Ten Things You Might Not Know About … Kolchak: The Night Stalker!
10. Producer/director Dan Curtis and screenwriter Richard Matheson were both approached by Universal to work on the series. Although they had worked on the original made-for-TV movies, they both turned down the offer.
9. Darren McGavin and Dan Curtis both died in early 2006 just one month apart from each other.
8. Ruth McDevitt’s character is referred to variously throughout the series on-screen by various characters and in the cast lists as Emily Fenwick, Emily Cowels, and Edith Cowels. They eventually settled on the name “Emily Cowles.” Her character’s occupation also alternates between advice columnist, riddle feature writer, and crossword puzzle editor.
7. Actor Richard Kiel, before he became best known as the killer “Jaws” in the James Bond movies, was cast in two episodes as the monster. He first appeared as the Diablero in “Bad Medicine” and later as the swamp monster in “The Spanish Moss Murders.”
6. Darren McGavin is often incorrectly considered to be, and listed in many official references guides, as the show’s Executive Producer. In fact, he never held the position, although he unofficially assumed many of the duties. This put him at odds with Paul Playdon and then Cy Chermak, the official producers appointed by Universal.
5. The series was cancelled because Darren McGavin asked to be released from his contract. He became disappointed with the series’ scripts and was exhausted from his uncredited producing duties. Three scripts were left unproduced. Two of them were adapted into a “Kolchak” series of comic books in 2003.
4. The episode “Chopper” is the first script that Robert Zemeckis sold in Hollywood.
3. The Sopranos creator and executive producer David Chase wrote several episodes, including the mob vs voodoo episode “The Zombie”
2. Dark Shadows composer Robert Cobert scored the music for the original television movies. Gil Mellé wrote the music for the TV series, beginning with the theme that begins with Kolchak whistling in the opening credits. Mellé was hired and the theme was written in 20 minutes, just before the opening credits were shot 1. The X-Files creator Chris Carter wanted McGavin to appear as Kolchak in one or more episodes of The X-Files, but McGavin was unwilling to reprise the character for the show. He did eventually appear in several episodes as Arthur Dales, a retired FBI agent described as the “father of the X-Files”.