KOLCHAK ARRIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Herc
Even if you don’t care for ABC’s new “Night Stalker” series, you can be grateful for the fact that its arrival last week precipitated today, at long last, the DVD issue of Kolchak: The Night Stalker – The Complete Series, the enterprise that kept me glued to WFAA-TV’s broadcast signal every Friday night, and would inform and inspire subsequent genre television efforts for decades.
Based on two highly rated TV-movies scripted by revered “Twilight Zone” vet Richard Matheson, the series dealt with a wire-service reporter with a strange faculty for uncovering stories about murderous robots, extraterrestrials, vampires, werewolves, zombies and their uncanny ilk. It kicked off Sept. 13, 1974. (That same night saw the premiere of NBC’s “The Rockford Files,” another Universal Studios property long-coveted by DVD collectors. “Rockford” lasted six seasons; “Kolchak” barely limped through one.)
Primitive and pitifully underbudgeted, the 1974 “Kolchak” had at least three things going for it: 1) It was the first regular TV gig for “Sopranos” mastermind David Chase, who served as “Kolchak’s” story editor and authored eight of its 20 teleplays. 2) It featured that creepy, stringy and unforgettable bass-fiddle theme music. 3) It offered a career-defining performance by Darren McGavin, who knew how to sell and showcase Kolchak’s indignant, authority-defying dialogue.
“Kolchak” also gave us “Chopper,” the only produced TV episode authored by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, the team that would go on to script Spielberg’s “1941,” as well as “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” “Used Cars” and a little sci-fi comedy titled “Back to the Future.”
Also out today? Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Complete First Season. The documentary included in the set provides some much-needed context with regard to just how involved Hitchcock was in this black-and-white TV show, which came on the heels of color movies like “Rear Window” and “To Catch a Thief” and “The Trouble With Harry,” continued through “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” “The Wrong Man,” “Vertigo,” “North by Northwest” and “Psycho,” then ended before “The Birds.” Hitch only directed 17 of 266 episodes, but filmed about 10 intros and 10 outros a day. Though star writers like Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Charles Beaumont, Roald Dahl, George Clayton Johnson, Ira Levin (!), Richard Levinson & William Link, Philip Roth, Stirling Silliphant and Alexander Woolcott contributed stories and teleplays over the series’ run, the real hero of the franchise was apparently a witty fellow named James Allardice, who scripted all those intros and outros (and went on to script that famous trailer Hitchcock made for “Psycho”).
Also also out today? The Bob Newhart Show 2.x, funnier than any live-action sitcom being produced today except possibly “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” You’ll come to stare at Emily Hartley’s nummy hinder - and stay to laugh at at the profoundly troubled mental patient Elliott Carlin. Season two sees Bob guilted into putting his therapy group on TV, Bob getting propositioned by Jerry’s pretty friend in Peoria, Bob enduring Emily as his receptionist, Bob refereeing when Howard and Jerry fall for the same girl, and Bob learning that Emily has the higher IQ. Do NOT play the “Bob” drinking game while watching more than two episodes on this DVD or you will die.
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Beverly Hillbillies: Ultimate Collection Vol. 1
Cheyenne: TV Favorites
Chico and the Man: TV Favorites
Creature Comforts 1.x
Dark Shadows: Vol. 20
Dr. 90210 1.x
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Family Guy Presents
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Kingdom Hospital Vol. 2
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Star Trek: Enterprise 3.x
Tales of the Unexpected Set 3
The Vicar of Dibley: 10th Anniversary Specials
Wyatt Earp Collection
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America's Funniest Holiday Home Videos
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Cartoon Network: Christmas Rocks
Christmas with SCTV
Drawn Together 1.x: Uncensored
Farscape: Starburst Edition 2.3
Into The West
Kenny Vs. Spenny 1.x
Kolchak: The Night Stalker
Oblongs: The Complete Series
Postcards From Buster
Spike The Vampire: Love Is Evil
Stargate SG1 8.x
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 19: Mutant & Monsters
Tom Green: Inside and Outside
A Twist in the Tale
Wild Palms: The Complete Series
All Grown Up: RV Having Fun Yet?
Arrested Development 2.x
The Captain & Tenille: Ultimate Collection
Dora the Explorer: Dance To The Rescue
The Duchess of Duke Street 1.x
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids Vol. 2
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Kingdom Hospital Vol. 3
Mutant X 3.x
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Atomic Betty Vol. 2
The Batman Vs. Dracula
Braceface: Turning 13
CSI: New York
Dark Shadows: Complete 1996 Series
Garfield: Cat Tales Gift Set
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He-Man 1.x Vol. 1
The Hilarious House of Frightenstein
The Legend of Zelda: The Complete Series
Nick Picks Vol. 2
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Pet Alien: Atomic Tommy
Saved by the Bell: The New Class 5.x
Strawberry Shortcake: Dress-Up Days
The Twilight Zone 4.x
The Ambassador <--- NEW!!
American Gothic: The Complete Series
The Beverly Hillbillies/Petticoat Junction Christmas Collection
Danger Mouse 3.x/4.x
Degrassi Junior High: The Complete Series
The Doris Day Show 2.x
Hamish MacBeth 1.x
Hart To Hart 1.x
Little House on the Prairie 9.x
In Living Color 4.x
Invasion Earth: The Complete Series
Kids in the Hall 3.x
Little House on the Prairie 9.x
Looney Tunes: Golden Collection Vol. 3
The L Word 2.x
Mad TV: Best of 8/9/10.x
The Munsters 2.x
The Planet's Funniest Animals
Point Pleasant 1.x
Puppets Who Kill 2.x
Tales From The Crypt 2.x
3rd Rock From the Sun 2.x
Tom & Jerry Vol. 2
Tripping the Rift 1.x
Upstairs Downstairs 24-Disc Collector's Edition
The Adventures of Pete & Pete 2.x
American Chopper 3.x
The Brady Bunch 4.x
Dick Cavett: John & Yoko
Disney Channel Holiday
Hearts Afire 2.x
Merv Griffin Show: 40 Most Interesting People
Monster Garage 3.x
Outer Limits (1999) 1.x
Sex and the City: Collector's Edition
Star Trek: Enterprise 4.x
Star Trek Enterprise: The 27-Disc Complete Series
Tales of Tomorrow Vol. 2
21 Jump Street 4.x
Ultimate Fighter 1.x
War of the Worlds 1.x
World Poker Tour 3.x
Beavis & Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection Vol. 1
Blue Collar TV 1.x Vol. 1
Chip & Dale Vol. 1
A Different World 1.x
Doctor Who: City of Death
Doctor Who: Claws of Axos
DuckTales Vol. 1
Five Mile Creek 1.x
Jay and Silent Bob Do DeGrassi
Jeopardy! An Inside Look
The Kumars at Number 42
The Partridge Family 2.x
Remington Steele 2.x
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The White Shadow 1.x
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Oct. 4, 2005, 12:16 a.m. CST
who doesn't love the puffy shirt from seinfeld...what a nice little bonus to get when buying seasons 5/6
Oct. 4, 2005, 12:40 a.m. CST
I hope these good remasters from the originals. "The Bob Newhart Show" was one of the guinea pigs for "time compression" technology some years back...when they would speed up things ever so slightly to create a whole 2-3 more minutes for commercials. They said you couldn't tell. Boy were they wrong. For years every syndicated ep of this show I watched was compressed...and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I hope this is a good release.
Oct. 4, 2005, 12:51 a.m. CST
by Jake Timmons08
Anyone else think that they'll eventually sell a Seinfeld super set like they're doing with Buffy? I sure as hell hope so because it's killing me to not pick up these season individually.
Oct. 4, 2005, 1:04 a.m. CST
i think they'll release it but it might be a deal where you have to show your receipts from buying all the seasons individually before you can get the super set...but it will probably be in a superman box so it's worth it
Oct. 4, 2005, 2:01 a.m. CST
Oct. 4, 2005, 3:01 a.m. CST
Oh, sweet lord where do I sign?
Oct. 4, 2005, 4:13 a.m. CST
LONDON (Reuters) - Comedian Ronnie Barker, half of the famous duo The Two Ronnies and the inimitable Fletch in prison sitcom Porridge, has died aged 76. A spokeswoman for the BBC said Barker died "peacefully" on Monday.
Oct. 4, 2005, 4:41 a.m. CST
I couldn't tell if the new Kolchak Boxset was remastered or not? The episodes I saw last night looked better than the Ebay Copies but that's not saying a lot. How come Universal didn't include any interviews or 'making-of' features? Oh well, thanks for finally bringing it out on DVD...
Oct. 4, 2005, 7:42 a.m. CST
Ditto wolf at the door. Herc wasn't doing anything half of the geeks on this site do on a regular basis. If that was a meltdown, then most of the talkbackers on this site have gone nuclear at one time or another.
Oct. 4, 2005, 7:59 a.m. CST
So Herc acting like Tonay is OK?
Oct. 4, 2005, 8:05 a.m. CST
They really must've sucked... or Herc was enraptured by his 729th viewing of the BUFFY ep "Fool For Love." Herc, put down the Spike action figures and finish grading those papers! ;)
Oct. 4, 2005, 8:22 a.m. CST
DVD TV/ Pay 80 bucks a series/ It used to be free
Oct. 4, 2005, 8:28 a.m. CST
The 20 episode DVD set does not include the two movies. They're owned by ABC, while the series is owned by Universal. Which is why the new "Night Stalker' series (produced by ABC) can't use anything from the TV show. As noted, no commentary or features. The new DVD set also doesn't include the two "made from TV" movies, Crackle of Death (composite of Energy Eater and Firefall) and Demon & The Mummy (Legacy of Terror, Demon in Lace). It does actually include those four episodes, long unavailable in syndication, uncut.
Oct. 4, 2005, 10:18 a.m. CST
Oct. 4, 2005, 10:24 a.m. CST
Oct. 4, 2005, 10:34 a.m. CST
Haiku results / anticipated greatly / Lost DVD rules!
Oct. 4, 2005, 12:10 p.m. CST
How many of these stupid Buffy dvd's are they going to release?? its been like 3 years!! Finish it!! People who have all episodes aren't suddenly going to start buying extra dvd's. People like spending money on WORTHWHILE things. Also; hitchcock's lamb to the slaughter was one of the single most perfect things i've ever seen...
Oct. 4, 2005, 12:20 p.m. CST
Oct. 4, 2005, 12:24 p.m. CST
When is this show coming out on DVD?
Oct. 4, 2005, 2:55 p.m. CST
Harry thinks I'm hot. And he's more than WANTED to have sex with me - if you know what I mean.
Oct. 4, 2005, 3:36 p.m. CST
Until I see a picture...
Oct. 4, 2005, 3:39 p.m. CST
oh. Only time I've caught Kolchak on TV, it was always the silly "Richard Kiel as urban Indian ghost warlock" episode. Where he mostly sat rocking on the floor chanting Eeeee aiiii eeee aiiii. Kind of embarrassing.
Oct. 4, 2005, 3:48 p.m. CST
Brilliant sitcom, can't wait. But Herc, please. Are you talking to yourself when you say "you'll come to stare..."? Because you're not speaking for me.
Oct. 4, 2005, 4:01 p.m. CST
That would be "Bad Medicine." First of two different monsters Kiel played. Main problem with the episode is too much is in the daylight monster-wise, and Kiel doesn't really look like an Indian. Also they had just had a "guy turns into a dog/coyote" episode just previously. On the other hand, it's one of the funnier episodes with a telephone gag they later used on Moonlighting, it features all the regulars pretty well, and Kiel manages to be creepy despite himself. it wasn't one of David Chase's scripts per se, although he was script editing behind the scenes even on the ones he wasn't credited for.
Oct. 4, 2005, 5:35 p.m. CST
Or is he?
Oct. 4, 2005, 8:14 p.m. CST
Dude. Where have you beeeeeeen? Thousands saw me at the Buffy Bash two years ago in my denim mini and platform clogs. Many photos were taken. Everyone has seen them. They demonstrate that, while my boobs are not the all-time biggest, anybody as little and cute as me is not sporting weinerage. Good luck on those entrance exams!
Oct. 4, 2005, 8:28 p.m. CST
Hercules is a 50+ chick? Oy, I find that hard to believe. If you have read Moriarty's dvd chart, you would know that Moriarty refers to Hercules as "he" and that "he" is 20 years older than one Moriarty. This is all very confusing...
Oct. 4, 2005, 9:10 p.m. CST
I wish I was 57 years old! Then maybe (but only maybe) Moriarty would stop trying to GRAB MY ASS! Older = Younger. Why would you begin to believe Moriarty now??
Oct. 4, 2005, 9:33 p.m. CST
At least, if TVShowsonDVD.com can be trusted -- http://tinyurl.com/9x72s -- and if this is true, it's about damn time. Now the Powers That Be can get cracking on NOW AND AGAIN and THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN...
Oct. 4, 2005, 10:03 p.m. CST
Unless I am mistaken, that is the alternate title for the NBC series "Tales of the Unexpected" (not to be confused with the syndicated series of the same name). NBC's TotU (1975 or 1976?) was a great, if short-lived, anthology that included a stellar episode starring Rick Nelson as a baseball pitcher who receives a transplanted hand.
Oct. 4, 2005, 10:19 p.m. CST
And, just like Homer being the safety inspector at a nuclear plant is a bad idea, letting Newhart's Bill Daily be a commercial airline pilot was a hilarious Worst Case Scenario.
Oct. 4, 2005, 11:21 p.m. CST
bow down and pray for forgiveness, for it is the best comedy on TV! And-Herc's a girl?
Oct. 5, 2005, 12:44 a.m. CST
That would be waaaay cool. I love Mark Hamill's turn as the Trickster. Hope that's really happening! As for Herc's gender, all I can say is all those fanboys who ran to the bathroom with a handful of Kleenex are going to be disappointed and filled with self-hatred if it turns out Herc's kidding about being a girl!
Oct. 5, 2005, 7:06 a.m. CST
Oct. 5, 2005, 8:20 a.m. CST
Man, this place cracks me up. Much love to my geek-peeps!!!
Oct. 6, 2005, 12:12 a.m. CST
by Flim Springfield
Wow. I'm not going to buy it, but just seeing it on the shelf will blow my mind.
Oct. 6, 2005, 5:50 p.m. CST
Glad to see I've become a passing reference
Oct. 7, 2005, 2:25 p.m. CST
by Johnny Smith
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