Intl. Notebook Feb 25 2010
EDGE OF NIGHT
The Night Stalker may be the most fondly remembered failure in the history of television.

Above is a publicity still of Darren McGavin, star of the short-lived American television show The Night Stalker. The series ran in 1974, and featured the character of Carl Kolchak as a world weary newspaperman investigating macabre and supernatural doings in Chicago. Over the course of twenty episodes Kolchak tangled with a vampire, a mummy, a werewolf, and even a killer android. It comes across a bit clunky now, but at the time the series was acclaimed for its deft writing and humor. Despite the good reviews, the American public didn’t get it, and the show suffered from poor ratings that only got worse with each week. McGavin, feeling constrained by the character and format of the series, eventually asked to be released from his contract and the network granted his wish. But some creations are simply ahead of their time and The Night Stalker, which should have been forgotten forever, continued to attract fans and today has a fierce cult. Even X-Files creator Chris Carter admits the show was a direct influence. He asked McGavin to reprise Kolchak on The X-Files as a running character—a turn that would have been momentous for fans of the macabre—but McGavin declined and the dream team of Kolchak and Mulder never materialized. Darren McGavin, forever to be remembered as Carl Kolchak, died today in 2006. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
May 29
1914—RMS Empress Sinks
Canadian Pacific Steamships' 570 foot ocean liner Empress of Ireland is struck amidships by a Norwegian coal freighter and sinks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with the loss of 1,024 lives. Submerged in 130 feet of water, the ship is so easily accessible to treasure hunters who removed valuables and bodies from the wreck that the Canadian government finally passes a law in 1998 restricting access.
May 28
1937—Chamberlain Becomes Prime Minister
Arthur Neville Chamberlain, who is known today mainly for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938 which conceded the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany and was supposed to appease Adolf Hitler's imperial ambitions, becomes prime minister of Great Britain. At the time Chamberlain is the second oldest man, at age sixty-eight, to ascend to the office. Three years later he would give way to Winston Churchill.
May 27
1930—Chrysler Building Opens
In New York City, after a mere eighteen months of construction, the Chrysler Building opens to the public. At 1,046 feet, 319 meters, it is the tallest building in the world at the time, but more significantly, William Van Alen's design is a landmark in art deco that is celebrated to this day as an example of skyscraper architecture at its most elegant.
1969—Jeffrey Hunter Dies
American actor Jeffrey Hunter dies of a cerebral hemorrhage after falling down a flight of stairs and sustaining a skull fracture, a mishap precipitated by his suffering a stroke seconds earlier. Hunter played many roles, including Jesus in the 1961 film King of Kings, but is perhaps best known for portraying Captain Christopher Pike in the original Star Trek pilot episode "The Cage".
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