussing both the triumphs and failings of his new series as well as how he would have resolved the story arc that was designed to last at least a season regarding the murder of Kolchak's wife Irene. We also get a second commentary track with Spotnitz and Sackheim joined by co-producer John Kousakis "The Sea" the second on a two part episode (the second episode didn't air on network TV but did air on the Sci-Fi Channel). Spotnitz provided commentaries for some of "The X-Files" episodes he wrote so he's a pro here providing a wealth of information about the creation of the show and its brief development. Spotnitz and his co-producer also appear on "The Sea-Part 2" providing information about that episode.
You can also print two scripts commissioned for the show but that weren't produced due to the cancellation of the show via the Interactual player. The Interactual software is included on the second disc. The first is "Ascendant written by Melissa Blake & Joy Beth Blake and the second written by Emmy Award winner Darin Morgan ("The X-Files" episodes "Jose Chung's `From Outer Space'" and "The Final Repose of Clyde Bruckman" among many others). While it's not the same as having the final two episodes produced, it does allow fans of the series to continue to delve into the Kolchak's world.
"A Conversation with Frank Spotnitz" provides the background on the creation of the series and Spotnitz's approach with the material. While a big fan of the original TV movies and the TV shows Spotnitz also recognized that the original series could never work today. In tone the show is closer to the original TV movies and "Millennium" as well as "The X-Files". Spotnitz also discusses the reasons for the change in location for the series as well his choice to use high definition video cameras to shoot the show vs. film. Spotnitz discusses the resolution of the show much more in the commentary tracks but he also points out that although Kolchak didn't kill his wife he was born evil which makes him the perfect anti-hero for the story. At the conclusion of the interview we get a brief snippet of an outtake. We get deleted scenes for three episodes "The Pilot", "Three" and "Into the Night".
While "Night Stalker" didn't get the love it deserved and went passed into the world of cancelled shows that just didn't get a chance, we can still enjoy it on DVD. Touchstone has done a marvelous job of presenting the show including commentary tracks, a featurette, two scripts in DVD-ROM format that can be printed out and deleted scenes. "
Wasn't given a chance
E. Brito | New York | 03/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This show wasn't even given a chance, Stuart Townsend and the rest of the cast were fantastic. The show had a very hip vibe, very smart writing. ABC was stupid enough to put the show on a night that many were watching something else. Along with "Miracles"(Skeet Ulrich) another great show that was lost to the shuffle, this needs to be look upon again!"
Way too sophisticated to make it on broadcast TV
John Thornton | Midwest | 07/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A note of caution: This series is WAY too intense and scary for kids under 12 years old. The 2005 series the Night Stalker is a very well written and well acted show. That is probably why it failed on broadcast TV. This Carl Kolshak, played expertly by Stuart Townsend, is a man haunted by the mysterious and brutal death of his wife. He was there when she was killed, and no one really believes him as to how she was killed. Many think Carl is a murderer, but they can not prove it. This spiritual/emotional/psychological tension in apparent in most of the episodes. It casts a shadow on all that Carl does, especially his relationahips with co-workers. Some of the episodes have resolutions, but some do not. This makes the show really kind of edgy and true to life. Why do so many TV show writers think all of life's problems can be solved in a 45 minute time slot? The best episodes deal with the "monsters" concept, but others are just serial killers. The acting is excellent. Gabrielle Union is fabulous as Perri the "senior crime reporter" who has worked at the LA Beacon for all of four years. Besides being a great actress, Gabrielle Union is simply beautiful. Perri struggles to try to fingure out what is going on in the cases they investigate, but also she tries to understand why Carl does what he does. The newspaper's photographer is another interesting character. He tags along with Perri and Carl on many investigations. This threesome is rather unique in television and adds to the quality of th show. Unfortunately, the photographer's name is very hard to catch. It is Jain, sounds like Jane, for a man, really unusual. Why did the writer's do that? The background music is suitable and sets the tone well. The only major grievance I have with this series is that too often the victims seem to be women killed by a man. That may mirror life, but it was too emphasized. All in all the new Night Stalker is a great series, but not for children. You may like the show if you can live with ongoing unresolved issues tormenting the main character."
Best New Show of Fall '05
W. Dorsett | 05/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, I will explain why this show might have failed on ABC. It was given a bum Thursday night timeslot. Had it had Lost's timeslot or Grey's Anatomy's time slot or Boston Legal's timeslot it would still be around I fear. This show actually is more of a cool, edgy twist on CSI than an XFiles clone. Shame on ABC for not giving it a good timeslot to start off with (as it did for Grey's Anatomy) or giving it at least a timeslot next to one of it's shows that already had a decent following without too much competition. Shame Shame Shame. I've had the luck to purchase and see all of the ending episodes and I must say that I will be purchasing this on DVD regardless. Amazing TV here folks."
Terrific show -Bad Network
W. Dorsett | Seattle, WA USA | 04/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I never really watched the original, but was addicted to this very intense remake, very well done. Stuart Townsend was Great, as was Gabrielle Union. I was so upset at the network when the show was cancelled. If they were going to cancel it- so be it, but to yank it off the air in the middle of a two parter was just mean. They never did show the conclusion. I could not believe it, I kept it on my Tivo for months hoping they would run the conclusion to a very compelling story. Now I can buy it and finally see how the story arc ends"