Friday, October 07, 2005

Who Would Stalk The Night?

Even though The New TV Show Review Challenge is history, I'm still watching new shows when I can. Tonight, I checked out Night Stalker on ABC.

It's a new version of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, a show I must admit that I have never seen before. It stars Stuart Townsend as Carl Kolchak, a reporter whose wife was killed under some unusual circumstances. He investigates strange killings and the like along with Perri Reed, played by Gabrielle Union.

The episode I watched opened with quite a shock. A man was at his son's baseball game with his wife. She gets up and leaves the stands as she can't watch her son strike out. The man, who suddenly sees his father (who tells him "You know what you have to do"), gets up from the stands and follows his wife. He grabs an aluminum bat and beats his wife to death. It's revealed that the man's father has been dead for years.

Kolchak and Reed investigate and find that the man was a prosecutor who helped put away a Charles Manson-esque killer. Another murder occurs when a woman (the judge of the trial) sees her dead six-year-old daughter and ends up killing her husband. The killer that links the judge and the prosecutor is actually still alive and in solitary confinement. He was blinded in an attack by some inmates who hated him. The killer, a man who is a master manipulator, has apparently found a way to manipulate people from within the confines of his cell.

I really liked this episode of the show. Stuart Townsend and Gabrielle Union put in good performances and I liked their chemistry. The show has a nice look to it too. I really liked the way the opening scene was edited. The juxtaposition between the kid hitting a home run and the husband killing the wife was a little unsettling and worked well. The plot kept me interested as well as guessing right until the "twist" towards the end (the killer manipulated Kolchak instead of Perri, whose story helped convict him).

Both Night Stalker and Supernatural are produced by X-Files veterans. Both shows have two people investigating strange events. Between the two, however, Night Stalker is better. Maybe it has an advantage in being a new version of an older show, but the writing and performances were better than Supernatural. I wonder how well the show is doing following Alias. I hope it lasts because I think I may try to keep watching it.

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