Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Episode 5: The Werewolf

Episode 5: The Werewolf
Original Airdate: 11/1/74
Guest Starring: Dick Gautier, Nita Talbot
and Eric Braeden as The Werewolf
Written by David Chase & Paul Playdon
Directed by Allen Baron

Carl gets sent on the final voyage of a cruise ship in place of Vincenzo. Fortunately for both men, there happens to be a werewolf on board.

PE: The newspaper clippings at the beginning of the episode showing the "wolf attack victims" is eerily effective. I'm a little dense at times so someone will have to tell me if that's supposed to be Eric Braeden on the church steps? I know we find out he's been bitten by a "wolf" but the pic is a bit grainy.

JS: I don't think that was supposed to be him, but I'll defer to the experts. In the opening scene at INS, I know Vincenzo is supposed to be Santa Claus, but did anyone else think he was channeling Logan's Run co-author George Clayton Johnson (I'll defer to the experts on that one-PE)?

PE: I love Carl's glee with Tony Vincenzo's misery but why would Kolchak want to go on a ship cruise? Doesn't seem like his bag. What if a giant ape were to trash Chicago while he's out to sea? Not to harp on Ron Updyke again but, whereas the Tony/Carl monologues are pearls of comedic timing, Updyke's exchange with Tony about seasickness is wasted time. The sequence is somewhat off balance, in that it interrupts the snappy patter of Kolchak and Vincenzo. Simon Oakland remains a load of fun and Jack Grinnage seems not to have a humorous bone in his body. I know this is the way the character is supposed to be perceived but that doesn't make the scene any funnier. It's all the more magnified when we return to the conversation between Karl and Tony and the smile returns to my face:
Tony: They're coming!
Carl: The British?
Tony: The accountants!
JS: In all fairness to Grinnage, he wasn't given much to do. I'll be interested to see if he ever gets a chance to be part of a story (like Monique), or if he's always relegated to comic relief in the newsroom. And the setting for this episode pretty much reduced our series regulars to the opening scene. They even shot Carl's intro and outro sitting on the dock, as opposed to back at his desk in the newsroom.

PE: Most werewolves kill for food, don't they? At the very least, they like to rip their prey to pieces. This guy just throws his victims around for the fun of it (in fact, this throwing around business is getting real old). He does have the very-unwerewolfish ability of being able to freeze his victims in mid-action. At least he doesn't mess his victims up too much. A whole bridge full of dead sailors and not one drop of blood, despite the "torn limb from limb" Carl exclaims to the Captain.

Okay, so we got a few drops of blood...
JS: Yes, and nothing on the boat is remotely similar to the carnage described in Montana. I'm not expecting that we would have seen the carnage, but things could have been shot in such a way where they didn't show a bunch of seemingly intact bodies lying around. I appreciate how standards and practices for acceptable violence on television have evolved over time, but it's almost like was there a mid-70s concession for throwing people, even to their off-screen deaths. And don't get me started on the ridiculous freeze-frames.

PE: So we've established a couple more standards already by episode five: stuntmen being thrown and Carl's instant female companion. This ep's Paula Griffin (Nita Talbot) is just a different name away from being last ep's Faye Kruger. I'm willing to buy that Kolchak might just have some kind of nebbish  charm that older women find attractive and would hop into the sack for (of course, we've no proof that Carl takes anything to bed with him besides his camera and an extra typewriter ribbon) but it's another Mt. Fuji I must climb to believe that these gals drop all common sense and break laws right and left for a man they just met!

JS: In our review of "The Zombie," we disagreed whether the monster was primarily kept in the shadows as a stylistic or budgetary reason. No such questions here. Some of the POV stalking shots are effective, but as soon as we get a glimpse of wolfie, I think we would have been better served had he been kept even more in the dark.

PE: It's good to know Dick Smith's Famous Monsters Do-It-Yourself Handbook was still being used by professional TV make-up men in 1974. It's a wonder what a guy can do with some crazy glue and yak hair. Dick Smith didn't have a chapter in there about how a werewolf is supposed to growl though. Call me nuts but everytime that lycanthrope growled, it reminded me of Bill Murray's "look out everybody, there's a lobster loose" skit!

The anonymous make-up man's inspiration?
JS: As silly as he looks, I'll admit there's something charming about a werewolf running around wreaking havoc in a three-piece suit.

PE: I'm usually a big Eric Braeden fan. As Dr. Otto Hasslein in  Escape from the Planet of the Apes, he did a superb job of walking that fine line between evil scumbag and saviour of the human race; he was believable as various Nazis in a batch of Combat episodes (which led to his regular role as Captain Hans Dietrich in The Rat Patrol); and he was one of the only positive things I can think of when discussing Colossus: The Forbin Project. Here though, as Berhardt Stieglitz, he's stiff as a board. Braeden did manage to pull down the best character names in the biz (Arlen Findletter, Col. Gunter Kroll, Anton Granicek, Frederico Caprio, Andrei Fetyakov, among others) before finding a second career in soaps as the dissapointingly named Victor Newman on The Young and The Restless.

JS: I think the real missed opportunity here was not playing Kolchak opposite Stieglitz in human form—allowing him to confront the werewolf with his assumptions, etc. They barely share one scene onscreen together out of wolf makeup (assuming that was even Braeden under the paste-on carpet samples), with Stieglitz walking out the door as Kolchak comes around the curtain in the doctor's office.

PE: Dick Gautier (who plays Mel Tarter) is probably best remembered as Hymie the Robot on Get Smart. Resembling a pre-workout Lou Ferrigno, Gautier could be a polarizing presence. There's no 1-9 on the volume and energy level for Gautier. He's always amped up. I like him a lot in this. He's got great lines ("She's gonna really turn your train around, Carl!"), he's got great hair, he's got great clothes, he can cut a rug like Travolta, he digs chicks who walk around half-nekkid. He could be me! What's not to like?

JS: Gotta give him credit for filling the comedic vacuum left by the absence of Oakland.

PE: There's no police chief on board but Captain Wells will do. He's the usual disbeliever and reporter hater. You'll no doubt recognize character actor Henry Jones (who plays the good captain) if you've watched any series television in your lifetime. Jones was on everything, it seems: The Partridge Family, Adam-12, Emergency, Hec Ramsey, McMillan and Wife, Alias Smith and Jones. Jones may have been competing with himself some nights on different networks. Lots of genre work as well: The Six Million Dollar Man, Night Gallery, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. to name just a few. This is Jones' third trip up to our treehouse. His first two jaunts were in a couple of Thrillers, Til Death Do Us Part and my personal favorite Henry Jones role, as Erik Borg, The Weird Tailor.

PE Rating:

(Let's do the math: Three typewriters for Kolchak, Vincenzo, and Tarter. Minus one and a half for a rotten wolfman (repeat after me: werewolves do not hide from their prey nor can a slovenly reporter throw a werewolf overboard!), negligible action, and bad slo-mo.)

JS Rating:

Next up... Kolchak faces The Doppleganger!


  1. I loved this episode! Give Nita Talbot a break. McGavin was 52 and she was 44. I thought her character was great, a movie-loving swinging single! Dick Gautier was wonderful, and any episode with Henry Jones gets an extra typewriter automatically. Sure, the werewolf was as scary as a schnauzer, but this episode was a blast! Three typewriters from me!

    1. Yep. I really liked this one too. I like Nita Talbot in anything she played on. And I firmly believe that Kolchak could throw that lil' old werewolf over a rail. He's the man! lol

  2. It was a nice change of pace to see Kolchak on a cruise ship instead of in the Big City. I'm glad Peter and John returned to their low rating system by giving this episode 1 1/2 typewriters. High ratings scare and shock me even more than the horrors.

  3. I rather like this episode - not one of the best, but certainly not one of the lesser ones either. I've always liked a story set in a legitimately confined setting.

    Re the werewolf makeup, I can't complain too much - it is 1970s TV - but what I found annoying was the lame growl/yell. Instead of sounding savage and menacing it came off as if a wolf was doing scales. (Owww-wow-woo-wah-woo-wow).

    Wait, Peter doesn't like COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT? Unforgivable...

    As for Kolchak and the ladies... I think this is one thing the TV show got very right. I find it far more believable that a character played by the early 50s McGavin can charm an early 40s Nolan or Talbot rather than an early 30s Lynley or Pflug. Of course, if THIS show were done today, all the female leads would be 20-somethings.

    Question - when Kolchak orders all his compatriots back to their rooms, tells them to lock their doors - "and learn more prayers!" - why does Mel Tarter leave as well? Isn't that his (and Carl's) room he's walking out of?

    Speaking of Mel, this is one of the first episodes that introduces us to an amusing or appealing character we grow to like - and then rather cruelly kills them off with little fanfare. (That screengrab above of the bare-shouldered victim lying on the ground is actually supposed to be Gautier's dead body - I'm thinking lots of viewers missed it unless they recognized Mel's very distinctive shirt).

  4. I'm with you guys on the simultaneously cheesy and charming three-piece-suited fleabag, the abysmal freeze-frames, and the general awesomeness of Braeden, but Pete and I must agree to disagree violently over COLOSSUS, which I adore on both page and screen. (Matheson loves the movie, too, so there!)

    And I'm with Jack right down the line on the guest cast. I thought the swinging singles stuff was funny, making this episode even more of a time-capsule than usual, and Jones (of VERTIGO fame) was outstanding.

    I have a special fondness for the exterior shots of Carl sitting on the dock because one of them was used on the cover of NIGHT STALKING. Is this the first time we've heard that pulsating "monster music" that I believe became a series staple?

  5. While I cannot defend the lack of carnage, the throwing-around of victims, or the slow-mo, I will say that the obvious answer as to WHY they did this was because it was network television in 1974 and we the audience were being called upon to *imagine* what what *really* happening (i.e. arms being torn out of sockets, blood spewing out of jugular veins, and faces torn off exposing skull).

    Speaking for myself, I have absolutely no problem letting my mind fill in the blanks because I saw these episodes when I was seven years old and remember how scary they were to me then. That said, if I were viewing these for the first time now, as a 44 year-old, I would be goofing on it just as much as you guys, maybe even worse (!).

    But as it is, I view all the non-violence-substituting-for-violence as an "imagine if you will" 1974 network representation of what is REALLY happening to these victims. I have to do that, or else I'm left with what is on the screen, a guy shoving people and stuff.

    More thoughts to come...

  6. Trivia note: In an episode of the David Chase-produced series The Sopranos, two charcaters, Chris and Adriana, are watching television when some buddies stop by their apartment. The show they're watching? It's The Werewolf episode of Kolchak: TNS. The scene that is clear on the TV is the scene where Kolchak tells the Captain there is a werewolf on board: "You will understand and comply with the following..."

  7. Wow, news to me that Mel bought it. Yikes.

  8. OK, I'm back. Who missed me? Raise you hands, please.

    In the intro news story (which is totally unique to any Kolchak episode and I really love the way it sets the ominous tone), I'm not sure that Stieglitz is literally pictured in the photos, but we quickly come to learn that he was there, he was bitten, and he survived. So I think we are just to assume that he is among the people in those photos.

    I love the whole concept of the cruise ship following the rising moon, the claustrophobic hallways, the spooky deserted decks of the ship at night, the crazy "swinging singles" that Carl is forced to hang out with (Dick Gautier and Talbot really make this episode snap), the priest who blesses the silver bullets (that Carl makes out of The Captain's uniform buttons!), the whole thing just does it for me.

    The MUSIC is awesome. There's this weird demented arpeggio played on the synthesizer whenever the attacks take place that really freaks me out. You hear it first when the werewolf is entering the ship's bridge to attack the crew. You also hear it right before Carl shoots the werewolf at the end. I love that. It sounds like a "random sample and hold" effect from a Moog synthesizer, almost like a primitive sequencer. Really cool.

    Also, I love those LOUD piano hits when Carl is being stalked on the deck at the end. DUNT!....DUNT!...DUNT-DUNT!...So scary! It's the same music we hear when the showdown begins in the sewer in "The Spanish Moss Murders", when Carl gets trapped down there and they cut to the Spanish moss floating in the water. The low dissonant notes on the piano go DUNT!...DUNT-DUNT!...DUNT-DUNT!!

    I'm not sure, but I think a great portion of the score was written for this episode ("The Werewolf"). Portions of it were then later re-used in most later episodes. I THINK that's true.

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  10. TRIVIA NOTE - That's McHale's Navy regular BOB HASTINGS who shoots the werewolf with the flare gun. He is one of the Captain's main crew and appears in many scenes, most notably when he and the Captain look at Carl's photos of The Werewolf together and Hastings says "Mr. Kolchak isn't going to win any awards for his photography, but he does have a stunning subject" or something like that..

  11. I agree with defending Nita Talbot, but not just for the reasons mentioned. For a character actress who's often played comical neurotics and the best friends of the female leads and so on, eveything about her has always shouted the word "hot," especially her voice.

  12. “The Werewolf,” like “The Vampire,” reinforced the notion that KOLCHAK was digging itself into an early grave, even allowing for its persona as a formula-driven fantasy series with metaphorical flavoring. When this sort of thing happens after only five episodes, some extremely careful adjusting is required.

    Part of the problem was the obligatory nature of the iconic monsters Kolchak was forced to tangle with. Although a key part of the K formula, this swiftly created an aura of ho-hum inevitability that wound up lessening whatever legitimate pleasures these last two episodes may have had. What was going to be next, my friends and I laughed back in ‘74… “The Ghost,” with some guy in a sheet tossing stuntmen around?

    The other major problem (also key to the formula) was the grim, relentlessly one-dimensional personality of the monster guest stars. This gets really dicey when the bogeyman of the week happens to be a lycanthrope, since the very best werewolf stories are the ones where we’re allowed to feel globs of sympathy for the tragic anti-hero, and that’s usually after we get to know (and like) the poor bastard and live through the monstrous event that triggered his plight. That couldn’t possibly be the case with Eric Braeden’s tortured ‘thrope, because the KOLCHAK formula insists that we spend our time with the funny reporter and eccentric comic relief -- shades of Lee Tracy in DOCTOR X! -- rather than with the ordinarily more compelling Jekyll/Hyde-like “monster.” Indeed, the seemingly intractable K formula gives energetic voice to this show’s hero at every opportunity, but never his hellish adversaries.

    That would change somewhat over the course of the next couple of episodes. Committed to Carl’s survival, Chase and company devised a subtle expansion of the K formula to include obscure and offbeat monster threats, allowing storylines to go in more unexpected directions, and gave the monsters themselves a little more character development and dimension. This was not enough to shatter the cherished template, but just enough to keep a nerd like me home on a Friday night when sensible guys my age were out trying to get lucky!

    Tomorrow: KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER trading cards from Topps?!

    1. This show was so great that they could have taken THE GHOST and made that work too. This is a great episode too, even after everyone here takes it apart.

  13. I must say, it is very interesting/eye-opening to read the different perceptions we had/have of the show based upon what age we were when we first watched it.

  14. I missed you Doug (Rak) - but next time I'll use a scope, so watch out.

    I don't know, Gary - so The Ripper gets a thumbs up from you but The Vampire & The Werewolf come up short in your eyes? Is it all because The Ripper episode came first and the others a couple more down the line? Jack was a silent, stalking menace with little to no personality as well - we only get to see his face briefly before the end, and he's just a guy in black clothing who favors old footwear.

  15. @ grgstv338 ~ That made me laugh!

    It should be said that "The Werewolf" is the closet thing we ever got to a Kolchak Holiday Special, what with the office all decorated, the snow falling, Tony wearing the Santa beard, and the gang singing Christmas carols. I don't know that they ever got so specific about a holiday in any other episode.

    Favorite line, by the way, is by Dick Gautier in reference to his date's bikini - "Look what's IN it...and look what's OUT of it!"

  16. My point is that "The Vampire" and "The Werewolf" made it very clear that business-as-usual with iconic monsters wasn't going to sustain the series, so a subtle expansion of the basic premise was required to maintain viewership... or else. "The Ripper" was fresh and well-received because it showed how the NS telefilm formula could work within the new weekly hour format, and it did so with a well-paced story and an exciting, legitimately suspenseful climax. Both "V" and "W" have their pleasures, I never damned them completely (for the record, I'd give your charmingly overrated "Vampire" two and a half typewriters, and the somewhat underrated "Werewolf" two). But for whatever it's worth, I can tell you for a fact that most of my fanboy friends were getting a little bored with "business as usual, just throw in another Famous Monster," and if you lose the fanboys with a show like this, that's pretty much that. But hey -- KOLCHAK is an amazing, one-of-a-kind series, that's why we're chatting about it here! It knew damn well what it had to do to keep itself interesting, and it did. Sure, the monsters would always be relatively silent sentinels, but some would have relatable human ambition ("The Devil's Platform") and a few would even be semi-sympathetic ("Mr. R.I.N.G.", "The Sentry"). Subtle adjustments, perhaps, but enough to move past the one-dimensional blueprint that was gradually getting KOLCHAK into a rut with its own core audience. In my opinion, we should celebrate the fact that this remarkable series was sharp enough to acknowledge its own built-in limitations, and made sly, barely perceptible changes to keep itself vital and fresh without betraying the original premise. That's why "Horror in the Heights" and "The Spanish Moss Murders" are such good episodes -- they have a little more meat on their bones at a time when the series required it, and we fans appreciated that difference. I know I certainly did...

  17. I don't want to turn a Werewolf comments section into a Ripper debate, but...

    ... obviously it was good to see Kolchak back, but, in retropect, how really "fresh" was it? What really new elements did it give us? Yes, it had an exciting climax, but you're also left with soooo many things unexplained. How does Jack the Ripper stay alive for years by killing 5 girls? Why is he only susceptible to electricity? What does he do all those years in between the killings - shop for more sword-canes?

    My point is that if you jumble the story order a bit, say move Vampire up and push Ripper further down the line, people may very well have looked back upon Ripper as a good but pretty formula Kolchak episode and given the "charmingly overrated" Vampire the higher marks.

  18. >>That screengrab above of the bare-shouldered victim lying on the ground is actually supposed to be Gautier's dead body - I'm thinking lots of viewers missed it unless they recognized Mel's very distinctive shirt.

    Get the hell out of here! That skin looks a little too silky smooth and caressable to be Mel! I never caught that Tarter was tartar until you pointed it out!

  19. >>“The Werewolf,” like “The Vampire,” reinforced the notion that KOLCHAK was digging itself into an early grave

    Uh-oh, I'm getting a distinct feeling of Deja Vu.
    Look on the bright side, Gary. I got a mountain of pigeon shit in the driveway. What's the most they'll do to you? A burning cross?

  20. I'm sure glad the screenshot I grabbed of Mel had him wearing said shirt, because I would have otherwise had to go back and re-watch parts of this dog - no pun intended - to believe it myself.

    As to the Vampire debate, call me crazy, but after watching that last episode, I could imagine a viable series growing out of Kolchak having to chase down Skorzeny's undead victims. Kolchak: The Night Stalker, indeed. And isn't that what they had in mind when they initially planned to turn Stephen King's Salem's Lot into a weekly TV series? I always thought it would have been cool to see Ben Mears and Mark Petrie doing the nomadic, town-to-town Fugitive/Kung Fu/Incredible Hulk-thing, with the added twist of them hunting down and staking vampires each week.

  21. The most important question this episode raises - and one that no one has been able to answer for me is not how a werewolf can rip people to shreds without popping a button on his nice trousers or how a man can be torn limb from limb without actually bleeding but why Kolchak would want to go on this sea voyage so badly. Was this ship heading for the Bermuda Triangle? Were there reports of sirens or sea serpents? Kolchak strikes me as a no-vacation kind of guy. Why would he leave the hustle and bustle of Monster Central for a boat full of old ladies and a Bingo game or two?

  22. Kolchak saw it as a way to get the hell out of winter in Chicago. That's it. Next question! (;

  23. Wow, I can't get away with a little playful nose-tweaking, can I? "The Ripper," in my (ahem) humble opinion, is a better-balanced episode than "The Vampire" and a fine way to introduce TV viewers to Carl Kolchak's new life and family at INS -- even Miss Emily's motherly presence is felt in roundabout fashion. It made perfect sense to run this strong episode first, which is probably why ABC chose to do so, even with full-page ads for "The Zombie" already printed in TV Guide. "Vampire" has lots of cool stuff in it, but the prevailing view of the day (which I still subscribe to) is that "It's okay but somewhat disappointing, certainly not in the same league as the TV film it's a sequel to, and the first real indication that this show better have some fresh monster ideas up its sleeve if it's going to survive the season." As mentioned, "Werewolf" simply reinforced the "sure we love the formula, but we're STILL getting into a rut" feeling. Fortunately, KOLCHAK's producers began to realize this problem themselves, and corrected the situation quite nicely without betraying their premise. I really don't know what else to say at this point, grgstv338! After all, everything comes down to personal taste and supposition... We're simply gonna have to agree to disagree on this one, my friend. And I'm sure some of our fellow bloggers are saying "Amen to that!"

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  25. No problem, Gary - like I've said, I'll firmly defend your right to be wrong ;-) ... bwah-hah-hah...

    PETER: "Get the hell out of here! That skin looks a little too silky smooth and caressable to be Mel"

    In that shot, it indeed looks like a woman, but in the reverse angle shot that follows you see the arm is definitely that of a man's - and you get an even better shot of Mel's distinctive shirt. Were they sparing us a Dead Dick (Gautier, that is) by not showing his face? Or, more likely, maybe the guest star's shooting time was up and they simply substituted a stunt double clad in Mel lounge-lizard-wear.

    ***deleted prior comment because for some reason Peter's quote disappeared.

  26. You can also tell it's Mel because Kolchak briefly handles the bottle opener that Mel was wearing around his neck when they first meet.

  27. Re the newsclipping and photos of the Yellowstone County, Montana killings -

    I don't think Stiglitz is in these photos; as we learn, he was bitten while in Greenland with a NATO team & the killings in Montana came 1 month later (next full moon, natch), but there'd be no reason he'd be hanging around after the killings and he'd returned to human form. Actually, it would have been a little less random if our werewolf & dead Montanans shared the SAME last name - you're injured while on duty, you're discharged from hospital, so you'd go home to see your family, right? Then that full moon comes out and... end of happy homecoming. As it is, we've no idea why Stiglitz decided to wander through Montana.

  28. I think it's important to keep in mind from episode to episode the pleasures of what IS there as opposed to what's NOT there, taking into account the exigencies of TV production, the hectoring from the home office about budgets when a series is not delivering ratings, sub-par scripts still wet from Mimeo, no time, less money, and so on. You either go with what you've got (as a viewer) or don't. It's too highfaluting to say the people who created KTNS "depended" on the viewer's imagination to fill in a few blanks, but in this case -- and in consideration of the pleasures the series DID have to offer in a sea of compromise -- it was not just an option, it was necessary.

    Format becomes formula through repetition, and formula at its worst undermines a series quickly, although nobody complains as much about all those post-ALL IN THE FAMILY comedies being confined, essentially, to a single set.

    One of the things distinguishing KTNS is that many of its most dramatic moments are of this fill-in-the-blank nature, that is, they are AURAL rather than visual. Such as the images conjured by Kolchak speaking alone to his tape recorder, late at night:

    "Francois Edmonds was buried a third time at state expense -- a THIRD time. City officials will deny this, but you can see for yourself if -- IF -- you go out to St. Lucy's cemetery, and exhume the corpse. Be my guest."

    That's really creepy, even now. It resonates.

    Even "The Werewolf" provides one of these chilling little frissons, when Capt. Wells says, "Ask Royer how much time we'd buy if we changed course now ... and tried to outrun the rising moon." Jeebus, what a great idea, what a cool thing, summed up in a line of dialogue.

    Flinging: I am reminded of all the absurd "rules" CBS imposed on WILD WILD WEST for their fight scenes once Robert Conrad got injured. As Leslie Stevens said, "the network way is to push the accelerator to the floor and keep your other foot on the brake." Shows trade in violence, sell violence, and become prim about actually depicting violence. After being told the werewolf eviscerated people, "The Werewolf" had to get prim about showing that, hence (1) the freeze-frames, not entirely successful but a nice try, and (2) the flinging.

    After all, didn't Janos Skorzeny essentially just "toss guys around"? The only real difference was the TV movie included a great one-two-three hero shot -- the toss through the upper story window -- that was repeated in all the commercials, and remains a core memory of viewing that show.

    For the modern bloodthirsty, that will have to make up for the lack of actual carnage, although KTNS did push the limits occasionally, such as when the shots of the victim in the electric bed in "The Energy Eater" got truncated for repeats.

    What "The Vampire" and "There Wolf" provided was some much needed VENTILATION ... that is to say, a brief escape from the Uni backlot sets.

    And yeah, the dead guy is Mel Tartar ... we're supposed to ID him by the big disco churchkey thing he wears on a chain around his neck. Too bad it wasn't silver.

  29. @ grgstv338 ~ Good call on the NATO mission. I forgot the news story photos were of Montana AFTER that. I stand corrected on my comments earlier.

    Also, I never noticed that, upon discovering Mel's body, Kolchak was briefly handing the bottle opener that Mel had used earlier in the show. Well spotted, John Stell! I'll have to go back and watch for that now...

  30. Hey, do you know why they call it the bikini? Because that's where they set off the atom bomb! Hey, ALRIGHT!!!!

  31. Weak episode- #17 of 20, 2 typewriters.
    Most of the time the werewolf doesn't try to eat his victims, he just tosses them up in the air, the werewolf makes it a weak episode, although its always nice to see a Thriller alum, in this case Henry Jones.
    One thing I like about this show is that it makes sense for Kolchak in his job as a reporter intvestigating suspicious murders to discover all these supernatural beings (within the context of the show) as opposed to something like Murder She Wrote or Monk, to name a couple shows, where everywhere Jessica Fletcher or Adrian Monk goes- on a plane, on vacation, at a resort, etc. they just happen upon a murder, so this is my longwinded attempt to say I didn't like Carl going on a cruise in place of Tony where a werewolf happens to
    be. Just sayin'.

    1. I watched this episode again with the new DVD set, I liked it much better and am giving it 3 typewriters. Eric Bearden makes a sympathetic hero, Gautier is funny, I can forgive the lake werewolf attacks. By the way, this episode is quite similar to a Colombo episode with Robert Vaughn, Troubled Waters.

  32. ...just thinkin' here; WHAT IF Tony hadn't had to deal with the accountants, and made his vacation cruise?
    thinkaboutit - Tony room-mating with Mel. Tony getting hooked up with Nina? (I don't think Tony's married..?) suddenly, MURDERS!! i'm sure that, before he became an editor, Tony was a fine reporter. would Tony figure out it was a werewolf? would Tony consult Carl? would he make a tasty hors d'oeuvres (or not, since Wuffie din't actually EAT anybody..)? would Cap'n Wells attempt to return to port, but Tony prevent it, to keep whatever was going on quarantined?

    I watched original K:TNS back when I was 12. I liked how, not only traditional monsters, but things I had never heard of, were encountered. 1st exposure to doppelgangers, succubi, diableros, pere malfeys, etc. this series is one of two that got me through 7th grade, and Darrin, despite all the other actors I've seen, is still my #1 fave ACTOR (btw, i'm a gal - Ross Martin is another fave, but still only second to our Lyle Richardson!) I've enjoyed the 'pre-Kolchak' Mike Hammer, and (as a cold-war kid)'By Dawn's Early Light', and though his appearance in 'From the Hip' was short, he TOTALLY STOLE A SCENE w/o saying a single word!! just his reaction standing between two other people communicating. (anyone else catch that one?? EXCELLENT WORK!)
    sorry for the gushing, guys, but I think the ONE thing we all love about K:TNS is Darrin's work, and i'm not going to apologize for going all fan-girl about it.