The Night Stalker: The Sentry

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The Night Stalker: The Sentry

Post  BoG on Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:49 pm

Air Date: 3/28/75  What a Face  written by L. Ford Neale and John Huff  Arrow  Directed by Seymour Robbie

stars Darren McGavin as Carl Kolchak, reporter extraordinaire; Simon Oakland as his editor/boss

The final episode of the series presented a doozy of a monster; it was not supernatural in nature, instead one of those unknown/unseen-until-now creatures from the depths of the Earth. This episode is similar to monster movies of the fifties, featuring a lizard-like monster which threatens the underground installation of an archive service company. I really liked the way this one begins: Kolchak is fleeing down a long corridor in an electric cart and it becomes obvious in a few seconds that something is after him. We don't see what it is, as yet, and this ominous beginning sets the tone for much of the episode - this is one of the scarier ones, especially if you are claustrophobic and fear darkened areas. The monster is also very tough, able to break through walls, not stopped by bullets and decimating a security force with ease.

Kolchak deals with a female police lieutenant in this one (played by Kathie Browne, McGavin's real wife) and their repartee is an added layer of entertainment. This episode has a very good pace, with Kolchak pulling many devious stunts to get his story, and there's a lot of action. The monster suit has limitations, of course, typical of seventies TV, but when I was a kid, there were still plenty of scares. I made sure I stayed away from caverns or any kind of underground facilities for about a year after first watching this.
Also featured in guest roles are Tom Bosley (Happy Days) as a company rep, Frank Marth as the security chief, Albert Paulson as a wound-too-tight scientist and John Hoyt as the coroner. BoG's Score: 7.5 out of 10

Star Trek TOS actor alert: Kathie Browne appeared in the episode Wink of an Eye;
Hoyt was the original doctor in the first pilot, The Cage (also as archive footage in The Menagerie)
Stalker Trivia: as all Star Trek fans know and have pointed out, the plot of this one is very similar to the TOS episode The Devil in the Dark (1967), which featured a monster - a Horta alien mom protecting her eggs in deep caverns.
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