Kolchak: The Night Stalker

Kolchak: The Night Stalker is an American television series that aired on ABC during the 1974–1975 season. It starred Darren McGavin as Chicago newspaper reporter Carl Kolchak, who investigated mysterious crimes which the local police normally chose not to follow up on. The cases usually entailed supernatural or science-fiction elements.

The series stemmed from two successful television movies, The Night Stalker (1972) and The Night Strangler (1973). The series only lasted a single season, but it has since gained cult status and remains popular in syndication.

Chris Carter, creator of The X Files, openly acknowledges the show’s influence on his own work. Carter wanted McGavin to appear as Kolchak in one or more episodes of The X-Files, but McGavin was unwilling to play the character for the show. Nonetheless, he did appear in several episodes as Arthur Dales, a retired FBI agent described as the “father of the X-Files”.

The entire series is available in syndication and is occasionally rerun on the Sci-Fi Channel. MGM Home Video released the two TV movies on DVD in 2004. Universal Studios Home Entertainment released Kolchak: The Night Stalker – The Complete Series on DVD a year later. Madman Entertainment released the complete series on DVD in Australia and New Zealand in 2009.