Saturday, June 24, 2017

Kolchak: Or why I don't write for TV

Some of you folks might recall a series by the name of Kolchak: The Night Stalker (currently airing on ME TV, so check your local listings), about a down on his luck reporter who tended to get involved in odd cases usually dealing with the supernatural.

They remade it back in 2005 with the young and hip Stuart Townsend playing lead, which seemed to be missing the point by about a mile. So, assuming I was hired to run the show, what would I do?

Meet Carl Kolchak (Ted Levine). Twenty years ago he was the best damn reporter on the block, fighting corruption, getting the scoop and the gals, and having a half dozen highballs for lunch.

Now? He's burned every bridge that still exists and is pretty much waiting out the clock at the Independent News Service, a newspaper in a city that doesn't read them. He drives an early 90's car, wears off the rack suits, and pretty much half-asses everything, much to the annoyance of his editor Anthony Vincenzo (Edward James Olmos).

Kolchak has fallen so slow he's pretty much manning the obit desk when an odd story falls into his lap. Several women have been turning up dead, drained of blood. The police, hostile to him normally, seem go out of their way to be difficult (impounding his car, searching his apartment, etc.). This manages to burn through the rotgut haze, and soon Kolchak is tracking leads and trying to uncover the truth.

The catch though is that the subject of the articles that Kolchak is now turning out at a daily pace is now aware of him, and one should not have an irate vampire making inquires about one's daily habits. Can Kolchak stop this blood soaked fiend? Will anyone believe him? Can he get it wrapped up by the deadline?

From there Kolchak would track down monsters of all stripes from killer robots to wild skunk-apes. I doubt it would last more than a season, but what the heck, right?

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