Kolchak: The Night Stalker 1.19 – The Youth Killer

By the time they filmed Rudolph Borchert’s “The Youth Killer,” Kolchak was running behind in production and ranking near the bottom of the weekly Nielsen ratings. They pulled in their usual mob of interesting guest stars, including television’s first Captain America and first Wonder Woman, Reb Brown and Cathy Lee Crosby. They’re joined by John Fiedler, making his last appearance as Gordy the morgue attendant, and by Dwayne Hickman, who weirdly enough Marie and I just saw two nights ago in an Ellery Queen made the following season, as the new cop of the week. This one starts out being nice to Kolchak, figuring that our hero can’t possibly be as much of a “pinwheel” as his fellow cops claim, only to find that Kolchak just helps himself to evidence and personal effects from the morgue.

But the whole affair is a rushed Kolchak by the numbers. Our kid was impressed, and mildly creeped out by the young twentysomethings being aged to death, but my favorite scene is a nice little location shot where Kolchak gets some info about ancient Greek demigods from a cab driver played by George “Demosthenes” Savalas. And that moment’s enlivened by an old Bell Telephone van driving by, prompting me to say “Hey, I remember that color scheme!”