Night Stalker (2005– )
3/10
This isn't "The Night Stalker," and not only because the definitive title isn't there.
13 June 2006
Whether on its own terms or as an update of the '70s series, "Night Stalker" ultimately deserved to be chopped by ABC after seven episodes (although as is often the case, all ten produced shows turned up over here, via Bravo this time - bravo! Not).

It's not so much that Stuart Townsend's no Darren McGavin, although it's certainly a minus... it's that developer Frank Spotnitz is a graduate of "The X Files," and he brought the same sensibility to this re-imagining (copyright by everyone who slagged off Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes"). So while the two TV movies and the series made no bones about the supernatural being out there, the new take on it endlessly pussyfooted around (not to mentioning throwing in yet another big arc, surrounding the death of Kolchak's pregnant wife) and tried to focus more on psychological horrors than ghoulies, ghosties, etc.

Not that that in itself is bad, it's just that it almost never really worked (apart from the episode about people literally scared to death). Maybe the creative staff felt that the go-for-broke approach wouldn't work these days, that "Night Stalker" would have to be "real" to be effective - but the makers of "Supernatural," by all accounts (I don't watch the show), were less troubled with that aspect, and that's coming back for a second year. Either way, the bottom line is that "Night Stalker" just wasn't absorbing enough, and for the most part also wasn't scary enough. But it WAS unbearably serious enough; dreary gubbins, essentially.

Three stars for getting Philip Glass to write a swirling piece (far superior to Michael Wandmacher's scoring for the pilot and all the episodes), and for Gabrielle Union as a very sexy Scully to our hero's Mulder... but if "Night Stalker" had been better, Union's chocolaty goodness would have been a mere bonus. Here it was the only reason I watched. Not good.
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