The Night Stalker Companion: A 25th Anniversary Tribute

Night Stalker Companion

Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Pomegranate Press (August 28, 1997)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0938817442
ISBN-13: 978-0938817444


Tribute to the made for TV movies 20 series episodes. Darrin McGavin in the role of Kolchak.


Best Companion Book for the Best Series ever....
I own both made for TV movies and all 20 episodes. Darrin McGavin was perfect for the role of Kolchak. I waited every week for a new episode, and was scared every minute as I watched them. The shows/movies not only keep you in suspense, but make you wonder; did it really happen? (If you do not understand that last statement, you never watched the show/movie.) Mr. Dawidziak did a fantastic job of writing this book. Every angle is covered from the movies and shows. The stories behind the shows are very interesting. I have the 25th Anniversary tribute issue. There are interviews with the surviving cast plus photos, biographies, and an episode guide are only part of this compendium. Carl Kolchak is a character that will live forever, read this book and you will want to watch the series. And for those X-filers out there, you need this book: because it is the inspiration for the X-Files.

It is funny; I have always loved the Night Stalker series and did not know this book existed. I flew to Seattle, Washington to tour the underground city I saw on the 2nd Movie, "The Night Strangler" and at the end of the tour in the gift shop was this book, hidden in the corner. They told me they use to make reference to the show during the tour, but for the last decade or so, no one knew what they were talking about. This came up because when they asked why we were on the tour, my friend told them I made him come on the tour because of the Series. (It is true) 🙂

M.A. Ramos May 18, 2015

The dark side of a brilliant show.

Mark Dawidziak's first attempt at a history and critique of the Kolchak mythos was Night Stalking: A 20th Anniversary Kolchak Companion (Image Publishing, 1991), sparsely distributed and now a collectible. Aided by Kolchak creator Jeff Rice, he then wrote Grave Secrets (Image, 1994), the first Kolchak novel since Rice's novelization of Matheson's Night Strangler teleplay. Rice was pleased with Grave Secrets, but not with Image's dismal distribution. He withdrew literary rights to the character.

Details are in Dawidziak's Night Stalker Companion, a heavily revised and updated version of Night Stalking, and a well-structured chronicle of the rise and fall and afterlife of Carl Kolchak, a hard-boiled reporter who investigates supernatural and extraterrestrial crimes. Dawidziak interviewed all key players, and while he accentuates the positive, he does not eliminate unpleasantries. Kolchak would expect no less from his biographer.

Kolchak first appeared in The Kolchak Papers, an unpublished 1970 horror novel written by newspaper reporter (and actor) Jeff Rice. Rice submitted it to Richard Matheson's agent, who sold TV movie rights to ABC without first signing Rice. Rice had hoped to adapt it himself, but the agent had already secured the teleplay assignment for Matheson. Dawidziak adds, "It's important to note that Rice does not in any way blame Matheson for what he views as shady Hollywood dealings."

Thomas M. Sipos May 18, 2015

Kolchak's comin' back......IN STYLE

These were the last words the reporter said to Gail Foster as he left her in response to a summons from the Las Vegas' DA's office. Like the author of this wonderful book, I too have a respect and affection for the character so perfectly portrayed by Darrin McGavin. I watched both TV movies, and all 20 TV episodes, as much for that crazy reporter as for the weekly monster/plot. Mr. Dawidziak's book pays homage not only to an extremely talented actor and the character he portrayed, but to the entire wonderful crew (in front and behind the camera). It approaches these movies/series with the same feelings reflected by Carl and Tony Vincenzo during their regular confrontions. What feelings am I talking about? You're obviously not a Kolchak disciple. READ THE BOOK! If you're not a Night Stalker fan now, you will become such. To quote both Carl and Mr. Dawidaziak, ITEM: The reason any true devotee tuned in was not for the "monster of the week", the issue could have just as easily been pollution or political corruption, it was for Carl. Crazy, irreverant, funny, unstoppable Carl. Mr. Kolchak, you've always had style.

John Wray May 18, 2015

Author: Mark Dawidziak

Mark Dawidziak is the author or editor of about 25 books, including three studies of landmark television series: The Columbo Phile: A Casebook, The Night Stalker Companion and Everything I Need to Know I Learned in The Twilight Zone, his lighthearted 2017 tribute to Rod Serling’s classic anthology series. He also is an internationally recognized Mark Twain scholar, and five of his books are about the iconic American writer. He spent 43 years as a television, film and theater critic at such newspapers as the Akron Beacon Journal and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. His work on the horror side of the street also includes the novel Grave Secrets, The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Dracula, short stories, and comic book scripts. He lives in Ohio.